Friday, March 30, 2007

World Bank & Shark Fin Soup

Bankrupting The Pacific: How Multilateral Development Banks Finance Overfishing and The Destruction of Our Ocean Wildlife.

Shark fin soup is a popular delicacy in China, but eaten farther afield. A survey carried out in China in 2006 by WildAid and the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association found that 35% of participants said they had consumed shark fin soup in the last year, while 83% of participants in an online survey conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature, said that they had consumed shark fin soup at some time.

In Hong Kong restaurants, where the market has traditionally been strong, demand from Hong Kong natives has reportedly dropped. There has been a steady increase in demand from the Chinese mainland, as the economic growth of China has put this expensive delicacy with the reach of a growing middle class. The high price of the soup means that is often used as a way to impress guests or at celebrations, 58% of those questioned in the WWF survey said they ate the soup at a celebration or gathering.

A third of all fins imported to Hong Kong come from Europe. Spain is by far the largest supplier, providing between 2000 and 5000 metric tonnes a year. Norway supplies 39 metric tonnes, but Britain, France, Portugal and Italy are also major suppliers. Hong Kong handles at least 50% and possibly up to 80% of the world trade in shark fin, with the major suppliers being Europe, Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United States, Yemen, India, Japan, and Mexico.
Hidden Cost of Shark Fin Soup

This report was carried out in 2005
PDF File of 2005 Report The report examines how projects funded by the Asian Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation (partner organisation to the world bank) are having a devastating impact on marine biodiversity and the target fish stocks.

This is now 2007, and guess what? The situation is worse than it was in 2005... In 2007, wildlife experts are warning the people on this planet that up to 73 million sharks are being killed each year to make shark fin soup. Let's put this in perspective. If one human being is attacked by a shark, not killed just attacked, it makes international news. Human are killing up to 73 million sharks a year to make soup. That figure does not include all the other shark deaths from inhumane over-fishing methods the international banks are financing.

It's back to the problem of supply and demand. If you have some little guy in a little boat who can catch a little shark a day (if he is lucky), then no matter what the world demand is for shark fin soup... the supply is not going to match the demand. When you have international banks financing vaccum-shark fisheries, then you can kill 73 million sharks a year, and maybe 93 million the next year until the sharks are extinct.

This was known in September 2006: Animal World
The world's booming shark fin trade is killing up to 73 million sharks per year—about three times more than the official catch number reported to the United Nations, a new study concludes. The findings, derived using data collected from illegal shark fin traders, are detailed in the October issue of the journal Ecology Letters.

"The shark fin trade is notoriously secretive. But we were able to tap into fin auction records and convert from fin sizes and weights to whole shark equivalents to get a good handle on the actual numbers," said study leader Shelley Clarke, an American fisheries scientist who works in Hong Kong and Japan.

The researchers arrived at their figure using a unique statistical model and data obtained from cooperative traders of shark fins in Hong Kong. Converting the figures to shark weights, they estimated that about 1.7 million tons of shark flesh is harvested each year. This translates to about 73 million sharks.

That's three to four times higher than the figure estimated by United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which keeps track of official shark catch records provided by member countries. The FAO's estimates for the amount of shark biomass caught each year range from 0.39 to 0.60 million tons per year.

Ocean Sharks Are Disappearing
Guardian Unlimited March 2007 - Overfishing of the ancient predators has lead to a sudden uprising of species they prey on, causing an abundance of skates, rays and smaller sharks, which are steadily devastating populations of shellfish, including scallops, oysters and clams, the researchers claim.

The findings suggest that the demise of the great sharks, whose primitive ancestors cruised the seas long before the rise and fall of the dinosaurs, may have unforeseen knock-on effects on marine life lower down the food chain. Sharks are targeted by fisheries for their fins and meat, but are also taken as by-catch by fleets fishing for tuna and swordfish. As many as 73 million sharks are killed each year around the globe for the finning trade.

Are International banks financing collapse of the world's oceans?
Multilateral Development Banks provide financial support and professional advice for economic and social development activities in developing countries. These are: The African Development Bank, The Asian Development Bank, The European Reconstruction Bank, The Inter American Development Bank Group. These banks make Long-term loans, based on market interest.

BASED ON MARKET INTEREST <---Very important! It seems the world bank development loans financing this massive supply to the market interest for shark fin soup is resulting in a collapse of the shark populations. The way this works is that shark products are marketed all over the world, so that short lived humans can get rich and countries can develop, and we can triple human world population growth... and what do these populations eat? By the time the human world populations have doubled and tripled the forests are gone, the sharks are extinct, the grain and corn is being used to produce energy, the Artic ice has melted, the fish stocks have completely collapsed, and the only thing to eat will be humans...

But hey! The banks have more money than the Roman Empire could dream of. Those guys are rich...

European Union - Major Exporter of Shark Fins The global shark fin trade is estimated to be increasing each year, while sets of shark fins can sell for more than US$700 per kg. European participation in the Hong Kong fin market has increased from negligible levels in the early 1990s to nearly one-third of total declared imports. Spain has led all other fin exporters in the world by a wide margin.

Dangerous Waters For Sharks The shark fin market results in the killing of 100 million sharks each year. Ninety percent of the cut fins come from blue sharks (Prionace glauca), whose population dropped 60 percent in Europe's Atlantic coast. In 2004 the EU exported more than 40,000 tonnes of shark meat -- 40 percent of the world total. Spain, which has Europe's largest fishing fleet, annually exports to Asia between two and three tonnes of shark fins, the equivalent of one million sharks. Italy is the European leader in shark fishing, with 1,061 tonnes caught in 2004. Next come Turkey, with 1,018 tonnes, and Greece with 911 tonnes a year.

Are California fishermen finning sharks...?
Global Ban on Finning?
Ban Shark Cartilage Health Products