Hopeful Signs: Thank You, EDF

Out of the blue I received a newsletter from Environmental Defense Fund, appropriately titled Solutions. I loved the articles about helping sharks, revising the law governing chemicals (Toxic Substances Control Act), farmers reducing fertilizer use (On-Farm Network), and Indians building solar heaters.

“In the Gulf of Mexico: Ensuring a Future for Sharks” focuses on increasing shark populations in the gulf. To do so, EDF, with help from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, will try to get the United States, Mexico, and Cuba to agree on a program to “rebuild shark populations in the Gulf of Mexico. It will be the first such program anywhere in the world.” (THAT will be easy. But what a cool idea!) There’s an article on EDF’s website about shark catch shares.

How Is This Restoration?

Low shark populations mean more rays, more grouper, and more jellyfish. From the article: “The rays feed on bay scallops and have ravaged scallop beds., devastating a century-old fishery.” Thus, if shark populations rebounded, ray populations would fall, and, presumably, the scallop beds would eventually recover. That would help fisherpeople make a living.

I would love to quote more from the article, but I think I’d be in violation of Fair Use laws, so I’ll stop there. Check out EDF’s website, which you can reach by clicking on “shark catch shares” above.