A researcher’s perspective by Christine Ward-Paige
As a scuba diver and marine biologist, my research uses scuba divers observations from around the world as a non-destructive way of gathering information on shark and ray populations (www.eShark.org). Recently, we assessed the value of such observations for analyzing trends in shark abundance and distribution.
As part of the celebration of World Oceans Day 2011, Calypso Diving Resort in the Philippines launched an exciting Shark Protection Donations Programme. Since June 08th 2011, every ocean dive their student divers and customers do, Calypso Diving makes a donation in support of Project AWARE’s shark conservation initiatives. So in short, the more you dive with Calypso Diving the more donations AWARE receives towards giving sharks a fighting chance!
Large scale "geoengineering" solutions to climate change will not reverse rising acidity in the oceans which damages marine life, conservationists have warned.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) issued a call at the UN climate talks in Durban for countries to urgently address the issue of ocean acidification, caused by greater levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
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.
Many people are running marathons or taking part in sports challenge events for a charity but when scuba divers swap their fins for a pair of trainers, their passion for the underwater world turns their personal challenge into a triumph for marine conservation.
On Sunday, 16th October, Arlette Diederiks from the Netherlands ran a half marathon in aid of Project AWARE's new Dive Against Debris programme. Her efforts raised more than $1740.
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.
Project AWARE is thrilled that Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) reached agreement last week in Bergen, Norway to list the globally threatened giant manta ray under CMS Appendix I and II.
The listing obligates CMS member countries to provide strict national protections for giant manta rays and their key habitats, and encourages concerted global and regional action among all Range States to conserve the iconic species.
The manta ray listing was proposed by Ecuador. MORE
Local scuba divers will ‘Dive Against Debris’on December 7 at Mamutik Island,Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Borneo.
As part of Borneo Divers’ commitment to protect the ocean, trained divers not only remove underwater debris such as plastic bottles, fishing line and other debris, but also identify and document everything they see underwater in a larger effort to prevent marine debris.
The European Union (EU) today became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Sharks, just as the European Commission announced a proposal to strengthen the EU ban on shark "finning‟ (slicing off a shark‟s fins and discarding the body at sea).
Delegates at an international conservation meeting agreed Saturday on a measure mandating that silky sharks accidentally caught in fishing gear be released back into the sea alive, marine advocacy groups said.
The 48-member International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), however — ending a weeklong meeting in Istanbul — failed to reach consensus on other threatened shark species, the groups said.
It is now a crime to kill tiger and hammerhead sharks in the waters off Florida. In a unanimous vote following two years of spirited public hearings, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to protect the tiger shark and three species of hammerhead from recreational and commercial anglers.
"Sometimes the appropriate measures of conservation are the problems we avoid, not the problems we have to fix," said Commissioner Brian Yablonski.
Only a tiny fraction of Atlantic sharks – under 1% – are under protection even though most shark species are heading towards extinction, a report warns on Tuesday.
Officials from 48 Atlantic fishing countries are meeting in Istanbul this week to try to protect bluefin tuna, swordfish and other large fish.
But existing conservation efforts are only saving a tiny proportion of sharks, the report from the Oceana conservation group said.
"It's just the tip of the iceberg, and there are a lot of shark species, many of them vulnerable species, that are still being caught and killed MORE