September is Project AWARE’s Debris Month of Action – a time when thousands of scuba divers around the world unite and take action against marine debris – the ocean’s silent killer. But don’t think of it as just a one-time dive to take out the trash. It’s so much more than that. It’s a rallying cry. A rumble, if you will, with one of the biggest ocean issues of our time – marine debris.
With clear waters and rocky scenery, Malta and Gozo, the beautiful southern European islands in the Mediterranean Sea, boast some of the best diving in Europe. They also boast some of the most passionate and dedicated AWARE divers and shark activists. From running a marathon to Diving Against Debris to support Project AWARE’s global campaigns - Sharks in Peril and Marine Debris - no challenges are too small for Malta’s dive community.
The European Commission (EC) has expressed its disappointment with the outcomes of the 87th Annual meeting of the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), which finished on 18 July in Lima, Peru.
I recently returned from South Africa where I attended a conference and a workshop to help better understand current and develop new, much needed, global conservation strategies for sharks, as well as mantas and devil rays. In the past month, Project AWARE has joined leading researchers and policy experts to envision the future, verbalize clear goals, and discuss the actions needed to protect these species.
Scuba divers are swimming to end finning as part of the Project AWARE Finathon, a year-round fundraising challenge, showing they are FINatical about protecting sharks. Their fundraising efforts are helping us Fight, Insist, Negotiate for the protection of threatened shark species.
When John Mitchell, YuDiving dive centre owner in Manchester UK, asked his team if they were up for a Finathon challenge to help raise funds for sharks, they unanimously said yes. They had a moment of hesitation though when he announced that they would have to swim the English Channel. Well, the distance of the English Channel in the pool to be more precise.
Jarret Voorhies, a 15 year old scuba diver and race car driver has gone the distance to raise awareness for shark protection and taken Project AWARE’s Finathon into overdrive. He wanted to dig deep to share his passion for ocean protection but combine his racing pursuits, creating the super rally that he calls Winning to End Finning.
The go-karts and helmets were provided on July 13, 2014 at Pole Position Raceway in Frisco, Texas where 49 drivers raced to support shark protection.
Braving chilly 9°C waters, 14 divers at Dive HQ Christchurch in New Zealand took the plunge to Dive Against Debris last weekend joining thousands of divers across the world fighting back against marine debris. “We had a great morning on Sunday and got quite a good haul considering it was a first time for us,” said Colin Wadeson from Dive HQ Christchurch.
Fishing minister George Eustice promises to argue the case for precautionary catch limits for overfished species.
The UK government has pledged to fight the unlimited fishing that leads to millions of sharks being killed by EU boats in the Atlantic every year.
Numerous species once widely fished by the EU, such as the porbeagle shark, have already been driven to near extinction in the Atlantic. But other species, like the blue shark, continue to be caught in huge numbers by EU boats because there are no limits on their exploitation.
The health of the global ocean is in decline and a five-year integrated rescue package is what’s needed to bring it back to life, according to a new report by the Global Ocean Commission.
The Commission has spent 18 months looking in to the decline of the ocean and has come up with a rescue package of eight proposals to restore and protect its natural capital and services. Its findings identified a lack of adequate governance on the high seas as the key issue.
Concern is growing over the threat that widespread plastic waste poses to marine life, with conservative estimates of the overall financial damage of plastics to marine ecosystems standing at US$13 billion each year, according to two reports released on the opening day of the first United Nations Environment Assembly.
The Finathon® is in full swing and the race against shark finning is on! On July 13th, at the Pole Position Raceway in Frisco, Texas, USA, Jarret Voorhies, a 15 year old go kart racer and passionate scuba diver, will put his two passions together - racing and shark protection.
“Like most divers, I’ve developed a connection with marine life. Our oceans are in trouble and they need our help,” said Jarret. “That’s why I’ve partnered with Project AWARE in a race against shark finning.”