Monday, European Union nations backed a complete ban on the practice of removing sharks' fins before throwing the fish back into the sea to die.
The EU nations said they want all boats in their waters and EU-registered boats anywhere in the world to land sharks with their fins attached. The proposals still need the support of the European Parliament before they can become law.
EU fisheries chief Maria Damanaki said the law would "ease control and help us eradicate shark finning," which she called cruel to the animals and a vast waste of resources.
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.
One afternoon on the island of Koh Tao, a poor boat captain watched as his vessel filled with rubbish. Over five hours, ten volunteer divers removed a record amount of trash from one reef.
Some months earlier, in a bid to protect a shallow reef at Hin Ngam, local dive schools and the Save Koh Tao Group installed a ‘No Boat’ Zoning Line. But after the monsoon season New Heaven divers were astonished to find an 80 metre stretch of line covered in bags, ropes, and marine debris.
The spectacular snouts of sawfish are revealed as complete hunting weapons, sensing prey and killing them.
The saws, which can grow more than a metre long in some species, have previously been identified as able to sense prey by their electric fields.
Now, researchers have filmed the fish impaling prey on the teeth of the saws.
They suggest in Current Biology that sawfish are more active hunters than previously thought, which could help in their much-needed MORE
Last week the European Parliament began its work on the Commission’s proposal to close major loopholes in the EU ban on shark finning submitted in the fall of 2011.
The European Commission has proposed ending special permits that allow fishermen to cut off shark fins at sea and land them separately from the bodies under a legal exemption to the overall EU requirement for landing sharks with their fins naturally attached.
Sailors have reported seeing everything from a canoe, to shoes, rope, cigarette lighters, chunks of metal and whole trees floating in the strait, leaving them wondering what lies beneath the murky surface.
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG skipper Ken Read said he was saddened to see the quantity of rubbish floating in the shipping superhighway, which had left him dismayed by humanity.
“It’s an incredible place to sail but the sad part is how much stuff is in the water, how much junk there is in the water,’’ he said. MORE
Divers everywhere are uniting like never before for a clean, healthy ocean. Each and every day we’re amazed by your dedication and your ocean actions.
Project AWARE’s My Ocean online community has been helping you connect, organize and shine a light on your underwater actions for change. Every week the underwater data, photos, blogs and events you post are on display. And you’re inspiring others to mobilize around the world.
Sharks are among the most threatened of marine species worldwide due to unsustainable overfishing. They are primarily killed for their fins to fuel the growing demand for shark fin soup, which is an Asia delicacy. A new study by University of Miami (UM) scientists in the journal Marine Drugs has discovered high concentrations of BMAA in shark fins, a neurotoxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases in humans including Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig Disease (ALS).
Sharks are known for being ruthless, solitary predators, but scientists say the reality is the opposite.
A new study revealed that some sharks enjoy complex social lives that include longstanding relationships and teamwork.The study documents how one population of blacktip reef sharks is actually organized into four communities and two sub-communities.
The research found for the first time that adults of a reef-associated shark species form stable, long-term social bonds.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, Project AWARE was pondering the many ways we love you - the passionate ocean advocate. We're so thrilled to be partners with you in this global movement to protect the ocean. We realize that the ocean loves and provides for us in so many ways too. This year, why not express our love for the ocean on Valentine's Day?
The Mediterranean Sea is a “key pillar” for the development of the countries in the region, a senior United Nations official said today, warning that continued degradation of the aquatic environment could put its entire ecology at risk.
The call came as delegates from 22 Mediterranean and European Union countries brought their three-day meeting on safeguarding and promoting a clean and healthy Mediterranean environment to a close in Paris.