Shark centre opens in Cape Town
May 19, 2008
Millions pumped into research base. If a new generation of South Africans grow up thinking of sharks as warm and cuddly, it will be partly due to a mystery benefactor who wants to help the world’s sea life.
All that the benefactor reveals about himself is that he is male, and was “born in the heart of the desert”. Whoever he is, he has pumped millions of rands into buying and equipping a prime sea-front property in Kalk Bay, Cape Town, for use as a research and education centre to spread the word that humans need to be nice to sharks.
The centre, which opened last week, is funded by the Save Our Seas Foundation, set up eight years ago by the benefactor, who is referred to in the organisation’s literature only as “The Founder”.
Chris Clarke, shark scientist and the executive director of the foundation, said the world’s shark population was now only 10 percent of what it had been in the 1950s.
“We’ve been systematically removing them as a by-catch in fisheries, we’re targeting them in the shark-fin trade in East Asia,” Clarke said.
“There’s a real need for the shark centre … to teach people about marine conservation and the myths about sharks.”
Clarke said the threat of shark attacks on humans was highly exaggerated.
“Last year, only one person was killed by a shark in the whole world,” Clarke said. “They might bite a human, but usually when they realise it’s not a seal they let go.”
Clarke said sharks, as the top predators in the ocean, played an essential role in weeding out weak or diseased fish.
“If you take the sharks out … you’ll end up having a collapse of the food pyramid. If we remove them from the environment, it would be a catastrophic event.”
Clarke is a big fan of the great white shark cage-diving industry based in Gansbaai, south of Hermanus.
“It’s a very good thing. It’s a way for the public to get up close and see the animals.”
He cited the accident last month, in which a shark tourist boat capsized off Gansbaai and threw 19 people into the water, as evidence that sharks were not dangerous.
“The tourists were right in among the seals in the water, and they didn’t get attacked. Sharks aren’t after humans, they’re after seals, and they can differentiate between the two.”
The shark centre’s information displays contain many interesting facts about sharks, including that:
They can hear a struggling fish from 550m away; and
About 76 percent of people in China do not know that shark-fin soup is made from shark fins.
Oaks Bluff Shark Tournament
May 15, 2008
In a move intended to push the 22nd annual Oak Bluffs Monster Shark tournament out of town, the board of selectmen Tuesday voted to set a policy denying a liquor license to any shark tournaments. The organizer of the long-time fishing contest threatened legal action.
"Does that sound like a discrimination lawsuit?" said Steve James, president of the Boston Big Game Fishing Club, in a phone conversation with The Times Wednesday morning. "It sounds like they're going to discriminate not only against fisherman, but against a certain kind of fisherman. You've got to ask yourself, is there nothing else going on in the town of Oak Bluffs that is more critical? It's almost a joke."
Mr. James is the organizer of the monster shark tournament and several other fishing tournaments that attract hundreds of participants.
When asked directly if he intended to file a lawsuit, Mr. James replied, "That's probably where we need to go; let's leave it at that. It's a beautiful thing to say, that's all that needs to be said. It's discrimination based on a user group, based on what kind of fish you catch. It doesn't make any sense to me. I think that's discrimination."
Selectmen have granted the liquor license to the shark tournament for their captain's meeting and awards ceremony in the past, and routinely grant the same kind of license to other groups. At their Tuesday meeting, they voted unanimously to grant a one-day beer and wine permit to the town's fire department for their annual picnic at another town-owned facility.
The regional tournament turned into a big-time fishing event when it became the subject of a four-part ESPN television special in 2004. In 2005, the 19th annual Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament attracted a record number of 245 participating boats.
That same year the catch of a 1,191-pound tiger shark attracted national media attention and the attention of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which mounted a determined effort to oppose the tournament. HSUS argued that the shark tournament undermines the Island's values and encourages overfishing a species facing ecological disaster.
The 2007 Monster Shark Tournament drew a happy throng.
The Humane Society waged an intensive public relations campaign calling on Oak Bluffs town officials to withdraw any support for the contest. Selectmen were divided over the question and turned to voters for guidance.
At their 2007 annual town meeting, 458 Oak Bluffs voters said yes and 386 said no to a non-binding ballot question that asked if the town should continue to allow the use of town property for events related to shark tournaments.
Chairman Ron DiOrio Tuesday stressed there was no request before the board from Mr. James for a liquor license, but he thought taking action early was important. "What has happened in the past, is we get a request very late in the process," he said. "I felt stampeded into a decision because it was going to hurt (businesses). Rooms had been booked, reservations had been made."
