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Marine Life & Conservation

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW: Scubaverse talks with Brendan Kelly of Sea Shepherd about their campaign to stop the continued whale and dolphin slaughter in the Faroe Islands

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THIS IS HOW MANY OF THE PEOPLE ON THE FAROE ISLANDS ENJOY THEIR FREE TIME.

Are you thinking of a holiday in the Faroe Islands this year? If you’re passionate about Marine Life and Conservation, you might want to think again, says Jeff Goodman…

They call it tradition; they call it a gift from god. But it’s not. It’s archaic, it’s barbaric, it’s sickening and it’s totally unnecessary. The Faroese call it the ‘Grind’. I call it shameful. Each year thousands of Whales and Dolphins are herded onto the shores of the Faroe Islands and butchered in the most stressful and painful way imaginable. Whole pods and family groups are terrorised by people looking for a bit of entertainment.

GRINDSTOP 2014 3The Faroe Islands lie north of Scotland, half way between Norway and Iceland. The hunt was believed to have begun in the 15th century. Maybe it had purpose then. Food and oil to help mans survival. Today there is no need for either. In fact Whale meat, along with that from other marine species is positively not good for consumption as it holds high levels of PCB chemicals and Mercury – a legacy from our continual dumping of toxic waste at sea.

Today the Faroes is one of the wealthiest countries per capita in Europe. They have high standards of living and an almost zero crime rate. The Faroes tourist board boast of a beautiful destination – a great place for the family holiday. Funnily enough you will not see pictures of the Grind on the welcome brochures.

The Grind is not just a macho event for arrogant men, it is for the whole family to enjoy and take part in. Mum, dad, children, grandparents. It’s a real family day out. Creating terror and pain to another sentient species. Taking pleasure in driving heavy pulling hooks into blow holes. Proud of their skills at being able to saw through heads and spines with kitchen knives.

GRINDSTOP 2014 4  GRINDSTOP 2014 2

The conservation group Sea Shepherd along with other conservation organisations have tried many times to bring a stop to this senseless slaughter, but it never the less prevails. Now in 2014 Sea Shepherd is going all out to publicise this cruelty and bring the Grind to a halt. They cannot do this on their own. I ask you to support them. Social media has become a powerful tool for bringing people together and highlighting global problems. Share the facts of this crime against nature with all your friends. Be part of a culture that holds its head up high and says ‘we have had enough’.  Sea Shepherd is not full of highly paid activists, but made up of volunteers, people like you and me. People who care about the planet on which we all live.

On the 18th of Feb 2014 I attended a brief presentation on the Grind given by Brenda Kelly, a volunteer supporter of Sea Shepherd. After the talk I ask him about the campaign ahead.

 

[youtube id=”lxdHr01BTuo” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

 

GRIDSTOP 2014 LOGO

 

For more information, visit:

https://www.facebook.com/operaciongrindstop2014

http://www.seashepherd.org.uk/news-and-media/2013/09/09/sea-shepherd-announces-operation-grindstop-2014-1533

Contact Sea Shepherd: GrindStop@SeaShepherdGlobal.org

 

Jeff is a multiple award winning, freelance TV cameraman/film maker and author. Having made both terrestrial and marine films, it is the world's oceans and their conservation that hold his passion with over 10.000 dives in his career. Having filmed for international television companies around the world and author of two books on underwater filming, Jeff is Author/Programme Specialist for the 'Underwater Action Camera' course for the RAID training agency. Jeff has experienced the rapid advances in technology for diving as well as camera equipment and has also experienced much of our planet’s marine life, witnessing, first hand, many of the changes that have occurred to the wildlife and environment during that time. Jeff runs bespoke underwater video and editing workshops for the complete beginner up to the budding professional.

Marine Life & Conservation

Leading UK-based shark conservation charity, the Shark Trust, is delighted to announce tour operator Diverse Travel as a Corporate Patron

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Corporate Patrons provide a valuable boost to the work of The Shark Trust. The Trust team works globally to safeguard the future of sharks, and their close cousins, the skates and rays, engaging with a global network of scientists, policymakers, conservation professionals, businesses and supporters to further shark conservation.

Specialist tour operator Diverse Travel has operated since 2014 and is committed to offering its guests high quality, sustainable scuba diving holidays worldwide. Working together with the Shark Trust will enable both organisations to widen engagement and encourage divers and snorkellers to actively get involved in shark conservation.

Sharks are truly at the heart of every diver and at Diverse Travel, we absolutely share that passion. There is nothing like seeing a shark in the wild – it’s a moment that stays with you forever!” says Holly Bredin, Sales & Marketing Manager, Diverse Travel.

