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posted : May 8, 2005 Post subject: Shark jaws for sale at London Aquarium
I found it hard to believe myself. For the last few months i have been writing to the London Aquarium shop to ask why they sell real shark jaws and tropical shells. They refuse to stop selling.

If you feel strongly about this then please put a few words their way:

London Aquarium
County Hall
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7PB

If you would like to see any of the letters i have received then please email me and i'll email a copy to you.

Cheers, Pete

posted : May 8, 2005 Post subject: Shark jaws for sale at London Aquarium
Or contact the London Aquarium this way:


Phone +44 (0) 20 7967 8017


Should anyone want further ideas, here is an edited transcript of my last letter to them.


Re: Sale of tropical shells and shark jaws in the London Aquarium Gift Shop.

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your letter dated 10th January 2005 responding to my enquiries and requests.

Included in your letter you state that:

1) you display a notice to inform customers that the products in question are from naturally sustained resources and are direct by-products of locally fished food sources; and

2) the companies you buy from are aware of resource depletion and unsustainable harvesting practices;

In reply:

If the shells are by-products of locally fished sources I assume they have been captured by trawling. I cannot see of any other way that the shells can be caught without being the target species. Commercial trawling is destructive and is not seen as a sustainable fishing technique. It is banned in areas worldwide, with a well-documented recovery of marine-life in those areas as a result. Your reply does not convince me that your suppliers are harvesting in a sustainable manner. An example of sustainable shell harvesting may be taken from the Specimen Shell Fishery in Western Australia. The harvesting of marine molluscs from Western Australian waters is undertaken with a strict limit on the number of licenses issued. The method of collection is by hand only. Boat size is regulated and operators are constrained by the physical limitations of diving. These factors effectively discourage excessive shell take and damage to the marine environment.

Regarding the sale of the shark’s jaws, I would like to challenge your statement that they are taken from ‘naturally sustained resources’. Sharks reproduce more on the lines of mammals than fish, resulting in slow reproduction and slow population recovery times. No evidence exists to claim that shark fisheries are sustainable (pers. com., Shark’s Trust). Your notice telling customers that your marine products are from naturally sustained resources is misleading.

· Could you please tell me the reasoning behind your supplier’s claims that the resources are naturally sustained?

· I repeat my request that you please reveal checks you make to ensure any claims of sustainable harvesting are actually in place?

· I would also like to know the country of origin of your products (shark jaws and shells).

I hope that you will reconsider my appeal to stop the sale of these items. I also hope you see my questions as chance to prove yourself as a responsible retailer and not an inconvenience.

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