Shark-Free Marina Initiative

The Shark-Free Marina Initiative has a singular purpose, to reduce worldwide shark mortality. Today the not-for-profit company launches its strategy which intends to prevent the deaths of millions of vulnerable and endangered species of shark. The initiative aims to win over the fishing community by working with game fishing societies, tackle manufacturers, competition sponsors and marinas to form community conscious policy.

The Shark-Free Marina Initiative In the last five years over a half million sharks on average were harvested annually by the recreational and sport-fishing community in the United States alone. Many of these were breeding age animals and belong to vulnerable or endangered species. Research has shown that removal of adult sharks from the population is occurring at such an extreme rate that many species stand no chance of survival, severely damaging the delicate ecological balance of the oceans ecosystem. Continue reading

Pass the Shark Conservation Act

Shark Conservation ActThe Ocean Conservancy is asking for your help in stopping the wasteful and inhumane practice of shark finning — slicing off a shark’s valuable fins for soup and tossing the shark back into the sea to suffer a slow death.

The Ocean Conservancy is asking you to urge your senators to pass the Shark Conservation Act of 2009 right now.

The bill, which already passed in the House of Representatives last March, is needed to end the practice of shark finning in US waters and to step up shark conservation efforts in other countries. The US passed a national finning ban in 2000, but the practice continues and is still legal in many other nations. The demand for the fins, which can sell for up to hundreds of dollars per pound, remains high for shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy. Continue reading

South Africa designates world’s 6th largest MPA

South Africa designates world’s 6th largest MPA — a challenge for true Antarctic protection?

South Africa has started the process to designate the Prince Edward Islands Marine Protected Area, surrounding remote Prince Edward Island and Marion Island located in the southern ocean between South Africa and Antarctica. At a sprawling 180,000 square kilometers, it is the largest marine protected area (MPA) in the Antarctic region and the sixth largest MPA in the world, about half the size of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Continue reading

1st International Marine Conservation Congress

imccThe Marine Section of the Society for Conservation Biology will be hosting its first stand-alone meeting, the International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC), from 20-24 May 2009 at George Mason University near Washington D.C. This will be an interdisciplinary meeting that will engage natural and social scientists, managers, policy-makers, and the public. The goal of the IMCC is to put conservation science into practice through public and media outreach and the development of concrete products (e.g., policy briefs, blue ribbon position papers) that will be used to drive policy change and implementation. Continue reading

It’s no great sacrifice to protect the environment

From David Suzuki and Faisal Moola’s weekly Science Matters blog:

It’s no great sacrifice to protect the environment

I recently read an article about a woman in Spokane, Washington, who doesn’t like phosphate-free dish-washing detergents. Phosphate-containing detergents are banned in Spokane County because of their negative impact on the environment, so the woman drives 45 minutes to Idaho where phosphate detergents are still sold. The article also notes that the woman has a five-year-old daughter. I’m astounded.

People often argue that protecting the environment will require too many sacrifices. Is this what they mean? That they would risk their children’s futures because they can’t be bothered to rinse their dishes before putting them into the dishwasher? Continue reading