Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A distant memory

This Shark became the inspiration for the OceanicDreams logo

I have been in the Galapagos twice while my parents lived in Ecuador - they were fortunate enough to go about eight times. My first visit was in 2003 and I was complete mesmerized by the marine life: sharks, seals, large schools of fish, mantas, rays and the list goes on. Before that I had only seen the pictures my dad had taken and the stories my parents told me.

Unfortunately the Galapagos are also plague by the demand of shark fins - illegal fishing does happen in the park area and outside - sure you can point the finger and blame the Ecuadorian government (Yes, I am sure they could do more), but it goes well beyond that - in fact just waving your index or middle finger around and shouting is probably counterproductive. The large issue at hand is still the demand for the end product. Instead, solutions, plans, recommendations should be brought forth that will put food on the table the fisherman and their families and serve as an alternative income source.

The diver operator we used, Scuba Iguana, has done their part. Most of the guides, instructors, captains were former fisherman (and finners)...Scuba Iguana invested in them, certified them to become guides and dive instructors - not only that, but these former fisherman have fallen in love with the same animals they used to hunt...their passion shows and ironically their own well being now depends on the survival of sharks.

I have added a collection of Galapagos photos on flickr - it is likely that most of these sharks have been killed. When my dad and I returned to the Galapagos in 2005 to one area that was teeming with Galapagos sharks - we did not come across one - very sad indeed.

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