Selectmen Kerry Scott and Roger Wey joined Mr. DiOrio in voting to set the policy. "Everyone knows exactly how I feel about the shark tournament," said Ms. Scott. "I feel Steve James has been treated very, very well by the town of Oak Bluffs. We have made it possible for Steve James to make one heck of a good living, and we don't get a whole lot back from that."
Selectmen Duncan Ross and Greg Coogan voted against the measure. Both cited the 2007 town vote as part of the reason they did not support the policy.
"I don't fish," said Mr. Coogan. "Don't want any fish on my boat, don't care about fishing at all. We've spent countless hours on this subject, to the point of being ridiculous. I don't care about the shark tournament, but I think there are a lot of people who do. The town has voted for it."
The shark tournament last year attracted hundreds of participating boats and thousands of spectators who crowded into town to view the weigh-in of the sharks that were landed. Several local business owners attended the selectmen's meeting to speak in support of an event they said benefits the town's economy.
"I would suggest before you vote, to see whether it's right to put a specific 'no' on shark tournaments," said Stuart Robinson, owner of Smoke 'N Bones restaurant. "You might be opening yourself to trouble. I catered it for the last five years. Whether you say yes or no, it will not affect me, except, that we hire 75-100 people every year to help serve. That's a lot of people that spend money in this economy. We need this extra income. The majority of businesses do very well that weekend. The money we make helps the community. I think you will be hurting us in the long run."
Mr. James sent a letter to the parks commission last week requesting the use of Washington Park, the public space between the harbor and Chapman Avenue. He wants to erect a banquet tent with a capacity of 900 people for tournament events on July 17 through the July 19. He also asked to use Sunset Park, across the street from the harbor, for parking. In past years, the banquet tent was erected on Sunset Park.
Richard Combra Jr., chairman of the parks commission, said the commission has not yet discussed the request, but planned to begin debate at the commission's meeting on Monday. He pledged that no vote would be taken on Monday, and none would be taken before a full public hearing on the issue.
Yesterday, Mr. James called the actions of town officials harassment, and said such actions harden his resolve. "I will not abandon all of the businesses in Oak Bluffs, and I will not give the Humane Society this idea that they are driving my business," said Mr. James. "I'm not going anywhere. There isn't anyone in the town of Oak Bluffs that controls the federal waterways, and that's where this tournament takes place. Be careful what you ask for from me. I may give you three tournaments, back to back."
Mr. James said if he cannot get a liquor license from the board of selectmen, he would be more inclined to move the tournament events to a private facility, as he has in the past.
Mum rescues man savaged by white pointer
May 11, 2008
A MOTHER of three was hailed a hero after risking her life to rescue a stranger from a shark. A white pointer up to five metres long attacked schoolteacher Jason Cull, 37, while he was swimming with dolphins at Middleton Beach, in front of the Albany Surf Life Saving Club nte at 7.20am yesterday.
Joanne Lucas, 50, who was on the beach after arriving early for surfboat rowing practice, dived into the water after hearing Mr Cull's screams for help. "I just saw someone thrashing in the water and saying 'Help me, help me,' th" she said. "I thought it was just a dolphin [in the water] but someone else was screaming, `He has been attacked,' so I raced down there."
Mrs Lucas swam 80 metres offshore to retrieve Mr Cull as the shark, one of several sighted off the beach, circled. "Just before I got to him he said, 'It's got my leg.' I grabbed him and swam back to shore." She found "great big chunks" missing from one of his legs.
Great Southern Region Surf Life Saving support services co-ordinator Tom Marron praised Mrs Lucas's "act of incredible bravery". "She heard him shout out for help and dived in with no regard for her own safety," he said. "He suffered a fair bite. If she hadn't followed her instinct, or had been a bit later, then the bloke could have bled to death or been dragged out by the shark. What she did was brilliant."
Mrs Lucas told Mr Marron: "I'd always wondered what I'd do in that situation, and now I know." Mr Cull was treated by surf club members on the beach, given first aid and oxygen, and taken by St John Ambulance to Albany Regional Hospital, where he underwent surgery on his left leg.
Beaches were closed from Middleton Beach to Emu Point, three kilometres away. An Albany Sea Rescue plane reported two more sharks in the vicinity, and lifesavers used inflatable craft in an attempt to track the sharks and herd them back into open water.
Efforts were called off late in the afternoon after rain and cloud made it impossible to spot the sharks from the air.
Local residents said shark attacks were extremely rare in the region and they believed the sharks might have been attracted close to shore by a school of fish. Mrs Lucas manages Camp Quaranup, a 20-minute drive from Albany. She was being comforted by friends and family last night. Grant Turner, the senior ranger in charge of the Albany district, said she should receive a bravery award.
