WS-xx-letter to the editor
I see this year that the Yarmouth Shark Scramble Derby is back on after not being held for the last two years.
Our cultural view on the way non-human animals are used is shifting. Many now look at an event like this as behind the times, not respectful to animals, and not reflecting this awareness that's now out there. Killing animals for fun, using animals for entertainment, is something many now see belongs in the past.
Just this past year we've seen Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey's animal circus stop using elephants. And SeaWorld has stopped Orca shows, after the film Blackfish revealed to all what that is about for the orcas. The Vancouver Aquarium has stopped whale and dolphin shows. And here in the Maritimes this year, 'Pig Scrambles' have stopped at exhibitions in all three provinces.
The reason that gets the most play to keep these shark scrambles going is that science is done. True, DFO people are present, and some science is done. However, some researchers at Dalhousie University are publicly questioning this justification, and calling for catch and release, instead of the competitive, trophy-hunting sort of attitude, where the biggest catch is the most important thing at the events.
YouTube searching for 'Yarmouth Shark Scramble', I see many videos showing beautiful animals taken from their ocean homes, fighting for their lives, thrashing about on boat decks, as people end their lives.
A petition went up: 'Stop the Cruel Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Shark Scramble'. (http://bit.ly/2s76Xpx) I urge real animal lovers out there to please stop supporting this event.