This week is Project AWARE's "Big Shark Shout Out" week. Their aim is to get divers around the world to rally to protect sharks before it's too late.
Here in Malapascua sharks are a major reason divers come to dive. They are almost guaranteed to see a white tip reef shark at Gato Island but the area is most famous for the Thresher Shark which frequents the Monad Shoal cleaning station to get a good scrub-down by the cleaner wrasse who are happy to eat the parasites from the sharks. The cleaning station is also visited by devil rays, manta rays and hammerheads.
At Exotic Dive Resort, they also teach their own exclusive PADI Thresher Shark Specialty Course. As well as getting to know about the endangered Thresher Shark and why they are here around Malapascua, the course also tells us more about what threats face sharks in general and how we can help to protect them.
One way is to get involved with Project AWARE who are trying to improve current legislation. This is what Project AWARE have to say about it:
"Each year, tens of millions of sharks are killed by Earth's most dangerous predators - humans. Too many of them fall victim to the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning - the act of removing shark fins and discarding the often still alive shark overboard. As Asian demand for fins remains strong, markets for shark meat are growing, helping to push shark species to the brink.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) analyses, all shark species proposed at the meeting met the criteria for listing under CITES Appendix II. Such listing requires that trade is controlled in order to avoid use that threatens the species' survival. Despite the depletion of sharks worldwide, restrictions on international trade are in place for only three shark species - whale shark, great white shark and basking shark."
By signing their petition, you will help to put pressure on the CITES Parties to:
- Heed all available scientific advice for limiting shark catches;
- Fully protect shark species listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered by the IUCN;
- Set precautionary shark fishing limits [where no advice exists];
- Ensure all sharks are landed with their fins naturally attached;
- Work with other countries to prepare and promote shark listing proposals for the next CITES Conference; and
- Improve shark trade data collection by taking national action to list all species proposed at CITES 2010 on Appendix III before the next CITES meeting in 2013.
To make it easy for you to sign Project AWARE's petition and do your bit, we have included a link on the right of our page, below. Just fill in your details, click on "Sign Petition" and you're done!
Tell your friends about Project AWARE's Big Shark Shout Out and their petitions so that they can also sign.
This is a blog from The GoPro Family's blogsite. To find out more about The GoPro Family and their IDCs in Paradise go to http://www.thegoprofamily.com