"Someone should nominate her for a medal," Mr Turner said from the beach, where he was directing operations in conjunction with other rescue services.He described Mrs Lucas as being "physically tiny but very fit and very strong", adding: "Everyone has so much admiration for her bravery."
Mr Turner said beaches would remain closed until the rangers were satisfied that the sharks had left the area. "The planes will go up again in the moring to see if they can sight the sharks," he said.
For an image of Mrs Lucas visit SMH.com.au
Documentary sinks teeth into shark debate
Garry Maddox | May 8, 2008
SHARKS have a reputation as fearsome killers yet more people are killed every year by falling soft-drink vending machines than by predators of Jaws fame.
That's one of the surprising statistics related by the director Rob Stewart in the documentary Sharkwater. Even more dramatic is the fact that 15,000 sharks will have been killed in the 90 minutes it takes for the film to screen.
"That's three sharks a second, 100 million a year," says the Canadian wildlife photographer who turned to filmmaking when he saw the devastating impact of longline fishing and finning - killing sharks for their fins and discarding the carcasses.
Shark numbers have dropped 90 per cent in the past 30 years. Stewart blames most of the decrease on the popularity of shark fin soup in Asia and Western Chinatowns.
"The practice of finning to create the shark fin soup is barbaric," he says. "More than 75 per cent of the people surveyed on the ground don't know that shark fin soup has shark in it because the translation is fish wing soup."
Stewart, a 28-year-old who looks more like a Hollywood actor than a filmmaker and biologist, has lived through a lot since starting to make Sharkwater six years ago.
He was with the renegade conservationist and Greenpeace co-founder, Paul Watson, when they were arrested in Costa Rica for attempted murder after confronting fishermen working illegally. He has contracted flesh-eating disease, dengue fever and TB. And he was lost at sea for nine hours after surfacing from a dive two kilometres from where he was expected.
"Instead of coming back with a movie about pretty sharks, I came back with a movie about corruption and espionage and attempted murder and had to figure how on earth I was going to put all this together," he says.
In the award-winning film, Stewart argues that preserving shark numbers is more important than saving whales.
"If you wiped out all the whales, humanity wouldn't suffer greatly except for moral reasons," he says. "If you wiped out all the sharks, we're screwed.
"Below sharks sit phytoplankton, the animals that give us 70 per cent of the oxygen we breathe. They consume more carbon dioxide or global warming gases than anything else on earth. By removing sharks we're turning eco-systems - food pyramids - upside down and that's going to be a huge problem."
Stewart says sharks are not the fearsome killers many people think, arguing that out of the millions of swimmers and surfers who hit the water each year about five are killed by sharks. That's less than from customers shaking soft-drink machines either out of rage or to get a free drink, he says.
"Elephants kill over 100, hippos killed over 1000 last year."
Stewart believes shark attacks, while tragic, are usually an accident. "Sharks don't eat people," he says. "If they did eat people, the person wouldn't end up back on shore. If you get back on shore, it's because they're not interested in you and that's what inevitably happens."
Sharkwater opens next week.
Global Warming May Contribute to Rising Incidence of Shark Attacks
May 07, 2008 07:00 AM
The number of fatal shark attacks is rising, and researchers say global warming may be partly to blame. In the first four months of 2008, four fatal shark attacks were reported worldwide, up from just one fatal attack in all of 2007.
The numbers have alarmed beachgoers, and scientists and shark experts are looking for the reason behind the attacks. Some theorize the cause may be global warming. Warmer waters could mean sharks will turn up in places they haven’t before. The higher temperatures are also more appealing to swimmers and surfers.
“As long as we have an increase in human hours in the water, we will have an increase in shark bites,” cautioned George Burgess, who maintains the International Shark Attack File.
Other factors, such as overfishing, may also be at play. If the sharks’ food supply is reduced too greatly, they could look elsewhere. Despite recent reports, encounters with sharks are still very rare. The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis reported that a person would have to swim in the ocean 112 times a day to encounter the same danger involved in taking just one trip to the supermarket.
Kingman Museum hosts prehistoric shark expert
May 6, 2008
Kingman Museum's First Tuesday of the Month lecture series will focus on Great White Sharks and their fossil relatives on May 6. This free program will begin at 6 p.m. Dr. Michael Gottfried, an Associate Professor of Geological Sciences and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Michigan State University Museum, will be presenting "Great White Sharks - Past and Present." Dr. Gottfried has appeared in several documentary films on Great White Sharks including two programs for the Discovery Channel's "Shark Week."
