Friday, January 8, 2010

"Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus"

One of the highlights of 2009 was the introduction of the Dorsal Fin Blog to the world of sharks, conservation and media.

It would seem that 2010 will be as informative and amusing under their "seasoned media eye."

Kudos for this weeks media find, Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus. A film that has plenty of cheese for everyone:

Senior Associate, Global Shark Conservation - Job Opening

Senior Associate, Global Shark Conservation

The Organization

The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improving public policy, informing the public and stimulating civic life. Based in Philadelphia, with offices in Washington, D.C., and Brussels, Pew produces fact-based research and develops practical solutions to challenging issues.

We are an independent nonprofit organization--the sole beneficiary of seven individual charitable funds, with assets of $5.2 billion at the end of June 2008, established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew.

Pew provides an exciting learning environment and the opportunity to work with highly talented individuals. It is a dynamic organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork with mutual respect.

The Pew Environment Group

The mission of the Pew Environment Group is to promote policies and practices that protect the global atmosphere, preserve large intact wilderness ecosystems and conserve living marine resources.

For the past two decades, the Environment group has been a major force in driving conservation policy in the United States, and increasingly internationally. The group’s work is focused on reducing the scope and severity of three major global environmental problems:

  • Dramatic changes to the Earth’s climate brought about by the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the planet’s atmosphere;
  • The erosion of large wilderness ecosystems that contain a great part of the world’s remaining biodiversity; and,
  • The destruction of the world’s ocean environment, with a particular emphasis on marine fisheries.

Global Shark Conservation

Sharks roamed the seas for nearly 200 million years before dinosaurs were on the planet. However, due to the onset of industrialized fisheries in the last fifty years, many populations of large sharks have declined globally by approximately 90 percent. The world's increasing demand for shark fins, used for the Asian delicacy shark fin soup as well as other products, is killing up to 73 million sharks a year—a rate that is highly unsustainable. Sharks are highly vulnerable to overfishing, as they are generally slow-growing and reproduce late in life with few offspring. As a result, entire shark populations may disappear within our lifetime.

The Global Shark Conservation is designed to reverse this decline of shark populations through public education, advocacy and research. With overlapping jurisdictions over shark fisheries, the campaign will work within both international governance bodies (such as regional fisheries management organizations and the United Nations) and treaty organizations such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to secure precautionary, science-based protections for sharks. Domestically, the campaign will work to secure stronger shark management within the U.S. as well as in other coastal nations that still have large populations of sharks left in their territorial waters.

Position Overview

The campaign senior associate will work with the director of the Global Shark Conservation to provide the information and assistance necessary to design and carry out the campaign strategy. The Global Shark Conservation is designed as a two-year effort which begins April 1, 2009 and will run through March 31, 2011. The position may be renewed, pending its progress and the availability of continued financial support. This position will report to the project director and is based in Washington, D.C.

  • Assist the project director and other campaign staff in developing and implementing campaign strategy.
  • Work with the Manager of the shark campaign to develop and execute outreach events with coalition members internationally and domestically to educate and influence policy makers.
  • Manage special outreach projects for the campaign that raise public, media and policymaker awareness of the need for shark conservation. These projects could include managing video projects, working with film and television producers to secure “calls to action” in nature programming, or arranging speaking engagements for the campaign with target audiences.
  • Work with PCT and PEG communications to develop and implement a strategy for new media outreach.
  • Assist in developing public, policymaker, and media outreach strategies for the campaign in target regions of the world, such as in Asia, Latin America, or the Pacific.
  • Create compelling materials for the campaign, including website content, fact sheets, coalition letters, etc.
  • Research and write campaign materials, such as reports, booklets, fact sheets and web content.
  • Represent the campaign at meetings and on conference calls within Pew, with partner groups, federal agencies, and Congress.
  • Maintain knowledge of shark management activities worldwide.

  • Four to 8 years of experience in environmental and public policy required. An advanced degree or equivalent experience is required. Expertise in marine issues are strongly preferred.
  • Able to set short- and long-term planning goals in line with program strategy. A task-oriented style, with focus on achieving clear and ambitious goals. Demonstrated ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization. Able to develop and move projects forward with a high degree of independence and autonomy.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ease in communicating complex concepts in a clear effective manner for a general audience.
  • A detail and results-oriented style with a focus on process and achievement. Recognized ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization.
  • Demonstrated strong analytical skills, including an ability to synthesize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue. A strong commitment to producing measurable results.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop and manage productive relationships with consultants, partners, grantees and others who contribute to the effectiveness of the project.
  • Able to establish credibility quickly and to develop and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external parties, including grantees.
  • Experience with media and other communications strategies to deliver policy recommendations and/or scientific findings to policy makers and the public desired.
  • Fluency in other languages a plus.
  • Knowledge of shark conservation issues a plus.

Some travel for this position may be required, including attending international meetings impacting shark conservation, as needed, and/or visiting campaign consultants working around the world on domestic shark conservation measures.

Application for job here.

2010 "A Decade of Action" for Shark Conservation

Welcome to 2010.

(Image by Christy Fisher)

I have been thinking a lot about this new decade and the direction it is going both in terms of the commercial shark diving world and shark conservation.

What is evident is that we have left a decade of "shark awareness" behind and have entered the decade of "shark action" and I am very happy to see this sea change within the industry.

This post read by most of you - is now a reality. “Noblesse Oblige." Back in October of 2008 this concept was as far away from being a reality as was Americas ideas of going to the moon in 1961, with the exception of a few operators who lead the industry by example.

We were one of them.

In 2009 the shark diving industry, lead by a few dedicated shark folks and a few "industry late adopters" gelled together and created a tsunami of shark conservation efforts, websites, and a few genuine eco wins.


Now we begin the heavy lifting. Shark conservation is a full time effort as many of you have discovered first hand. It is not "awareness" anymore. It is also not a back end way of promoting "stunt work with sharks" under the guise of conservation.

Flipping tiger sharks upside down at well known shark sites is not conservation.

Playing guitars at 60 feet surrounded by white sharks is also not conservation.

These images and video will, in the long haul, hurt the shark conservation movement, and our industry, and only serve to provide fodder for those who would seek to close the industry regionally, and internationally. The shotgun marriage with these "shark stunts" and shark conservation dilute and marginalize the entire effort.

Given the numbers of shark conservationists we now have engaged around the world, will we be able to effect real and lasting conservation change?

I hope so. Real change will involve critical thinking. It will involve taking risks. It will involve dedication beyond online petitions. It will also involve ignoring flashy and ultimately useless efforts that gain media attention and little else - that was the "decade of awareness."

By now we are all aware that sharks need help. That help must come in the form of measurable, serious, and dedicated efforts. Anyone can claim victory for sharks but unless there is measurable change, the effort is next to useless.

In the conservation game "the ends do not justify the means."

A perfect example of serious and lasting conservation change would be the effort. Without a doubt this single sustained effort did more to save sharks and stamp out the trade in shark fins than almost any other effort in 2009. It remains a shining example of boots on the ground shark conservation.

The conservation world is rapidly changing from large and ponderous NGO's, to small, nimble conservation efforts that will ultimately lead the "decade of shark action."

Once again kudos to all for the new face of shark conservation, and a successful 2010 to you all.

Patric Douglas CEO