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May 1, 2007

Shark Tales Down Under

It’s no wonder so many people flock to Queensland, Australia. The fastest growing region on the southeast side of the continent down under offers a subtropical climate with an outdoorsy lifestyle — and an abundance of bull sharks?

These feisty elasmobranches are so abundant in fact that residents are catching them off apartment balconies with rigs no more complicated than a pork chop tied to a string.

Though bull sharks abound in the Golden Coast canals, sharks on the whole are actually in trouble. Experts estimate that close to 100 million sharks are caught every year (and mostly by commercial fishing gear, not by pork chops on strings).

Oceana also teams with other organizations to protect sharks and has celebrated a couple victories within the past several months on behalf of these graceful creatures, including pushing for stricter shark finning regulations and urging Amazon to drop sharkfin soup from its Web site.