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Lay off my fins!

December 3, 2010

Usually, I’m not a fan of humans. You think you own the planet and tend to use the ocean as a big garbage can. But I need to give props where props are due. Even though you humans have an irrational fear of sharks, a lot of you are working hard to save us. So thanks! We’ll try to look a little less menacing when we’re gliding through the water, sensing you with our electrified bodies.

You better not be coming for my fin bro.

Recently the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) declared that hammerheads like me and my other hammerhead-like cousins, are now protected in the Atlantic Ocean. Hey what kind of name is that for a group? Why do you only care about tunas? Is “tunas” the plural of “tuna”? Whatever, even though you have a dumb name, you helped us hammerheads and our fins out a lot.

This poorly named group is in charge of setting fishing quotas, and they recently announced that it is now illegal to target hammerheads, or keep us if we’re accidentally caught. And it’s about time! More than 1 million sharks were killed in 2008 alone due to overfishing and people wanting to get at our sweet-ass fins. I know you’re jealous of our awesome fins and how they strike fear everywhere we go and they look totally badass like a mohawk — but you’ll just have to evolve and get your own!

While this is a great start, we sharks still need a lot more protection. There is no multinational limit on shark fishing. And a measure to increase enforcement of “finning” (when people dump sharks back into the ocean after taking only the fin — RUDE) fell short and didn’t pass. But we appreciate the effort.

Us sharks have been at the top of the food chain in the ocean for thousands of years, and we’d like to keep it that way. So thanks for helping us out and keep it up!

-Harry the Hammerhead Shark

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