Dr. Gottfried will be discussing the skeletal anatomy and other biological aspects of the Great White Shark, and how that information contributes to the interpreting and reconstructing of the giant fossil "megatooth" shark, Carcharodon megalodon. This presentation will also cover the controversy over how closely the "megatooth" is related to modern great whites and will include many pictures of Great White Sharks and "megatooth" fossils. Kingman Museum will have its Carcharodon megalodon fossil tooth on display for the lecture participants. Free admission to this program will begin at 5 p.m. Participants are invited to tour the museum prior to the program and visit the museum gift shop.
Our June 3 program by the U.S. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife on Endangered Species will conclude our free lecture series. This series will start up again in September for a nominal charge.
Kingman Museum is a not for profit 501(C) (3) organization. The mission of Kingman Museum is to promote an understanding and appreciation of our natural world, the universe, and human cultures. Kingman Museum and its gift shop are open Tuesday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday from 1-5 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. It is located in Battle Creek on West Michigan Avenue near 20th Street in Leila Arboretum. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students age 3-18, and $15 for a family of six. Children age 2 and under and members are always free. For more information, call (269) 965-5117 , or check the website at www.kingmanmuseum.org.
NSRI helps man bitten by shark on board trawler
May 5, 2008
THE NSRI helped rescue a fisherman from a trawler on Thursday night who had been bitten on the leg by a shark brought aboard as part of the catch. NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the call was received from Japanese fishing trawler Kuay Mauro.
"The vessel reported they'd treated and sutured the wounds, but they required the patient to be evacuated to hospital for further treatment."The bite wound extended completely around the man's left leg but it is not yet known which type of shark had inflicted it. The patient, believed to be Japanese, is recovering well.
New warnings sought in Taiwan for shark fin dishes
The China Post 3 May 08;
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Legislators urged the Department of Health (DOH) to require that restaurants serving dishes with shark fins provide warnings cautioning pregnant women not to eat the prized ingredient, which can contain dangerous levels of mercury. Ruling Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin said at a news conference attended by lawmakers from across the political spectrum that shark finning is not only cruel, but also a main cause of the rapid decline of global shark populations.
According to Tien, it is common practice for many foreign fishing vessels to remove the fins from captured sharks and then throw the sharks back into the sea because their meat is worth little and the fishermen want to leave room on board for more of the valuable fins.
When returned to the ocean, the finless sharks, unable to move, either die gradually or are consumed by other sharks, Tien added. The lawmaker warned that sharks are at the top of the ocean food chain and their consumption of tainted small fish and organisms has left a number of them contaminated by mercury. As a result, Tien said, random surveys conducted by local environmental groups show that some shark fins sold on the market contain mercury, which could pose a health hazard to consumers.
She therefore called on local residents not to order shark fin dishes when hosting banquets to avoid endangering their own health and the health of their guests and prevent ecological destruction. Meanwhile, Tien said the DOH should stipulate that shark fin restaurants add warnings reminding pregnant women, women trying to have a baby and breast-feeding women not to eat dishes with shark fins in them.
Tien said she was happy to receive confirmation that shark fin dishes will not be served at the Presidential Inauguration state banquet on May 20. In response to the lawmakers' suggestion, DOH official Hsieh Tien-hung said once a consensus is reached at the agency, it will instruct restaurants throughout the country in writing to add warnings for dishes with shark fins.
He added, however, that details, such as what the warnings should say, are still being discussed. DPP Legislator Twu Shiing-jer also suggested that the DOH print posters to inform people that eating shark fins could possibly have a negative influence on their intelligence.
They could also provide information on international regulations related to shark finning and data on levels of contamination in shark products, he said.
Expert says predator was up to 16 feet long
By Terry Rodgers
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
April 29, 2008
Tooth fragments found in the body of a swimmer who died Friday off Solana Beach confirm that he was attacked by a great white shark. "We did recover two minute fragments . . . representative of lower teeth from a white shark," said Ralph Collier, a shark-attack expert from the Los Angeles area.
The fragments were found during the autopsy of David Martin, 66, a retired veterinarian from Solana Beach who was bitten while swimming with fellow members of the Triathlon Club of San Diego.
The county Medical Examiner's Office conducted the autopsy. Collier, who participated in the procedure, said the serrated-tooth fragments indicate the shark was 15 to 16 feet long.
"I don't know if we will ever be able to answer the question of why" the shark bit Martin's legs and caused him to bleed to death, said Collier, founder of the Shark Research Committee.
Friday's grisly attack prompted lifeguards to post signs along an 8-mile section of coastline - from Torrey Pines to south Carlsbad - warning beachgoers to stay out of the water for 72 hours. The advisory was lifted at 7 a.m. yesterday.
Solana Beach lifeguard Jason Shook started his shift yesterday by hitting the waves at Fletcher Cove, not far from where Martin was attacked.
"We went out surfing to face our fears," Shook said. "It was therapeutic for me."
