Posted by: letsharkslive | November 22, 2010

Ban Shark Fin Sales in San Francisco

Please sign on:
Shark Research Institute
PO Box 40
Princeton, NJ 08540

We have drafted legislation soliciting the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to pass a ban on shark fin sales.

Now that the Happy Meal law has passed we have a supervisor in San Francisco willing to champion the shark fin soup ban.
We are soliciting organizations to sign onto this effort.  We would appreciate your support in this important cause.

Here is a form letter for your assistance.
To the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Dear Supervisor,
Sharks are critical members of a healthy San Francisco Bay and marine ecosystem. It has been established that overfishing sharks has a long lasting negative impact on fisheries and the entire food web. Protecting sharks protects the health of the San Francisco Bay and ocean ecosystems. I am appealing you to support a ban on unsustainable shark products in San Francisco such as shark fin and shark fin soup.
Scientists have estimated that as many as 70 million sharks are killed annually for their fins alone for the delicacy shark fin soup. Sharks are vulnerable to overfishing, and especially to the practice of finning- the killing of sharks for their fins alone. Sharks have few young, have long gestation periods and cannot reproduce fast enough to sustain a concentrated fishing effort. The demand for Shark fin soup is destroying shark populations.
In May, 2010 the state of Hawaii passed a bill in the Senate and House to ban the sale and possession of shark fins. Senate Bill 2169. The object of Hawaii’s law and the Sea Stewards Shark Sanctuary San Francisco initiative is to control the consumption of a product that is leading to the destruction of shark species worldwide.

The San Francisco Shark Sanctuary Campaign
Like California, shark-finning is banned in Hawaiian waters but the practice is widespread in international waters and there is no sourcing of fins once they have been dried and treated. The shark fins available as soup and as dried products sold in this city include endangered species and sharks killed illegally through the practice of shark finning.
Its time to stand up for sharks. Sea Stewards and the organizations signed at the bottom are asking the San Francisco Leadership to support shark conservation and sustainability.
Let us follow the example of our colleagues in Hawaii and make the sale of unsustainable shark products like dried shark fin and shark fin soup illegal in San Francisco. Let our citizens and the world know that sharks are important for a healthy ocean, and this unsustainable practice is unhealthy for humans and well as other marine life.
Through education, conservation and sustainable consumption, San Francisco can make a significant impact in protecting the world’s sharks and support healthy humans and a healthy San Francisco Bay.
If you have any questions about the Shark Sanctuary Project please go to www.seastewards.org.
Sincerely,

(organization name)

About Shark Finning
Shark-finning is the practice of slicing fins from live sharks and dumping their bodies overboard. Once caught as bycatch and released in longlines, sharks are being killed to supply the fin demand, and whole fisheries have grown to support the trade. Shark fins are used for making sharkfin soup, considered a delicacy in Asian communities, particularly Chinese markets. The highest priced seafood by weight, a single fin can fetch $1,000 or more, and a bowl of shark-fin soup in our Chinatown sells for $25 to as much as $75 a bowl. What was once a delicacy reserved for Emporers and Nobility is now being consumed by millions and shark populations cannot sustain this rate of harvesting.

San Francisco Bans The Happy Meal
Now lets ban shark fin soup.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/02/san-francisco-happy-meal-ban-mcdonalds_n_777939.html


David McGuire, Director
SeaStewards.org
Support our Shark Conservation Campaign  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/ban-shark-fin-soup-in-san-francisco
“Media for a Healthy Ocean”
415.350.3790
www.seastewards.org
www.trilliumfilms.net
www.vimeo.com/oceanmedia/videos
Blog http://seaisoursanctuary.blogspot.com/
Learn About Our Anti Fin Campaign
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0hQaJonLBM

Posted by: letsharkslive | November 20, 2010

Patric Douglas on Shark Abuse

This was kindly sent in by Wolfgang Leander who has monitored shark-human interactions with and without feeding the sharks, for decades. Its time to start to view this subject with some clarity, and Patric’s excellent article helps to blow off some of the fog.

Shark Diving Industry Trends – Black and White

Coming home from a shark shoot in the Bahamas this morning I have been mulling over the series of emails and phone calls that I received over the past few days.

