With their black eyes and rows of teeth, it’s easy to understand why many people fear sharks, but our view of these creatures is actually hurting their chances for survival.
A new analysis determined that negative media reports about sharks and shark attacks are hindering shark conservation efforts. According to the analysis, Australian and U.S. news articles are more likely to focus on shark attacks than on shark conservation issues.
Measures to protect the critically endangered grey nurse shark have been announced by the NSW government. Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson introduced regulations that include banning baited hook fishing in key breeding areas for the species along the NSW coastline.
"Our overall goal is to protect the grey nurse shark," she told reporters at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary today.
"They are the puppies of the ocean - they're not Jaws.They are very gentle creatures but we're down to the last 1500 or so."
One third of all plastic marine debris is from beverage containers, according to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). It kills wildlife and pollutes beaches. It persists for centuries, breaking down into smaller particles, clogging our waterways and destroying our ocean.
Recently, thousands of Project AWARE divers called for new marine reserves in Australia. The Australian Government heard our voice and in June, announced a major new network of marine reserves including the world's second largest marine national park.
This was a major victory for the ocean and its wildlife, and showed the collective power of AWARE divers worldwide.
Project AWARE is pounding the pavement to make the ocean safer for some of the most overexploited sharks. We have less than a year to secure international trade protections for sharks at the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CITES CoP16) to be held in March 2013, Thailand.
Divers from around the world are joining together in a call to protect the Coral Sea. The Coral Sea is one of the last remaining places on earth where large marine animals are still found in great numbers, yet less than one percent of the Coral Sea is currently protected from extractive industries.
The Australian Government announced today the proposed establishment of the world's largest marine protected area in the waters of the Coral Sea that fall within Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone.
Environment Minister Tony Burke said the Coral Sea was recognised across the world as a marine region of significance for its unique biodiversity. And in Australian waters the environment is in near pristine condition.
The proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve covers approximately 989,842 square kilometres - an area of ocean more than half the size of Queensland.