Target: Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Dr. David Mathayo, Tanzanian Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Development
Goal: Outlaw shark and dolphin hunting in Tanzania
Tanzania is a top tourist destination for its beautiful wildlife. But a group of “dynamite fishermen,” fishermen who use explosives to kill large groups of fish, are destroying that wildlife and Tanzania’s reputation. They are blowing up large groups of dolphins at Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park to use as bait to catch sharks as part of the profitable shark fin trade.
There are several huge problems with this. First of all, dynamite fishing is extremely damaging in itself. The practice is illegal in many places because it kills thousands of marine animals in one blast and it destroys wide swaths of ocean including coral reefs.
Dolphins are protected in the marine park and also under Tanzanian fishing regulations. Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park was founded as a sanctuary to protect endangered marine life. Dolphins have been endangered for years due to being caught in nets and blasts in attempts to catch sharks and whales for meat. Dolphins are sought for their own meat less often, but some species are down to 100 individuals as a result of wide-range fishing. Dolphins, it should be noted, are believed to be the world’s second most intelligent animals next to primates. They have complex communication systems within their groups, and can recognize themselves in a mirror.
Sharks are even more endangered than dolphins. Most shark species have decreased drastically over the past 50 years due to shark finning, and the oceanic whitetip shark has seen its numbers decrease by over 99%.
Tourists noted the killings in horror, and the Tanzanian government is calling for fishermen to stop killing dolphins. Nobody is benefitting from this scenario except for the fishermen, who are out to destroy endangered dolphins, endangered sharks, and Tanzania’s GDP in one blast.
Dynamite fishing is already illegal in Tanzania, but we can call for shark and dolphin hunting to be outlawed too, in order to protect these endangered animals. Urge Dr. David Mathayo, Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Development in Tanzania, and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete to support a ban on shark and dolphin hunting in Tanzania.
Dear President Kikwete and Dr. Mathayo,
We are saddened by the recent dynamite dolphin hunting incident in Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park. We know dynamite fishing is illegal in Tanzania, and we commend you for upholding the ban. We also commend you for creating a park to protect endangered wildlife. Some people are always going to break laws, and that’s unavoidable to a large degree.
However, to stop fishermen from continuing to hunt endangered animals, we feel that more laws need to be put in place to deter them. A longer sentence could make the difference between a group of fishermen deciding to go on a dynamite fishing expedition or not. We would like to see dolphin and shark hunting outlawed in Tanzania altogether.
The fishermen are going to use the dolphin meat to bait sharks. Shark populations have decreased rapidly in the last 50 years due to shark finning, and the population of oceanic whitetips has decreased by 99%. Dolphins, now considered the second most intelligent animal on Earth, are also highly endangered because they get caught in nets and blasts intended to kill sharks and whales.
Please outlaw shark finning and dolphin hunting altogether in Tanzania to protect these endangered animals.
[Your Name Here]