At hand a recent expose of a well known SA shark diving operator/conservationist and images that depict sharks being mauled over baiting practices that are inconsistent with the words “shark diving operator” or even “conservation.”

The expected blow back has been heated even by industry standards with counter allegations and straw man defenses put forward by those whose friendships with the SA operator seek grey areas in what is a glaring black and white issue.

Collateral Damage

After seeing images that Wolfgang “sat on” for many months while he tried to affect SA baiting changes quietly, the response to his expose reveals an industry disconnect that needs to be remedied. Every time a shark is mauled by poor baiting practices, a shark becomes stuck in a cage, a shark is teased into tearing into a baited wetsuit for film and television, or baited into all manner of situations for film and television that further “the vicious shark” scenario – our entire industry is diminished.

We are, supposedly, the industry leaders, the conservationists, the ones who are on the front lines for sharks. So why is it o.k. to allow them to be tangled in ropes, crash into cages, or filmed in the worst case scenario for productions time and again?

Honest mistakes in any wildlife industry can be tolerated and even understood with industry leaders, but brushed aside, enabled, and even apologized for?

The friendships within our industry are legendary but all too often cloud the greater good for our industry. When websites like the recent Ban All Cage Diving SA get media attention I want to know, as an industry member, that the allegations contained are absolutely false. I want to be certain that we are doing our level best for the sharks on a commercial level.

Are we?

Personal Attacks

Changes within any industry are painful but oftentimes necessary. When wildlife is at stake any expose is painful. Wolfgang was not personally attacking anyone with his images; he was trying to effect change. Testifying to what he witnessed firsthand as a potential catalyst for real, positive change. Those who came to the defense of his graphic black and white images of a tangled shark with a bloodied face and missing teeth missed a point, and in turn have diminished their ability to speak effectively on shark conservation issues. Putting friendship ahead of the very thing they profess to care about, the sharks.

You cannot have it both ways. There is no such thing as a Judas Shark in our industry, or at least there never should be.

Every negative Shark Week show, You Tube video, still image and media report that diminishes the perception of our industry resonates on for years, affecting our ability to speak for sharks in a credible manner. Better an industry insider take the reins to try and change practices then a main stream media outlet or even a complete industry outsider with an agenda.

What Next?

How about we consider change for a moment?

What harm would it be for the SA operator to come forward and say “Yes, as frontline resource users who have long advocated for the removal of sharks nets, we will change what we do…for the sharks.”

As a media guy allow me to suggest this course of action would be a huge win and media worthy. SA shark operators modifying shark diving operations to make a broader point about shark conservation and improved animal husbandry in the region. Would we blog about that? You bet, with bigger kudos to come, leadership.

What harm would come from the media, and world coming to understand that our industry was adaptable, flexible, and had the very best interests of sharks and the environment in mind.

Instead? The last 72 hours has seen a circled wagon mentality, base accusations flying back and forth, and all manner of simian grunting and chest beating under the banner of “mind you own damn business.”

Have we been here before? You bet we have.

Someone even suggested the tangled sharks were the fault of the photographer.  Shooting the messenger, in the face of stark and graphic images in this case, is as productive as shooting yourself in the foot revealing the true face of this ugly industry disconnect.

This is not leadership. This is not our industry, and those who saw Wolf’s images and who can find a way to defend them need to take a serious look in the mirror, it is gut check time. We all profess to love sharks but that love for sharks starts at home – with our industry.

For Want of a Few Leaders

Industry leadership is done by doing. We cannot self anoint a leadership mantel upon friends and industry cohorts in the hopes the broader community will go along. There is also no grey area when stark black and white images, video or negative media reports about our industry come forward. Real leadership requires those in the crosshairs of either unfortunate circumstance or self inflicted wounds to stand and be counted.

This is one of those moments. So let’s get busy and leave the old school dive industry “I just want a pat on the back at DEMA this year,” garbage behind.

I know our industry is capable of truly great things. One of them is the ability to grow and flourish with a species that, for the past 30 years, has received a completely undeserved reputation. We have a thriving global industry now; perhaps it is time to start looking at it for what it is.