We’re delighted to celebrate our 10th year of business by becoming a Corporate Patron of the Shark Trust. This is an exciting partnership for Diverse and our guests. We will be donating on behalf of every person who books a holiday with us to contribute towards their vital shark conservation initiatives around the world. We will also be working together with the Trust to inspire divers, snorkellers and other travellers to take an active role – at home and abroad – in citizen science projects and other activities.”

Paul Cox, CEO of The Shark Trust, said:

It’s an exciting partnership and we’re thrilled to be working with Diverse Travel to enable more divers and travellers to get involved with sharks and shark conservation. Sharks face considerable conservation challenges but, through collaboration and collective action, we can secure a brighter future for sharks and their ocean home. This new partnership takes us one more valuable step towards that goal.”

For more information about the Shark Trust visit their website here.

For more about Diverse Travel click here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Trust Asks Divers to help with Shark Sightings this Global Citizen Science Month

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Whether you are stuck for ideas of what to do with the kids or are off on the dive trip of your dreams. You can get involved in Citizen Science Month and help the Shark Trust by providing vital data about sharks are rays both close to home and further afield.

In addition to reporting the sharks and rays you see on your dives, the eggcases you find on the beach, the Shark Trust is looking for some specific data from divers who are asked to report any Oceanic Whitetip and Basking Sharks.

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks

The Shark Trust are looking specifically for Oceanic Whitetip Shark sightings over the coming weeks and months. So, if you are diving anywhere in the world, please report your sightings via the website or app.

Website: https://recording.sharktrust.org/

App: Search The Shark Trust in your app store

The Oceanic Whitetip. Known for their incredibly long dorsal and pectoral fins, this species was once the most abundant oceanic-pelagic species of shark on the planet.

Large and stocky, they are grey or brown above, and white below and famous for their huge rounded first dorsal fin and paddle-like pectoral fins. The fins also highly prized within the shark fin trade. Whilst they are mostly solitary, Oceanic Whitetips do occasionally hunt in groups.

An inquisitive species, they were easy prey for fisheries. Combined with their low reproductive rate, they were inevitably at high risk of population depletion. And declines of up to 99% have been reported in certain sea areas. They are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Redlist (2019).

Conservation efforts to discourage further declines include listing on CITES Appendix II and CMS Appendix I. They’re also the only species prohibited from take by all the Tuna RFMOs (Regional Fisheries Management Organisations). However, these measures do not mean that Oceanic Whitetips are not still caught – whether targeted or as bycatch – in some parts of the world. With populations declining at such a high rate, effective implementation of management measures is essential to ensure that the species can recover.

If you are lucky enough to get an image of an Oceanic Whitetip and you record your sighting on the Shark Trust app or website YOU CAN WIN! All images submitted with sightings, that also give consent to use in conservation messaging, will be in with a chance to win an Oceanic Whitetip T-shirt and mug. The competition will run until the end of “Shark Month” in July – so keep those sightings (and images) coming in.

Basking Sharks

Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) season is upon us, and the Shark Trust is asking everyone to keep an eye out for these majestic giants over the summer months. If you see any, you can record your sighting to the Basking Shark Sightings database.

Each year, these mighty fish return to British waters to feed on plankton. You may see one, (or a few if you’re really lucky) from around April-October. They can be seen feeding at the surface of the water, where they look like they’re basking in the sun. Thus, their name!

Sighting hotspots around the British Isles include southwest England, Isle of Man, north coast of Ireland, and western Scotland. The Sea of the Hebrides is the most prolific sightings area in Scotland, but they have been spotted all around the coast and have even ventured into some of the sea lochs. The Shark Trust has received thousands of sightings since the Basking Shark project began, but more data is needed to truly understand what is going on with population numbers and distribution. You can help by recording your sightings this summer.

Great Eggcase Hunt

The Shark Trust has an Easter Egg Hunt with a difference for you to try. Take part in the Great Eggcase Hunt and get involved with a big citizen science project that helps shark, ray and skate conservation. And it’s an enjoyable activity for all the family.

The Shark Trust also want snorkellers and divers to record their underwater eggcase findings. Underwater records help pinpoint exactly where sharks and skates are laying their eggs and can help link to beach records. Learning the depth and substrate that they lay on also helps better understand the species.

Find out more: https://www.sharktrust.org/great-eggcase-hunt

Whether you are diving, snorkelling or exploring on the beach you can take part in Citizen Science Month and get actively involved in shark and ray conservation. Find out more: www.sharktrust.org

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