Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EU May Stop Shark Fishing-Dogfish, Porbeagle Off Menu

Some great shark conservation news we suspect had something to do with the constant governmental pressure being exerted by NGO's on this subject:

The European Commission is planning to end all fishing for spiny dogfish, porbeagle and angel sharks while also expanding protection for rays.

Spiny dogfish are sold as fish and chips in the UK and as smoked belly flaps in Germany; fillets are eaten in other EU countries including Belgium, France, and Italy. Female spiny dogfish remain pregnant for nearly two years, a record in the animal kingdom.

The move was welcomed by the Shark Alliance whose policy director Sonja Fordham said: “These proposals demonstrate the most solid step to date toward a new, more responsible era in the management of European shark fisheries.

"We urge each and every EU Fisheries Minister to follow the Commission’s responsible lead and support proposals to eliminate catches of these beleaguered species and at last set them on the path to recovery.”

Guadalupe Island Conservation Fund 2009

Two years ago Shark Diver launched, with the help of a few forward thinking dive operations, the Isla Guadalupe Conservation Fund website.

Our goal as a commercial shark diving operation has always been the integration of science and tourism. Redirecting funds back into worthy shark site projects.

The funds original objective was to provide much needed dollars for ongoing and Mexican based shark research.

Additionally, we were interested in the continuing mechanics of a web based fund roll out combined with a video push created by RTSea Productions on You Tube and elsewhere. After two years we can report this effort has been a great success both in terms of dollars generated and information about the Bio Sphere to the public 24/7.

As a template for other commercial shark diving operations worldwide-this works. It was a cost effective project and to date has been viewed by well over 400K interested parties.

The funds original brainchild and most ardent financial supporter has been Mike Lever owner/operator of the Nautilus Explorer. His constant selling of the fund has raised thousands of dollars for Isla Guadalupe projects.

Since the websites debut a lot of changes in policy and direction have happened at I.G and the website is becoming outdated. In 2009 we will be updating this site to reflect the current situations and needs at the island with updates on current research and more.

Please check back with us in the near future for web updates.

White Sharks In Tonga? Update

As we covered last week three "archival pop up tags" have begun transmitting in the waters of Tonga from a group of 6 great whites tagged off of New Zealand's Chatham Islands.

Yesterday one of the tags was recovered allowing researchers a deeper look into the data stored on that tag. To say this latest tracking data is "epic" is an understatement. It opens a whole new chapter into the migratory habits of the worlds foremost oceanic predator:

One of three electronic transponders so far discarded near Tonga by great white sharks tagged at the Chatham Islands has been recovered from the Ha'ateiho Reef.

Details of the sharks that have travelled to Tonga from the Chathams are:

1. 4m long male tagged at Star Keys, 14 April 2008, pop-up location Ha'ateiho Beach, Tongatapu;

2. 4.5m long male tagged at Star Keys, 15 April 2008, pop-up location c. 50 km northwest of Tongatapu;

3. 4.5m long female tagged at Te Awapatiki, 19 April 2008, pop-up location c. 135 km south of Eua. (Clinton Duffy, lead investigator, said that this shark may have visited Pelorus Reef but the tag actually started transmitting over deep water east of the reef, so it could have visited any of the sea mounts in that area).

"This is the first time we have tracked great whites to the waters of Tonga. Previously we have had great white sharks tagged at the Chathams travel to New Caledonia and Vanuatu".