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

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

Quadriplegic Saanich man seeks continuity of home care from Island Health

Island Health took over home care services in November

Public hearing coming for Victoria police officer accused of sexual misconduct

Police watchdog hearing follows VPD investigation into allegations

Lawyer says substitute teacher fought sexual urges for 30 years

Former Victoria badminton coach Harry Charles Sadd to be sentenced for sexual abuse of boys

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

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

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

Most Read