Patric Douglas

 

Posted by: letsharkslive | May 14, 2010

Canine Caviar Sells Shark Parts for Dog Food

Canine Caviar has so far  failed to respond to the letter writing campaign, so The Global Shark Initiative has decided to initiate a massive e-mail campaign, starting this weekend and continuing for several weeks. The members of GSI will be asked to send as many letters to the company as possible over a period of several weeks, using all contact possibilities that are available to us. In a combined effort, a standard letter was drafted for them to use. You can find the letter at the end of this message.

Next to sending letters, we will also be contacting the editors of several dog magazines, asking them to look into the matter and to publish an article about it. Finally we will also be contacting and informing 4 online stores that order the Great White Bites/Chews from Canine.

Of course we hope we can also count on you, to write Canine Caviar and to urge your contacts/members to do the same. Since CC was informed extensively on the issues concerning their products in the past, the content of the letters will now be aimed at informing the public. So if you draft a new letter, please also post or publish it on a website, blog or page.

This is the contact information for Canine Caviar:

The e-mail addresses and links to be used as e-blast recipients are the following:

jbaker@caninecaviar.com; support@caninecaviar.com; info@caninecaviar.com; aly@caninecaviar.com; gward@caninecaviar.com; daphne@caninecaviar.com

Canine Caviar website’s Contact forms:
http://www.caninecaviar.com/Contact%20Us.aspx

Canine Caviar website’s add a testimonial
http://www.caninecaviar.com/add_testimonial.aspx

These are some links to information and articles you might find interesting to use in this campaign:  (Thanks to Mary O’Mally for providing several of these links last year).

• Canine Caviar’s concerned products:
http://www.caninecaviar.com/Great%20White%20Chews.aspx
http://www.caninecaviar.com/Great%20White%20Bites.aspx
http://www.caninecaviar.com/shark_cartilage.aspx

• Campaign history on FB:
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=92716619660&topic=10517
http://www.facebook.com/Aussicat?v=app_2347471856&ref=profile#!…

• Article Thresher Sharks protected in Indian Ocean: http://www.sharkalliance.org/content.asp?did=34922

• Report Conservation status of Pelagic Sharks and Rays: http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/ssg_pelagic_report_final.pdf

• EDF page: Thresher Sharks ECO-worst choice because of slow reproduction and methylmercury levels: http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=15755

• EDF page: NO safe shark servings for women and children: http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=17694

• EPA and FDA advice: What you need to know about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish: http://www.epa.gov/fishadvisories/advice/

• Article reporting about levels of methylmercury in shark cartilage (fins) according to tests conducted at the University of Hong Kong: http://www.fathom.com/course/21701777/session4.html

• Report of the World Health organization: Exposure to Mercury: A major public health concern: http://www.who.int/phe/news/Mercury-flyer.pdf

• Article concerning the effects of methylmercury in natural systems: http://www.inchem.org/documents/ehc/ehc/ehc101.htm

• Article American Cancer Society: Sharks Get Cancer: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_1_1x_Sharks_Get_Cancer.asp

• Article Quackwatch.com: Government Action Curbs Shark Cartilage Claims: http://www.quackwatch.com/04ConsumerEducation/News/shark.html

Finally we invite you all to join us at the facebook fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Global-Shark-Initiative/104705676229836?ref=ts

And the GSI community network: http://theglobalsharkinitiative.ning.com/

to stay informed on the course of the campaign and to join forces, against Canine Caviar.

Here is the official letter:

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to voice my concern over the continued silent stance your company adopts in response to your product ‘Great White Bites’. Sold as chews for domestic pets and almost proudly marketed as containing ‘Open Ocean Thresher Shark Spine’ which is known to contain high levels of methyl-mercury. This is tantamount to be detrimental to the health and well being of the beloved family pets they are intended for. Further, I find it distasteful that your company should see fit to align with the continued exploitation of a threatened marine species. Open Ocean Thresher Sharks populations are estimated to be at the point of critical collapse in relation to their numbers of just 3 decades ago. The unregulated fishing and ensuing monetizing of this resource has left them perilously close to extinction. The argument that you are using the leftovers is a moot point. The fact is your company receives endangered animal components in return for financial compensation to your supplier, period. Which ever way you look at it your financial dealings in these animal parts provides a commercial incentive for their continued slaughter. If your company is as dedicated to the well being of animals as it professes then I hereby request, as a pet owner, that you see fit to ‘do the right thing’ in removing this product from your inventory. Should it transpire that your company refuses to act on this request then I will have no option but to address my concerns to The American Kennel Club. I cannot fathom how they would not be able to see that whilst you advertise a product aimed to offer medicinal benefits to pets the reality of the situation is that this product in fact introduces trace elements of a known deadly toxin into the diet of its intended recipients. Effects of methyl-mercury poisoning include neurological complications, infertility, shortened life expectancy and the increased susceptibility to further and varied diseases. After having been repeatedly requested in the past to address this issue I should also mention that many shark conservation entities have been enlightened of your stance. As one of the many thousands of members of The Global Shark Initiative and I am now taking this time to voice my concern at your continuing decision not only to ignore the very high risks to loved domestic pets attributed to the consumption of known toxins but to your continued trade in this diminishing commodity. Plans are also afoot to create publicity in various domestic pet interest sites and mainstream media outlets informing them of your peddling in potentially toxic products derived from a threatened marine species. To all Canine Caviar employees, managers and staff. Please understand that this email is a prelude to the actions outlined and placed before the directorship of your company on April 6th, 2010. The disregarding of that effort, appealing to the sense of honor and business sense of the company directors suggests that the next step in this petition is to take this to a broader audience. There is no excuse to continually ignore these requests. We will not go away, our voices will get stronger and louder. Sincerely, (Name)

Summary:

The Global Shark Initiative Canine Caviar has a history of ignoring the requests of conservation entities.

September 1 2009:

Ran Elfassy of Shark Rescue exposes the sales of Thresher Shark dog chews at an online wholesaler called “Best Bully’s” and starts negotiating with them.

September 28 2009:

Shark Rescue convinces Best Bully’s to stop ordering the “Great White Chews” and to reveal who their supplier is: Canine Caviar

Beginning of October 2009:
Several people, including representatives of conservation organisations write letters to Canine Caviar containing extensive information and explaining the ethical and health issues.

October 19, 2009:
Canine Caviar replies to everyone using an unresponsive, and even slightly mocking standard letter.October 23, 2009: One reply summarising the seriousness of the issues is sent to Canine, signed by all the different people who have been involved in the matter so far.

November 28, 2009:
Since Canine Caviar fails to reply on this last letter, an e-mail blast is organised on facebook, plenty of people react on the Action Alert. Canine Caviar remains quiet.

December 19, 2009:

Erik Brush, author of the book “The Sixth Extinction” writes a new letter, informing Canine that we will be organising a full scale campaign if they don’t comply. The letter is presented to many different representatives who all confirm their support.

April 6, 2010:

The letter that now carries the signatures of people like Rob Stewart and Julie Andersen is sent to Jeff Baker, the CEO of Canine Caviar, using registered post.

Canine Caviar still refuses to communicate and to stop selling the chews.

By Katrien Vandevelde

Posted by: letsharkslive | May 13, 2010

World Oceans Day

On Tuesday, June 8th 2010, the World will celebrate World Oceans Day.  Originally proposed as a concept by Canada at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Oceans Day was officially declared by the UN in 1999 and is now celebrated annually across the globe.  On the first World Oceans Day, the Secretary General of the UN declared:

The first observance of World Oceans Day allows us to highlight the many ways in which oceans contribute to society. It is also an opportunity to recognize the considerable challenges we face in maintaining their capacity to regulate the global climate, supply essential ecosystem services and provide sustainable livelihoods and safe recreation…

Indeed, human activities are taking a terrible toll on the world’s oceans and seas. Vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as corals, and important fisheries are being damaged by over-exploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing practices, invasive alien species and marine pollution, especially from land-based sources. Increased sea temperatures, sea-level rise and ocean acidification caused by climate change pose a further threat to marine life, coastal and island communities and national economies…

The theme of World Oceans Day… emphasizes our individual and collective duty to protect the marine environment and carefully manage its resources. Safe, healthy and productive seas and oceans are integral to human well-being, economic security and sustainable development.