As the close-knit town of Solana Beach struggles to make sense of the tragedy, marine scientists said relatively little is known about the great white shark and its life cycle.
Collier's research shows that, historically, shark sightings and attacks are most prevalent during August, September and October.
White sharks are apex predators, meaning they are at the top of the food chain and feed on marine mammals. They have keen eyesight and can detect colors as well as humans can, he said. That's partly why Collier disputes the "mistaken identity" theory often cited after many white-shark attacks.
"Humans don't swim like a seal or look like a seal," he said. "But that doesn't mean white sharks won't attack us using their predatory motivation."
According to the publication "Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century," 108 unprovoked shark attacks have been recorded along the West Coast from 1900 to 1999. Great whites were implicated in 87 percent of those attacks.
Since 2000, there have been 31 shark attacks off California, two of which resulted in deaths.
"The one thing I have learned in dealing with shark attacks is that there are as many theories about any incident as there are people," said George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
"White sharks are a natural part of the marine environment in the waters off San Diego," Burgess said. "Humans are not owed 100 percent safety when we go into the ocean. The ocean is a wilderness. It's not a chlorinated swimming pool."
Collier believes great whites, which have been protected by federal and state laws for more than a decade, are perhaps becoming more numerous along the California coast.
"There is evidence . . . but we would need to do a massive satellite tagging program to confirm that," he said.
Other researchers said no one has enough data to conclude whether great whites are more or less numerous.
"More shark sightings doesn't necessarily equate with higher populations of white sharks," said David Kacev, a graduate student at San Diego State University and UC Davis who studies sharks. "There's a lot more people out in the water than there used to be."
Kacev said the research team he's worked with for the past three years has captured numerous sharks off the state's coast with longline fishing gear, but not one has been a white shark.
Researchers agree on this point: There are many juvenile white sharks off of Southern California.
"It's not uncommon to see large adult white sharks close to shore at this time of year because pregnant females give birth in March and April along the coast from Point Conception down into Baja California," Collier said.
But most of the "resident" white sharks along the West Coast migrate in winter and spring to the deeper ocean hundreds of miles offshore, said Michael Domeier, president of the Marine Conservation Science Institute in Fallbrook. He has charted the migration patterns of white sharks off Guadalupe Island since 2000 by using satellite tracking devices.
Domeier and his colleagues have found that in late summer and early fall, the loose-knit families of white sharks move to Guadalupe Island - 150 miles off Baja California - or to the central California coast between Año Nuevo and Bodega Head.
As for the Friday attack, Domeier gave little credence to speculation that a white shark bit Martin to protect her newborn pup.
The mother sharks are "just as likely to eat their babies as anything else," he said. "They just drop them (out) and leave."
US man killed in shark attack in Mexico
By NATALIA PARRA Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 04/29/2008 06:16:23 PM PDT
ACAPULCO, Mexico--A U.S. man died after a shark attacked him while he was surfing off Mexico's southern Pacific coast, authorities in the southern state of Guerrero said Tuesday.
The San Francisco man bled to death on Monday after a gray shark bit his right thigh, leaving a 15-inch wound, the Guerrero state Public Safety Department said in a statement.
The U.S. embassy in Mexico could not immediately confirm the man's name, but local authorities identified him as a 24-year-old who was surfing with a fellow American. The other man was not injured.
The attack occurred at the Troncones beach, about 45 minutes west by car from the beach resort of Ixtapa.
The statement said the victim suffered wounds "that reached from the hip to the knee, exposing the femur."
The victim was still alive when he was brought back to the beach. While an ambulance was called, it took so long to reach Troncones--a relatively isolated, undeveloped beach--that a bystander took the victim to a local naval hospital in his car.
The man died a few minutes after reaching the hospital "due to a loss of blood," according to the statement.
Shark attacks are relatively rare in Mexico; in 2006, the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History reported only one attack in Mexico, which was not fatal.
April 29, 2008
Shark Fin Fishery proposed for
Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
An alarming new proposal by the Queensland Government will establish a dedicated shark fin fishery in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and other marine parks in Queensland.
The Australian Marine Conservation Society is astonished by this proposal, in which Queensland's fisheries department (DPI&F) plans to legitimise one of the most unsustainable forms of fishing on the planet - shark fin fishing. With over 90% of the world's sharks and other big fish gone from our oceans, this project is unsustainable, unethical and will be flatly rejected by the Australian public.
Not only is the Queensland Government proposing to hand out specific fishing licenses for shark fin fishing, which will entrench the practice for years, they are planning to legitimise shark finning in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and in the Marine Parks of Moreton Bay and the Great Sandy Straits with this new license proposal.
The proposal will create new licenses to fishers to catch unlimited sharks and also to catch sharks with nets over a kilometre long in our off-shore waters.
