Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Adventures of Shark Girl and Shark-Free Marinas Fiji

The Adventures of Shark Girl Blog has in depth coverage of the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative in Fiji this week.

Also known as industry gal Jillian Morris and often seen on the company of Duncan Brake, her blog coverage this week is a must read:

For a small island nation, Fiji has set a standard for their involvement in the Shark Free Marina Initiative. With 25 marinas signed on, they are still going strong. The Fijian culture respects sharks and the people realize the tourism and environmental value of a live shark. Island nations are limited in their economic ventures, so they protect that which is valuable. At the forefront of the Fijian campaign are Stuart Gow of Matava Eco Resort and Mike Neumann and his team at Beqa Adventure Divers. We interviewed Stuart for a PSA video and he said his involvement was a “ no brainer.” The resort is home to a popular sport fishing charter that also encourage catch and release if catching at all. He said is what a natural progression of the message the resort is already operating by. Stuart was also able to get PADI Project Aware involved in order to cover the cost of purchasing signs for all the marinas.

Mike Neumann and his team at BAD offer the ULTIMATE shark dive and care deeply about the animals they work with everyday. His feeders and dive team have a special connection with the sharks, like nothing I have seen before. Mike did not speak to us on camera, but the actions of his whole crew spoke volumes. Every one of them is truly an ambassador for sharks and for the ocean.

Complete post here. As a side note we have added Jillian's blog to our hallowed blog roll;)

Los Angeles Where the "Mud Marlins" Are

The L.A River is a conservation nightmare, a running cesspool of concrete, plastic bags, the odd corpse, and for one enterprising fly fishing fanatic - The Valhalla of Giant Fish.

Known to the fly fishing community as "Mud Marlin," giant carp (Cyprinus carpio) are said to inhabit the toxic depths of the L.A River and Steve Blair is their nemesis.

With fly fishing skills honed on the Eastern Sierra in the hunt for trophy trout, Steve has discovered where the Mud Marlin are found and over the past year what imitations these leviathans of the toxic stew which runs through downtown L.A will hit on.

It's a remarkable adaptation as this urban fly hunter turns his sights on the least understood and shattered eco system in America, to haul out 20-30 pound fish.

Of course these fish are quickly put back.

Here's to the real trailblazers within the fly fishing world, those who's desire to catch big fish can be found in the most unlikely places, like the L.A River.

When not on the hunt for Mud Marlin in L.A you can find Steve on National Geographic playing with giant squids and at the Long Beach Aquarium.

Shark fishing completely banned in Mexican waters?

The National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Conapesca) decided to ban the fishing of all shark species in federal waters on both coasts in order to contribute to the conservation of the resource.

The ban will be extended during the period of greatest reproductive intensity of the main species, that is to say, between May and August each year, and in each particular region.

According to Mexican fishery authorities, this is the first such action taken in the countries of Latin America.

Commission officials met on June 2 with concessionaires and licensees of commercial fishing for shark and specialists in this resource to present the results of "research on reproductive periods of representative species and the effects of their protection" by scientists from the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca), reported Conapesca.

During the meeting held in Mexico City, Inapesca researchers detailed the methodology used in the sampling, presented the results of the studies in the geographical areas where the fleet of the country's coastal work and the information from the observers’ programme on board.

Before publishing the establishment of the closed season in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF), Conapesca will perform indications regarding the regulatory project with additional technical considerations made by experts of the Institute.

The meeting was also attended by some representatives of the National Chamber of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Canainpesca), of the Union of Coastal Shipowners from Océano Pacífico AC, of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives (Conacoop) and Inapesca specialists.

Juan Campos Cárdenas, a spokesman for the Federation of Shark and Scale Cooperatives assured that fishermen are willing to enforce the ban. However, he sought to establish compensation for the period of inactivity.

While the Government considers that about 30,000 tonnes of sharks are caught annually in Mexican waters, several organizations for the protection of marine fauna warn that overfishing has reduced the volume, AFP reported.