Monday, December 28, 2009

Ocean Wave Rave 500! Jan 16 th



Wave Rave 500



Event: "Global Ocean Wave Rave 500"

Ocean Conservation: Marine Life Protection,
Bringing An End to horrific Shark Finning

GLOBAL WAVE RAVE Rally
for Imaging Foundation - "Sea Save"


Date: January 16, 2010


Wave Rave 500

Signup Link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=229971249728&ref=mf

Description: You’re invited to participate in a Wave Rave 500 Celebration! Join thousands of groups around the world as we unite for a common purpose—to celebrate our oceans, enjoy friends, and show our support for an ocean conservation organization!


Imaging Foundation-Sea Save is one of the finalists in the “Chase Community Giving” Facebook contest. With enough of your votes, we will win $1 million to help protect our oceans!

We need your energy! Here’s one way you can help:

Host a “Wave Rave 500” event on Saturday, January 16th.

This event will be an opportunity to rally support and have fun while celebrating our oceans. People from around the world will volunteer to host a Wave Rave in their local community. By doing so, we will send a strong message that ocean conservation defies boundaries. In order to affect real change, we must garner support from people of all political, religious, and national affiliations. To see current hosts, please go to http://tinyurl.com/waverave


Why: The ocean’s health is in danger and in dire need of our attention. Studies are surfacing at an alarming rate, and they all concur: Our water planet is in trouble. Overfishing, acidification, immense swirling garbage patches, poaching and multiple other insults are turning our once brimming oceans into barren waters.

This event is an opportunity to have fun and show international support for our oceans. While there you will be able and to “vote” for an organization that is taking steps to reverse this tide. The Imaging Foundation-Sea Save has been named a finalist in the Chase Community Giving Facebook contest. With enough votes, they can win funding to support their ocean conservation initiatives. It’s time to celebrate and rally support!

When: January 16, 2010

Ocean conservation defies boundaries. People from around the world have volunteered to host a Wave Rave in their local community. In order to affect real change, we must garner support from people of all political, religious, and national affiliations. To see current hosts, please go to: http://tinyurl.com/waverave

Signup Link:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=229971249728&ref=mf




Website: ImagingFoundation.org



Just Say No! To Fi^&*ning Soup! ImagingFoundation.org/fins

Friday, December 11, 2009

SHARKS WERE REVERED BY THE PRE-INCAS


I am currently on vacation in Peru.

Today we visited the Huaca Pucllana ruins and museum. I found it very interesting that the pre-Incas dating back to 200 A.D. considered sharks a symbol of strength. The strength from the sea. Pottery showing a 2-headed shark was used for cooking and storing food and especially for religious ceremonies.

Although they fished these sharks for food, these great animals were revered. The religious world of the Limas culture was dominated by the sea and it was represented by waves and this 2-headed shark. Fishing for sharks was difficult since it was all done by hand. Actually catching a shark was great proof of your value to the community and that the gods were looking at you favorably. Any part of the shark not eaten (teeth, cartilage) was buried and offered to the gods to thank them for this gift.

Wouldn´t we all benefit from similar thinking regarding sharks?


The Truth Must Surface


Even as millions of sharks are being poached and finned, there is a group entrenched in the multi-billion dollar finning industry who are advocating shark killing and mutilation. A sensationalistic documentary, set to release in 2010, claims that conservationists are embellishing statistics for self-serving purposes. About shark conservation groups, onscreen finning advocates insist,“ Problems, drama, and crisis are their bread and butter.”

Recent reputable studies prove that between 80–90% of the large marine animals in the oceans have disappeared over the last 20 years. Graphic imagery of the merciless act of shark finning depicts fishermen ripping the fins from still-living animals and tossing the writhing creatures overboard. These are but a few of the reasons that ocean conservation community is calling for economically viable fishing alternatives for would-be poachers in third world countries.

We need to stop the wasteful killing. We need to stop the torture of finning. We need to drown out the ill-informed and self-interested voices.

If you feel as strongly about this as our group of volunteers please take a moment to vote in the Chase Giving Facebook contest. Friends, it is now or never, please join us as we turn the tide. There were problems with the site over the last few days and many Care2 people were unable to vote. Now the site is operational. If you are a Facebook user, please take a few minutes to support “Imaging Foundation”—a non-profit that has a strong history of shark protection and education.

Here's how to vote:

1. Log in to Facebook and follow this link: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/462810

2. Facebook will then ask you if you want to “Allow” this application on your homepage. Click “Allow.” Keep in mind, you can always remove this access immediately after voting.

3. You will then be prompted to the Imaging Foundation Community Giving page.

4. Click the “Become a Fan of this Page” button

5. Once you are a fan, click “VOTE FOR CHARITY”

Use the tools provided at the bottom of the voting page ("Tweet This," "Post to Wall," and "Invite a Friend") to spread the word!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Ocean is in Dire Need of Attention. The Clock is Ticking...



The ocean spans over 71 % of our planet and it plunges to depths of 36,201 feet. Over 3.5 billion people depend on the oceans for their primary food supply, but it is not a bottomless resource.

Ocean health is in danger, and in dire need of our attention. Studies are surfacing at an alarming rate, and they all concur: Our water planet is in trouble. Overfishing, acidification, immense swirling garbage patches, poaching and multiple other insults are turning our once brimming oceans into barren waters.

Modern technology can help us. We can leverage new information to dive deeper and learn more about oceans than we ever could before. This same sophistication has also optimized fishing technology, but at what cost? We now have floating factories that harvest fish with such precision that they leave nothing but refuse in their wake. If we harvest everything, where will we find the next generation of marine life?

Damage to our air, forests, and wildlife are visible, debatable. Over 90% of ocean damage is invisible. Because oceans remain largely unexplored only a handful of humans can stand witness to both the beauty and the tragedy that lies beneath the waves. We must recognize these limits to our valuable resource, or nothing will remain.

As we shift our attention to Copenhagen and to the issue of Global Warming, we should consider the 71% of the planet that lies unseen. The increased CO2 levels in our atmosphere are causing our oceans to become more acidic. If we allow this trend to continue, the oceans will soon become inhospitable to most life.

Plastic and excess packaging is also beginning to take its toll on the sea. “Biodegradable plastics” break down into smaller pieces, even to large molecules, but then the synthetic material floats in the ocean, unable to join the carbon cycle of life. This material is accumulating in the center of our oceans, known as gyres, most notably in the North Pacific. The plastic particles mimic estrogen and have begun to work their way up the food chain as small marine animals ingest them. Subsequently, larger fish that have fed on a diet high in these plastics are finding their way to market.

As our fishing methods have advanced and as global demand has increased, we have fished our oceans to the brink. Fisheries along the California Coast are closing. Cod in the North Atlantic are gone. Unfortunately, these are only two of the many worldwide scenarios. Orphaned longlines, uncontrolled poaching even in the few protected areas we have set aside, trawling that rips up the entire ocean floor for the harvest of a few shrimp—this is all irresponsible behavior. If we continue with our current practices, we may not be affected in our lifetime. Our children, however, will look back at this generation and blame us for mass extinction, global starvation, and upheaval.

Without healthy oceans, our entire planet will become sick. The ocean will continue to decline if we do not do something. We need to act now, or the oceans we know today will cease to exist tomorrow.

The Imaging Foundation - Sea Save is taking steps to reverse this tide. Yesterday, the Care2 Daily Action was created to help the Imaging Foundation reach its goal and you responded! Unfortunately, a Facebook technical glitch prevented many people from voting . It seems Facebook has fixed this glitch and we urge you to try once again.