Shark finning at sea, where the fins are cut of the shark and the carcass is thrown overboard, is banned in Australia (thanks to our efforts). However, shark fin fishing, where sharks are targeted for their high value fins but their carcasses are kept and sold as low value waste products, continues.
AMCS has pressed DPI&F to phase out shark fishing and they have failed to do so. What does it say for the sustainability agenda of this agency when it fails not only to protect one of the state's most vulnerable group of species, but promotes their exploitation?
During 2000-2004 shark fishing in Queensland increased four-fold with a massive 1240 tonnes of shark being landed in 2004*. The main pressure on sharks in the Great Barrier Reef is fishing, and this pressure is increasing. More than 90% of the Great Barrier Reef commercial shark harvest is taken by the gillnet fishery with the remainder taken by the line and trawl fisheries. However recreational fishers catch and retain a significant number of sharks.
Sharks are extremely vulnerable to fishing impacts. This is because their biology is more like whales and dolphins than other fish. Sharks are slow growing, have extremely low reproductive rates (producing very few young) and are mostly long lived. This means that they are very slow to recover from impacts on their populations. Many shark fisheries around the world have collapsed.
Sharks are apex predators, helping to control populations of prey species. Consequently, reducing the number of sharks may have significant and unpredictable impacts on other parts of the ecosystem.
The Queensland Government must revoke this proposal and commit to a program with fishers to save sharks, not hunt them. We strongly encourage anyone who treasures Queensland's sharks to have their say on this matter.
AMCS Ocean Activists will receive an email about this issue. If you are not yet an Ocean Activist please join up via our website ; www.marineconservation.org.au.
If you are not on the internet then please send your written objections to:
East Coast Inshore Fin Fish Fishery RIS Response
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
GPO Box 46 Brisbane QLD 4001
Fax: 07 3229 8146 Online: www.dpi.qld.gov.au/fishweb
Central Fla. Sees 10th Shark Bite
POSTED: 4:26 pm EDT April 28, 2008
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- For the third time in as many days, someone has been bitten by a shark in New Smyrna Beach. The most recent victim had an all too close encounter just before noon on Monday. This bite makes 10 so far and typically the most bites occur in the summer so it could be an unfortunate record-setting year.
All 10 bites have been in New Smyrna. David Alger, 18, is on his way to a nearby emergency room in New Smyrna Beach. "I got off a wave and I just hit the bottom and as soon as I hit the bottom, the shark just nicked me in the foot," Alger said. The shark took a good chunk out of Alger's left foot.
Alger will likely need more than a dozen stitches to close the wound. Another surfer was bit Sunday, and Mark Pattison felt the pain of a shark bite Saturday morning. "It just latched on to me and two chomps real quick. I kind of kicked my foot away and it just swam away," Alger said. None of the bites this year has been life threatening.
"We have to keep in mind this is in no way an attack. This is nothing compared to the things that happen out in California. These are just little small lacerations and accidental bites," Capt. Rich Gardner of the Volusia County Beach Patrol said.
The water is murky and bait fish swim in huge numbers at the jetty. Young sharks often mistake arms and legs for fish.
This weekend was deadly because of rip currents. On Monday morning, more than seven miles north from where he went under, the body of a Sanford man washed up on shore. Beach patrol pulled 100 people from the rough water this weekend, but they couldn't get to 19-year-old German Perez in time.
Sharkwater on DVD
(News for April 14, 2008)
Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater is a visually spectacular documentary filmed in HD. In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to battle shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat ramming, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives.
TAKE A STAND!
- Updated February 7, 2008 -
Shark Photographer Nathan Meadows reported this to SDM...
"My wife is standing up for sharks. We just found out that Walgreens sells shark cartilage so we switched our prescriptions to Wal-Mart which does not. Lindsay Meadows, talked to the pharmacist and he said he would talk to his manager about removing it from their shelves.....we'll see. Just thought I would let SDM know."
FROM THE EDITOR;
Do you have a Walgreens in your area? If you do, please take a stand for sharks, and ask them to remove shark catilage from their stores! if they refuse make sure to let their managers know that you will not shop there anymore...
January 30, 2008 - WE WIN ONE FOR THE SHARKS!
Thank You Terry Goss!
This is a letter written by Terry Goss to a Las Vegas Restaurant
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
Attn: Mr. William Weidner
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Dear Mr. Weidner:
I urge you to rethink your decision to serve shark fin soup at Jade in your Palazzo Hotel, and any other establishments you own.
