Oceana has released their list of finalists for the Ocean Hero award. As always, the finalists represent people who have done some amazing things for our oceans. This year, one of the nominees for the “Junior Hero” category is Sophi Bromenshenkel, an 8 year old shark conservationist.
Continue reading Vote for Sophi: List of Oceana Ocean Hero finalists includes 8 year old shark conservationist
The sharks of Guam need your help! Bill number 44-31, which would make selling or possessing shark fins illegal in Guam, was just introduced by members of the Senate. The Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the bill next Tuesday night Guam time, which is Monday night our time.
This bill is expected to face strong opposition from the fishing industry, which has a powerful voice. However, you can help! You send a letter in support of this policy to Shark Defenders, and they will make sure that it gets into the right hands. Many of the letters will be read out loud as testimony, and receiving a large number of letters in support of the law will be a big help!
Please send these letters to Info AT SharkDefenders DOT com by Monday afternoon U.S. East Coast time (sooner would be better).
Continue reading Send testimony to help protect Guam’s sharks!
Last week, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas met in Paris. Among other responsibilities (such as the conservation of Atlantic tunas), ICCAT sets guidelines for several shark fisheries. My friend Sonja Fordham, President of Shark Advocates International, was there representing SAI. She is optimistic about a series of new shark conservation measures that the Commission adopted.
Continue reading Sharks get new protections at ICCAT
Yesterday afternoon, the Presidents of Honduras and Palau challenged other world leaders to follow their example by protecting sharks. Both nations have banned shark fishing within their territorial waters, and they are encouraging other nations (both rich countries with fishing fleets and poor coastal countries) to do the same. This announcement was timed to coincide with a high-level United Nations meeting to review millennium development and global biodiversity conservation goals.
The two Presidents had this to say:
Continue reading A global shark conservation challenge from Palau and Micronesia
Last Monday, the Pew Environment Group’s Global Shark Conservation Campaign arranged for a brilliant PR stunt – they arranged for survivors of shark attacks to speak about shark conservation outside of the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Though very few people are ever bitten by sharks, many fear them, which makes it difficult to generate public support for their conservation. Having survivors of shark attacks speak about the need for international legal protection for sharks is a great move. As participant Debbie Salamone said, “If a group like us can see the value in saving sharks, can’t everyone?” The Pew organizers also made sure that this event was covered by the press- dozens of friends sent me this Yahoo News article, and several event participants were featured on CBS’ the Early Show.
The timing couldn’t be better. According to the Underwater Times:
“U.N. member countries have an opportunity this week and next to address this problem when they refine their annual resolution on sustainable fisheries and review the Millennium Development Goals, which include a target to reduce biodiversity loss. This is also the International Year of Biodiversity. At a press conference, meetings with U.N. missions and a panel discussion at the U.N., the survivors will ask that delegates use these opportunities to advance shark conservation.”
I hope this helps. At the very least, it resulted in some positive media coverage for sharks.
On Thursday, September 2nd at 7:00 P.M., I will be the South Carolina Sierra Club’s Speaker of the Month! The event will be held at MUSC’s Baruch Auditorium, which is 284 Calhoun Street. I have prepared a 45 minute multimedia presentation on shark conservation, followed by a question and answer session. If any of our readers live in the area, come on by! Admission is free.
Sharks consistently rank near the top of lists of American’s greatest fears. In reality, they have much more to fear from us than we do from them. Because of our actions, many species of sharks are on the verge of extinction. A recent International Union for the Conservation of Nature Shark Specialist Group report shows that fully 1/3 of open-ocean species of sharks are in danger of extinction in the next few decades. Many shark species have had population declines of over 90% in the last few decades.
Fins from a blacktip shark. Photo credit: David Shiffman
Continue reading Shark Conservation: The problem, the goal, and how to get there
I am pleased to announce that I will be working with Cindy and Alexa of Oceans 4 Ever during their Summer Sharktakular! The week of July 19th will be dedicated to shark conservation education. As with most things involving Oceans 4 Ever, a major component of the SharkTakular is a contest- specifically a shark conservation photo contest. Here are the rules:
Continue reading Introducing the Summer SharkTakular photo contest!