This is a re post from an ongoing impromptu shark conservation effort we're doing in Ensenada, Mexico.
As the 2009 commercial white shark season begins (T-minus 3 days) we'll be spending time in Ensenada and the fish market to see if measures we put in place last season had any effect on the take of juvenile white sharks here.
We have been keeping track of the Ensenada Fish Market for the past three years.
The issue here is the sale of white shark pups as "swordfish". We have been documenting each and every trip we take down to this market with images of the animals we find on site.
Typically we are seeing a minimum of up to 5 animals for sale at any given time. We also enjoy the local Baja Fish Tacos (non white shark) while we're here...if you have not yet had a Baja Fish Taco in Ensenada, go here first.
Over the years we have uncovered one family who are the prime shark fishery here. These are hard working folks who know where to find sharks and how to fish them. For them it's a tough livelihood-they barely make a living.
Where some people see a travesty, we see an opportunity. Very little is known about young of the year in Mexican waters. Monterey Bay Aquarium is leading the charge along with TOPP's and a small group from Mexico working the Sea of Cortez.
One of the primary goals for this fish market should be DNA sampling of these sharks. As a ready made sampling site-this fish market is more than the final destination for white sharks, it could also be useful to research.