Mention “sharks” to a group of people and you will get a range of opinions from blood-thirsty killers as depicted in “Jaws” to graceful predators important for ecosystem health (the latter remark is probably from a marine scientist, but you get my drift). I’ve been lucky enough through work and travel to have dived with a few sharks, and although some experiences were heart-thumping I’ve never been threatened by one. These days it’s more likely the reverse.
One of my favorite things about the Green Chefs/Blue Ocean online course for chefs and culinary students is how we discuss innovations in different fishing methods. If there’s a catch method that has high bycatch, we also let folks know what gear modifications are being developed to reduce bycatch.
On the Pacific coast of Mexico, all five species of sea turtles (green, hawksbill, loggerhead, olive ridley and leatherback) have declined over the past century due to illegal poaching and incidental capture in fishing nets. One of the most heavily impacted areas has been the Bahia Magdalena region, where endangered sea turtle populations remain low despite progressive conservation measures that include complete legal protection for sea turtles and their major nesting beaches.