You are just a few clicks away from doing your part! Voting takes a few minutes, and it’s a simple way to make a real impact.

With your help, the Imaging Foundation will win much-needed funds to support shark protection and other ocean conservation issues.

Here's a step-by-step guide for how to vote:

1. Log in to Facebook and follow this link: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/462810
2. Facebook will then ask you if you want to “Allow” this application on your homepage. Click “Allow.” Keep in mind, you can always remove this access immediately after voting.
3. You will then be prompted to the Imaging Foundation Community Giving page.
4. Click the “Become a Fan of this Page” button.
5. Once you are a fan, click "VOTE FOR CHARITY"

VOTING ENDS TOMORROW! WHY WAIT? VOTE TODAY!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Your Opportunity to Protect Sharks with a Few Clicks!

We have lost over 80% of the large fish in our oceans. Disappearance of these apex species is endangering all our ocean animals. We need to take action now, or our children might never experience the beauty of a dolphin or marine turtle, fisheries will collapse, and thousands of humans will starve. Our oceans are heading toward the tipping point from which they will not be able to recover.


Shark finning is one of the largest problems we face. This inhumane practice must be stopped. Sharks are hauled out of the ocean, and each fin is methodically sawed off the living animals. The sharks are then dumped back into the sea. The animals thrash as they sink to the ocean floor where they will lie, unable to swim, as they slowly die.


It is estimated that 10-100 million sharks are slaughtered each year for their fins. The shark-finning industry is valued at US$1.2 billion. How can we fight this? We can start with just a few clicks.

Chase Bank is giving away a total $5 million to non-profits across the nation. The recipients of this money will be decided based on which organizations have the most votes on Facebook. With your help, the Imaging Foundation will win much-needed funds to support shark protection and other ocean conservation issues.


Here's a step-by-step guide for how to vote:

1. Log in to Facebook and follow this link: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/462810


2. Facebook will then ask you if you want to “Allow” this application on your homepage. Click “Allow.” Keep in mind, you can always remove this access immediately after voting.


3. You will then be prompted to the Imaging Foundation Community Giving page.

4. Click the “Become a Fan of this Page” button


5. Once you are a fan, click “VOTE FOR CHARITY”


At this point, your profile picture will appear on the page, showing your commitment to ocean conservation! Use the tools provided at the bottom of the voting page ("Tweet This," "Post to Wall," and "Invite a Friend") to spread the word!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Poker Tournament Gives to Shark Conservation

The first "Shark Hunt" charity poker tournament was held in Costa Rica recently according to Pretoma. It was won by Veronica Dabul of Argentina. This tournament not only raised over $38,000 towards shark conservation but it raised awareness about the threats these awesome apex predators are encountering in all our oceans.



Although none of the players were previously involved in shark conservation, while playing, they learned about shark-finning and the global plight sharks face from illegal fishing and poaching. So it was a learning experience for all. The amount raised by the tourney, was then matched by Humberto Brenes (Costarican poker player) and by the Latin America Poker Tour.



Sort of a cool way to raise money for sharks, don't you think?



You can read the entire article at the Pretoma website, at this link:


http://www.pretoma.org/veronica-dabul-wins-shark-conservation-poker-tournament/

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Cove Makes the Short List for Oscar Consideration

Associated Press
Thursday, November 19, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- Of the 89 documentary films this year eligible for Oscar consideration, 15 have been selected for a short list of potential nominees, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday.

Some of the year's most popular documentary features were overlooked, including Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story." The R-rated film was praised by many critics and grossed more than $14 million at the box office.

Also omitted from Oscar consideration was the well-reviewed Mike Tyson documentary "Tyson," the rock-doc "It Might Get Loud," and the story of Vogue magazine and its editor in chief, "The September Issue."

The short list of films is determined by some members of the academy's documentary branch. The committee members watch all eligible contenders and vote for their favorites by secret ballot; the top vote-getters make the short list of potential nominees.

This year's short-listed selections are "The Beaches of Agnes," "Burma VJ," "The Cove," "Every Little Step," "Facing Ali," "Food, Inc.," "Garbage Dreams," "Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders," "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers," "Mugabe and the White African," "Sergio," "Soundtrack for a Revolution," "Under Our Skin," "Valentino the Last Emperor" and "Which Way Home."

Five documentary features from that list will be chosen as nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards. Nominations will be announced Feb. 2; the awards will be presented March 7.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Juvenile shark landings raise concern

From PRETOMA...Nov. 12, 2009

The Authority on Aquatic Resources of Panama (ARAP) expressed worry over the fishing of small-sized sharks - newborn and juvenile - in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.This practice seems to be spurred by the fact that, in some markets, the meat of those fish fetch higher prices than mature specimens....The ARAP informed that the most often targeted species are the hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, sharpnose, horn, latigo, tiger, thresher, blackspot, silky and galagensis, Pueblo en Linea reports.Rodriguez recalled that problems with the populations of scalloped hammerhead (Sphyman lewini) exist in Panama and in several central America countries. For this reason, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) plans on including the species on an alert listing.

Read the entire article here:


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Each second 3 sharks get killed by men!

Sharks can not longer compensate the losses which experience them in all their habitats. Many kinds of sharks are threatened, some apply already today as biological extinct! Particularly from China, where the need of luxury goods and status symbols strongly increased with the introduction of the free market, threatens now the final out for the sharks. If, according to newest studies, the Chinese economy and the associated prosperity should continue equally, in approx. 5 years about 250 million Chinese will be financially able to afford shark fin soup regularly. The fishery and the world-wide operating shark fin dealers get already prepared to supply them "on time". This time might be the definitive end for the sharks! Of course it's the right of everybody to eat whatever he wants. But it is also the right of our next generation to see and discover these animals where they belong to and not just knowing them from books or television.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Extinction Crisis Continues

03 November 2009

The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ shows that 17,291 species out of the 47,677 assessed species are threatened with extinction.

The results reveal 21 percent of all known mammals, 30 percent of all known amphibians, 12 percent of all known birds, and 28 percent of reptiles, 37 percent of freshwater fishes, 70 percent of plants, 35 percent of invertebrates assessed so far are under threat.

“The scientific evidence of a serious extinction crisis is mounting,” says Jane Smart, Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group. “January sees the launch of the International Year of Biodiversity. The latest analysis of the IUCN Red List shows the 2010 target to reduce biodiversity loss will not be met. It’s time for Governments to start getting serious about saving species and make sure it’s high on their agendas for next year, as we’re rapidly running out of time.”

Scientists also added 94 molluscs, bringing the total number assessed to 2,306, of which 1,036 are threatened. All seven freshwater snails from Lake Dianchi in Yunnan Province, China, are new to the IUCN Red List and all are threatened. These join 13 freshwater fishes from the same area, 12 of which are threatened. The main threats are pollution, introduced fish species and overharvesting.

There are now 3,120 freshwater fishes on the IUCN Red List, up 510 species from last year. Although there is still a long way to go before the status all the world’s freshwater fishes is known, 1,147 of those assessed so far are threatened with extinction. The Brown Mudfish (Neochanna apoda), found only in New Zealand, has been moved from Near Threatened to Vulnerable as it has disappeared from many areas in its range. Approximately 85-90 percent of New Zealand's wetlands have been lost or degraded through drainage schemes, irrigation and land development.


In addition, the latest Red List shows that many species of sharks are in the "vulnerable" or "near threatened" categories, including: Common Thresher, Oceanic Whitetip, Dusky, Great White, Basking, Silky, Galapagos, Tiger and Lemon sharks.