World Oceans Day gives us all the opportunity to celebrate and honour our Blue Planet.  This year’s theme, Oceans of Life, celebrates the incredible diversity found from the shallows to the depths of these magnificent ecosystems.

To honour our Oceans on this day and highlight conservation issues, SASC proposes to join with our partners and friends here in Hermanus – uniting as one for the sake of diversity.

Some of the activities on the day will include:

1.        A beach cleanup at Grotto Beach, where all participants dress in their best marine creature costume to illustrate the diversity of ocean life;

2. Unity for Ocean Diversity walk: with collected litter, costumed participants walk from Grotto to the Old Harbour and create a life-size litter collage of an endangered whale shark;

3.       Prominent guest speakers will highlight conservation issues and actions;

4.       Screening of ocean related films

5.       A community-wide pledge to take action and conserve our oceans;

6.       Best-dressed prizes, etc.

However, to undertake our Unity for Ocean Diversity project, we require significant assistance through the donation of funds, materials and prizes.  Those who are interested in participating or assisting in any way will be recognised through various media, including the SASC website, local television and news.

All donations, however small or grand, are tax deductible – and don’t forget how great you will feel knowing you have contributed to ocean conservation!!

To get involved, contact Tamzyn (tamzyn@sharkconservancy.org) or myself (meag@sharkconservancy.org) for more info.

Thank you all in advance for your time and consideration.

Kind regards,

Meaghen McCord

The  SASC  Team

Posted by: letsharkslive | May 13, 2010

Megalodon Shark Nursery Found

Megalodon Shark Nursery Found

Analysis by Jennifer Viegas
Mon May 10, 2010 07:00 PM ET

Photos on site: http://news.discovery.com/animals/megalodon-shark-nursery-found.html

A 10-million-year-old nursery for the extinct megalodon shark has just been found in Panama, according to University of Florida researchers who report their findings in the latest issue of the journal PLoS ONE.

Megalodon, aka “Big Tooth,” is thought to have been the world’s largest fish and shark. It grew to around 67 feet in length and looked like a heftier great white shark.

(Credit: Niels Stensen)

“The study provides evidence of megalodon behavior in the fossil record,” said lead author Catalina Pimiento, who just completed a master’s degree in zoology from UF and worked in the Florida Museum of Natural History’s vertebrate paleontology division. “Behavior doesn’t fossilize, but we were able to interpret ancient protection strategies used by extinct sharks based on the fossil record.”

Prior suggested fossil shark paleo-nursery areas, the Paleocene Williamsburg Formation and late Oligocene Chandler Bridge Formation of South Carolina, were based only on the anecdotal presence of juvenile teeth accompanied by marine mammals.

“Neither of the collections from previously suggested nursery grounds has been as rigorously analyzed as the specimens in this study, which better supports the presence of this paleo-nursery area,” Pimiento said. She discussed her preliminary findings with Discovery News back in September.

For this latest study, she and her team collected 400 fossil shark teeth between 2007 and 2009 from the shallow marine Gatun Formation, which connected the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea during the late Miocene Epoch in Panama. Most of the 28 Carcharocles megalodon specimens were surprisingly small, Pimiento said. Further analysis determined the size did not relate to tooth position in the jaw or the size of the species during the late Miocene.

(University of Florida vertebrate paleontology graduate student Dana Ehret measures a juvenile megalodon tooth from the Gatun Formation, Panama, at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus May 6. Ehret is a co-author of the study that describes the first Neotropical megalodon shark nursery. The four teeth pictured on the right are from the Gatun Formation. The tooth on the far left is an adult megalodon tooth from Florida.

Florida Museum of Natural History photos by Jeff Gage)

( The lateral cuspids shown in this close-up of a juvenile megalodon shark tooth from the Gatun Formation, Panama, are characteristic of older adult Carcharocles species, but are only found occasionally in juveniles.)

( Here Ehret compares the size of a juvenile megalodon tooth from the Gatun Formation, Panama, left, with an adult megalodon tooth from Florida.)

“Our study suggests the specimens represent mostly juveniles with lengths between 2 and 10.5 meters (6.5 to 34.5 feet),” Pimiento said.

