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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Trust: Atlantic Tuna Commission Fails Sharks Again

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This press release came through from the Shark Trust last week:

Cape Town, South Africa. November 25, 2013.  Fishing nations at the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) failed to reach consensus on several shark conservation proposals, including European Union (EU) bids to establish catch limits for shortfin makos and to prohibit retention of porbeagles.  A multi-national effort to strengthen the ICCAT ban on shark finning (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea) was also defeated, yet gained support from a considerable number of ICCAT member countries during the meeting.

“Despite our deep disappointment over the final outcome for sharks at this meeting, we are encouraged by the growing number of countries taking a stand for international conservation of these exceptionally vulnerable species,” said Sonja Fordham, President of Shark Advocates International.  “In particular, we welcome support for stronger finning bans from Senegal and Gabon, and are hopeful that these voices signal increasing engagement from African nations in the global battle against overfishing and waste of sharks.”

The U.S., Belize, and Brazil were unsuccessful in their fifth attempt to strengthen the ICCAT finning ban by replacing the current fin-to-carcass weight ratio limit with a prohibition on removing fins at sea, due to strong opposition from Japan, China, and Korea. The move toward the more reliable “fins-attached” policy, however, gained co-sponsorship this year from the EU, Egypt, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Senegal, and the Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom.

“We continue to be encouraged by the expanding leadership toward stronger finning bans from countries in Latin America,” said Alejandra Goyenechea, International Counsel for Defenders of Wildlife. “Guatemala, Mexico, and Panama joining Brazil and Belize in co-sponsoring the fins-attached proposal demonstrates significant regional commitment and growing international momentum for this best practice.”

An EU proposal to establish catch limits for heavily fished, highly vulnerable shortfin mako sharks received general support from the U.S., but failed due to strong opposition from Japan, China, and Korea.  ICCAT scientists have recommended measures to ensure shortfin mako fishing does not increase, yet makos are not subject to quotas under ICCAT or through the main Atlantic mako fishing nations of Spain and Portugal.

“We are grateful for the EU’s increasing efforts to secure shark conservation measures at ICCAT, and yet remind officials that there is much work to do for sharks in Europe,” said Ali Hood, Director of Conservation for Shark Trust. “We encourage the European Commission to boost its case for ICCAT safeguards for sharks by establishing EU limits on oceanic sharks, especially makos, and by demonstrating for Asian delegations that the fins-attached method is feasible for large-scale, high-seas freezer fleets, using examples from Spain.”

For the fourth year in a row, Canada ensured the defeat of an EU proposal to protect porbeagle sharks.

For more information on the Shark Trust, click here.

Marine Life & Conservation

Dive with a Purpose: Shark Guardian’s Expedition Galapagos

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Shark Guardian has just unveiled their largest and most exciting expedition yet: a seven-night, eight-day adventure in August 2026 aboard the Galaxy Diver II, a state-of-the-art
vessel specifically designed for divers exploring the enchanting waters of the Galapagos
Islands. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to engage deeply with marine
conservation in one of the world’s most revered diving destinations.

Shark Guardian is a UK registered charity dedicated to protecting sharks and marine
ecosystems worldwide. Founded by marine biologists and conservationists, Brendon
Sing and Liz Ward-Sing, Shark Guardian leads educational programs, research projects,
campaigns and expeditions aimed at fostering a better understanding and respect for
marine life. Their work spans several continents and focuses on direct action,
education, and advocacy.

Shark Guardian’s ethos revolves around the concept of “diving with a purpose.” This
philosophy underscores the importance of not just experiencing the wonders of the
underwater world but actively learning and contributing to its preservation. Participants
in Shark Guardian expeditions engage in citizen science projects, which involve
collecting data that supports ongoing research and conservation efforts. These
activities empower divers to make a tangible difference, turning each dive into an act of
conservation.

One of the newer additions to the Galapagos diving scene, the Galaxy Diver II, is
specifically tailored for divers. Its design prioritises comfort, safety, and environmental
responsibility. The vessel boasts modern amenities, spacious dive decks, and the latest
navigational technology, ensuring that every dive is not only memorable but also has
minimal environmental impact.

A highlight of this expedition is the opportunity to dive at Wolf and Darwin islands,
renowned for their vibrant, untouched marine ecosystems and as a haven for large
pelagic species. These islands are famous for their schools of hammerhead sharks,
whale sharks, and manta rays, offering spectacular diving that attracts enthusiasts from
around the globe.

Shark Guardian have developed this trip to ensure a hassle-free experience. The
expedition package also includes internal flights from Quito, Ecuador, to the Galapagos,
plus accommodation in Quito before and after the trip. This allows divers to relax and
enjoy the experience without worrying about logistics.

Participants will join a diverse group of passionate divers and conservationists. This trip
offers a unique opportunity to network with like-minded individuals who are eager to
learn about and contribute to marine conservation. It’s a chance to share experiences,
knowledge, and a commitment to protecting the marine world.

sharks

Shark Guardian is offering an early bird price available until May 31st 2024. This special
rate provides a fantastic opportunity to secure a spot on this exclusive expedition at a
reduced cost. Availability is limited, so interested divers are encouraged to act quickly
to ensure they don’t miss out. All the details can be found on their WeTravel page, where
bookings can be made easily and payment instalments are available.

Expedition Galapagos, aboard the Galaxy Diver II offers more than just a diving
holiday—it is an investment in both personal and planetary well-being. By participating,
divers not only witness the majesty of one of the world’s premier diving locales but also
contribute to its preservation for future generations.

Find out more about Shark Guardian at www.sharkguardian.org.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Trust Launches New Podcast

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The Shark Trust has launched their new podcast. Delve behind the scenes and gain exclusive insights in the world of shark and ray conservation on The Shark Trust Podcast. Out Now!

Join the Shark Trust on this journey as they explore the diverse world of sharks. Hear from experts from different backgrounds and learn how you can become a part of the global effort to protect these vital species.

Whether you’re a seasoned shark expert or just dipping your toes beneath the surface, this podcast offers something for everyone!

shark trust

In the first series you will hear from the Shark Trust team. Shark Trust Patrons, Monty Halls, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Simon Rogerson. Divers with a passion for sharks. And some of the Oceanic 31 artists.

New episodes released every two weeks on all major podcast platforms and watch full video versions on the Shark Trust YouTube Channel. Keep your eyes peeled for the bonus minisodes!

There are two available to dive into right now!

Episode 1: Dive beneath the waves of shark and ray conservation with Mark as he speaks with Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust. Paul and Mark discuss the threats and difficulties that sharks and rays currently face in the modern world. And how the Shark Trust is working to create a better future for them!

Bonus Minisode: Join Mark at Go Diving, the UK’s biggest dive show. He interviews Shark Trust Patron, Simon Rogerson, about his diving experiences and how seeing sharks can transform your life!

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

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