June 30, 2011
If you’re setting a world record is it okay to kill a couple of sharks?
That’s the question posed by Penny Palfrey’s recent achievement. She’s 48 and she spent more than 40 hours swimming 67.25 miles in open water between Little Cayman and Grand Cayman. The good news: She set a world record for a solo unassisted ocean swim. The bad news: The crew going along with her killed three sharks, including two Oceanic whitetips. That species is listed as “vulnerable” on some naturalists’ lists and has been called critically endangered in the Northwest and Western Central Atlantic areas, as reported by TreeHugger.
Ocean whitetip sharks are known for being aggressive, and the general advice when you see one is to out of the water. But Palfrey wasn’t about to do that – so the sharks nearby her paid the ultimate price. Unfortunately, it’s a common story for the whitetip – according to TreeHugger, its populations have dropped worldwide because they are killed for their fins and are are often become “bycatch” – caught by accident when commercial fisherman are fishing for other species.
What price can we put on personal glory? Was the record worth it? Please read this story and give us your comments, thoughts and opinions.
Photo credit: Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by OldakQuill. Licensing by GNU Free Documentation License.