Hawaii bans shark fin soup – thank you Governor Linda Lingle

September 10, 2010

shark_finningFrom time to time a glimmer of hope appears as some honorable, committed individuals stand up for what is right, demand a change to human behaviour that, although it may be ‘traditional’, is just downright barbaric and damaging to the environment we live in – thank you Governer Linda Lingle of Hawaii!

Governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, has signed into law a ban on shark-fin soup, according to Reuters. The soup is currently served in a number of Chinese restaurants in Hawaii, but the trade has decimated certain shark species due to overfishing.

Between 26 and 73 million sharks are killed annually for their fins to produce the high-end delicacy in Asia. Sharks are brought aboard ships where their fins are cut off then they are thrown back into the water—often still alive—where they succumb to their injuries.

The trade is seen as the primary driver behind drastic declines in many shark species. The scalloped hammered population has dropped by 98 percent in some regions, while the oceanic whitetip shark has declined by 90 percent in the central Pacific Ocean and 99 percent in the Gulf of Mexico. The IUCN Red List has found that 32 percent of open ocean sharks and rays are currently threatened with extinction, a much higher percentage than mammals or birds.

Earlier in the year eight shark species failed to gain international protection at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Pressured by Japan, votes to protect sharks and other marine species failed time and again.

Read full article at Mongabay.com

If you’re interested you can contact Linda HERE to show your appreciation.

Yangtze turtles on the very edge of extinction

June 2, 2008

With only three males and a single female left in the world, a team of experts is battling to save a species on the edge of extinction.

He nudged her gently. She nuzzled him back. And, almost as one, the dozen herpetologists, vets, conservationists and zoo officials who were gathered around the enclosure let out a sigh of relief.

He may be 100 years old and she a sprightly 80, but all hope for one of the most critically endangered species on the planet, the Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle, is vested in them. Nature must take its course and, say scientists, the first signs are more than encouraging.

Only four Yangtze turtles are known to exist. Three are male – one in a zoo in Suzhou in China’s Jiangsu province, one in Vietnam’s famous Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi, and another in the wild in a lake east of Hanoi.

Until recently there was no known female. Barring a miracle, the species was to die out, mirroring the destiny of Lonesome George, the sole survivor of the Galápagos’s Pinta Island tortoises.

From the Guardian.co.uk: Read more

Humpback whales are making a comeback

May 23, 2008

Once hunted to the brink of extinction, humpback whales have made a dramatic comeback in the North Pacific Ocean over the past four decades, a new study says.

The study released Thursday by SPLASH, an international organization of more than 400 whale watchers, estimates there were between 18,000 and 20,000 of the majestic mammals in the North Pacific in 2004-2006.

Their population had dwindled to less than 1,500 before hunting of humpbacks was banned worldwide in 1966.

“It’s not a complete success, but it’s definitely very encouraging in terms of the recovery of the species,” said Jeff Walters, co-manager of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

From Discovery News: Read more