Saturday, October 3, 2009

Planet Shark : Predator or Prey - Georgia Aquarium

We have been critical of the Georgia Aquarium in the past and remain skeptical of the "scuba interactive whale shark exhibit" at this site.

But a new exhibit plans to educate the world to the plight of sharks and at first blush this looks interesting:

The world’s largest fish tank will soon offer visitors the world’s first look at a new exhibit, “Planet Shark: Predator or Prey.”

The new Georgia Aquarium exhibit opens Oct. 3, but we got the first look at it this week. (As always, I enjoy an up-close view of shark teeth and Shop-Vacs.)

It was developed in Australia and moved into the Aquarium’s 10,000 square foot exhibition space, where its first views include intimidatingly large shark models, a row of shark jaws, piles of shark teeth — and the message that sharks ought to be more afraid of humans than we are of them.

“Planet Shark” curators Craig Thorburn and Mike Bhana dedicated an entire gallery to fishing practices and consumer products that lead to the deaths of about 100 million sharks every year, according to Oceana, an ocean conservation organization.

“Sharks can easily sustain cultural uses by Pacific Islanders,” Thorburn explained as we walked through the exhibit. “They didn’t reckon on us, our fishing methods, our factory ships.”

For Thorburn, “Planet Shark” is a competitor in the race to capture imaginations. Sharks are an exciting, mysterious villain for movies and magazine covers, but in the U.S., you’re far more likely to be killed by a deer than a shark. His thought: if young, curious minds can learn about sharks, how they’re researched and how they’re portrayed, maybe their population will increase.

“Watch them, enjoy them, respect them,” Thorburn said. “They’re not meant to be cuddled, but they have just as much right to be here as we do.”

Complete Post

NOAA Gives Great White Sharks More Protection in Gulf of the Farallones Sanctuary

New regulations to protect the great white shark are now in effect in NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, a marine protected area just west of San Francisco.

The regulations, enacted by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, prohibit activities that would attract white sharks anywhere in the Farallones sanctuary. “Attracting” the sharks means any activity that lures or may lure a shark by using food, bait, chum, dyes, decoys (e.g., surfboards or body boards used as decoys), acoustics or any other means.

Found in North-Central California waters, white sharks feed on seals and sea lions, primarily during late summer and fall months. The sharks play an important role in the marine ecosystem by keeping fast-growing seal and sea lion populations in balance.

The new rules strengthen the ban on hunting and fishing for white sharks by allowing them to feed undisturbed and without distraction from intrusive human activities.

Getting within 50 meters (164 feet) of any white shark within two nautical miles of any of the Farallon Islands also is prohibited. The Farallones are comprised of three island groups, part of the Farallon Archipelago, approximately 27 miles from the Golden Gate and Point Reyes.

Designated in 1981, the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 948 square nautical miles (1,255 square miles) of water off the northern and central California coast. Located just a few miles from San Francisco, the waters within the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary are part of a nationally significant marine ecosystem that supports a diversity of marine habitats and species.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

Sharktoberfest San Francisco - Celebrate the Shark

Bay Area residents are invited to Sharktoberfest San Francisco - Celebrate the Shark!

Dear Shark friends - please join me, David McGuire in this educational event and help support our efforts to understand and raise awareness for sharks of San Francisco and beyond.

Event: Sharktoberfest San Francisco- Celebrate the Shark - Shark Films, Art, Science and Sharks!

What: Fundraiser

Start Time: Friday, October 16 at 6:30pm

End Time: Saturday, October 17 at 6:00pm

Where: Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link.