Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saving Great Whites In Mexico?

If you're a reader of this blog you know we like smart metrics based shark conservation efforts.

In fact we're almost fanatical about them and if they have a local flavor to them - more the better.

That's why you rarely see us posting about women hanging from fish hooks in soap stores because at the end of the day conservation noise like this makes no sense, saves no sharks, and is as about as self serving as an overworked and wheezing Frozen Yogurt machine on a hot July day.

So when smart initiatives being put forth by dedicated people pop up we're quick to point them out.

Case in point, the Mexican initiative to educate coastal fishermen along Baja and Sea of Cortez. Run by Dr. José Leonardo Castillo-Geniz and a host of others in Mexico this is real boots on the ground shark awareness at it's finest. And it is desperately needed as well.

You'll note our 5 year running expose on one fish market in Ensenada, Mexico where white shark pups regularly arrive to be sold as Swordfish and Mako for just pesos a kilo. White sharks are meant to be protected in Mexico and yet they appear in videos and images on a disturbingly regular basis.

Part of this is the nature of the fisheries.

Inshore long lining catches both tuna and swordfish and a healthy numbers of white shark pups. Many of these pups are dead when they arrive back to the boat and asking a small, poor fisherman, to dump a carcass worth a few dollars makes little sense. But reminding this same fisherman that these animals are protected does make sense because for those few animals that arrive back to vessels alive, or are still alive in nets they now have a fighting chance.

Nothing in this world is perfect when it comes to conservation initiatives. But efforts like these, targeting remote fish camps and leaving behind great POS material really makes a fundamental difference and we are thrilled to see it being done. Kudos.

Thanks to the following folks in Mexico who had a hand in this effort:

Pam Baker EDF
Fernando Aguilar Club Cantamar
Juan Carlos Cantu of Defenders of Wildlife Mexico
Dr. Mauricio Hoyos-Padilla

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at

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