While working on a research sailboat gliding over glassy seas in the Pacific Ocean, oceanographer Giora Proskurowski noticed something new: The water was littered with confetti-size pieces of plastic debris, until the moment the wind picked up and most of the particles disappeared.
Oceanic whitetip sharks and hawksbill turtles appear to have little in common, but sadly they share a similar fate - both are highly valued for just one of their body parts, while the rest of the animal is usually discarded.
Hawksbill turtle shells are used for jewellery and souvenirs, while the oceanic whitetip's long, curved fins are highly prized for shark fin soup. In both cases the flesh is less valuable and often discarded, though whitetip shark meat is consumed in some regions.
A new analysis by the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Western Australia concluded that in 2010, shark-related diving contributed $42.2 million ($73 million Fijian) to the economy of Fiji. Shark-diving operations generated $4 million that year for Fijian communities through salaries and local levies.
When most people think of sharks, they think of the film Jaws and scary stories. Fear of sharks comes mainly from lack of knowledge and the inaccurate man-eating image perpetuated by mass media over the years. Through the power of images, divers can tell the real story and raise awareness about the plight of sharks.
With Earth Day, 22nd April fast approaching, the Big Shark Shout Out is in full swing and it's louder, and madder, than ever before!
We love sharks - as divers we appreciate their beauty, respect their power and become mesmerised when we catch a glimpse underwater. We're so into sharks one could say, we are completely mad about them. In fact we're Shark Raving Mad to be precise.
Project AWARE Foundation is honored to welcome Alex Earl as Executive Director. A committed marine conservationist and enthusiastic diver, Alex has lived and worked in four countries and dived in many regions of the world including the Philippines, Australia, Tanzania, Fiji, Tahiti, Canada and the United States.
Alex draws from an extensive background in global non-profit management, strategic planning, program development, campaigning, fundraising, and business development as well as extensive cross-cultural and international experience.
Have you dived or snorkeled with a manta ray? Imagine a creature the size of your desk or even your bed gliding gracefully above you. Mantas can dive to depths of more than 1,000 metres, they roam the oceans in search of food, never resting, constantly swimming to survive.
It’s a magical moment when these captivating creatures open their giant mouths to filter plankton from the water. Known as filter feeders, they swim through the water funneling the plankton through their gills. The plankton is trapped in their gill rakers and swallowed.
The decline of Caribbean coral reefs has been linked to the recent effects of human-induced climate change. However, new research led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego suggests an even earlier cause. The bad news – humans are still to blame. MORE
Fishing nations of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) today agreed to protect oceanic whitetip sharks based on a U.S. proposal, while an Australian proposal to ban intentional setting of purse seine nets on whale sharks (to catch associated aggregations of tuna) was stalled by Japan.
Sharks, and other aquatic species, dominated the 5-day meeting of the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which ended last week in Geneva. I was there representing Project AWARE as an accredited observer NGO. And it was another great opportunity to voice our collective support for shark conservation and to connect with representatives of CITES Parties and NGOs on shark issues.
A local fundraiser's focus was to help put a stop to the cruel practice of "finning," which is depleting the world's shark population.
Some larger species of sharks have rows upon rows of razor sharp teeth designed for ripping and tearing flesh, can smell one drop of blood in a million drops of water, and can dislocate and protrude its upper jaw to help it grab and hang onto prey.
A colleague of ours, Mary Kaye Hester, recently wrote a story for the Undersea Journal, PADI’s professional membership magazine, about the prolific children’s author Dr. Seuss and his cautionary tale of The Lorax – now also a box office smash.