shark

Oceana Victory—NOAA Backs Down from Undermining State Fin Bans!

Posted Fri, Feb 7, 2014 by Amelia Vorpahl to noaa, shark, shark fin ban, shark fin trade

Oceana ran a series of Metro ads urging NOAA to side with sharks, not shark finners. (Photo: Oceana / Jenn Hueting)

After months of public campaigning and pressure by Oceana and other conservation groups, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has officially backed down from a proposal that would undermine bans on the sale of shark fins in Washington, Maryland and California. NOAA has not yet ruled on other states, or clarified whether it will drop disturbing language in a new shark fishing rule.


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Whale Shark Slaughterhouse Discovered in China

Posted Thu, Jan 30, 2014 by Sara Young to shark, shark finning, whale shark

(All photos: WildLifeRisk)

Warning: This post discusses a graphic subject, and some photos might be upsetting to readers. 

Sharks are still in danger, not just in the U.S. but around the world. WildLifeRisk, a Hong Kong-based conservation group, has recently revealed the world’s largest shark slaughterhouse, which processes hundreds of shark carcasses every year to provide oil for health and cosmetic products, meat and fins for restaurants, and skins for handbags.


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Second-Biggest Shark-Catching Country in World BANS SHARK FINNING

Posted Wed, Aug 28, 2013 by Justine Sullivan to india, shark, shark fin ban, shark fin soup, shark finning

This 2010 map shows the top 20 countries annual shark catch worldwide. India, ranking #2, has moved to ban shark finning throughout the country and its waters. l Image: FAO Fisheries Department

“This news is big, and we are absolutely thrilled to share it with you – India has moved to outlaw shark finning! India ranks second only to Indonesia in terms of the number of sharks caught each year, so this ban is a major victory for ever-dwindling shark populations.

The brutal practice of shark finning involves slicing off a shark’s fins, often while the shark is still alive, then tossing the shark back into the water to drown or bleed to death. Shark meat is far less valuable than their fins, which means that their bodies take up precious cargo space, creating an incentive to only keep the most valuable parts and allowing more sharks to be caught on each trip.  The United States and European Union have already banned the practice of shark finning in their respective waters


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BIG NEWS for the Big Apple: NY Bans Shark Fin Trade!

Posted Fri, Jul 26, 2013 by Justine Sullivan to andrew cuomo, governor cuomo, New York, shark, shark fin market, shark fin soup, shark finning, signing

With Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature today, New York joins Maryland and Delaware as the third state on the East Coast to ban the sale, trade, distribution and possession of shark fins throughout the state, and the eighth state in the nation to adopt the ban. Every state that passes similar laws moves our country closer to shutting down the U.S. market for shark fin soup. This newly minted victory is already threatened, however, by proposals by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to block these important measures.


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Future of Great Whites in the Hands of California Leaders

Posted Mon, Jul 15, 2013 by Ashley Blacow to california, endangered, endangered species act, ESA, great white, great white shark, shark

Great white sharks like this one risk extinction unless we move to award them the protections they so desperately need. Photo: Sharkdiver.com

We are alarmed by the recent decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) not to provide needed protections for U.S. West Coast great white sharks under the federal Endangered Species Act. NMFS declined protections despite current science estimates of only a few hundred sub-adult and adult white sharks at their primary aggregation sites. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) petition submitted by Oceana and its partners to NMFS met all the legal criteria and demonstrated through the best available science that this special population of great white sharks clearly warrants protections under the ESA.


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VICTORY: European Union Bans All Shark Finning!

Posted Mon, Jul 8, 2013 by Justine Sullivan to europe, European Union, finning, shark, shark fin soup, shark finning

© Oceana/Carlos Suarez

We at Oceana are thrilled to share this news with you – the European Union (EU) has just officially adopted a strict ban on shark finning! Saturday ended nearly a decade of battle to close several enforcement loopholes that had permitted some forms of shark finning. Finning has technically been prohibited in the EU since 2003, but an exemption allowed Member States to issue special permits for fishing vessels to remove shark fins on board. In particular, an exemption used by Spain and Portugal allowed some vessels to remove sharks’ fins at sea, which made it nearly impossible to detect and monitor the finning that was occurring.


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"Snuffy the Seal": Offensive or Effective?

Posted Thu, Jun 27, 2013 by Justine Sullivan to discovery, great white shark, save snuffy, shark, shark finning, shark week, snuffy the seal

Whether this was your first or fiftieth time watching the Discovery Channel’s viral Shark Week ad, “Snuffy the Seal,” the video is sure to have caught your attention. The ad has been called “polarizing,” “controversial,” and even “horrifying.” Loved or hated, there’s no doubt that the video is effective – mere minutes after the promo aired, “Snuffy the Seal,” was a trending topic on Twitter, and dozens of news articles have been written in the days since its release on the ad’s effectiveness and shock value.


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Victory! Delaware Becomes Seventh State in U.S. to Ban Shark Fin Trade!

Posted Thu, May 16, 2013 by Beth to ban, delaware, governor cuomo, governor markell, shark, shark fin soup, shark finning

Shark fins, like these drying on a sidewalk in Hong Kong, can no longer be sold, traded, possessed, or distributed in the state of Delaware! Source: Nicholas Wang

Yesterday, Delaware became the seventh state to prohibit the sale, trade, possession and distribution of shark fins within state borders. By signing House Bill 41, Gov. Jack Markell not only made Delaware the second East Coast state to ban the shark fin trade, but he sent the message that sharks are worth more in the oceans than in a bowl of shark fin soup.


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Drift Gillnets Kept at Bay . . . For Now

Posted Wed, Mar 13, 2013 by Ashley Blacow to california, dolphins, drift gillnets, leatherback sea turtles, oregon, pacific fishery management council, shark, sperm whales, swordfish

A frequent victim of drift gillnets © Jose Alejandro Alvarez/Marine Photobank

We can breathe a momentary sigh of relief. This Monday, the Pacific Fishery Management Council voted unanimously to maintain protections off California and Oregon for the critically endangered population of Pacific leatherback sea turtles. However, in 2014 these federal fishery managers will consider another proposal for allowing driftnets into sea turtle habitat southwest of Monterey, California.

At the meeting a few days ago in Tacoma, Washington, the Council considered a full array of proposals to expand the use of drift gillnets off California and Oregon and into an area currently designated to protect Pacific leatherback sea turtles. But Oceana—with the help of our partners, and support of our avid Wavemakers—successfully thwarted those efforts by presenting new science on the decline of leatherback sea turtles; by revealing scientific data showing massive wasteful bycatch of large whales, dolphins, sharks, and other fish by the drift gillnet fishery; and by bringing forward the public uproar over the proposed expansion of the driftnet fishery into a currently protected area.

Mile-long drift nets hang like invisible curtains in the water column to catch swordfish, but they unselectively entangle other marine life traversing through the open ocean. To numerically paint the portrait of this wasteful fishery, for every five swordfish caught in 2011, one marine mammal was killed and six fish were tossed back dead. When it comes to whales, this fishery takes many species, but one of particular concern is the sperm whale. The largest of the toothed whales, sperm whales have the largest brain of any animal and it is estimated that 16 of these amazing endangered whales were taken in the drift gillnet fishery in 2010 alone.


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