Friends of Hector is an international campaign dedicated to the protection of sharks and sea turtles from being caught as ‘bycatch’. Some of the most troublesome fishing gears for sharks are longlines, trawls and gillnets. Hector the Blue Shark lives in the Northwest Atlantic and is sick of losing his friends to the hooks of Nova Scotia’s longline fishery for swordfish and tuna.
Hector is busy recruiting individuals and organizations from around the world to join him in his demand to create and enforce effective regulations and make fisheries like the swordfish longlining fleet switch to smarter, selective fishing gear.
November 2010 – My first trip out in public! I attended the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meeting in Paris. I helped keep an eye on the Canadian delegation (who managed to keep fishing endangered porbeagle sharks), and was happy for a small victory – countries will have to report more shark catch data or lose the right to fish them!
April 2011 – Asked 800 friends and 35 expert organizations to send letters to the Marine Stewardship Council, telling them that longline fisheries are NOT sustainable! Shoppers will not pay more for swordfish from a fishery that kills sharks and sea turtles.
Summer 2011 – Argued for the closure of the Canadian directed blue shark fishery! The licenses were cancelled by the end of the year. Next up – Canada’s fishery for endangered porbeagle sharks.
August 2011 – Marched in the Halifax-Dartmouth Natal Day Parade!
October 2011 – Biked to London, England to tell the Marine Stewardship Council – in person (or shark?) – that they were hurting my ocean friends and misleading eco-conscious shoppers.
November 2011 – Back to ICCAT! Disappointed that Canada wants to be the only country in the world fishing for endangered porbeagle sharks.
January 2012 – Presented my official objection to the Marine Stewardship Council certification of Canada’s longline swordfish fishery!
Friends of Hector is a project of the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia