(very poor quality camera phone picture taken by Oceanic Defense)
Plastic Bags Turns Into Shark Story
by: Oceanic Defense
Costa Mesa, California
This weekend members of Oceanic Defense toured local grocery chains on the west coast of California observing customer behavior and the usage of plastic bags vs. reusable canvas. We are collecting data for an upcoming campaign in response to The Great Pacific Garbage Patch series we have been running lately.
As we do with most of our tours we take a quick trip through the sea food section to see if there are any questionable items for sale and talk to the staff.
Today as we were finishing our data collection at Albertson's located on Harbor Blvd in Costa Mesa, CA I ducked into the sea food department to find shark in their refrigerator case: "Fresh Thresher Shark Steaks $5.99/LBS" (see photo above).
I asked the clerk behind the counter about the sale of shark meat. He was very friendly and said they did sell a bit of it and asked if I had ever tried it? To which I answered "absolutely not sharks are endangered." He didn't know where the sharks came from or how they were caught. I again told him that sharks are endangered and they shouldn't be selling any sort of shark products. He was surprised to hear the stats and looked and acted genuinely concerned.
About Thresher Sharks
Thresher shark populations have dropped more than 67%. Their numbers are considered "data deficient" by the World Conservation Union (IUCN)
Data Deficient means there is inadequate information to make a direct, or indirect, assessment of its risk of extinction based on its distribution and/or population status. This species is on its way to recovery in waters off the coast of California due largely to fishery management measures and is now considered "Near Threatened" in this region. Outside the US, threshers continue to be one of the many sharks heavily fished and finned.
If conclusive information is not available to prove sustainability of the Thresher Shark it should be removed from ALL stores until proven otherwise. Near Threatened status should be considered off limits until sustainable numbers can be accurately reported.
Oceanic Defense will be contacting Albertson's on Monday morning and requesting that they remove all shark products from every store and show the community that they are indeed responsible corporate citizens?
Albertson's website says: "Being a good corporate citizen is an ongoing responsibility."
We will find out shortly.
You may contact the store involved directly in the sale of shark:
2300-C HARBOR BLVD
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Contact Albertson's corporate directly