Saanich resident Teale Phelps Bondaroff is the co-founder of OceansAsia, a conservation group that helped track down a large shipment of shark fins (Submitted).

Saanich resident helps take a bite out of global shark fin trade

Teale Phelps Bondaroff co-founded OceansAsia, the conservation group that flagged the shipment

A Saanich resident has played a major role in flagging a large shipment of shark fins.

Teale Phelps Bondaroff is the co-founder of OceansAsia, a conservation group which earlier this year alerted media to bags of shark fin being unloaded in Hong Kong. The shipment had arrived in Hong Kong in April from Nicaragua in a 40-foot long container. The two companies that shipped the fins had previous vowed that they would no longer transport shark. Representatives for both companies told Reuters that they had made the delivery inadvertently.

According to Reuters, neither company broke any local or international laws around transporting shark fins but acknowledged breaching their own policies.

RELATED: Inhumane practice of carving fins off live sharks to become illegal in Canada

READ MORE: UBCM supports shark fin industry fight

According to the World Wildlife Fund, this trade has pushed more than a quarter of shark species into extinction.

Bondaroff said protection of global oceans and wildlife within them is one of the critical conservation issues.

“There is a serious lack of capacity, monitoring, and enforcement, which is resulting in the despoliation of our oceans,” he said.

Bondaroff, who has been consulting for a number of marine conservation organizations, has said it is not clear what local impact this discovery will have but nonetheless predicts future benefits. “Canada just passed legislation banning shark fin imports,” he said. “This presents numerous possibilities for future investigations given that Vancouver is a significant market for shark fins outside of Asia.”

Bondaroff”s involvement with OceansAsia dates back to his PhD research for which he investigated the strategy of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (Sea Shepherd), a marine conservation group based on San Juan Island in Washington State. During his fieldwork, he spent four months on board a Sea Shepherd vessel, where he roomed with Gary Stokes, the eventual co-founder of OceansAsia.

“Last year, [Gary] approached me about the possibility of combining our experience in marine conservation to tackle wildlife crime in the fisheries sector in Asia,” said Bondaroff. “In April of this year, we joined forces and launched OceansAsia at Adex in Singapore, Asia’s largest dive show.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

OceansAsia, a conservation group co-founded by Saanich resident Teale Phelps Bondaroff, flagged these bags of fin to authorities earlier this year. (Teale Phelps Bondaroff/OceansAsia)

Just Posted

UPDATED: Blockade reroutes traffic from Pat Bay Highway

About 80 people blocking major highway

Central Saanich Police prepared for afternoon shut-down of Highway 17

Sgt. Paul Brailey questions efficacy of protest

Saanich students get on board Walking School Bus

Rogers Elementary students led by teachers and Saanich Police in new initiative

City of Langford rebrands, announces several projects

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

Saanich dog walkers react to potential review of bylaws allowing off-leash dogs on beaches

Focus should have remained on migratory birds, not on dog behaviour, says Cadboro Bay dog walker

VIDEO: ‘Reconciliation is dead,’ say Wet’suwet’en supporters from steps of legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Vancouver Island RCMP officer assaulted during traffic stop

On Feb. 21, a member of the Comox Valley RCMP was assaulted… Continue reading

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Most Read