Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Save Our Seas - Thomas P. Peschak

Once in a great while someone in our industry comes to the table with compelling, reasonable, and frankly conservation changing media (see video). This week our hats come off to photographer Thomas P. Peschak who along with the Save Our Seas Foundation have taken on the issue of South African Shark nets.

We have been talking about this issue for many months after the first, second and then third Tiger shark kills at Aliwal shoal. This is conservation action at work, spending time, money and resources to bring home an issue and help save sharks on a regional level. This is also industry leadership.

Kudos to everyone involved. SOS has hit a home run with this effort. Please support them.

Thomas P. Peschak is an award winning photojournalist and marine biologist based in Cape Town, South Africa. He is the chief photographer for the Save our Seas Foundation and travels extensively to document shark conservation and research around the world.

Download Tom Peschak's Africa Geographic article as a PDF here.

Maldives Whale Sharks, Conservation

A terrific piece of pro shark, pro tourism, pro shark research media landed on our laptop this morning.

The subject is the Maldives and whale shark tagging and tourism efforts in the region - covered by the BBC.

This is how you do positive shark media:

We're cruising up and down a known shark aggregation zone, a stretch of the Indian Ocean outside the island necklace of South Ari atoll, one of 26 coral formations that make up the Maldives archipelago.

On board are conservation biologists Richard Rees and Adam Harman from the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme and the tagging expert accompanying them, Brent Stewart, of Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego, US.

Brent has tagged everything from seals to sea birds to learn more about their lives, and he's also tagged a group of whale sharks off Kenya.

Complete Story

Cape Eleuthera Institute, Shark Free Marinas

Last year we launched an "open source" shark conservation measure called the Shark Free Marinas Initiative .

"Open source" is something you'll typically find with software development. It's a way of taking a concept and allowing a community to tweak and slightly change the concept to make it better. Thus far a few members of our community have done so and Kudos to those who have seen the potential and wanted to help.

"Open source" is an experiment in shark initiatives and one we're happy to say is slowly taking on shape and form in the Bahamas where another industry member has signed on and pushed this effort forward on the island of Eleuthera, with the Cape Eleuthera Institute.

Last week Edd Brooks featured the SFMI in the Save our Seas Blog retelling another story of senseless shark slaughter in the Bahamas for "trophy sharks":

"So a little while ago the son of one of our visiting scientists was wandering the docks of the local marina and spotted a large bull shark.Unfortunately the shark was dead, killed in the early hours of the morning by a group of guys who were having a party in which the side entertainment was killing this young female shark."

Kudos for joining the SFMI - the new website will go live next week featuring the Cape Eleuthera Institute.