To read the entire article from the International Union for Conservation of Nature go to this link:
http://www.iucn.org/what/biodiversity/?4143/Extinction-crisis-continues-apace

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Shark Fin Soup – The Delicacy That is Killing our Oceans


73 million+ sharks are killed annually.


That’s the equivalent to over 220 million bowls of shark fin soup being served in restaurants all over the world. Granted, this may seem insignificant to many Americans because not many of us have ever had shark, let alone shark fin soup. But the reality is the senseless slaughter of millions of sharks is going on all over the world every day. The practice of shark finning has increased ten fold over the past 3 decades due to the increase in demand for shark fin soup.
The practice of shark finning involves taking living sharks and butchering them for their fins and then discarding the still living sharks. Since sharks rely on their fins to move they wind up sinking to the bottom of the sea where they die a slow and painful death.


Shark fin soup has been a popular delicacy in China since the Ming Dynasty around 1368. Being a delicacy it was typically reserved for the elite. If you were not elite, you may still have consumed it for a special occasion such as a wedding. However, now that China’s economy is growing exponentially, consumption has risen along with the rise of the middle class. Shark fin’s high price has made it a status symbol for many people to eat. These same high prices have made it particularly lucrative for entrepreneurial fishermen in Spain, Norway, France, Britain, Portugal and Italy to seek out sharks as their main catch. Fishermen from Spain alone contribute somewhere between 2000 and 5000 metric tons of shark fin a year, and most of these fins, approximately 50-80% of the world’s shark fins, will come through Hong Kong.


Due to shark finning, there has been a drastic decrease in the population of many species of sharks. Some species have been depleted by over 90% over the past 30 years. The white tip shark has had its population depleted by a staggering 99%. Most species have seen approximately a 70% population decline.
One of the most common ways to catch sharks is through a highly destructive practice called Long Lining. Long Lining involves setting out a line with up to 1500 hooks on it to catch as many sharks as possible (and any other marine animal as by-catch, including sea turtles). This is done over and over until the fishermen have reached their quota for fins. Some experts believe that because of long lining most species of sharks will be lost within the next decade. Since most species of sharks take 20 years to reach sexual maturity harvesting massive quantities depletes populations faster than they can reproduce.


What’s being done?
Right now there are few countries and laws that have actually banned shark fishing, and those that have restrictions on shark fishing and shark finning have not successfully enforced their rules. Organizations such as IUCN, a shark specialist group, have proposed a fin to body weight ratio for fishers. Some countries have finning legislation that stipulates fins must arrive in a 5% weight ratio of the carcasses on board, which is by no means a solution, as this does not stop the practice of shark finning, and instead, provides a loophole for savvy fishermen to continue this practice.
Although shark fining violates the UN food and agriculture organizations code of conduct it is hard to police because this process is done at sea in international waters. So the best approach to help combat shark finning is to educate the consumer.
The consumer must understand that sharks are vital to the health of our oceans, and without them, entire marine ecosystems may break down. And if this is not compelling enough of a reason to be against shark finning, the high levels of mercury in shark fins may cause sterility in men and birth defects in pregnant females.


And as one anti-shark finning campaign goes,
“When the buying stops, the killing can too”.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Remove Shark Nets

For over 70 years shark nets in NSW and QLD, Australia have been catching sharks, dolphins, whales, rays, turtles, dugongs and fish and as a result many die. This happens 24 hours a day while the nets are in operation – this is the largest fishing effort ever made on any species.

Read more about it at this link:
http://www.removesharknets.com/?page_id=2

We encourage you to sign the petition, below, to indicate your support for the removal of shark nets throughout KwaZulu-Natal. By signing this petition you are agreeing that the practice of shark culling through the use of shark nets is archaic and a new approach that eliminates wildlife casualties must be implemented.

http://www.removethenets.com/sign-the-petition

Friday, October 30, 2009

Protect America's Coastal Communities

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the nation's framework for managing federal ocean fisheries, was amended in 2006 to reverse decades of costly fishery declines. Back in 1996, Congress required that fishery managers set science-based catch limits to end overfishing by 2011 and rebuild depleted fish populations as soon as biologically possible. These conservation mandates were enacted to ensure the long-term economic benefits from sustainable fisheries and to safeguard the health of ocean ecosystems.


U.S. ocean fish populations are a public trust which must be managed for the benefit of all Americans. From an economic point of view, fisheries are a multi-billion dollar resource and a valuable food source for millions of Americans. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), recreational and commercial fishing provided $185 billion in sales to the U.S. economy and supported two million jobs in 2006. From an ecological standpoint, however, fish play an essential role in intricate food webs as predators and prey and help preserve the diversity of habitats already threatened by pollution and climate change.


Unfortunately, 40 federally managed fish populations are currently experiencing overfishing in the U.S. and 46 are depleted to very unhealthy levels. While some fishing interests object to efforts to address these problems because of short-term economic costs, the economic benefits of ending overfishing and rebuilding all U.S. fish populations to healthy levels are substantial, and the cost of further delay would be significant.


As the MSA's deadlines for establishing annual catch limits and rebuilding depleted fish populations approach, managers must make difficult decisions to achieve conservation objectives. Congress must reject legislative efforts to weaken the law and support effective implementation. Doing so will allow the nation to enjoy the benefits of healthy, sustainable fish populations today while preserving them for future generations.


Take Action and sign the petition at this link:
http://actionnetwork.org/campaign/coastal_communities?qp_source=fish_IFSS

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Take Action to Help Sharks!

Please help the Australian Marine conservation society to protect their World Heritage sharks:The fishery at the heart of our World Heritage Shark Campaign is the Queensland East Coast Inshore Finfish Fishery. During 2000-2004 shark fishing in Queensland increased four-fold. This fishery peaked at around 1400 tonnes (...about 175,000 sharks) per year, but has more recently caught around 900 tonnes of shark a year (about 112,000 sharks). The drop is thought to be caused by a decline in shark populations - however the management regime of this fishery is so poor that the cause cannot be confirmed. AMCS and our supporters are outraged that in an age where shark populations are collapsing around the globe, our own governments allow our World Heritage sharks to be killed, in part to service the international trade in shark fin.
Sign the petition here:
http://www.amcs.org.au/WhatWeDo.asp?active_page_id=382

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

End "Finning" -- Save the Sharks!

Target: U.S. Senate
Sponsored by: Ocean Conservancy

The wasteful practice of finning -- slicing off a shark's valuable fins for soup and tossing the body back to sea -- must be stopped. The situation is grim for a growing number of shark populations who are in peril from overfishing and unsustainable finning -- we must do better.

The U.S. passed a national finning ban in 2000, but the practice continues and is still legal in many other nations. The demand for the fins -- which can sell for up to hundreds of dollars per pound -- remains high for shark fin soup, a delicacy.

The Shark Conservation Act of 2009 closes loopholes in the U.S. finning ban and can revitalize shark conservation efforts on a global scale. It must be passed without further delay. Please join us in sending a powerful message to your senators to end finning and save the sharks!

Go to this link to sign the petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/177729296

Friday, October 23, 2009

Palau pioneers 'shark sanctuary'


By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website

Hammerheads are among hundreds of species found in Palau's waters

Palau is to create the world's first "shark sanctuary", banning all
commercial shark fishing in its waters.
The President of the tiny Pacific republic, Johnson Toribiong, announced the
sanctuary during Friday's session of the UN General Assembly.
With half of the world's oceanic sharks at risk of extinction,
conservationists regard the move as "game-changing".
It will protect about 600,000 sq km (230,000 sq miles) of ocean, an area
about the size of France.
President Toribiong also called for a global ban on shark-finning, the
practice of removing the fins at sea.