I make this appeal because during the last few decades, the demand for shark fins to provide for the shark fin soup industry has increased at an alarming rate. Due to this highly unsustainable and uncontrolled fishery, many shark populations are being driven to extinction. Take a look at the facts:
-Nearly 100 million sharks are killed each year for their fins through shark finning;
-Global shark populations are estimated to have declined 90% during the last 50 years;
-110 species of sharks are currently listed by the IUCN as species under serious threat;
-Experts estimate that, within 10 years, most species of sharks will be lost;
-Shark fishing and finning is unsustainable because, as top predators, shark populations are very slow to grow and reproduce;
-The loss of sharks threatens the stability of the entire marine eco-system;
-Loss of sharks is also a direct threat to small-scale traditional fisheries and to food security in some low-income countries.
You may believe it's permissible for a few people to be making a few bucks on a purely cultural matter, that this is respectful to other cultures and just simple human economics; what if the cultural practice was eating people? Would you condone that as well, for profit? Sharks are a linchpin of the ocean's very survival, which ultimately means our own survival. The same can not be said of humans, and yet the slaughter of sharks continues.
I will be sending this message to everyone I know or ever meet, as well as utilizing my increasing efforts in award-winning shark photography. Shark finning MUST END NOW, and you must not facilitate this very real eco-apocalypse. I use this term without hyperbole. When the oceans are devoid of any sustainable life, all life on Earth will suffer and it has already begun. This is, at its core, a global-survivability issue, and all the money in the world is only so much paper at that point.
I hope that the Las Vegas Sands Corp. can live up to its claim of being an upstanding corporate citizen by refusing to serve shark fin soup at any of its establishments. By taking a stand, you can show the world that you are concerned about the fate of the environment - and the fate of all life on this planet. Be the active community partner you say you are. Do not serve shark fin soup, or any shark products.
THIS IS THE RESTAURANTS RESPONSE TO THE LETTER
Thank you for your email. I am delighted to inform you that the shark fin soup has been removed from the Jade menu.
Coordinator| Guest Relations
Texas Clipper Reefed
(November 20, 2007)
The Texas Clipper was reefed this afternoon at approximately 1200 hrs in 136 feet 17 miles dead east off of the South Padre Island jetties. The reefing took place in heavy seas and she now tops out at 62 feet of sea water.
Today, she sits in blue water just east of three gas rigs. Now there is "tons of steel" diving off of South Padre Island, Texas.
The tow photos and short clips of the tow can be viewed at ; www.TheTexasClipper.com. Today's reefing photos will be hosted at the same sight and on www.divesouthpadre.com
NEWS ORIGINALLY POSTED BY KICKADY SCUBA
Editor's note; Check back for chum sessions on the clipper in 3-4 months. Scalloped Hammerhead season in the Gulf!
PRESS RELEASE FOR OCTOBER 12, 2007
State of the Oceans Eco-Summit Scheduled During the DEMA Show
Environmental Organizations to Present Program Updates
New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The Ocean Realm Society (www.OceanRealmSociety.com) and Wakatobi Marine Preserve (www.Wakatobi.com) is hosting the first environmentally-oriented conference during the annual dive industry convention (DEMA) to showcase the work of a variety of non-profit, eco-oriented organizations. The DEMA Show takes place at the Orlando Convention Center from October 31 to November 3, 2007, with the summit being held in meeting room S320B and open to all individuals and organizations with an interest in ocean eco issues
Known as the ‘State of the Oceans Summit or S.O.S.,’ (www.StateOfTheOceans.com) the all day conference, set for Thursday, November 1, 2007, will provide a platform for organizations to present year-end reports (BLUE PAPERS) that will be published by the Ocean Realm Society’s PR division Ocean Realm Media (publisher of the Ocean Realm Journal).
This year, the State of the Oceans Summit is a one-day program featuring presentations on specific issues, ranging from shark ‘finning,’ art in artificial reef design, mantas and whale shark projects, and the introduction of new eco resort standards.
Speakers will provide 15 minute presentations highlighting the work of their organizations during the past year and introducing their agenda for 2008. At the present time, confirmed speakers include sponsor representatives from the Shark Research Institute, Shark Savers, Shark Protect, Shark Waters, the Ocean Realm Society, the Manta Network, Utila Whale Shark Research, Reef Builders International and the Neptune Memorial Reef Project.
The State of the Oceans Summit will conclude with and evening networking social, presentation of the Portelly Blu Revolution Award (www.BluRevolution.com) and entertainment from a ‘blu’ band with an environmental message. The band with the eco-blu’s - TIN HOUSE - former members of Johnny and Edgar Winters’ bands, are performing eco benefit concerts, through Ocean Realm Eco Entertainment, in support of ocean-related causes. TIN HOUSE will release their "Don't Destroy Our Future" CD during the DEMA Show.
