Back in Khao Lak, Phang Nga, Thailand, since the start of August, Shark Guardian has been focusing on local projects and educating diving communities. There is now another hundred plus people with increased knowledge on sharks with ideas on how they can get involved in conservation! Plus this month some big achievements around the world which will help our sharks.
August started off with a trip to Phuket for Shark Guardian when we joined the Scuba Cat boat for the Go Eco Phuket big beach and ocean clean up. We helped collect around 70 kg of trash from the Ratcha Nai dive sites. This was mainly ‘ghost nets’ and old ropes and fishing lines which was generally the main component of the 4,356 kg collected in total on the day.
Thailand presentations and new local research project on Leopard sharks
August ended with some local presentations on shark and marine life and conservation. Firstly to an enthusiastic Khao Lak crowd and then 2 different events to dive professionals and tourists on Koh Phi Phi.
The first event on Koh Phi Phi coincided with the start of a new research project. ‘Spot the Leopard Shark: Thailand’ is a community-based monitoring program which invites the local divers, both tourists and professionals, to submit photographs which allow researchers to study the local shark population.
Leopard sharks are a threatened species due to high fishing pressure throughout Asia. Thailand remains an important habitat for them yet little is known about wild leopard sharks in Thailand. We will be giving you full information on this project very soon. Until then please check out the link above.
Shark Guardian will be helping to promote this research project to other areas in Thailand over the course of the year.
Shark news worldwide
In the US, good news came this month when the appeals court refused to block the California shark fin ban which came into effect in January this year. This is a great achievement in a country that has done so much to push shark fin bans forwards.
Great cheers all round last week when the news that India’s Ministry of Environment and Forest, which operates under the authority of the Central Government of India, brought into force a ‘fins naturally attached’ policy to prohibit shark finning. The policy makes it illegal for any fishermen to land sharks anywhere on the coasts of India without their fins naturally attached to the body.
“We applaud India’s government for taking the necessary first step in banning shark finning. It should also ban fishing of vulnerable shark species.” – Peter Knights, WildAid Executive Director. This is a huge victory for sharks given that India are ranked as the second biggest country in the world in terms of the number of sharks caught each year.
This article gives an interesting insight in to the India ban and what may happen next in the US:
In case you didn’t know, it was International whale shark day on August the 30th. Just before this day the largest ever study on whale shark migrations was published, trying to help solve some of the many mysteries surrounding the worlds largest fish. Read the full article Secrets of whale shark migration and discover that these sharks easily travel thousands of miles, possibly to give birth.
We enter September with lots happening around the world – airline bans and campaigns for Country bans. Stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook pages for more information!
Shark Guardian will be in Bangkok over the next few weeks for some shark events and there will be more coming from Khao Lak.
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