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Progress Toward a Stronger Shark Finning Ban at NAFO



An effort by the European Union and the United States to better prevent shark “finning” (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea) gained support from Cuba and Norway during this week’s annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO). The EU and US have repeatedly proposed that NAFO and other international fisheries bodies strengthen existing finning bans by prohibiting the removal of shark fins at sea. In the end, however, lack of support from Canada, Japan, and Korea led to the proposal’s defeat.

“Banning at-sea removal of shark fins and thereby requiring that sharks be landed with their fins still naturally attached is widely recognized as the most reliable method for preventing shark finning,” said Sonja Fordham of Shark Advocates International. “We are extremely pleased that this week Cuba and Norway joined the growing chorus of countries calling for adoption of this best practice as a cornerstone of responsible shark fisheries management.”

NAFO banned shark finning in 2005, but allows shark fins to be removed at sea and stored separately from shark carcasses onboard, as long as the fin-to-carcass weight ratio does not exceed 5%. Using ratios to enforce finning bans has proved complicated and difficult, but ratios remain on the books in countries like Canada and Japan. The EU replaced its ratio limit with a complete ban on at-sea shark fin removal in 2013.

“We are deeply grateful for EU leadership in promoting fins-attached rules worldwide,” said Ali Hood of the UK-based Shark Trust. “We urge expanded efforts to demonstrate the method’s success and continued work to increase the number of countries co-sponsoring these important initiatives in international fishery arenas.”

Conservation groups are expecting that a multi-national proposal for an international ban on at-sea shark fin removal will again be debated at the November meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) in Malta.

“We now look to the ICCAT meeting for continuing to build the global momentum toward stronger finning bans,” added Ania Budziak of Project AWARE. “We are hopeful that growing support from various constituent groups, including increasingly engaged divers, over the coming months will help ensure additional progress toward safeguarding sharks.”

Cuba will host the 2016 NAFO annual meeting next September. There, in addition to likely again debating finning of sharks, parties will set quotas for closely related skates. The main target of the region’s skate fisheries, the thorny or starry skate (Amblyraja radiata), is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as threatened. The NAFO skate quota is currently higher than the level advised by scientists.

NAFO Contracting Parties include Canada, Cuba, Denmark (in respect to the Faroe Islands & Greenland), the European Union, France (in respect to Saint Pierre et Miquelon), Iceland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the US. NAFO Parties develop international management measures for Northwest Atlantic fish (except salmon, tunas/marlins, and sedentary species).


Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition (Watch Video)



In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-large, chats to Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition. The See you at the Sea Festival was an online film festival created by young people, for young people.

Veronica’s film – Worse things Happen at Sea – can be seen here:

Sixth and final in a series of six videos about the competition. Watch the first video HERE with Jenn Sandiford – Youth Engagement Officer with the Your Shore Beach Rangers Project and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust – to find out more about the Competition. Each day this week will be sharing one video in which Jeff talks with the young contestants about their films and what inspired them.

For more information please visit:

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Peli proud to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution



We know Peli from its popular camera cases, but from discovery to distribution, Peli’s temperature-controlled packaging is now delivering COVID-19 vaccines all over Europe and the Middle East

With the pandemic recovery just underway, COVID-19 vaccines and therapies are rapidly becoming available for use and they must be safely distributed worldwide, within their required temperature range. Peli’s BioThermal™ division is providing temperature-controlled packaging to meet this critical moment, protecting these crucial payloads.

Peli’s innovative cold chain packaging has been trusted for nearly 20 years by pharmaceutical manufacturers to safely ship their life-saving products around the world. To meet the current challenge, they have adapted their existing products to provide deep frozen temperatures when required for the newly developed life sciences materials. Current and new offerings will ensure the cold chain is maintained throughout the vaccine or therapy’s journey, maximising efficacy and patient health.

“We know that pharmaceutical companies are in all phases of the development process for vaccines and therapeutics and working tirelessly to bring safe and effective drug products to market quickly,” said Greg Wheatley, Vice President of Worldwide New Product Development and Engineering at Peli BioThermal. “Our engineering team matched this urgency to ensure they have the correct temperature-controlled packaging to meet them where they’re at in drug development for the pandemic recovery, from discovery to distribution.”

Peli BioThermal’s deep frozen products use phase change material (PCM) and dry ice systems to provide frozen payload protection with durations from 72 hours to 144+ hours. Payload capacities range from 1 to 96 litres for parcel shippers and 140 to 1,686 litres for pallet shippers.

New deep-frozen solutions are ideal for short-term vaccine storage, redirect courier transport of vaccines from freezer farm hubs to immunisation locations and daily vaccine replenishment to remote and rural areas.

Peli BioThermal temperature-controlled packaging is currently being used to distribute COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, either directly or through global transportation providers, in Denmark, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the UK as well as in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, with more countries set to join the list as the pandemic recovery process rolls out.

To learn more about the wide range of deep frozen Peli BioThermal shippers, visit and for more information.

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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

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