Green - Sharks Die After Going To France
The last of a group of 30 endangered Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks captured at the Great Barrier Reef and sent to Europe's largest aquarium in France has died.
The sharks were captured in the Queensland Marine Aquarium Fish Fishery and sent to the Nausicaa Aquarium in France by Cairns Marine in 2011 and 2018. Cairns Marine CFO Ryan Donnelly said Nausicaa hadn't informed the company about the status of any of the sharks, and what he knows he learned from media reports.
"It's sad. It's absolutely saddening," said Mr. Donnelly.
But conservation groups are upset, because they say such wildlife transfers shouldn't have been allowed in the first place. They've been trying to get the shark on Australia's endangered species list, but last year the former environment minister Josh Frydenberg listed the shark as "conservation dependent". This category allowed them to continue to be fished. The World Conservation Union (IUCN), on the other hand, put the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark on its Red List as "endangered", mostly due to over-fishing and other threats to its habitats.
"There's no conservation benefit to taking sharks from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia for aquariums overseas," said Nicola Beynon, the head of campaigns for the Humane Society International - Australia. "There are serious animal welfare risks and it shouldn’t happen."
Sea Shepherd France alleges that Nausicaa mistreated the animals, and is taking legal action to access to all documents relating to the care of the sharks in captivity, as well as all permits issued for the import of the animals.
"For a threatened species every individual counts," said Lamya Essemlali, the president of Sea Shepherd France. "We want all the documents of the people who took care of them and the authorisations for the imports.
"It’s all very blurry from Nausicaa," Ms. Essemlali continued. "That is why we are asking in our lawsuit for a deep investigation of everything that happened from the moment they imported them in 2011."