The need to protect the sharks outweighs the need to enjoy a bowl of soup
President Johnson Toribiong.

Fins are a lucrative commodity on the international market where they are
bought for use in shark fin soup.
As many as 100 million sharks are killed each year around the world.
"These creatures are being slaughtered and are perhaps at the brink of
extinction unless we take positive action to protect them," said President
Toribiong.
"Their physical beauty and strength, in my opinion, reflects the health of
the oceans; they stand out," he told BBC News from UN headquarters in New
York.
The president also called for an end to bottom-trawling, a fishing method
that can destroy valuable seafloor ecosystems such as coral reefs.
Local benefits
A number of developed nations have implemented catch limits and restrictions
on shark finning.
Some developing countries such as The Maldives have also taken measures to
protect the creatures; but Palau's initiative takes things to a new level,
according to conservationists close to the project.


Finned Shark

"Palau has recognised how important sharks are to healthy marine
environments," said Matt Rand, director of global shark conservation at the
Pew Environment Group.
"And they've decided to do what no other nation has done and declare their
entire Exclusive Economic Zone a shark sanctuary.
"They are leading the world in shark conservation."
Mr Rand said that about 130 threatened species of shark frequented waters
close to Palau and would be likely to gain from the initiative.
Although the country has only 20,000 inhabitants, its territory encompasses
200 scattered islands, which means that its territorial waters are much
bigger than many nations a thousand times more populous.
Economics is clearly an incentive for the Palau government, which derives
most of its income from tourism.
Sharks are themselves a big attraction for scuba-divers, and may also play a
role in keeping coral reef ecosystems healthy.

See entire article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8272508.stm




Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mission to break up Pacific island of rubbish twice the size of Texas

The London Times

Frank Pope, Ocean Correspondent

A high-seas mission departs from San Francisco next month to map and explore a sinister and shifting 21st-century continent: one twice the size of Texas and created from six million tonnes of discarded plastic.

Scientists and conservationists on the expedition will begin attempts to retrieve and recycle a monument to throwaway living in the middle of the North Pacific.

The toxic soup of refuse was discovered in 1997 when Charles Moore, an oceanographer, decided to travel through the centre of the North Pacific gyre (a vortex or circular ocean current). Navigators usually avoid oceanic gyres because persistent high-pressure systems — also known as the doldrums — lack the winds and currents to benefit sailors.

Mr Moore found bottle caps, plastic bags and polystyrene floating with tiny plastic chips. Worn down by sunlight and waves, discarded plastic disintegrates into smaller pieces. Suspended under the surface, these tiny fragments are invisible to ships and satellites trying to map the plastic continent, but in subsequent trawls Mr Moore discovered that the chips outnumbered plankton by six to one.



The damage caused by these tiny fragments is more insidious than strangulation, entrapment and choking by larger plastic refuse. The fragments act as sponges for heavy metals and pollutants until mistaken for food by small fish. The toxins then become more concentrated as they move up the food chain through larger fish, birds and marine mammals.

“You can buy certified organic farm produce, but no fishmonger on earth can sell you a certified organic wild-caught fish. This is our legacy,” said Mr Moore.

Because of their tiny size and the scale of the problem, he believes that nothing can be solved at sea. “Trying to clean up the Pacific gyre would bankrupt any country and kill wildlife in the nets as it went.”

In June the 151ft brigantine Kaisei (Japanese for Planet Ocean) will unfurl its sails in San Francisco to try to prove Mr Moore wrong. Project Kaisei’s flagship will be joined by a decommissioned fishing trawler armed with specialised nets.

“The trick is collecting the plastic while minimising the catch of sea life. We can’t catch the tiny pieces. But the net benefit of getting the rest out is very likely to be better than leaving it in,” says Doug Woodring, the leader of the project.

With a crew of 30, the expedition, supported by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Brita, the water company, will use unmanned aircraft and robotic surface explorers to map the extent and depth of the plastic continent while collecting 40 tonnes of the refuse for trial recycling.

“We have a few technologies that can turn thin plastics into diesel fuel. Other technologies are much more hardcore, to deal with the hard plastics,” says Mr Woodring, who hopes to run his vessels on the recycled fuel.

Plastics bags, food wrappers and containers are the second and third most common items in marine debris around the world, according to the Ocean Conservancy, which is based in Washington. The proportion of tiny fragments, known as mermaid’s tears, are less easily quantified.

The UN’s environmental programme estimates that 18,000 pieces of plastic have ended up in every square kilometre of the sea, totalling more than 100 million tonnes. The North Pacific gyre — officially called the northern subtropical convergence zone — is thought to contain the biggest concentration. Ideal conditions for shifting slicks of plastic also exist in the South Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the North and South Atlantic, but no research vessel has investigated those areas. If this exploratory mission is successful, a bigger fleet will depart in 2010.

Mr Woodring admits that Project Kaisei has limitations. “We won’t be able to clean up the entire ocean. The solution really lies on land. We have to treat plastics in a totally different way, and stop them ever reaching the ocean.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6206498.ece

Pacific Bin

London Times

May 2, 2009 Frank Pope

The giant, spiralling rubbish dump between Hawaii and Alaska is an indictment of human wastefulness but also a challenge to human ingenuity

Mr McGuire: I want to say one word to you.

Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr McGuire: Plastics.

In the 42 years since Dustin Hoffman, as Benjamin, received this careers advice in The Graduate, the plastics industry has expanded as only Mr McGuire can have imagined. It now produces the raw material for billions of tonnes of toys, bags, bottles, packaging, furniture and other consumer ephemera each year. But in those four decades none of this plastic has fully biodegraded, and at least six million tonnes of it now spins slowly on its own axis in a patch of the northeastern Pacific whose size is conservatively put at twice the size of Texas.

Next month a flotilla of research vessels, Project Kaisei, will set out from San Francisco to investigate potential ways of cleaning up this plastic and even converting it to fuel. Insofar as consumers are also responsible citizens, they are to blame for the oceanic blot through which these ships will sail. This expedition deserves their attention and support.

When the so-called plastic vortex was discovered in 1997 by Charles Moore, an oceanographer and yachtsman, a sense of unreality clung to reports of the huge expanse of man-made debris that he described. It took him a week to sail through. “As I gazed from the deck over the surface of what should have been pristine ocean I was confronted, as far as the eye could see, by the sight of plastic,” he wrote.

Like the Atlantis of legend, much of the plastic was semi-submerged and hard to photograph from satellites. Unlike Atlantis, it was unquestionably there. Though bypassed until then by most of the world's shipping because it lay in the Pacific's windless “horse latitudes”, it has since been extensively photographed by surface vessels, and its existence has been explained by a system of currents known as the North Pacific Gyre. The UN now estimates that the gyre's waters contain more than 20 times as much plastic as the global average. Rubbish-strewn high-water marks on the North Pacific's remotest islands are the supporting evidence. Marcus Eriksen, a Californian environmentalist who last year floated through the vortex on a raft made from plastic bottles, has said that he does not believe it can be cleaned up. He may be right. It is hard to envisage the international community mustering the necessary co-operation, in which case the best that can be hoped for is to stop the vortex growing.

This would require a complete ban on the dumping of plastic waste at sea, especially by the cities of the Pacific rim. It would take the near-universal adoption of laws such as the Plastic Bag Reduction Act proposed last week in the US House of Representatives. And it would require a step change in the scale of plastics recycling. Humans use an estimated 85 million plastic bottles every three minutes. All of them could be recycled. Most end up in landfill or the oceans.

