For those of you who were outraged by yesterdays article about a shop in Exeter selling steaks from a whole Thresher shark, it appears that the owner of the store in question, Mat Carter has made a remorseful defence of his actions.
Not exactly an admission of guilt as Mr Carter said he made the decision to buy the shark on Tuesday, October 8, because it would have otherwise been “wasted” and thrown into landfill.
He said he was unaware the species was on the Red List but it would not make sense for the company to have a policy not to sell fish classified as “vulnerable” as so many fish hold this classification.
One area I do think it is important for me to address though relates to the actions of some campaigners. We at The Scuba News have not been the only ones raising awareness for this issue and social media feeds have been going wild for the last 24 hours and this is all fantastic. As a result of this social media frenzy, Greendale Farm Shop have deleted their Facebook and Twitter feeds due the negative publicity they have received. Again, I am fine with this BUT what I do not agree with is reports that some campaigners have not restricted their criticisms to the practice of selling sharks. Many people have resorted to death threats and intimidation. Even threatening to burn down the home of the shop owner. This is totally unacceptable.
Raising awareness to conservation issues is what we in the diving community should be doing. Telling people about the things that need to change, using our position as ocean advocates to help protect the environment we all love to dive in, not threatening to kill people.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not one who people would refer to as a “tree-hugger”. I am not “love everybody” kind of guy. I am prone to a bad temper and a hatred of those that anger me, I love big cars with big engines, but what is gained by threatening to kill those who don’t agree with us?
Regardless of the reasons for this store selling shark meat, whether ignorance, naiveté or stupidity, how does burning down their house solve or change anything? Our role is educate people, teach them how we can preserve vulnerable marine life, spread the word so more people know the issues. Violence is not the answer to this problem!
Obviously these opinions are simply that, opinions, but if you are one of those who thinks setting fire to people who don’t agree with you is right, maybe this will give you something to think about.