Articles tagged with "sharks"

Hawaiians celebrate historic shark fin ban

Posted by: on July 27th, 2010

Animal advocates celebrate historic shark fin ban

Posted: Jul 01, 2010 2:52 PM Updated: Jul 01, 2010 3:59 PM

By Tim Sakahara – bio | email

On July 1 Hawaii will become the first government in the world to ban the possession, distribution and sale of shark fins and it’s already sending ripples to the rest of the world.

The law means restaurants won’t be able to serve shark fin soup, but the impact goes well beyond what’s on a Chinese food menu.

From predator to protected, the new state law is aimed at preventing shark finning a process where fisherman slice the fins then throw the animal back into the ocean to die.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s no different than killing an elephant for its tusks or dehorning a rhinoceros for its horn. These are cruel and inhumane practices that have no business in a civilized world,” said State Senator Clayton Hee, (D) Kahuku, Laie, Kaneohe.

State Senator Hee, along with many animal advocates, reeled in the votes to make it illegal to have shark fins.

“It has sent a message that it can get done,” said Sen. Hee.

“This is the first in the world. I don’t how many times Hawaii has led the world but today it’s leading the world and that’s something to be proud of,” said Peter Knights, WildAid Executive Director. “Today is a happy occasion and sharks don’t get many happy occasions.”

via Animal advocates celebrate historic shark fin ban – Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL Home.

Shark Attacks vs. Victim’s Activity

Posted by: on March 6th, 2010

Guess who’s been chomped most frequently by our finny friends? Divers? Swimmers? Surfers?

The charts from  the International Shark Attack File tell the story…

Shark Attacks vs. Victim’s Activity.

From Shark attacks in perspective
Shark attack did not become a subject of particular public interest until the twentieth century. Several factors have contributed to the upswing in public awareness of shark attack during the last sixty years. First and foremost has been the evolution of the press from a parochial to a cosmopolitan news-gathering system that covers a larger portion of the world in a more rapid and comprehensive manner. Increased competition and a shift of journalistic values in certain quarters additionally has contributed to more active searches for “shock” stories, i.e. those that titillate the public and promote sales. Needless to say, an examination of current weekly tabloids confirms that “shark eats man” is a best-selling story line.

Oh dear…. investigation launched into Sydney shark attack claims – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Posted by: on February 11th, 2010

This item can be read in its entirety on the ABC web site. Intriguing to see who was on the scene with a camera too.

Investigation launched into Sydney shark attack claims

By Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop

Authorities are investigating a surfer’s claim that he was attacked by a shark on Sydney’s Northern Beaches this morning.

Paul Welsh, 46, told a newspaper he had to cling to a rock to fight off a shark that he said had latched itself onto his leg.

Mr Welsh allegedly emerged from the water with a gash to his left leg around 8:00am (AEDT) at the Mona Vale Basin.

A New South Wales Health spokesman says the man had already sold his story to Channel Nine News by the time his wife had driven him to hospital.


Police are helping the Primary Industries Department with its investigation. They initially told the media the man had been attacked by a four-foot shark.

Shark spotter Michael Brown earlier told the ABC he was in the water with his 13-year-old son when he saw “a whole lot of thrashing”.

“It’s launched straight up into him, knocked him out of the water and then latched onto his leg, and luckily, he had a chance to grab onto a rock and the shark’s actually thrashing, trying to drag him back into the water,” he said.

“He’s managed to release himself from the shark and crawl up onto the rocks and just had a big bite mark in his leg and blood just streaming out of it.”

Mr Brown said he believed the animal was a two-metre-long great white shark.

As the director of SurfWatch Australia, an organisation that patrols for sharks and charges people for helicopter joyrides, Mr Brown has been agitating against the State Government for greater protections against sharks.

