Highly endangered sharks and sport fishing competitions

Rules are rules, no matter how endangered the species is, according to some American sport fishing competitions.

The scalloped hammerhead shark (pictured) which recently won the biggest shark prize at the 2012 White Marlin Open, is listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Species. Numbers have declined by 98% in the last 30 years, but amazingly still no laws were broken.

This is because, although under review, the scalloped hammerhead shark is still listed by US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as an Authorised species for recreational fishing (see NOAA 2012 Recreational Compliance Guide).

A selfish minority are sticking rigidly to rules set by a ponderously slow governmental organisation, whilst conveniently ignoring international guidelines and the plight of a highly endangered species.

Sport fishing rodeos should have to take into account all the evidence when they set the rules for their competitions, and if it is plainly obvious that a species is in deep trouble, the responsible action would be to disallow that species from the competition.