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.

38cm baby Whale Shark rescued in Philippines

March 12, 2009

small_whale_sharkA 38cm-long whale shark, the size of a forearm, was rescued and released last week by activists in the waters off Pilar in eastern Philippines. The World Wide Fund for Nature called it “arguably the smallest living whale shark in recorded history.” The group said the tiny whale shark was tied to a small rope on a beach and said the discovery is the first indication that the Philippines coastline may be their birthing ground. In this photo, biologist Embet holds the baby whale shark.

Click HERE for ABC News Baby Animals photograph library.

shark immune system secretion inhibits growth of human cancer tumours…

June 20, 2008

Studies into the low rate of disease amongst sharks leads to exciting implications for human cancer treatment.

Scientists have spent 10 years using carcinogens to try to induce cancer in sharks and skates, to no avail. After turning their attention to trying to understand shark immunology, they were able to confirm that sharks have a unique lymphoid tissue, not present in any other animals, that does nothing but make immune cells.

These unusual immune cells were found, in the lab, to secrete a substance that inhibits human tumor cells. So far they’ve tested the substance–they’re still not exactly sure what it is–on 18 different human tumor cell lines, including breast and pancreatic cancer. It’s inhibited all of them.

Funding is now being sought for further testing, efforts to further understand and identify sharks’ tumor-inhibiting secretion, making it possible one day for scientists to synthesize it.

From Forbes.com: Read more

Mediterranean Hammerhead shark population fallen by 99.99%

June 13, 2008

Conservationists have examined historical fishing records which show that sharks in the Mediterranean Sea have suffered dramatic declines in the past few decades due to overfishing.

The scalloped hammerhead shark. A team of scientists at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, examined fishery logbooks that chart the demise of several shark species. The records show hammerheads all but vanished from coastal waters in 1900, and have barely been spotted in the open sea for 20 years. They say the hammerhead population has fallen 99.99% in 200 years.

Some thresher shark species have dwindled by more than 99%, according to the fishing records examined by conservationists.

Records from long-line fisheries suggest a 99.99% fall in mackerel sharks. The typical size of sharks caught in the Mediterranean is among the lowest in the world, indicating that more young sharks are being caught.

Since the mid-1950s blue sharks have declined by 96.5%.

Conservation groups fear that without strict catch limits on sharks, many of the 47 species in the Mediterranean will soon become locally extinct.

From the Guardian.co.uk: See slideshow story

Do Sharks really bite?

May 29, 2008

Wonderful article from 1931 issue of Popular Science.

“Is It Possible to Learn the Truth About the Habits of Alleged Man-Eaters in the Semitropic Water? Here Is the Report of a Study Made for Popular Science Monthly by One Who Now Fears the Swift Monsters…”

SOME years ago, I heard a celebrated naturalist state unequivocally that sharks would not attack men. As proof of his statement, he cited his own experience in shark-infested waters. Clad only in a bathing suit and a diving helmet, he had descended to the sea bottom, staying there for considerable periods while sharks and other fish swam negligently about, merely evincing a mild curiosity in his presence.

Further, this naturalist said that, though he had tried in various parts of the world to run down instances in which men had been attacked by sharks, he had failed to discover a single authenticated case. He gave it as his opinion that attacks hitherto attributed to sharks had in reality been perpetrated by that other killer of the sea, the barracuda.

Not being a naturalist, I do not propose to set up my own opinions in controversion of an expert. Nevertheless, I have gleaned a few items of information that do not gee with the theory that the shark is as harmless as a dove.

From Modernmechanix: Read more

Cheers for the tip Limbic

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