After three attacks in Sydney last year, he accused the Government of ignoring an email that had warned of a sharp increase in shark numbers.

via Investigation launched into Sydney shark attack claims – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Shark attack at Broken Head

Posted by: on July 30th, 2009

Shark attack off Broken Head

By Saffron Howden | 30th July 2009

A 14-year-old surfer was thrown into the air and left with a graze and a punctured wetsuit after a shark made a bee-line for his board this morning near Byron Bay.

The Northern Star understands the local boy, who was surfing off Broken Head, was paddling back out from the shore when he and the shark collided.

The impact caused the boy to fly into the air and his wet suit was swiped and punctured, leaving him grazed.

via Shark attack off Broken Head | NSW News | Byron Shire News.

fewer sharks = more jellyfish?

Posted by: on June 29th, 2009

Sharks are under siege from humans and the consequences are far reaching. It turns out that you can’t pull a top predator out of an ecosystem and expect everything else to remain the same.

A recent article in the Age (Taste for delicacy puts sharks at risk) canvasses the issues. A quote or two…

A THIRD of the world’s open-water sharks — including the great white and hammerhead — face extinction, according to a conservation survey that singles out overfishing as the main culprit.

The report identified the great hammerhead and scalloped hammerhead shark and the giant devil rays as endangered. The smooth hammerhead, great white, basking and oceanic white-tip sharks are listed as vulnerable as are two species of makos.

Dr Huveneers said sharks were important in the ecosystem, especially those at the top of the food chain such as the white, great white and great hammerhead. Reducing their numbers could prompt an increase in the number of cownose rays, which consumed scallops.

That last quote reminded me of a story I’d recently come across about an explosion in the number of giant Nomura jellyfish in Japan. (These critters are up to 2 metres across and can weigh up to 220kg.)  So I did a bit of research and turned up a picture and a backgrounder here.

But there was an even more interesting feature on the New York Times site entitled Stinging Tentacles Offer Hint of Oceans’ Decline

From Spain to New York, to Australia, Japan and Hawaii, jellyfish are becoming more numerous and more widespread, and they are showing up in places where they have rarely been seen before, scientists say. The faceless marauders are stinging children blithely bathing on summer vacations, forcing beaches to close and clogging fishing nets.

But while jellyfish invasions are a nuisance to tourists and a hardship to fishermen, for scientists they are a source of more profound alarm, a signal of the declining health of the world’s oceans.

“These jellyfish near shore are a message the sea is sending us saying, ‘Look how badly you are treating me,’ ” said Dr. Josep-María Gili, a leading jellyfish expert, who has studied them at the Institute of Marine Sciences of the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona for more than 20 years.

The explosion of jellyfish populations, scientists say, reflects a combination of severe overfishing of natural predators, like tuna, sharks and swordfish; rising sea temperatures caused in part by global warming; and pollution that has depleted oxygen levels in coastal shallows.

They’re talking sharks over on the RealSurf forums too…

Audio: Don talks surfers and sharks with ABC radio’s Garth Russell

Posted by: on March 3rd, 2009

podcastYour webmaster had a chat about matters surfing and sharks with Garth Russell, Newcastle ABC radio’s drive time announcer.  If there were good waves, would you paddle out even if it looked sharky? (3 March 2009)

Don talks sharks and surfers with Newcastle 1233 ABC  radio’s Garth Russell

link: 1233 ABC radio

NPA Marine fundraiser: Blue water, White Death

Posted by: on February 12th, 2009

The National Parks Association Marine has a fundraiser film evening coming up on Weds 25 Feb from 6pm at the Hayden Orpheum.

Eminent underwater film makers Ron and Valerie Taylor who shot the 1971 feature will be along for the evening. Tickets are only $20 and all proceeds go to support NPA’s marine conservation work.

From the NPA-Marine website announcement of the event:

Since this pioneering documentary we have learnt much about our sharks and the valuable role they play at the top of our marine food chain. We have started to realise the impact that we have had in their demise and the role that we must play in looking after, not only our sharks, but all of our marine creatures.