The State of the Oceans Summit will be an annual @DEMA event, adding an online promotional element to the DEMA Show marketing mix. While not an ‘official’ DEMA event, the State of the Oceans Summit will be held in the Convention Center, adjacent to the exhibit area, providing DEMA Show attendees an opportunity to learn more about environmental organizations that are working to protect the environment that provides the industry with its livelihood.
The conference is sponsored by organizations that have contributed $200 plus each to cover the cost of the conference room and refreshments. “This is not a for-profit event,” according to organizer Richard Stewart, founder of the Ocean Realm Society. “It is a platform to gain attention for environmental issues facing the ocean and recreational industries and a vehicle for participating organizations to promote their respective agendas.”
A State of the Oceans “SOS Report” will be produced and offered online as a free PDF book.
The Ocean Realm Society has launched a fund-raising campaign using the ‘art of the ocean realm.’ The first artist to step forward in support of the summit was Ron Steven (www.Rogest.com) - a Canadian artist with a commitment to ocean-oriented causes. Steve will be in the Ocean Realm booth signing a limited edition prints with a “Respect and Protect Sharks” theme. Shawn Garner, an innovative environmental artist has donated a 2 foot by 2 foot, 3-dimensional acrylic wall sculpture which will be on display is his booth 1476 during the DEMA Show. Other artists will be added as the conference approaches.
A tentative program schedule follows:
• 9am-10am / Coffee Networking
• 10am-noon / Sponsor organizations "Blue Paper" briefs (15 minutes each).
• Noon -3pm / Break
• 3pm-4:00pm / Featured Presentations (Gary Levine/Kim Brandell Art in Artificial Reefs; Henrik Rosen Wakatobi Preserve and Eco Resort Standards: Shark Water the Making Of 20 minutes for each presentation)
• 4:00pm-5:00pm / Open Forum (subjects such as how to use the media, polls, petitions, etc)
• 5:00pm-6:30pm / DEMA Floor Closing Break
• 6:30pm-9:00pm / Networking Social Entertainment by the TIN HOUSE Band (introducing their song "Don't Destroy Our Future"), video and presentation of the Blu Revolution Award, named for the late Michael Portelly.
Sponsoring organizations include: Shark Research Institute, New Jersey; Shark Savers, New York; Shark Protect, New York; Ocean Realm Society, Florida; Utila Whale Shark Research and Deep Blue Resort, Utila, Honduras; Wakatobi Resort, Indonesia; Project Elasmo, Ecuador; The Manta Network, California; Shark Water Productions, Canada; AquaVideo, Florida; Neptune Society, Florida and Reef Builders International, Florida.
Promotion is being done via an online media sponsor network which includes X-Ray Magazine, Denmark; Ocean Realm Journal, Florida; Asian Geo Magazine, Singapore; AustralAsia Scuba Diver Magazine, Singapore, Yam, Israel and Shark Diver Magazine, Texas.
For more information visit www.StateOfTheOceans.com.
PRESS RELEASE FOR AUGUST 22, 2007
Reef Jewelry creates "The Mermaids Purse Ensemble", featuring diamonds by De Beers, for The Shark Trust's 10th Anniversary Auction
When The Shark Trust received a generous donation of 22 diamonds from the Diamond Authority, De Beers, to commemorate the charity's 10th Anniversary, they commissioned diving jewelry experts, Reef Jewelry to create something rather special.
"As divers, shark welfare is close to our heart”, stated Peter Barbarovich, Reef Jewelry's Designer, “so we were touched and honoured that The Shark Trust contacted us to discuss a unique commission of shark jewellery that will help raise funds for their valuable work. With the extinction clock minutes from midnight and ticking for many shark species, we wanted to design a heritage piece that would represent the fragile existence of our shark population. The resulting 18-carat yellow gold Mermaids Purse pendant seemed fitting for the occasion. Suspended from a bespoke handmade necklace, intricately set with the De Beer Diamonds, the Purse is bejewelled with Diamonds and Ruby's, which symbolise the precious life inside the egg case.. The set is completed by a pair of hand crafted 18-carat yellow gold Earrings, each set with a solitaire diamond and ruby. We will be showcasing this Ensemble along with our Duo Collection on Stand 1130 at DIVE 2007, on the 13th and 14th October in Birmingham..
Ten years after the launch of The Shark Trust, and the need to educate the World about these magnificent creatures is as pressing as it was a decade ago. I hope therefore that when 'The Mermaids Purse Ensemble' is auctioned off at The Shark Trust's Gala Ball on Saturday 17th November at the Crown Moran Hotel, Cricklewood, it will help raise significant funds. If you would like to be there tickets are still available for this from Glenys Heafield, on 01752 - 672 008."