If national jurisdictions could prevent more plastic being added to the vortex, it would still fall to the ocean to pummel what is already there into submission. That could take centuries. Waves and currents can pull the plastic into pieces small enough for lantern fish to ingest and pass up the oceanic food chain, but they cannot break it down completely.

It is this bleak outlook that has galvanised Project Kaisei to aim higher. It hopes to collect 40 tonnes of plastic rubbish with special nets designed not to catch fish, and convert most of it to diesel fuel. On an industrial scale, that might even appeal to Mr McGuire.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article6207231.ece

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Imaging Foundation Uploads Video Response to Craig Clasen's Tiger Shark Killing

Imaging Foundation has posted a video challenging Craig Clasen and his cronies. The senseless killing of a Tiger shark, under the guise that it was attacking them, is nonsense. The behavior of the animal, and the ability of the team to video the entire event speaks volumes. These freedivers were much more interested in getting footage of a Tiger Shark hunt, than they we in getting out of the water and away from this threatened apex predator.




Please post responses to http://Youtube.com/Imagingfoundation

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Deadly Nerve Toxins Affecting Deep Ocean Creatures





By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A nerve toxin produced by marine algae off California appears to affect creatures in the deep ocean, posing a greater threat that previously thought, U.S. researchers said on Sunday.

Surface blooms of the algae known as Pseudo-nitzschia can generate dangerously high levels of domoic acid, a neurotoxin blamed for bizarre bird attacks dramatized in Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film "The Birds."

"It's a natural neurotoxin. It is produced by a diatom, which is a phytoplankton. As other animals eat this phytoplankton, like sardines or anchovies, this toxin can be transferred up the food chain," said Emily Sekula-Wood, a doctoral student at the University of South Carolina whose study appears in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Domoic acid has been linked to deaths of sea lions, whales and other marine animals and people who eat large quantities of shellfish.

"If you consume enough of it, you can get brain damage. In humans it's called amnesic shellfish poisoning. You experience short-term memory loss," Sekula-Wood said.

Large toxic blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia have closed beaches and disrupted the shellfish industry in the western United States. They have been implicated in toxic blooms throughout the coastal waters of Europe and Asia and North America.


Monitoring programs test the surface blooms for the toxin.

Sekula-Wood and colleagues looked to see whether the toxin was reaching the ocean floor.

"We used a sediment trap. It is like a rain gauge that you put out in a water," she said.

The trap, set 500 meters (1,600 feet) and 800 meters (2,600 feet) below the surface of the ocean, filtered out toxins that sank after an algal bloom.

They found that large quantities of domoic acid were sinking to the ocean floor, invading the deep-sea food chain.

And the toxin appears to linger.

"Our data further confirm that domoic acid-laced sinking particulates are incorporated into underlying sediments, where they are available for consumption and incorporation into bottom feeders," the researchers wrote.

"It can make us think about the longevity of these toxins," Sekula-Wood said.



For More information: www.reuters.com

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fifteen Inch Whale Shark Rescued in Philippines


Whale sharks can grow to lengths of 60 feet. They are the largest fish in the ocean, yet we know little about their mating rituals and birthing process. These large fish are being slaughtered by the hundreds as they simultaneously sit on the CITES threatened species list.

We are trying to bring attention to these and to other shark species around the world. We need to call for a moratorium on Shark Fin Soup and other needless shark products.

This week an astute tourism operator pulled together a government team in the Philippines. He had found a small whale shark… approximately 15 inches in length being sold off the coast of Luzon. Luckily the fisherman intended to sell the fish while alive. All that was visible from the shore was a stick stuck in the sand and an attached string that was tied around the fish’s tail.

If we are killing 15 inch whale sharks, we are in deep trouble. We do not know about their natural history, yet we are killing off the newborns. Let’s spread awareness before it is too late.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Man KIlls Tiger Shark with Spear Gun


Please check this out and leave your comments if you wish.

http://coatesman.blogspot.com/2009/03/tiger-shark-shot-by-spearfisherman.html#comment-form

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shark Conservation Act - Text of the Act - Currently in Senate

111th CONGRESS
1st Session

H. R. 81

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 3, 2009

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


AN ACT

To amend the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to improve the conservation of sharks.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Shark Conservation Act of 2009'.

SEC. 2. AMENDMENT OF HIGH SEAS DRIFTNET FISHING MORATORIUM PROTECTION ACT.

    Section 610(a) of the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 1826k(a)) is amended--
      (1) by striking so much as precedes paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
    `(a) Identification- The Secretary shall identify, and list in the report under section 607--
      `(1) a nation if--';
      (2) in paragraph (1) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) and (B) as clauses (i) and (ii), respectively;
      (3) by redesignating paragraphs (1) through (3) as subparagraphs (A) through (C), respectively;
      (4) by moving subparagraphs (A) through (C) (as so redesignated) 2 ems to the right;
      (5) in subparagraph (C) (as so redesignated) by striking the period at the end and inserting `; and'; and
      (6) by adding at the end the following:
      `(2) a nation if--
        `(A) fishing vessels of that nation are engaged, or have been engaged during the preceding calendar year, in fishing activities or practices that target or incidentally catch sharks; and
        `(B) the nation has not adopted a regulatory program to provide for the conservation of sharks, including measures to prohibit removal of any of the fins of a shark (including the tail) and discarding the carcass of the shark at sea, that is comparable to that of the United States, taking into account different conditions.'.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENT OF MAGNUSON-STEVENS FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT ACT.

    Section 307(1) of Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1857(1)) is amended--
      (1) by amending subparagraph (P) to read as follows:
        `(P)(i) to remove any of the fins of a shark (including the tail) at sea;
          `(ii) to have custody, control, or possession of any such fin aboard a fishing vessel unless it is naturally attached to the corresponding carcass;
          `(iii) to transfer any such fin from one vessel to another vessel at sea, or to receive any such fin in such transfer, without the fin naturally attached to the corresponding carcass; or
          `(iv) to land any such fin that is not naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, or to land any shark carcass without such fins naturally attached;'; and
      (2) by striking the matter following subparagraph (R) and inserting the following:
    `For purposes of subparagraph (P), there shall be a rebuttable presumption that if any shark fin (including the tail) is found aboard a vessel, other than a fishing vessel, without being naturally attached to the corresponding carcass, such fin was transferred in violation of subparagraph (P)(iii) and that if, after landing, the total weight of shark fins (including the tail) landed from any vessel exceeds five percent of the total weight of shark carcasses landed, such fins were taken, held, or landed in violation of subparagraph (P).'.

Passed the House of Representatives March 2, 2009.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Blue Vision Reflections

The summit has been a wonderful opportunity to meet and network with conservation leaders, scientists, artists and other dedicated people who care about our oceans. Discussions at the summit ranged from government protection plans to the role of art in ocean advocacy.

Many plans, ideas, statistics and researched material was shared via powerpoint presentations and there was a prevailing sense of urgency. Most every scientist in the room agreed that our oceans, and therefore our entire earth, is on a disaster collision course. We are engaged in a race to decrease our carbon footprint before..... well we do not know exactly. But before bad things happen. Unfortunately, most of the studies discussed do not account for current population trends. So, even IF we are correct in our calcualations, and IF we are able to convince the general population that they must alter current habits and IF we are able to overcome all the challenges and meet our projected goals, we STILL will only been meeting the goals established for today's population numbers.

When I asked at the opening discussion, how we as a community might take this essential factor into account. There was a loud hum in the roam. There were a few smiles and knowing nods of agreement. Then the panel acknowledged that this indees was an important factor BUT it was very difficult to overcome. "Look what happened in China!" Was an insightful comment intended to quite the room. Then the hum diminished, and the room returned to normal and the presentations continued as they had before. Goals and projections based upon static population numbers are not realistic. Therefore the foundation of all these well laid plans is not sound. What can we do about the soaring population around the world? I do not know, but I do know that we must begin to discuss and battle this challenge if we are serious about solving virtually all conservation issues listed on our docket.

