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.
Divers and non-divers alike attending the London International Dive Show (#LIDS 2012) this weekend are in for a treat as marine ecologist and whale shark specialist Dr Simon J Pierce will be giving presentations with Project AWARE about whale shark conservation and ways to give sharks a fighting chance.
The Costa Rican government has announced that it will propose the inclusion of the scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) in Appendix III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
They believe that this species meets the conditions and criteria for an inclusion in Appendix III, in accordance with the Resolution Conf 9.25 (Rev CoP 15).
“Today we changed the mindset of 13 Divemasters and 4 Instructors and I know they will be AWARE for the rest of their lives,” said Jens Nielsen Ban’s PADI Staff instructor. It was a memorable day for Jens and fellow instructor Simon from Ban's Diving Resort, Koh Tao, Thailand who taught their first AWARE Shark Conservation course.
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.