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    Shark attack victims say protect sharks


    by ODN


    A group of nine shark attack victims have become unlikely supporters of a global shark conservation effort that wants nations to adopt a resolution that would require them to greatly improve how fish are managed.

    Among the supporters is an Australian Navy diver, Paul de Gelder from Australia, who lost his right hand and right lower leg in an attack last year during anti-terrorism exercises.

    "I really do not believe that we as a people have the right to drive this beautiful animal to the brink of extinction, to create a domino effect in the ecosystem of our oceans which inherently keep us alive, decimating the population of sharks for a bowl of soup just doesn't seem right," said de Gelder.

    Among the group's goals is to end the practice of shark finning, which kills an estimated 73 million sharks a year.

    "We don't have scientific management plans in place for sharks, there are no limits on the numbers that can be caught," said Matt Rand, director of Global Shark Conservation for the Pew Environment Group.

    Fishermen slice off shark fins, which sell for hundreds of dollars a pound for use in soup mostly in Asian markets, but dump the animal back in the water where it drowns or bleeds to death.