Tuesday, August 8, 2017


By Juan Montoya

We have always wondered why an institution like National Geographic, seemingly dedicated to preserve history and encourage conservation of our resources broadcasts shows like Wicked Tuna, Outer Banks which shows fishermen depleting endangered species like this magnificent fish.

The same goes for the History Channel which broad casts shows like "Swamp People" which depicts the killing of alligators after they have been are caught on baited hooks and then shot at close range as the animals struggles to get loose. 

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) affirmed in October 2009 that Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks have declined dramatically over the last 40 years, by 72 percent in the Eastern Atlantic, and by 82 percent in the Western Atlantic.

These populations have declined severely from overfishing and illegal fishing over the past few decades– not just Atlantic bluefin tuna, but also Pacific bluefin tuna and Southern bluefin tuna. Population declines have been largely driven by the demand for this fish in high end sushi markets.

According to a its website, bluefin are the largest tuna and can live up to 40 years. They migrate across oceans and can dive more than 4,000 feet. Bluefin tuna are made for speed: built like torpedoes, have retractable fins and their eyes are set flush to their body. They are tremendous predators from the moment they hatch, seeking out schools of fish like herring, mackerel and even eels. They hunt by sight and have the sharpest vision of any bony fish. There are three species of bluefin: Atlantic (the largest and most endangered), Pacific, and Southern.

Given the severely depleted numbers, we wonder why National Geographic tries to glorify the fishermen who catch these magnificent animals. Now we understand that the Trump Administration has said they will take the fish from its endangered list, leaving them subject to depletion.

The fishermen on the show make no bones about the fact that they are there for the money. When the hook one of these fish, they jump for joy and throw high fived envisioning the money they will get when they sell the dead fish to the buyers.
"My favorite fish is a dead fish," one of these fishermen said on a recent show.

The justification is clearly and economic one.
One of the captains of a boat said that killing these fish would "support my family, put food on the table, pay my crew, and maintain my boat. "I'm going to catch fish and make money."

This powerful apex predator, which commands top prices at fish auctions in Japan, has been overfished to less than 3 percent of its historic population. Although the National Marine Fisheries Service announced in October 2016 that it was considering listing the Pacific bluefin, it has now concluded that protections aren't warranted.

A petition to stop the mass depletion of this fish was denied by the Trump Administration. According to EcoWatch, the extinction of tuna is a very real possibility.
 "Instead of celebrating the Pacific bluefin tuna for their impressive and important role in the ocean, humans are sadly fishing them to the brink of extinction in order to put them on the dinner plate," said Brett Garling of Mission Blue.

"It's more than regrettable that this gastro-fetish is robbing the ocean of one of its most iconic species. The time is now to wake up and realize that tuna are worth much more swimming in the ocean than in soy sauce on a plate."

Likewise, there is already a move afoot to convince the History Channel to discontinue the reality TV show “Swamp People” and all other shows that advocate hunting and killing animals.

Supporters of a petition argue that having a show that encourages people to kill animals is not an acceptable thing, nor should it be televised as a reality TV show. Again, the motive by the alligator hunters in this cruel show are solely interested in making money wherever possible and they clearly have no regard for wildlife.

The show which documents the Cajuns, or swamp people, that live in Louisiana in the swamp areas who hunt and kill innocent alligators during alligator season in order to make a living. In doing so, these “swamp people” go around on a boat looking for alligators to slaughter.

Usually, the alligators are not easily killed with one bullet shot, so it usually takes several shots. Sometimes the alligators are seen trying to swim away but they cannot because they are injured and suffering from the pain of having been shot.

The alligators never get away because they are captured by the swamp people. In other cases, the swamp people lay out bait with sharp hooks that get caught on the mouths of alligators. These alligators have to endure the immense pain sometimes for hours before the swamp people come to kill them.

What is even more sad is that while the swamp people are killing the alligators, they are laughing and joking about it. While the swamp people are not torturing and killing alligators, they are seen hunting and killing other innocent animals for fun.

Supporters of the petition say that killing innocent animals in their natural habitat and making money off of it not only should be illegal and discouraged, but be made a crime to televise such cruelty for entertainment and money.
On top of that, this show and others like it continues such myths that alligators are bad and dangerous animals. Why Wicked Tuna? Does giving it a evil connotation in that name justify slaughtering this endangered species?
 The signers say that alligators are no different than you or me; alligators, like all animals are only trying to survive. It is obvious that humans kill far more alligators and other animals than animals kill humans.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has seen a steady increase in the number of alligator hunting violations, and says the growing popularity of gator-based reality TV shows, such as the History Channel's show “Swamp People," is one of the reasons why.

“One of the things that the reality shows have caused is a lot more illegal hunting. People look and see it on television and think ‘Oh, I can do that,’” said alligator hunter, Reggie Little. In 2008, a total of 60 citations were issued for illegal alligator hunting activities. Each year since then the number of citations has increased, and so far in 2012 more than 100 have been issued.

“In some of our cases the subjects have admitted to watching a reality TV show and then wanting to replicate what they watched,” Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division, said in a release.

If you want to join the petition, click on the link at the bottom of this post. It states:

Dear History Channel and the producers of Swamp People,

While your reality TV show Swamp People may be entertaining to some people, it is highly offensive to others. It also does not even talk about history, so it really does not make sense for you to air that show. Swamp People does nothing to educate people about history, it only promotes killing. It is very immoral to air a show that depicts people torturing and killing animals. This is no way to live and the fact the people actually make money on killing animals is barbaric. I am very ashamed that you, the History Channel, would ever support such a horrible thing, much less encourage it. I urge you to think about it and to realize that killing animals or any living creature is not acceptable and should not be shown for entertainment and profit.


Diego Lee Rot said...

Thanks for summarizing the shows for those of us that can't afford cable

Anonymous said...

Ya whatever
People gotta make a living
It's part of being on top of the food chain, not going to school, and having vices.
Get over it!
Everyone complains, "get a job", oh wait not that job.
Hey pay my bills or shut up!

Anonymous said...

Yes, that is terrible! I am so glad we Mexicans are a race of vegans who don't eat or wear animal products. Let us try very hard to forget that Mexicans fish the Gulf with drift nets and denude entire parts of the Gulf of fish life.

You are such a fucking left wing hypocrite!!!