Costa Rica leads call at United Nations for Shark Protection

Imaging Foundation continues its efforts to educate people around the world about the Shark Finning Problem. PRETOMA and The Shark Coalition continues to work toward the same goal.

(San Jose, Costa Rica - March 9, 2009) – Members of the Shark Coalition, represented by experts of the Humane Society International (HSI), participated in a meeting of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Committee on Fisheries (COFI) last week (March 2-6) in Rome, Italy, where Costa Rica led the call for a global “fins-attached” shark conservation strategy. Joined by 10 other Latin American countries, Costa Rica formally requested a U.N. workshop to address the barbaric and wasteful practice of shark finning.

Each year, around the world, tens of millions of sharks are hauled up on deck, where their fins and tails are sliced off and the (often still-living) sharks are then thrown back overboard to die a lingering and painful death. The reason for this shameful waste is the demand for shark fin soup. The effect has been the devastation of shark populations worldwide. Some shark populations have declined by more than 90 percent in the past 20 years. Some may never recover.

“Costa Rica has got it right”, says Patricia Forkan, president of Humane Society International, which has worked extensively on the issue of shark finning. “The Costa Rican proposal promotes the idea that sharks should be landed with fins partially or wholly attached to the carcasses, a practice that is required by law in Costa Rica and is the most simple and sure way to prevent shark finning.”
The FAO was the first multilateral body to address the problem of shark finning. However, the agreement that suggests a prohibition on finning is voluntary and open to interpretation, with the result that the FAO has achieved little in the way of shark protection to date. Sharks are in serious trouble. Strong finning bans combined with limits or bans on shark fishing must be implemented fully around the world to curb the rapid decline of shark populations.

“Due to the highly migratory nature of sharks, the regulation must be regional and global to be effective”, informed Randall Arauz, Coordinator of the Shark Coalition and President of the Costa Rican organization PRETOMA. “A U.N. workshop addressing the issue could help promote this policy in the European Union and in Regional Fisheries Management Organizations where shark finning is an issue”, said Arauz with optimism.
Facts:

• Recent studies in the Northwest Atlantic have shown steep declines in shark populations, particularly among highly migratory species. Since 1986, hammerheads have declined by 89 percent, thresher sharks by 80 percent, white sharks by 79 percent and tiger sharks by 65 percent. All recorded shark species in the region, with one exception, have declined by more than 50 percent in the past eight to 15 years. It is highly likely that similar results will be seen across the world's oceans.

• In the Costa Rican Exclusive Economic Zone, shark relative abundance declined 60% from 1991 to 2001.

• Reported global trade in shark fins increased from 3,011 metric tons in 1980 to 11,732 metric tons in 2000. Much of the trade is unreported because many fins do not pass through normal landing channels and because most of the fin trade is conducted in cash to avoid tax and duties.

• Research in Hong Kong found that dried fins sold for as much as $744 per kilogram in 2002. In 2003 dried shark fins in China retailed for $200 – 300 (per kilogram).

• Shark fin soup can cost up to $150 per serving in Hong Kong, but there are worrying signs of a new market opening up for lower-quality fins, allowing millions more people to buy products such as shark fin sushi, shark fin cookies, shark fin cat food and canned shark fin soup.

• Shark fin consists of collagen fiber and has no taste. Flavor is added to the soup by the addition of chicken or fish stock.

• Unlike other fish, sharks take many years to mature, they have long gestation periods and they give birth to live young – or they lay eggs – in very small numbers. In some cases of severe overfishing, recovery of the stock, if possible at all, will take decades.

Blue Vission Summit - Evening Celebration

Conservation Leaders celebrate renewed energy and the launch of many new ideas Sunday night at the Smithsonian New Ocean Hall.

Imaging Foundation- Sea Save is proud to announce the addition of three new advisors. Wyland, Sylvia Earle and Bob Talbot will be working with our team during our upcoming PSA contest as well as other upcoming projects.

Imaging Foundation is also delighted to announce a partnership with the SCUBABoard online community. Peter Netdoc Murray is heroically developing mechanisms that will enable consistent uploads from the IF Sea Save "It's Your Ocean, Do Something About it!" blog and will provide SCUBABoard members access to all our ocean conservation efforts. For addition information about these advisors and service, please see below.

-----------------

Sylvia Earle Ph.D. is an oceanographer. She was chief scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 1990-1992. She is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Earle was named Time magazine's first "hero for the planet" in 1998. She is a Knight in the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark. She won the TED Prize in 2009. She was instrumental in adding a new feature of displaying oceans in version 5.0 of Google Earth.

Sylvia is an Inductee in the Women Divers’ Hall of Fame Earle received a B.S. degree from Florida State University (1955), M.S. (1956) and PhD. from Duke University (1966). Radcliffe Institute Scholar (1967-1969) and Research Fellow or Associate at Harvard University (1967-1981). She led the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970. In 1979, she made an open-ocean JIM suit dive, setting a women's depth record of 1250 feet (381m); she also holds the women's record for a solo dive in a deep submersible(3280 feet, 1000m). In 1990 Sylvia accepted an appointment as the Chief Scientist for NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration). In 1992 she founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research to further advance marine engineering. Today, Earle serves as Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society

She is the author of more than 125 publications concerning marine science and technology including the books Exploring the Deep Frontier, Sea Change (1995), Wild Ocean: America's Parks Under the Sea (1999) and The Atlas of the Ocean (2001), she has participated in numerous television productions and given scientific, technical, and general interest lectures in more than 60 countries. Children's books that she has written include Coral Reefs, Hello Fish, Sea Critters, and Dive!

Wyland is an artist best known for painting large, outdoor murals of whales and other ocean life. Since 2003, the Wyland Foundation has embarked on a five-year touring schedule to promote art, science, and conservation. The program has reached children along the East Coast, West Coast, and the Mississippi River regions. To date, the Wyland Foundation has conducted tour events in more than 35 states, Mexico, and Canada, reaching more than 50 million people. In 2007, the artist, along with science educators and volunteers, conducted a national tour for clean water, themed, "From Pike's Peak to the Chesapeake Bay — Every Drop Counts," to raise awareness through art and science about protecting watersheds nationwide.



Bob Talbot's stunning photographs of marine life and his deep commitment to its conservation have earned him international renown. Film Credits include "Free Willy", "Orcas in Crisis" and "Ocean Men, Extreme Water"His fascination with creatures of the sea began when he took up snorkeling on the coast of southern California at the age of eight; by thirteen he was a certified diver. While studying photography during his teens, Talbot's many expeditions included trips to the Pacific Northwest to photograph orcas and to Hawaii to photograph humpback whales. He realized that through his photographs he could educate people about the urgent need to conserve animal life, and since 1979 his work has been published in magazines such as Audubon, Go, Omni and Natural History, as well as in numerous books and multimedia productions.
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SCUBABoard.com is an online community that services SCUBA divers around the world by providing information and a virtual community to SCUBA enthusiasts. SCUBABoard is the largest online SCUBA community in the world.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Blue Vision Summit Update

Contributors to the first forum included:

Terry Tamminen
is a compact, effective speaker. He is blunt and entertaining, Arnold Schwarzenegger brought Tamminen on as his environmental adviser in 2003, elevated him to secretary of the state EPA, and then appointed him a senior cabinet adviser in 2004. Unfortunately, it seems that Tamminen is more keen on entertaining his audiance than addressing the issues at hand.

