Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kip Evans Superb Documentary Effort

The waters around Isla Holbox off Mexicos Yucatán Peninsula teem with plankton, a feast for giant whale sharks—10-meter giants that gather by the hundreds from June through September. These super-sized but toothless filter feeders are the core of a local tourism industry, but over-development could threaten this delicate balance.

Dr. Sylvia Earle narrates. Kip Evans - Producer and Director of Photography:

New Jersey Shark Conservation Window

New Jersey has a political shark mess on it's hands, and an open window for shark conservation groups who are looking for a way to close shark tournaments in the region.

We covered this unlikely turn of events last month.

Shark fishing interests in New Jersey are applying pressure to government agencies to sign bills into law enacting new compliance standards for shark fisheries off the New Jersey coastlines.

If these bills are not signed, the entire 2010 shark fishery will be put on hold, a win for conservation.

What is not happening at this time are any efforts by shark conservation folks (large coordinated and vocal groups) to stall these unsigned bills or even demand status reviews that might slow the signing process down.

A rare window of shark conservation opportunity, and the clock is running.

Any shark conservation takers out there?

Keep Fishing Sharks to Support Research?

The world of shark conservation often works at cross purposes as agenda driven groups push for conservation strategies that have unintended consequences.

From direct action protest groups who ultimately embed resistance and cause disparate fishing interests to successfully band together against conservation, to "Shark Messiahs" who push unsustainable messaging about what sharks really are - top order predators.

This week Loblaws' Canada (a grocery chain) announced a ban on the sale of shark meat and a few species of fish declaring them unsustainable.

Clearly a win for the shark conservation folks, but hold on a minute, researchers now claim this ban will damage research efforts as the vessels they use to tag sharks are the fishing vessels that catch sharks for sale at Loblaws' Canada.

If your faith in the shark conservation movement is being shaken at this point, you might not want to read the entire story. The take away from this story is the need for all groups to look beyond just their immediate efforts and push for a holistic approach to conservation.

If you think the chances of that happening anytime soon is as good as Sea Shepherd Conservation Society actually stopping Japans whaling efforts or the Canadian Seal hunt - you would be right.

This blog often points out issues and trends that mature over time, one thought, one idea, and one post at a time.

Sharks and research in Canada.