Day 302 4/24/14 Australia: Don’t Extend the Cull!

Western Australia’s premier Colin Barnett wants to extend the shark cull that has already killed 100 sharks including protected species for another three years.

 

Please join Greenpeace in speaking out against this extremely ill-advised and environmentally devastating proposition.
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Day 301 4/23/14: Hope for Australia’s Sharks?

This glimmer of hope comes from shark divers blog. Western Australia has decided to open up the shark cull policy to a Public Environmental Review. This means that for a four week period, the public can send in their thoughts about the shark kill plan.

I will post more information about where the public can send in their comments as soon as it’s available. In the meantime, check out these tips about how to compose an effective, rational letter & for a handy shark fact sheet.  While I am more than tired of the “Keep Calm” sentiment in all its myriad forms, I have to admit in this case it’s handy as it reminds me of the necessity not to get too fired up and freaked out before I write a letter about an issue that I hope to change someone’s mind about. images-1

Day 299 4/21/14: Run for the Sharks!

To raise money for a Bay Area shark sanctuary, Shark Stewards is sponsoring Run for the Sharks, in the San Francisco Bay to the Breakers race this May 18 ! Dust off your full-length shark costume and join the well-organized madness! To  register to run, click here.

If you’re really bananas, you can also join The Shark Centipede--a group of 14 costumed runners who run the race attached to one another.ay_108346262-e1366561007690-1

Here are some other ways to help out:

Buy a handmade  Pura Vida bracelet for $5 to support shark conservation, or sponsor a runner.  

If designing inventive yet maneuverable shark costumes is your bag, or you’d like to donate $ or be a corporate sponsor, click here and scroll to the bottom.

Day 294 4/16/14: Brody’s Book of Nightmares

“Jaws” fans will recall the eerie, tense but oddly tender scene in which a nervous Chief Brody tries to understand the nature of the formidable creature that has “staked a claim in the waters off Amity Island” by flipping through a stack of shark books, the images of various grinning jaws and gruesome wounds reflected in his glasses. The wondrous blog Haunted Closet has lovingly catalogued and compiled all of the images from a 1968 National Geographic and books by Cousteau and others. I love the meticulous detective work of fans!

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Day 292: 4/14/14: Chinese Billionaire Named “Shark Guardian”

images-3After so much sad stuff about the shark cull and drum lines in Australia, it’s nice to read this inspiring story about four  Chinese businessmen who fought to get shark fin soup off the menu at government banquets.

Day 291 4/13/14: 2 Minutes to Save Australia’s Sharks!

While the shark cull continues in Western Australia, sharks and other fish are also victims of drum lines (traps with baited hooks that kill sharks and other marine life indiscriminately). Neither the “culling” of sharks nor the presence of drum lines is likely to prevent future attacks by great white sharks in Western Australia, but only weaken an already stressed eco-system by removing its apex predators and other marine life. Please take just a few minutes and send an e-mail to the Australian government to ask them not to extend the use of drum lines! After the e-mail information, you can also check out the list of suggested resources to include in your letter. (Thanks Melissa Michaelson for posting this on FB).

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HOW TO SEND AN E-MAIL: 

Urgent Time Sensitive Message from ‪#‎noWAsharkcull‬
In March, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) chose NOT to assess WA’s drum line policy because they deemed it to be of ‘very limited duration’ and so they said that it ‘will not have a significant impact on the environment’. This was when the policy was due to end on April 30th 2014, which has now changed with the Government asking for approval until 2017.
We only have 5 days to take action. You can help Stop The Cull by spending just 2 minutes of your time to submit a comment to the EPBC opposing the policy:
1. Email your comments opposing the WA drum lines to – epbc.referrals@environment.gov.au (Before Thu 17 April).
2. In the subject bar include the following “Comment on WA drum line referral – reference no. 2014/7174”
3. In the email include the full title and reference no, which are as follows:

Title: WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet/Natural resources management/off metropolitan & SW coastal regions of Western Australia/WA/Shark Hazard Mitigation Drum Line Program
Reference no: 2014/7174
4. Suggested comments and links to relevant information are listed below.
6. Now SHARE, SHARE, SHARE – we only have until Thursday 17th April to get as many people to comment as possible.

 

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SUGGESTED COMMENTS/LINKS TO INFO. TO ADD TO YOUR SUBMISSION:
1. WHITE SHARKS ARE PROTECTED under WA and Australian environmental laws and several international agreements including CITES and CMS.
2. WHITE SHARKS ARE APEX PREDATORS, their roles are vital to keep the health of the ocean in balance. Removing a migratory apex predator from our marine ecosystem is likely to have significant impacts on the species composition and abundance of other marine life.
3. WHITE SHARKS ARE NOT PRESENT IN WA WHEN DRUM LINES ARE OPERATIONAL.
White sharks are the main target of the policy yet their population’s peak during June-August each year in WA, which is outside the proposed drum line operational period of November to April (see page 13 of DoF report –http://goo.gl/FbLBXm).
4. DRUM LINES ARE INDISCRIMINATE and will catch and kill other species including dolphins, turtles and non-target sharks. Almost all of the sharks caught so far have been non-target, undersized, tiger sharks.

Continue reading

Day 288 4/10/14: Tell NOAA: No Pacific Shark Cull

hi_257734_366075We’re almost there!

This note of protest to  NOAA officials and Barack Obama needs only 76 more signatures!

Please sign and share this petition to preserve existing shark conservation laws  in Guam, Hawaii and the Northern Mariana Islands AND to say no to an insanely misguided proposal to “reduce shark biomass” by decimating already declining species of sharks in the Pacific.

Day 277 3/30/14: The Coolest Shark Site…EVER…..

great-white-shark-wallpapers_35944_852x480The ocean is oddly silent and still, then a white shark bursts out of the water, nearly sending a startled kayaker into the water. A surfer watches a black dorsal fin slice the surface and disappear. Headless seals wash up on the beach. These are just some of the thrilling dispatches from Pacific Coast Shark News, my favorite feature of Ralph Collier’s Shark Research Committee website. I have learned a tremendous amount about shark behavior and intelligence just from reading Pacific Coast Shark News. But keeping detailed and accurate records of shark activity along the Pacific Coast is only a small part of SRC’s very important work. They are currently working on a pioneering non-invasive DNA project that if funded could revolutionize shark conservation. The identification and migration patterns of specific shark populations through DNA, could help researchers predict the chances of future attacks offering an alternative to the barbaric retaliatory slaughter of sharks, like the “cull” happening in Australia right now.

For a $20 donation, you will receive the fascinating SRC Quarterly e-mail newsletter and for $70, you will receive Ralph Collier’s utterly riveting, lavishly illustrated book Shark Attacks of Twentieth Century.

Please consider making a donation of any amount, even $10–to help SRC continue its essential conservation and education efforts.

Day 270 3/23/14: Shark Surrealism: Artist Unknown

Don’t know the provenance of this nightmarish painting, but I like the colors. It seems that these pickled specimens  have come alive in their floating jars, seeking escape and revenge. As much as I want to get lost in the weird, dream-like imagery, I can’t stop thinking about how buying shark pups in jars (like purchasing shark jaws or teeth) encourages the slaughter of these already beleaguered fish. Maybe that’s what these angry little babies have come back to tell us. (Thanks, Helen!)Image