Michael D. Lemonick
- A senior science writer at Time magazine in New York. Was also executive editor at Discover magazine a senior editor at Science Digest magazine. Michael is a pro at taking scientific information and making it interesting for a general readership.

The range of topics included Global Warming and how it has been represented by the media. Lessons we have learned and successes environmentalists have enjoyed.

Blue Frontier “Peter Benchley” Awards Followed.

Introduction – Wendy Benchley & David Helvarg

Categories:

Science - Jeremy Jackson & Nancy Knowlton, Scripps – Presenter Enric Sala National Geographic

Media – Mark Shelley, Sea Studios – Presenter Philippe Cousteau, Earth Echo

Youth Award – Zander Srodes, sea turtle champ – Presenter Wallace “J.” Nichols, Ocean Revolution

Hero of the Seas – Richard Charter, OCS Coalition – Presenter, Warner Chabot, CA. LCV

Policy – Rep. Sam Farr (D. CA) – Presenter David Wilmot

Blue Vision Summit - Optimism Mixes with Reality. Scientists and Environmental Leaders Gather in Washington DC.

A fantastic gathering of environmentalists, scientists and others focused on the world's ocean ecosystems is currently in progress in Washington DC. Many small organizations are using this opportunity to network, synergize and advance their efforts to educate and call their members to advocacy. Will keep everyone posted about this essential meeting

The three key themes of the Summit will be:

* Solutions that are working at the local, state and regional level and how to expand them

* Climate and Oceans. How the Marine Community can develop a common voice and plan of action to address fossil fuel fired climate change impacts on the ocean and coastal ... Read Moreenvironment.

* Federal Legislation. The state of the Ocean Act and how to build an effective national constituency for ocean governance reform.

This Summit will demonstrate to the new Obama administration and Congress that there is a strong and diverse constituency ready to work for ocean and coastal protection and restoration. It will also be an opportunity to build a nationwide network of ocean activists ready to act at the local level to assure passage of effective ocean legislation and encourage good administrative and agency policies they support.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

COSTA RICAN TUNA FARMS - Pose Threat to Sea Turtles

Randall Arauz - Pretoma

(March 2, 2009 San José, Costa Rica) – On February 16 the National Technical Environmental Secretary (SETENA) rejected an appeal for annulment presented by Pretoma on November 11, 2008, deciding instead to move forward in the approval process of the Tuna Farm Project in Golfito, according to resolution N° 3170-2008-SETENA, November 5, 2008. SETENA’s decision to approve the project comes without completing the Constitutional Court’s order to clear up inconsistencies found within the Environmental Impact Study (EIA) undertaken by the project’s Developer Granjas Atuneras Golfito S.A. and now places the decision to ratify the project with Mr. Roberto Dobles, the Environmental, Energy, and Telecomunications Minister (MINAET).

In July, 2006 Pretoma and the Punta Banco Association of Neighbors filed suit against the project, sighting the serious environmental impacts it might cause. What is still unknown is whether or not the large amounts of metabolic waste, produced by the tuna and dispersed by the currents, will be swept into the Golfo Dulce. These uncertainties, along with questions about the possible effects the project will have on sea turtles that nest along beaches close to the proposed project’s site, represent some of the study’s weaknesses of which the Constitutional Court has asked for clarification in the form of technical studies.

“It’s incoherent how SETENA chooses not to address the Constitutional Court’s doubts, while at the same time recognizing the project’s viability without even researching certain technical criteria that might show how the tuna cages will impact the Golfo Dulce”, mentioned Miguel Gómez, Pretoma’s political campaigns coordinator.

“We hope that the Minister is consistent with other court decisions in this case and asks SETENA to comply with the Constitutional Court’s mandate”, said Andy Bystrom, Pretoma’s communications coordinator.

The project proposes to install 10 tuna cages at the mouth of the Golfo Dulce. It was suspended by court order on May 9, 2007 due to a series of inconsistencies referring to contamination threats to the surrounding ecosystem and its impact on sea turtles.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Extraordinary New Species "Psychedelica"


The Seattle Times reports the discovery of a new species of anglerfish that has been given the name "Psychedelica". It seems to be the same fish that was discovered 17 years ago, but was mis-classed as another because its colors faded so drastically before the biologists studied it. Now that there is video footage and live testimonial, it is apparent that the fish moves in an utterly new fashion. Scientists are in a tizzy having found a new species.
Full coverage available through the Seattle Times - including video footage.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008796010_weirdfish28m.html

Saturday, February 21, 2009

OUTRAGEOUS

The police greet photo-journalists docking from the anti-whaling ship the Steve Irwin, docking in Australia last night. They confiscate the photos and video which show the brutal slaughter of a whale. Read about it in Austrailian news:

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25086051-5006788,00.html

Monday, February 16, 2009

Feb 2009 Shark Finning Trial -AUSTRALIA

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/InNews/disgusted2009.html



Release from: ABC News (Australia)
The Fisheries Minister Norman Moore has revealed charges have been laid over a shark slaughter on the north-west coast.

Photos recently released to the media showed the mutilated remains of sharks scattered across 80 Mile Beach, they had been killed for their fins and dumped.

The photos were sent to the Department of Fisheries 10 months ago but the then Minister Jon Ford decided not to release them, fearing a backlash against the local fishing industry.

However the new Fisheries Minister Norman Moore has told the ABC a number of charges have been laid

"There is a listing for Broome Court sometime in February when this matter will come to trial," he said.

"I thought it was dreadful that someone could catch that number of sharks and simply dispose of them dump them on the beach.

"What offended me most was the wanton waste, of these fish, that they'd been left on the beach and not even buried."

Two WA fishermen operating in the area at the time of the offence have already had their licences revoked by the Department.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shark Slaughter in Mirbat Harbor, Oman
Uncovered




by Jessica Simms

These photos were taken last year. The photos were submitted to the Ministry of Environment in Oman and this action helped curtail mass slaughter such as this. Unfortunately, it is still happening, albeit perhaps on a smaller scale.




Again, please do all that you can to spread awareness that sharks are being caught in an unsustainable manner, like just about all of the other species in the ocean. They take a long time to reproduce and livelong lives, if they don't wind up on the end of a longline or in a net. Most species are being pushed to the brink of extinction. All shark species have declined 60-90% in the last 60 years.


Don't eat shark fin soup. Don't buy shark products and please speak out against shark finning and brutal practies such as this one. Ignorance and fear play a large part in the practice of shark finning and slaughter, as well as money. Lots and lots of money is paid for shark fins.




Friday, February 13, 2009

Take a Stand

S. O. S - Save Our Sea

By Dan Laffoley and Sylvia Earle Published: February 10, 2009

International Herald Tribune


Could the oceans become the place where humanity finally gets its act together? Or will we become the victim of the many environmental threats now coming together?
Already over-fished and used as a garbage dump, the oceans now face all the risks posed by climate change - rising water levels, coral bleaching, ocean acidification, to name a few. If the oceans were a human patient, we'd be saying that it is suffering from a severe burn-out.
As a species, we have a seemingly endless quest for knowledge, which builds generation upon generation. Yet we appear at times to be incapable of acting on that information.
Despite hundreds of years of map-making and more recent advances - increasingly good acoustic mapping at affordable prices, for example - which have improved our knowledge of the oceans, today the ocean area mapped by humans still stands at only about 5 percent of the total.

If we act only where we have ample data, our actions will always be too little too late when viewed against the vastness of the ocean realm and the dire consequences of human abuse. Countless species and habitats will be lost before they are even discovered and described.


