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Angelsharks in the Canary Islands – the last hope for this Critically Endangered shark

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Angel shark

angelsharkproject_webssg_webshark_trust_webThe last populations of the iconic Angelshark (Squatina squatina) can now only be seen in the Canary Islands. Once found along the coast of the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea (from Scandinavia to northwest Africa), this species is now Critically Endangered (as assessed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and has been lost from much of its previous distribution.

A major step toward securing the future of the Angelshark was taken last week. A multi-faceted group of divers, scientists and conservation organisations are working together with the Canary Island Government, National Government, and local and international shark experts to identify and address the major threats to Angelshark conservation. A workshop, hosted by Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria last week, harnessed the expertise of these participants and enabled the development of a comprehensive Conservation Action Plan for this species in the Canary Islands. The vision of this plan is that Angelsharks in the Canary Islands are abundant and protected in their unique stronghold.

We know that at least one-quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened,” Professor Nicholas Dulvy of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, based at Simon Fraser University, Canada commented, “and angel sharks are one of the most threatened families of marine fishes.

These islands have a truly diverse fishing community,” Ali Hood, Director of Conservation at the Shark Trust noted; adding that “the support of both commercial and recreational fishers will be key to reducing immediate pressures on the Angelshark.”

David Jiménez Alvarado, Project Officer of the Angel Shark Project remarked “It is vital to understand the critical habitats of this majestic and poorly known shark in this unique stronghold, and we encourage all divers to submit sightings to our online database (www.angelsharkproject.com).”

The angel shark family (Squatinadae) was identified as the second most threatened of all the world’s sharks and rays. By safeguarding a healthy population of the Angelshark in their last remaining stronghold of the Canary Islands, it may one day be possible for this species to be restored to its historic range.

The finalised Angelshark Action Plan for the Canary Islands will be distributed and publicly available by the end of the year.

For more information visit:

www.angelsharkproject.com

www.sharktrust.org/en/angelshark

www.iucnssg.org/conservation-strategies-angel-sharks.html

Source: www.sharktrust.org

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Mares & SSI launch new promotion

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SSI expands financial support to SSI Members worldwide. 

2020 has been an unusual and challenging year for the entire world, especially the diving and travel industry!  To weather the crisis, SSI immediately jumped into action to help Training Centers and Professionals around the world.  

In response to COVID-19, SSI launched the No Water, No Problem Campaign, put Final Exams online, and held hundreds of Webinars to train Professionals on how to use distance learning to teach the dry Specialties online. The FREE SCIENCE OF DIVING promotion resulted in SSI Training Centers worldwide register over 50,000 FREE DIGITAL KITS, funding more than $3.5 MILLION IN RETAIL VALUE. Additionally, SSI introduced an aggressive DOUBLE PRO REWARDS incentive to help SSI Professionals compensate 2020 Renewal Fees and reduce those for 2021. Currently, the WE WANT YOU Crossover promotion aims to fill the industry need for instructors and strengthen the entire SSI Professional community.

Now, in conjunction with Mares, SSI is launching the GO DIVING – PROTECT YOURSELF. OWN EQUIPMENT Promotion, which includes a FREE SSI EQUIPMENT TECHNIQUES DIGITAL KIT. This new campaign strives to motivate divers worldwide to go diving and buy equipment. Look for more information on this next retail support campaign within the next few days.

“These are just a few examples of how we have supported and are continuing to support our Training Centers, Professionals, and divers worldwide. To provide even more economic security and help in business recovery, WE WILL NOT INCREASE PRICES FOR 2021. While travel was restricted and some key resort areas completely locked down, SSI mainly focused on supporting domestic markets with retail-driven incentives. Now, in this next re-opening phase, we need to shift gear and assist resort markets that have no local diving community and are 100% dependent on the traveling diver. Therefore, SSI will grant certain special conditions and delayed payment options to specific resort markets which have been locked down for longer than six months or suffered from closed borders,” stated Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO.

Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO, explains further, “To financially support these needed investments which directly benefit SSI Members and to protect the health of our valuable members and staff, we will forego all 2021 Trade Shows over the next 12 months. Despite international uncertainty, every time we experience one of these events, the entire SSI Network emerges stronger and more resilient. Be assured, SSI is your trustful partner within the Diving Industry!”

For more information about SSI visit their website by clicking here.

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Photo Gallery: Shark Diving in The Bahamas

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In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they look at Shark Diving in The Bahamas.


The Bahamas offers some of the very finest shark diving experiences in the world. The islands have protected sharks in their waters creating one of the first Shark Sanctuaries in the world. Several species of shark can be seen and photographed, with each island offering a different type of shark diving, making this destination the perfect place for a multi-island, multi-shark trip of a lifetime.

Great Hammerhead Shark diving in Bimini

Bull Sharks in Bimini

Tiger Shark off Grand Bahama

Oceanic Whitetip Shark off Cat Island

Nurse Shark off Abaco

Caribbean Reef Sharks off New Providence

Lemon Sharks off Grand Bahama

For more images from The Bahamas and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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