Michael Gottfried, associate professor and curator of vertebrate paleontology at Michigan State University Museum, helped review the PLoS ONE article.

“Shark nursery areas are very poorly known, both for living and fossil species,” Gottfried said. “If the teeth from Panama described by Catalina and her collaborators do indeed come from a nursery area for the giant megalodon shark, they have the potential to provide a lot of interesting information on the paleobiology of this enormous, but still very enigmatic, fossil species.”

Posted by: letsharkslive | May 7, 2010

Sail powered ships found it easier…

http://eyemocean.blogspot.com/2010/05/sail-powered-ships-found-it-easier.html

A report from the Marine Conservation Society and the University of York built on data from historical government records has shown how today’s fishing fleet has to work seventeen times harder than when the fleet was mainly sail powered. The study measured exactly how much fishing power in the UK fishing fleet was used to catch the amounts of fish shown in the records, and that the tecnhnological and industrial advancement of the fleet has not resulted in an increase in catches. The records show that the UK fleet landed four times more fish into England and Wales in 1889 than it does today. The report is likely to shed light on the long term implications of European fisheries policy that is based on catch data that goes back only 20-40 years.
Professor Callum Roberts, from the University of York’s Environment Department, said: “This research makes clear that the state of UK bottom fisheries – and by implication European fisheries, since the fishing grounds are shared – is far worse than even the most pessimistic of assessments currently in circulation.

With that in mind I have just returned from a meeting with representatives of Balanced Seas who are currently collecting data from all water users so that the government will be better informed when establishing its commitment to a European directive to create Marine Conservation Zones by 2012. The indepth questionaires identify areas of water used by people from all disciplines such as yachting, diving, angling and commercial fishing. The data collected will hopefully help to identify key habitat and species dependant areas that could benefit from the protection that would be beneficial from conservartion zone status. You can contact Balanced Seas here.

Posted by: letsharkslive | May 6, 2010

New Data Base

As a leader of The International Year of the Shark project last year, I was in contact with divers and shark experts all over the world, many of whom told me about a variety of unusual observations regarding the movements of sharks. There were sharks suddenly appearing where they hadn’t been seen before, and other populations moving away.

With growing evidence of the slowing of the ocean currents, and particularly the weakening of the North Atlantic Sink, (the engine that empowers the Gulf Stream) I suspect that the altering of the temperatures of local ocean currents could be having a significant effect on these unexpected changes in the marine highways used by sharks.

I would like to widen my sources of data on this subject in order to gain as wide a view possible of this phenomena, in order to plan better, in the future, how to protect sharks. So, if you, on your submarine roamings, can contribute observations of unusual shark movements, I would be glad to hear from you.

With good wishes,

Ila France Porcher

shark ethologist

http://porcher.aegauthorblogs.com/

Posted by: letsharkslive | May 6, 2010

Sea Shepherd Works on Shark Awareness in the Galapagos Isles

Sea Shepherd Newsrss_icon_20

Print
Monday, May 03, 2010

Sea Shepherd Galapagos Presents Shark Awareness Pack

Report by Director of Operations for Galapagos, Captain Alex Cornelissen

With a full page article in the local newspaper el Colono, Sea Shepherd Galapagos has started a project to raise awareness among the inhabitants of the Galapagos regarding the protection of sharks.

Worldwide sharks are being exterminated at an alarming rate and it’s time to use whatever means available to halt the senseless massacre. Next to law enforcement, education can give a well-needed contribution on this conservation issue.

In the coming six months, Sea Shepherd Galapagos will be posting advertisements in the local newspaper. They will also have messages broadcasted daily on the local radio station containing many interesting facts about sharks. At the same time, they will inform about the devastating impact shark finning has on shark populations, and just how cruel this practice is.

The information is primarily aimed to inform the children of Galapagos but through them there is the opportunity to reach their families as well. Ideally, the ads will be collected and discussed at the children’s homes with friends and family.

Some of the ads invite the readers to participate, and for this there is now an information board outside the Sea Shepherd Galapagos office where children can post their drawings and answers to the questions asked.

