polar bear

International protection increased for 31 species

The so called ‘Shark COP’ – or the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) (COP11) – concluded yesterday in Quito, Ecuador. The result is that 31 species have been given greater international protection including 21 species of sharks and rays. The conference […]

Historic day as sharks and manta rays receive UN protection

On Sunday 14th September, five species of sharks and two manta ray species will receive protection under the United Nation’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) when formal measures to regulate their international trade come into effect. The five sharks and two manta rays species include Scalloped Hammerhead […]

Whale sharks bring in $10 million a year to the Maldives

One of the classic dive locations in the world is producing more income for the Maldives than previously thought. The whale shark population at South Ari atoll Marine Protected Area attracts an incredible 77,000 visitors each year and they spend US$9.4 million a year. The whale shark population at  South Ari is one of the few whale […]

Sharks are more polluted than polar bears

Polar bears are well-known to store many deadly pollutants in their fat. They store chemicals such as PCB’s from the food that they eat. Being at the top of the food chain leads them to have high concentrations of toxins. New research indicates that polar bears are no longer some of the most polluted species […]

Shark fin trade crashes by 90% in China

The export of shark fins from Hong Kong to China has crashed by 90% in just a year. Following the new austerity of the Chinese leadership, increasing changes in taste among the young and pressure from campaign groups the trade in shark fins is shrinking rapidly. Official government figures analysed by the WWF-China show that […]

A quarter of all ray and shark species heading for extinction

A new survey has revealed the impact of over-fishing on sharks and rays. While local surveys have regularly been undertaken the latest one was the first to look at it from a global perspective. The results indicate a quarter of all shark and ray species are heading to extinction in the next few decades and […]

Shark finners change tactics

In order for shark-finners to continue to get as many fins on board their fishing boats and still remain within the law the finners have changed their tactics. Rather than just cut off the fins at sea they are stripping the shark body of the bulk of its flesh and returning the fins to shore barely just attached to […]

India to ban shark fining at sea

Indian central government Minister of State for Environment & Forests Jayanthi Natarajan has announced that the central government is to support a policy that will eradicate finning of sharks at sea. The new policy will allow wildlife enforcement officer to identify sharks landed which is difficult to do when just the fin remains. Up to 60 shark […]

Fewer than 1,000 Great White sharks remain in South Africa

South Africa is thought to be home to the world’s largest population of Great White sharks. The species is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring of the shark family. A new survey though highlights just how at risk the Great White shark is. The survey estimates just 908 are still swimming around the coast […]

Is Bali about to ban shark fishing?

There are hints that a new shark and manta ray sanctuary is about to be formed at Bali. Last month the underwater paradise of Raja Ampat in West Papua, Indonesia banned the fishing of sharks and rays in it’s coral reefs and set up a shark sanctuary – the first in the so called Coral […]

Sharks set to get boost from CITES

Sharks across the world are under threat thanks to shark fin soup. Often the sharks are caught as a profitable by-catch but as only the fins are valuable the rest of the shark is dumped overboard. The trade is international in scope and there is little control. CoP16 though offers some hope for the future. […]

More than just a holiday snap

Those quick holiday photos could prove to be more important than just happy memories. scientists are asking people to submit their pictures of sharks to a web site so they can use them to study the animals. If you are heading to the Maldives on holiday this year don’t forget to take a photo of […]

Europe closes shark-finning loophole

The European Parliament has today voted to close a loophole in its fisheries legislation that could help its fight to protect rapidly declining shark populations. Until today there were exceptions in fisheries legislation that allowed vessels though special permits to do finning at sea as long as the shark bodies were landed. It was difficult to […]

Whitetip shark populations declining by 17% a year

New research released today by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)  in New Caledonia demonstrates the frightening impact on shark populations that shark fin soup is having. The results of a study of 15 years of landing catches published in Conservation Biology shows that the worst affected shark species the white-tip shark has declined […]

Shark finning set to be banned in Europe

Fisheries ministers from the EU countries have just finished a meeting over the future direction of EU fisheries policy. While a lot of attention has been put at the wasteful practise of discards the practise of shark finning was also discussed and is set to be banned by the EU. Shark finning is the practise of removing the fins of […]

Keep feeding the sharks

Keep feeding the sharks

Divers will travel the world to get to good locations to dive with sharks. It can be big money too. Some dive operators will feed an area to attract sharks for their clients but it’s a controversial practice. In some regions such as Florida the baiting for sharks have been banned while in other regions it’s accepted by local […]

Is 5% too much to save the sharks?

Shark finning is decimating shark populations across the world. The sharks are caught then the fins removed and the sharks – sometimes still alive but fatally wounded – are thrown back overboard. Some countries have regulations limiting the amount of bodiless fins that can be landed, but is it enough? Many counties, including the UK […]