Posts Tagged ‘sharks’
Scroll down and then keep on scrolling to see how many sharks are killed each hour. Very very sad!
“Colombian environmental authorities have reported a huge shark massacre in the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary in Colombia’s Pacific waters, where as many as 2,000 hammerhead, Galápagos and silky sharks may have been slaughtered for their fins.
Sandra Bessudo, the Colombian president’s top adviser on environmental issues, said a team of divers who were studying sharks in the region reported the mass killing in the waters surrounding the rock-island known as Malpelo, some 500 kilometres from the mainland.
“I received a report, which is really unbelievable, from one of the divers who came from Russia to observe the large concentrations of sharks in Malpelo. They saw a large number of fishing trawlers entering the zone illegally,” Bessudo said. The divers counted a total of 10 fishing boats, which all were flying the Costa Rican flag.
“When the divers dove, they started finding a large number of animals without their fins. They didn’t see any alive,” she said”
The Marshall Islands government has created the world’s largest shark sanctuary, covering nearly two million sq km (750,000 sq miles) of ocean.
The Pacific republic will ban trade in shark products and commercial shark fishing throughout its waters.
Tourism, including diving, is a staple of the Marshall Islands archipelago, which is home to just 68,000 people.
Sharks and their near relatives such as rays are seriously threatened by issues such as habitat loss and fishing.
About a third of ocean-going sharks are on the internationally-recognised Red List of Threatened Species.
“In passing this [shark protection] bill, there is no greater statement we can make about the importance of sharks to our culture, environment and economy,” said
ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2011) — Sharks are in big trouble on the Great Barrier Reef and worldwide, according to an Australian-based team who have developed a world-first way to measure rates of decline in shark populations.
“There is mounting evidence of widespread, substantial, and ongoing declines in the abundance of shark populations worldwide, coincident with marked rises in global shark catches in the last half-century,” say Mizue Hisano, Professor Sean Connolly and Dr William Robbins from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University.
“Overfishing of sharks is now recognized as a major global conservation concern, with increasing numbers of shark species added to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s list of threatened species,” they say in the latest issue of the international science journal PLos ONE.
“Evaluating population trends for sharks is complicated,” explains Professor Connolly. “The simplest approach of looking at trends in fisheries catches doesn’t work well for sharks. First, many countries with coral reefs don’t keep reliable records of catches or fishing effort.
Two bull sharks have become occasional visitors to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The two famous shark ray alleys in both Hol Chan and close to Caye Caulker have been populated by the very docile nurse sharks and stingrays for around two decades. Nurse sharks when treated with respect pose no danger to humans, although if you have food on you, they may still try to get it. Cornering them, touching them or provoking them is also not a good idea. You should be perfectly safe in the water with the nurse sharks, as long as you don’t feed or provoke them. Generally they are more scared of you, and are usually the only sharks you’ll see inside the reef.
Bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) are a completely different matter. Many guides seem to consider them an added occasional attraction to the otherwise safe Hol Chan, but please be aware that these sharks can be extremely dangerous. (more…)
Red Mangrove, along with many in the community of Caye Caulker, has been distressed to learn of the recent culling of many nurse sharks close to our marine reserve. Even more distressing is the news from the Fisheries Department that the fishermen responsible have broken no laws. Because these fishermen are from Belize (thought to be from Corozal district), and the shark meat is destined for Belizean and not foreign plates, they are within the law.
Not only are the docile nurse sharks a huge tourist attraction at shark ray alley, but are essential to the reef’s ecosystem. Unfortunately being fed at shark ray alley has made many of these animals semi-tame, and it must have been easy for the fisherman to catch them. These bottom feeders keep the balance by eating the crustaceans, which in turn eat turtle grass and algae. Without the nurse sharks, the crustaceans will grow out of hand, destroying the algae and turtle grass beds (also eaten by many other species including the endangered manatees), and upsetting this delicate natural balance. Not only were many animals killed but this murder was committed during mating season. We call for the law to be changed!
We have a petition in our office – ‘Save our sharks’ which we invite everyone in Caye Caulker to sign. If you aren’t in CC and wish to join the protest, please send us an email.