Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Slaughter-Threshers Decline In The Philippines

One of the most elusive sharks (for shark divers) is rapidly declining in the Philippines-according to recent reports.

The whole story is sadly familiar, poor fishermen who have run out of traditional fish stocks now targeting this rare and beautiful animal for it's fins.

Surprisingly a recent illegal fishing bust at the Socorros, Mexico revealed a healthy population of Threshers at this site as well...caught in the nets.

BATANGAS CITY – The Philippines may soon lose its thresher sharks – listed as “vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature – if their slaughter for meat and fins continues unchecked.

“The extent of the fishery situation with regard to the thresher sharks in the Batangas Bay area is absolutely – in my honest, scientific opinion – not sustainable,” Dr. Simon Oliver, shark specialist and chair of the Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Group based in the United Kingdom, said.

Antarctica Scary Critterfest

Antarctica-we brought you the video of what life is like on the surface a few weeks back. Chilling stuff.

Now researchers have begun sending small probes beneath the ice in search of life. Part science fiction, part exploration, what this team has discovered has trumped any theories put forth over the past 10 years.

It was once thought that the floor of Antarctica would be a vast wasteland, the opposite is true.

With new critters being identified faster than the US Gov wastes money in Iraq (that's a lot by the way) the future of scientific study beneath the ice is bright indeed.
This predatory fish, called a stareater, uses its luminous red chin appendage to lure prey into striking distance.

The fish in this image was one of more than 30,000 marine creatures hauled up by a team of 26 scientists and 18 crew during a census of Antarctic life in early 2008.

The team endured icy weather as cold as 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 13 degrees Celsius)—which caused equipment to freeze up and samples to ice over as soon as they landed on deck. Think we'll stick to shark diving.

Damn Catfish At Risk...From Dam

There are some bodies of water in the world that you just do not want to know what's patrolling around in the murky depths.

Case in point Vietnam and Cambodia. Great countries to visit, but if you have small children keep them out of the waters here.

Actually that's good advice in any country outside of the USA. Anyone reading this actually smelled the Ganges lately?

We digress.

The story here is about this catfish. One of the largest on the planet and now in peril due to a massive damn project that will essentially cut it's home range down to a few square miles of filthy, muddy water. That's not to say that we do not care.

The problem's just hard to love a giant pink catfish living in Vietnam.