At the end of the six months all the information will be combined in a teacher’s guidebook, which will be offered to the schools for educational purposes in the years to come.

This project was made possible thanks to the generous support of LUSH.

Posted by: letsharkslive | May 5, 2010

How Protected Regions Save Habitats

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/travel-outdoors/boosting-sharkpopulations-savecoralreefs-worldwide.html

Why one reef’s efforts can mean world-wide recovery

By Jaymi Heimbuch San Francisco, CA, USA |

Thu Apr 29, 2010 07:25 AM ET


Scientists and conservationists alike know that when it comes to conserving and rehabilitating marine life – from corals to sharks to penguins and everything in between – a must-have step is creating marine protected areas (MPAs). Sylvia Earle, one of the most famous scientists and advocates for our oceans, even dedicated her TED Prize wish to boosting MPAs.

But just how should an MPA be structured so that it is effective? The New York Times reports that at Glover’s Reef in Belize, one protected reef is forming a perfect model for conservation across the globe. W

WATCH VIDEO: Oceana, Destructive Trawling – Did you know that one pass of a trawl net destroys century-old coral reefs in moments? U

Understand how fishing practices impact reefs. The Wildlife Conservation Society is sponsoring a reef monitoring program lead by Alex Tilley, a station manager and resident scientist on Middle Caye, one of six small islands within the Glover’s Reef atoll. The work that he and fellow conservationists are doing in monitoring the sharks and rays of the area are proving to be an ideal way to ensure the health of a reef. They feel that Glover’s Reef – Belize’s largest “no-take” marine reserve, and about 20% of the wider 87,000-acre Marine Protected Area here – is a test case for how similar reserves can be shaped.

While shark populations around the globe have dropped, the populations in Glover’s Reef have remained stable. Studies show that a healthy shark population means a healthy reef population, and a healthy reef population means a healthy human population. Specifically, the sharks keep Glover’s Reef barracuda population under control, which allows algae grazing fish to keep the corals clean and healthy.

WATCH VIDEO: The Great Barrier Reef, Australia –

The largest coral reef on the planet and so vast it can be seen from the moon. An increase by 3 degrees celcius will trigger a total extinction of the corals. This could happen by the end of this century. While it can take decades to see a coral reef recover, marine protected areas are indeed making a difference. The Great Barrier reef is a larger example, where thanks to protected areas, the damaged parts of the reef are recovering.

The no-take zone policy and monitoring of species is what makes Glover’s Reef a model for other areas. Enforcement to discourage poaching is needed, but a new observation tower as well as educating people about the dire situation of the reef are helpful.

Posted by: letsharkslive | January 31, 2010

Please Support Hawaii’s Shark Eco-Tours

Hawaiian shark eco-tours are under attack once again. Shark eco-tourism promotes appreciation and understanding of these magnificent and vital animals. Please help to support Hawaii’s shark eco-tour operators!

Here’s a summary of what’s going on:

Hawaii – at it again! Jan. 31st post by The Best Shark Dive in the World

And lots more background information and facts:

Sharks Matter website – by Stefanie Brendl of Hawaii Shark Encounters

And here’s how you can help:

Send a written statement of support to these two offices:
(This has to happen as soon as possible, because hearings are being scheduled every day. You can use what you had written before for the City council or letters to the editor. Keep it short and sweet and tell them that you are strongly opposed to/appalled/disturbed/ shocked by 🙂 any bills that will kill small businesses.)

-House Committee on Water, Land, Ocean Resources – Representative Ken Ito (Fax: 808-586-8474 email: repito@capitol.hawaii.gov)
Reference House bill: HB2459, HB2664, HB2705, HB2483, HB2900

-Senate Committee on Land and Water – Senator Clayton Hee (Fax: 808-586-7334 email:senhee@capitol.hawaii.gov)
Reference Senate Bill: SB2330, SB2655

(save your letters so you can send them again for the next batch of committee hearings).

And if you live in Hawaii or are able to travel there, please get in touch with Stefanie Brendlabout participating in the hearings.

See this link for a sample letter. Please feel free to copy parts or the whole letter as you see fit. There is also a wealth of information available on the Why Sharks Matter website, including support letters written by other people.

Thank you for your help!


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