PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - As part of the Nature Foundation/ Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance regional Save our Sharks Projects the St Maarten Nature Foundation has had discussions with restaurants and stores about the importance of sharks and has asked them to discontinue selling shark products.
Globally, human fishing pressure has resulted in 100 million sharks being killed annually, primarily for products such as shark fin soup, shark steaks and shark pills.
Through discussing the issue and lobbying the industry the Foundation is happy to announce that the following stores and restaurants understand the importance of sharks and will stop selling their shark products on St Maarten: Shang Bola Restaurant, Golden China Restaurant, Carrefour Market, Grand Marche, Fountain of Health and Health Upkeep.
There were still a few restaurants and stores that are still in negotiations to take shark products off of their shelves, but it is expected that this will happen in the near future.
“Sharks are not frightening or dangerous but keep the reefs clean of unhealthy fish, keeping the ecosystem in balance. If we do not have sharks we will lose our coral reef ecosystem and everything which depends on that such as fisheries, dive tourism, beach tourism and the very things which make us a unique island in the Caribbean.
We are very glad with the understanding of the stores and restaurants to decide to discontinue shark products, let’s hope all restaurants and stores will follow their example,” commented Melanie Meijer Zu-Schlochtern, Projects Officer for the Nature Foundation.
Various restaurants have also signed a pledge to not sell shark on their menu considering how endangered the animals are; “We are very grateful to these establishments for seeing the importance in bringing these animals back from the brink of extinction.
100 million sharks are being killed every year and however we can contribute to this number being reduced is very important,” commented Tadzio Bervoets, Manager of the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation.
Previously the Foundation discovered various establishments selling Shark Products but with lobbying efforts and in discussing with the business owners they voluntarily decided to stop selling shark products.
Numerous restaurants have also signed an agreement with the Nature Foundation that they would not sell any shark or shark related products to their customers.