November 28, 2020

Fosters remove all shark products

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Fosters Food fair has removed all shark products from its shelves which has been hailed a major boost to the marine environment.

Trading in shark products damages shark populations but now a growing number of countries in the Caribbean are banning shark fishing and so helping to restore a healthy balance to their seas.

Locally, Foster’s Food Fair is joining this regional trend by removing shark products from its shelves.

This comes in addition to the many other steps Foster’s Food Fair has taken steps to help the environment: The company participates in the Cayman Become reusable shopping bag campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags and it has assisted research on Cayman’s sharks by sponsoring a tag for Coco the Tiger Shark.

The information from the tag has helped the team from the Department of Environment, Marine Conservation International, Save Our Seas Foundation and the Guy Harvey Research Institute to better understand the movements of sharks in local waters.

The team is studying the swimming patterns of the our larger sharks by tracking them both locally and regionally around the Caribbean Sea.

Marine Conservation International

(MCI)’s Dr. Mauvis Gore said “I am delighted that Foster’s Food Fair has taken such an important step for Cayman’s marine environment”.

Dr. Gore is part of an international team from MCI and leads the shark research project in partnership with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE). The project is funded by the UK’s Overseas Territory Environment Programme (OTEP) and the Save Our Seas Foundation.

DOE Deputy Director Tim Austin noted that “sharks are a vital part of the ocean’s food web, which in turn helps to keep our reefs healthy.”

However, sharks are being lost at an astonishing rate both locally and globally. This is mainly to the Asian shark fin trade, but the demand for alternative health products such as shark cartilage is also adding to the problem. Shark cartilage has been thought to aid a number of ailments including treating cancer. But a number of scientific studies have now shown that shark cartilage is not effective in halting the growth or spread of cancerous tumours. Similarly, there are no publishedexperimental data to suggest unprocessed shark cartilage supplements are effective in the plethora of other conditions that they are used to treat.

Unlike bony fish, sharks are very vulnerable to exploitation as they mature slowly, reproduce late in life and they are not very prolific, often only producing pups once every two years.

By taking shark products off the shelves, Foster’s Food Fair helps our reefs to return to an ecological balance. Healthy reefs are not just vital to our tourist industry, but they are also important to fishermen for sustaining fish populations.

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