Tuna Industry Whale Shark Exploitation Continues Unabated!

by Meena Hussein

November 22, 2011

whale shark

If you’re not already familiar with the terrible tuna catching technology of Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs), this video spells it out in devastating detail.

In short, it’s a lowdown approach that involves throwing detritus in to the ocean, and then snagging the fish drawn to it en masse. FADs are bad enough, but some tuna companies have taken the tactic to an even lower level. 

Tuna fisherman are turning gentle, gigantic whale sharks in to mobile FADs. They attach tracking devices to the unsuspecting whale shark’s bodies, then follow their movements as tuna congregate around them.

Next step, they swoop in and scoop up tuna and shark alike. If the whale shark survives this traumatic experience, the tracking device is re-attached and it is released to repeat the process — an experience that dramatically shortens their typical lifespan of 70 years or more.

And if the shark doesn’t appear up to the task? The fisherman slice off its fins (to be sold on the lucrative shark fin market) and then dump the animal overboard to drown.

It’s a shark exploitation situation we can change.

Sign the petition at Change.org today urging tuna companies to stop using whale sharks as bait for tuna fishing.

Slaughtering whale sharks to unsustainably harvest tuna? That takes oceanic atrocity to new depths. Let’s not let it happen.

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