Target: Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, Premier of the British Virgin Islands
Goal: Praise the British Virgin Islands for creating an ocean sanctuary to protect sharks
The waters surrounding the British Virgin Islands are home to several threatened species of shark like the scalloped hammerhead and the oceanic whitetip. Without large-scale conservation efforts, these sharks will likely become endangered or extinct due to overfishing. The British Virgin Islands recently announced the creation of a massive shark sanctuary that will help these species survive and Premier Smith needs to applauded for his work making it happen.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) argues that over “100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries.” There is a demand for shark meat and shark organs throughout the world—shark fins and meat are consumed as food and organs like the liver are used in health products like vitamins. Sharks do not reproduce at a rate that would allow them to survive with the level of fishing that now exists. Without help, many shark species will likely go extinct.
The recent decision by the British Virgin Islands to create a shark sanctuary should go a long way toward protecting sharks. The sanctuary entails nearly 40,000 square miles of ocean waters surrounding the Virgin Islands. Within this area commercial shark fishing will be banned as will the sale of shark meat and organs. Sharks will be allowed to live and breed and already threatened species can grow their populations to a point of sustainability.
Please sign the petition below to let Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith, the Premier of the British Virgin Islands, know that you appreciate his working in creating this sanctuary.
Dear Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith,
I was heartened to read that the British Virgin Islands has decided to create a shark sanctuary consisting of nearly 40,000 square meters of oceanic waters surrounding its land. It has been argued that over 100 million sharks are killed annually by commercial fishermen. Many shark species that live in the waters around the Virgin Islands are currently threatened and may soon become extinct if no conservation efforts are taken to help them. Your new sanctuary will ban shark fishing as well as the sale of shark products. Your actions should allow imperiled species like the scalloped hammerhead and the oceanic whitetip to live and breed and grow their populations to a point of sustainability.
Furthermore, your sanctuary should serve as a model for other Caribbean nations and territories, and it will encourage them to create their own sanctuaries to help sharks. Thank you for creating this shark sanctuary. Your work is greatly appreciated by many.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Barry Peters at Wikimedia Commons