Often, environmentally-friendly media loves to point their fingers to the bad guys and advocate to boycott and persecute the people involved. However, I've learned how truly damaging this type of mentality can be... not only to the cause at hand, but to the people involved.
The story of our findings....
Very recently while going for a regular scuba dive with my partner, we had come across a dead floating head carcass of a Tiger Shark. This was extremely upsetting to me as a shark lover but also because of the fact that in Baja California, Mexico... this was the first shark that I had seen. AND IT WAS DEAD.
My partner and I knew immediately that this shark was a victim of the shark fishermen trade because its entire body was gone with no trace of bone and because we heard a rumour that the shark fishing season had begun only just the week before.
Why we want to donate to these people...
Well, it sounds a bit counter intuitive to be donating funds to the very people that had killed this magnificent creature. However, the truth is that this job... this form of livelihood is a matter of privilege. We had met one of these shark fishermen in the village we were living at the time in Mexico, and he lived quite a simple life. His house was kind of falling a part and he was definitely living in below the privileged economic standards. But, I would have never been able to point him out in the streets and say "he is one of them." No. It wasn't like that at all.
From all my time studying conservation and environmental studies one thing is very clear. Social and environmental problems are linked. We cannot combat controversies such as shark fishing without considering the people involved.
And when I say people involved I do not mean the entrepreneur giants that are profiting off of this trade, but the slaves to the industry.
It is a privilege to not have to be a shark fishermen.
It is a privilege to be forced into an industry like this.
It is a privilege that we are able to sustain ourselves without killing.
Want to know how you can help?
We just released a limited edition collection using the EXACT teeth that we had salvaged from the Tiger Shark remains. A portion of these sales will be donated to shark conservation projects that directly benefit the lives of ex-shark fishermen through providing alternative incomes.
Please feel free to give this blog post a share to raise awareness for the truths behind the shark fishing industry.
Thank you for caring,