鯊魚如何養起一個國家?

從小到大都被大白鯊所影響,以為鯊魚很可怕。其實,鯊魚對人類的興趣很細,絕大部份都是因誤會而傷及人類的。其實在這個世界上,有一個地方是由鯊魚支撐起整個國家的重要發展。那地方就是 – 斐濟。

在斐濟與10幾種鯊魚一起游泳!! 公牛鯊、白鰭礁鯊、黑鰭礁鯊、護士鯊、檸檬鯊、灰礁鯊、銀鰭鯊及老虎鯊⋯⋯等等。

Photo credit: Franko Maps Ltd.

「鯊魚為經濟貢獻了4,220萬美元!」

與鯊魚潛水(Shark Dive)已經在全球多達29個國家逐漸形成為一種文化,甚至會帶來豐厚的利潤。

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photo credit: scuba verse

澳洲海洋科學研究所和西澳大學的一項新的分析報告得出了結論,與鯊魚有關的潛水事業,為斐濟經濟貢獻了4,220萬美元。 鯊魚潛水業每年為斐濟社區增加了400萬美元的收入!果然厲害!

“Pew Environment Group” -全球鯊魚保育負責人馬特·蘭德(Matt Rand)說:「這項研究清楚地表明了鯊魚和旅遊業在斐濟經濟中的作用。」「斐濟有重大的經濟動機來宣佈建立鯊魚保護區,並鞏固其作為世界頂級潛水勝地之一的聲譽。」

這項名為「斐濟鯊魚潛水業的社會經濟價值」研究發現,2010年的整體旅遊活動產生了5.58億美元的收入,約佔斐濟全國生產總值(GDP)的18%,而十分之一的遊客就是進行鯊魚潛水。 特別是在過去的幾年中,鯊魚潛水變得越來越流行。 事實上,位於斐濟的Pacific Harbour的一名潛水工作者說,在斐濟的潛水員數量增加了300%以上,從2004年一年裡面有700名增加到2010年的3,000名,數量大幅上升!

photo credit: scuba verse

除了斐濟的Pacific Harbour,鯊魚潛水在斐濟其他位置也很受歡迎,例如Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Mamanuca/Yasawa island等地,鯊魚潛水的收入幾乎是Pacific Habour的八倍。 在該國最大的島嶼 -Viti Levu,利潤總計約1,020萬美元; 在西北地區,Mamanuca和Yasawa島群則創造了320萬美元的收入。

該研究的主要作者馬克·米肯博士(Dr Mark Meekan)說:「我們的調查發現,鯊魚是遊客潛水時最想看到的生物之一。」「鯊魚也是健康的珊瑚礁生態系統的指標。」

photo credit: scuba verse

儘管通常都是南非、美國和澳洲等地區主導潛水行業,但鯊魚潛水正正是整個印度太平洋的經濟驅動力。 在帛琉(Palau),最近的一項研究發現,這項活動每年產生1800萬美元(佔其GDP的8%)。 在法國波利尼西亞(Polynesia, French)的 Moorea Island 與檸檬鯊潛水的全年收入約為540萬美元。

photo credit: scuba verse

斐濟群島的水域居住著至少75種鯊魚和魚類。根據國際自然保護聯盟受威脅物種紅色名錄顯示,這些物種中有66%受全球威脅或接近受威脅。 儘管斐濟採取了強而有力的措施來保護海洋環境,但都沒有針對鯊魚的具體保護措施。 每年有多達7300萬此類動物被殺死,主要是因為它們的鰭被用來製作魚翅湯。 在過去的兩年中,包括帛琉、馬爾代夫、洪都拉斯、巴哈馬和馬紹爾群島在內的幾個國家建立了庇護所,禁止商業性鯊魚捕撈,以保護其水域中的這些物種。

鯊魚可怕嗎?有時候人類比鯊魚更可怕!

今天起,讓我們拒絕魚翅!

“Sharks contributed US$42.2 million to the economy!”

Diving with sharks is a growing business worldwide, established operations are found in 29 countries.

A new analysis by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Western Australia concluded that, shark-related diving contributed US$42.2 million to the economy of Fiji. The shark-diving industry generated at least an additional US$4 million annually for Fijian communities through salaries and local levies. 

 “This study clearly shows the role sharks and tourism play in the economy of Fiji,” said Matt Rand, director of global shark conservation at the Pew Environment Group. “Fiji has a significant financial incentive to declare a shark sanctuary and solidify its reputation as one of the top diving destinations in the world.” 

 The study, “The Socio-Economic Value of the Shark-Diving Industry in Fiji,” found that overall tourism activities in 2010 generated US$558 million, approximately 18 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and that one in 10 tourists engaged in diving activities. In particular, diving with sharks has become more popular over the past several years; in fact one dive operator in Pacific Harbour reported the number of divers increased more than 300 percent, from 700 in 2004 to 3,000 in 2010. 

 Shark diving is also popular in other areas of Fiji. The revenues from this recreational activity in locations such as Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and the Mamanuca/Yasawa island group were almost eight times that of Pacific Harbour. In Viti Levu, the country’s largest island, profits totalled approximately US$10.2 million; and to the northwest, the island groups of Mamanuca and Yasawa generated US$3.2 million.

 “Our survey found that sharks are one of the most significant creatures tourists wish to see when scuba diving,” said Dr Mark Meekan, a lead author of the study. “These animals are also an indicator of healthy coral reef ecosystems.”

 Diving with sharks is a growing business worldwide, with established operations found in at least 83 locations in 29 countries. Although places such as South Africa, the United States, and Australia have typically dominated this industry, shark diving is becoming an economic driver across the Indo-Pacific. In Palau, a recent study found that US$18 million a year (or 8 percent of its GDP) is generated by this activity. In French Polynesia, diving with lemon sharks off Moorea Island brings in about US$5.4 million annually. 

 At least 75 shark and ray species inhabit the waters of the Fiji islands. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of threatened species, 66 percent of these species are globally threatened or near threatened. Although Fiji has implemented strong measures to safeguard the marine environment, there are no specific protections for sharks.  Up to 73 million of these animals are killed every year primarily for their fins, which are used to make shark fin soup, a popular dish in Asia. Over the last two years, several countries—including Palau, the Maldives, Honduras, the Bahamas and the Marshall Islands—have created sanctuaries and prohibited commercial shark fishing to protect these species in their waters.

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