Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gentle Giant Saved

Off the south Cornwall coast, near Penzance, a 12foot (3.7 meter) Basking shark was caught in a Gill net. She was entangled in the net, left to die a slow, painful death of drowning. Yet fate was smiling kindly on this gentle giant. Thankfully, her luck had not fan out. Unfortunately for another basking shark the week before, it had. It was found dead in a gill net at Perranporth, Cornwall.

3 divers, with Cornwall Wildlife Trust, were out doing a survey in the area, when they came upon the shark. At first, they thought she was dead, but they saw her eyes and mouth moving, letting them know she was alive and needed help. The divers used 2 knives to cut her free. It took 15 minutes to cut her free, and yet to her, it was a lifetime as she struggled to get oxygen over gills. The divers had to turn her over from her belly and help her for a few minutes. She had enough energy to swim off, thanks to the humans who cared.

These divers came upon her just in time. She was very near death. Other sharks are not so lucky. Gill nets are not used just around Cornwall, but all over the world. They claim thousands of sharks lives daily. This is a practice that needs to be stopped, and yet, it increases all the time to the detriment of sharks and other marine life. If the thought of a shark suffering in a net doesn't bother you, think of a turtle or dolphin dieing slowly, as they cannot swim to keep breathing. It doesn't matter what animal you picture, it is still the same painful outcome, a slow death.

Animals of all kind need our help. We use nets, long lines and human encroachment to invade their habitats. We are killing animals at an alarming rate. My passion happens to be sharks, but you could pick any marine animal and the result would be the same, death and extinction. We hunt them in tournaments and fishing trips. What do we gain? Nothing, except vain glory and the loss of a beautiful, intelligent fish. Help stop the slaughter by speaking up or learning more about sharks.

Remember...... Extinction is forever!!!!!!!!!


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