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Scientists have uncovered a great deal over the past decade about sharks and they have used tags as a way to increase their knowledge. However, we believe science is now at a point where the incremental benefit of tagging sharks does not overcome the harm to sharks. We believe that some types of tagging sharks, such as bolts & nuts through the dorsal fin, carries a burden on the sharks and risks their health from infection and other issues. The tags can develop algae and other growth on them that can lead to illness and stress to the shark. There are, however, other and non-harmful methods for shark tagging. We are studying this from a scientific standpoint with Dr. Phil Lobel at Boston University. Over the coming months, we will be sharing our research on this important issue.

If we are correct that some methods of tagging sharks are harmful, we need to stop or cut back the use of these kinds of tags and use other non-harmful technologies. Many shark tournaments justify their existence by arguing that tagging sharks provides a benefit. This argument may be specious; tagging the sharks at tournaments or just fishing carries the risk that they can die from the stress of being caught.  Moreover, there can be damage caused by commonly used tags. Shark tagging needs to be a scientific activity and we are leaders in this vital research.

At the same time, we are working on other issues to help sharks. We believe that federal legislation is crucial; pending in the House right now is a bill that would ban trading in shark fins. The UK and Canada have recently passed such legislation. It’s time for the United States to catch up with the rest of the world.

Please save sharks before it is too late.

Safeguard the Seas, Inc. is 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible

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