New ZealandView Artist
by Cinzah Merkens
Bali, Indonesia – September 2018
The most financially valuable part of the shark and a primary incentive for shark fishing is the fin. Large numbers of sharks become victims of the barbaric practice known as shark finning. In the method of shark finning, a shark is caught, usually using a longline with baited hooks, and then pulled on board where fishermen cut the fins from the shark. Often still alive, the shark is thrown overboard and unable to swim and in agonizing pain, the shark then sinks to the bottom of the ocean to either drown or be eaten alive. This is not only a terribly cruel practice but is also highly wasteful. Because sharks are often caught as bycatch on regular fishing boats, reducing the capture of sharks also needs to be addressed by fisheries that do not specifically target sharks.
Home to the world’s largest shark fishery, Indonesia plays a significant part in the global demise of shark populations. Only very few no-take zones or shark sanctuaries have been established across Indonesia, and there remains a great need to provide financially viable alternatives to local fishing communities who rely on shark fishing for their livelihoods.
I’ve always felt a strong connection to the ocean, growing up in-between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, it's hard to escape the wonders and beauty of the sea. The joys it brings and the mutual understanding of its immense power and ability to give, as well as take away life.
The ocean has always been a source of life, food, energy, and breath. A delicate system of balance. With sharks being the apex predators at the top, keeping that whole system in check. Sharks have been living on this planet for 450 million years, and over the past 15 years, global shark populations have decreased by 90%, with an estimated 100 million sharks being killed per year.
With Indonesia being the top county in the world contributing to shark fishing and the lucrative finning trade, painting here, it made sense to create a strong and compelling work with a direct message. No Fin, No Future. Tanpa strip hiu, tidak ada masa depan.
A tribute to the late, great Rob Stewart, an absolute legend, who devoted his life to this cause. I’m honored to paint a mural in your memory and to help carry out your life efforts.
Help conserve shark populations by: