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Marine Life & Conservation

UK tightens law on International Shark Fin Trade



Shark Fins Act adopted into UK law today

The Shark Trust is celebrating as The Shark Fins Act passes into UK law, effectively reinforcing existing shark finning regulation through the broad application of global best practice.

The Shark Fins Act now enshrines Fins Naturally Attached into UK law,” said Ali Hood, Director of Conservation for the Shark Trust. The Act not only applies to UK fisheries but also prohibits the import and export of detached shark fins, whether loose or in products. And whilst not an all-out ban on shark fin consumption and trade, Hood says, “this creates a more challenging environment for would-be traders, simplifying customs checks, and enabling the UK to hold other countries to the same standards to which we hold ourselves.”

Earlier this month The Shark Fins Act completed its passage through both Houses of Westminster supported unanimously by MPs and Peers from all sides. The Shark Trust has engaged in proceedings with interest, acknowledging this historic step in a 20 year journey from the first Shark Finning Regulation in 2003.

Shark finning (the removal of shark fins at sea and the discard of the carcass overboard) was banned in Europe and as a result the UK in 2003, following a campaign championed by UK Members of the European Parliament. In 2009 the UK took steps to further tighten shark finning regulation requiring sharks to be landed with their fins still naturally attached. The EU took a further four years to adopt equivalent legislation (2013), finally prohibiting the landing of detached fins by EU vessels.

Christina Rees MP introduced the Act to The House of Commons in 2022 as a Private Members Bill, which successfully garnered cross-party support. The Bill then passed to ‘the other House’ in January 2023, where Baroness Jones of Whitchurch led the debate in the Lords. The Peers demonstrated a clear grasp of the issues involved, and shark finning and the fin trade were discussed as a facet of overfishing, which is widely accepted as the greatest threat to sharks.

I’m pleased to have played a small part in bringing an end to this cruel and wasteful practice,” said Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, “but the real thanks should go to the shark and marine conservation charities who did so much to highlight the need for a ban.”

Christina Rees, MP for Neath and Port Talbot added, “It has been a great privilege to take this hugely important Act through the House of Commons, and I am delighted to see it receive Royal Assent.

Rees continued saying, “I want to put on record my thanks to campaigners in the marine conservation charities, including the Shark Trust, Shark Guardian, and Bite-Back, who have worked tirelessly to highlight the need to establish a law. My thanks also go to Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, for all her hard work in ensuring the Act’s orderly passage through the Lords.

This Act represents years of work and is the culmination of the leadership role taken by the UK on shark finning regulation. Banning the import and export of detached fins is a important addition to the fins naturally attached policy.” Hood went on to say, “The Shark Trust is pleased to have been able to play its part, providing briefings and expertise at many junctures. Massive thanks to all the organisations and members of the public who have so passionately campaigned for tighter finning regulation over the years.

To read the full DEFRA Statement click here

For more about the Shark Trust visit their website


The Ocean Cleanup to Complete 100th Extraction Live from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch



the ocean cleanup
  • The Ocean Cleanup marks 100th extraction of plastic pollution from the Pacific Ocean by livestreaming entire cleaning operation from start to finish.
  • Occasion brings together supporters, partners, donors and followers as the project readies its cleanup technology for scale-up.
  • Founder and CEO Boyan Slat to provide insight on the plans ahead.

The Ocean Cleanup is set to reach a milestone of 100 plastic extractions from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Extraction #100, scheduled for 28 or 29 May 2024, will be the first ever to be livestreamed direct from the Pacific Ocean, allowing supporters and partners around the world to see up close how the organization has removed over 385,000 kilograms (nearly 850,000 lbs) of plastic from the GPGP so far – more than double the bare weight of the Statue of Liberty.

the ocean cleanup

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To do this, the non-profit project employs a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest accumulation of floating plastic), while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup captured its first plastic (the first ‘extraction’) in the GPGP in 2019 with System 001, following years of trials and testing with a variety of concepts. Through System 002 and now the larger and more efficient System 03, the organization has consistently improved and optimized operations, and is now preparing to extract plastic trash from the GPGP for the 100th time.

the ocean cleanup

Extraction #100 will be an interactive broadcast showing the entire extraction procedure live and in detail, with insight provided by representatives from across The Ocean Cleanup and partners contributing to the operations.

This is an important milestone in a key year for The Ocean Cleanup.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘We’ve come a long way since our first extraction in 2019. During the 2024 season, with System 03, we aim to demonstrate that we are ready to scale up, and with it, confine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the history books.

the ocean cleanup

The livestream will be hosted on The Ocean Cleanup’s YouTube channel and via X. Monitor @theoceancleanup for confirmed timings.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Dive with a Purpose: Shark Guardian’s Expedition Galapagos



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

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.


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

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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: or call 01483 411590 More Less

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