Part of the challenge is to connect the population at large to the fate of the seas. The oceans and marine conservation must become much more visible on the digital media of our age - the ubiquitous laptops, Blackberries and cell phones - much as Jacques-Yves Cousteau awakened earlier generations to the sea's marvels on film and television.

That is why we believe that the recent announcement of Ocean in Google Earth, which extends Google Earth by allowing users to navigate through the Ocean beneath the surface of the sea - a program for which we were both advisers - is an important step.
This new tool can open up the wonders of our marine world, and it can also show the impact we are having on it. With Ocean, every Internet surfer now has the capability to be an armchair ocean explorer.

Knowledge can have an impact. In 2004, an expedition of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to the Marianas region in the Pacific Ocean used a robotic system to bring pictures of amazing undersea volcanoes and smoking chimneys rising from the inky depths.

One beneficial consequence was that the data from that study contributed information that resulted in the declaration of new marine national monuments by the outgoing President George W. Bush, pushing the scale of maritime protection up a notch.

The declaration encapsulates the approach developing in several areas around the globe. "Going large," either with large individual marine protected areas or large networks of smaller ones, is the most efficient way to secure the wildlife and a renewed stream of benefits for people, be it tourism or sustaining local communities and industries. While we have more than 4,500 individual marine protected areas across our oceans, it is striking that 10 of these comprise three quarters of the area under protection.

The U.S. declaration on marine national monuments is a significant step in the right direction. But it is still striking that after so many decades of effort to protect the seas, the areas under protection amount only to 0.80 percent of the total ocean area.

Three years ago, almost 200 countries made a commitment to increase the protected area of the oceans by 700 percent by 2012. That would cover 10 percent of all ocean areas that fall under national jurisdictions.

The total global marine protected area has increased since 2005 from 2.2 to 2.9 million square kilometers - a huge achievement, representing a 30 percent increase, but simply not enough. Another 28 countries need to do what the United States did over the next three years if we are to meet our modest target.

In short, the network of marine protected areas - both large and small - needs to grow, and it needs to grow fast. Protecting our ocean world for the future requires a rapid evolution in thinking and action.

As we consider how to increase the protection of our oceans, we need to move beyond individual habitats and species to large-scale protection of ecosystems and marine "landscapes."

We need to increase interest in large-scale marine mapping, and to start making the best use of new technologies to help us decide where and what to protect, especially on the High Seas.

We also need expeditions to study and document new habitats and species. We need to make oceans and what we know about them much more "visible" to the public. More and better information about our oceans can only help us make better decisions about their future.

However disconnected you may feel from the oceans, remember this - that every breath you take, every sip of water you drink and even the very balance of salt in your blood ties you and every one of us to the fate of our oceans and seas.

Dan Laffoley is marine vice-chairman of IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas, marine adviser for the Chief Scientist's Team at Natural England, and one of the advisers for Ocean in Google Earth. Sylvia Earle is explorer-in-residence at the National Geographical Society, founder of the Deep Search Foundation and lead adviser for Ocean in Google Earth.

To view the original online article please refer to:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/10/opinion/edlaffoley.php?page=2

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hammerhead Shark Atrocities
Smaller and Smaller - Uncovered
by Min Poh

Smaller and Smaller sharks are harvested for fin soup as we deplete our ocean resources.  This image was shot in 2007 in Sandakan Market, a small town located on the Malaysian portion of Borneo.  It shows a newborn Hammerhead Shark (see size in proportion to hand).

Hammerhead Shark Profile:  Hammerheads mostly feed on stingrays along the ocean floor.
Fast Facts:  Hammerheads live 20-30 years in the wild;  Grow to 13'-20' in length;  Have a gestation period of 10-12 months.  Because the pups are born in coastal waters they are vulnerable to human fishing and other predators.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Vote Cocos onto the 7 Modern Wonders of the World List. This Status will Bring International Focus to Cocos and Help Protect Her.

Vote Cocos onto the 7 Modern Wonders of the World List. This Status will Bring International Focus to Cocos and Help Protect Her.

Cocos Island, a Costa Rican National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is close to being included in the list of 7 Modern Wonders of the World. Winning this honor will bring world attention to Cocos, and therefore additional protection for her marine resources.

The second stage of voting will end July 7th. The N7W Panel of Experts, led by Doctor Federico Mayor, former Director-General of UNESCO, will
announce the 21 Official Semi-Finalists on July 21, 2009.

If you voted in phase one, please vote again now!

Http://www.new7wonders.com/nature/en/nominees/northandcentralamerica/c/CocosIslandIsland/

Make a difference with a few clicks of your mouse.

Do not forget to invite your friends.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ocean Destruction is Market Driven

Imaging Foundation Exclusive by Min Poh

Reported from Indonesia- We see many examples of ocean products around the world. Some are sustainable and others are not. Everything from shell adornment sold en-mass to fins, harvested for soup are sold internationally.

Thes images were taken at the local market in Kota Belud. Coral heads recently harvested from the local reef are on sale.

Sharks were also documented after they had been finned. I will continue to keep the Imaging Foundation posted


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bob Timmons and other activists take to the cold Toronto Streets to protest Shark Finning

Bob Timmons and other activists braved the cold Toronto Streets to protest Shark Finning and Poaching. A police escort lead the group through the heart of Chinatown. Imaging Foundation, Director, Georgienne Bradley conducted a telephone interview with Timmons while he was on site. This is the year of the shark and this may be just the first of many other protests and rallies of this type.

It's Your Ocean. DO Something About it!



Shark Poaching and Shark Protection Rally and March

Imaging Foundation Director, Georgienne Bradley interviews Bob Timmons. During a march, calling for the end of shark poaching and the wasteful practice of shark fin soup production, a great turnout braved the bitter cold in an effort to shed light on a growing problem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qISU8y3zBnY

IF Correspondent Min Poh Exclusive from Malaysia Fish Market

Poaching Victims are Getting
Smaller and Smaller - Uncovered
by Min Poh
These pictures were taken at the Sandakan Market in Sabah, Malaysia yesterday morning January 15th.

These sharks were probably bycatch by trawlers.

The first picture shows baby white tip sharks (my guess, harvested for their fins since they had been cut off!).

These were very small, juvenile sharks.


The second picture is a bamboo shark... couldn't see any wounds on it, so it may have drowned in a net.


The third picture shows several baby bamboo sharks that had just arrived at the market from a trawler.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Loblaws and Great Canadian Superstores sells Shark Fin Soup

Originally posted by Felix Leander:

"The Great Canadian Superstores (owned by Loblaws) are now selling canned shark fin soup in time for the Chinese New Year. After Sharkwater’s release in Canada, Galen Weston, the CEO of Loblaws, brought me out to dinner with his wife Alexandra, and expressed his great interest in supporting the cause…..

Selling shark fins en masse; supporting the destruction of sharks, the oceans and the ecosystems we depend on for survival is how Loblaws supports the cause. Its outrageous that its happening in our own backyard… after we already know shark populations have dropped more than 90%.
Help us fight this, and show Loblaws and Galen Weston that this was a bad decision… and lets get shark fin removed from Canadian Superstores. There’s still time to turn this around.

The link to the original blog entry is:
http://fleander.blogspot.com/2009/01/loblaws-and-great-canadian-superstores.html

From Imaging Foundation: Many of you are helping the Imaging Foundation as we wage the battle against shark finning. Posts show us the Rob Stewart played a key role in turning around the problem stated above. Loblaw authorities have promised to remove the shark fin soup from their shelves. Please post and let us know if there are any other large chains selling Shark Fin Soup!

This proves that together we can make a difference!