Over 90 elephants slaughtered each day for their ivory…

by Dr. Erich Ritter
(comments: 1)
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This fact pisses me off… How can this happen? Whatever the reason, I have a very hard time believing that we can't protect elephants from poaching. It is not that we don’t know where they are or in what number, so it should be quite easy to give them the protection they need. Even more so, considering how quickly military forces can be mobilized to "take care of business.” But this is not how such forces are used. Bottom line is that elephants won't get the protection they need and will likely suffer the same outcome as many other large species before them: extinction. But here is what makes me even more pissed. Since we cannot even protect this symbol of African wildlife, how do we want to conquer the slaughtering of sharks that we can’t really see until the animal is dragged up from the depths of the ocean? If we accept that the elephants are likely doomed, then sharks are too.

The only solution to this overfishing would be worldwide indefinite moratorium right here and now. But the likelihood of that happen is zero. Granted, there is a plethora of conservation groups out there that put shark protection on their flags, but what has actually been accomplished until now? Some quota reduction, bag limits, some more species on CITES, etc. All good and important, but by far not enough to save sharks from their ultimate demise, and it will happen faster than we thought. Of course, nobody really knows what will happen once sharks reach the level where they can’t act sustainably within their web anymore or are actually wiped out, but if signs are a reflection of the final outcome it will be bad.

I will likely not be around anymore when the final bell rings but I will live through the beginning of the end, and I am not looking forward to it. Although an indefinite moratorium will never be signed by all nations, it is left to the general public to take over. It is a scary thought that people of all walks of life should unite and fight for something they don’t even have a handle on, or are afraid of. In addition, most people like to be guided, prefer not to care about worldly affairs, or stand out and take responsibility. So, I highly doubt that all of sudden the very same people will then stand up and start to play an active role in the survival of our planet. I guess the only way we could accomplish something like that is to start on a small scale. If we can’t succeed on such a level, or at least see an improvement to how it was before, we will not have the needed motivation to go national, international or even operate on a worldwide level. So let’s unite a few people and start on a small scale: let’s make sure that the 90 elephants killed each day will drop to zero.

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Comment by Brad Hazledine |

Hi Erich,
This is all true and it pisses me off too. There is no reason for any of this slaughter. It seems that mankind cannot wait to bring about it's own demise.

Whether it be shark fins, bear bile or rhino horn the demand is driven by ridiculous Chinese folklore. Asia is condemning the planet to die.

I have already started on a small scale. I was fortunate to spend some time with you and through that I came to understand and appreciate the gravity and the scope of our destruction. You gave me the push that I needed to stand up and take an active role. So I set out to do my part. I started campaigning in Canada, where we have banned shark finning since 1994 but yet allowed the importation of the product. I have contacted all of our Members of Parliament, all 335 of them, and I am about to embark on a provincial campaign as well. This should be a no brainer, a ban will hurt nobody and could possibly help everybody.

How do I reach other like minded people in other countries so that they can bring pressure to bear on their own governments? I try through Facebook but my reach is short. So how do we unite? How do we become aware of one another and share our work? What other tactics can we use? How can we shame our governments into taking action?

I am more than happy to start pushing other countries as soon as I finish with Canada. But if a few of us were to make a coordinated effort we could possibly achieve greater results in a shorter period of time.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Take care and thanks for all of the work that you do.


Reply by Dr. Erich Ritter

Hi Brad,

All we can do is to keep going and educating... it is a sad fact that most people don't care. So we must continue! People like you make the difference!

All the best!