The link between sharks, methane-hydrate and our future (November 24th 2009)
Phytoplankton, algae, and green plants currently produce about 70% of our Oxygen. Small fish and crustaceans eat these plants. Sharks, whales and big fish eat these small fish and crustaceans and therefore ensure that plants, algae and plankton are not over-consumed.
As numbers of sharks and whales drop their prey species continue to flourish in ever greater numbers. These consume larger and larger quantities of what is in essence our life line. Once shark numbers drop low enough and their prey are unchecked, the population explosion will cause a rapid drop in O2 levels around the globe and a rapid rise in CO2.
As we all know increased CO2 means that global temperatures will increase. An increase of 2 to 3 degrees will result in methane-hydrate, a chemical compound which when in it’s liquid state is slightly heavier than sea water, but with only a 2-3 degree temperature increase it will revert from a liquid to a gas. And when all of that methane escapes into the atmosphere all at once, it will strip us of our ozone layer in about 2 hours or less. No Ozone = no UV protection. No UV protection = no plants! All dead in about 2 weeks!
This will cause, what Erik Brush calls the “The Sixth Extinction”, an EEE (Elasmobranchii-cetacea Extinction Event). It will of course include the extinction of most or all of human life in a very shirt period of time.
Erik Brush will be publishing his book in January 2010, which describes his research and conclusions and which will serve as a platform to launch a series of huge campaigns to get the WEECs Act passed into law in the EU and UN. The WEEC Act (World Extinction Event Crimes Act) is an initial draft document which has been drawn up with the help of an international marine attorney. Among its proposals are making shark poaching and cetacean hunting a WEEC violation which would be treated the same as crimes against humanity. The WEECs Act woud also make shark netting illegal globally, as well as polluting the oceans, longline fishing, and gillnetting. An international law enforcement agency called IMEC (International Marine Enforcement Commision) would be set up with far-reaching powwers to ensure that no illegal activity takes place.
Full scale campaigning will begin once Erik’s book has been published.
Atlantic bluefin tuna update (November 17th 2009)
ICCAT has FAILED once again to implement a zero quote for bluefin tuna. They had a golden opportunity to save the fish they are supposed to be protecting and they failed to take advatnage of it. Instead of doing the job they are supposed to do (protect Atlantic bluefin tuna), ICCAT have acted as a roadblock to a protection. They appear to be more interested in supporting the fishing industry (which is very powerful in Spain – coincidentally ICCAT are based in Madrid). Write to them and tell them to DO THEIR JOB or GET OUT OF THE WAY. Read this article about ICCAT’s failure to act.
Urgent action required: ICCAT campaign (November 6th 2009)
ICCAT was set up to protect vulnerable fish species and maintain sustainable levels of fish stock but has failed miserably. Take part in this campaign and demand action from ICCAT to protect sharks and the bluefin tuna now!
Please sign these two petitions (November 2nd 2009)
Petition to the US Senate to close holes in current shark finning legislation. Sign here.
Sign this petition to remove shark nets in Australian waters.
Lets’s take shark fin soup off the menu! (September 24th 2009)
Do you want to get involved in your local area? Do you know of restaurants near where you live that serve shark fin soup? Well you can easily get in touch with other people who want to get shark fin soup taken off the menu. Check out the new page “take it off the menu” – if there is nobody in your area listed, then why not send me your details and I will post them so you can get in touch with others. It doesn’t even need to be your email address, myspace, facebook or twitter pages are fine. It can be intimidating doing this kind of thing yourself – it’s much easier with a bit of friendly moral support from others who share a passion sharks!
Florida’s Lemon sharks need our help (7th September 2009)
Please check out this article on the Shark Safe Netwrok and send an email or letter to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission indicating that you want strict legislation to protect shark species.
Please sign these petitions
Restaurants in the USA that sell shark fin soup (August 2009).
These restaurants sell shark fin soup – please boycott them and ask that they remove shark fin products from their menu.
Protest shark fin wholesalers (August 20th 2009).
Protest at shark fin wholesalers in the USA, UK, Spain, Australia and other countries. Click here for more info.
Albertson’s/Supervalu campaign update (July 21st 2009)
Oceanic Defense have stepped up their campaign against Albertson’s/Supervalu – they have obtained the email addresses of the board of directors and are asking people to email the directors to demand that shark be removed from their stores.
Oceanic Defense are also urging a boycott of Supervalu/ Albertson’s and have set up a petition. More info here.
Oceanic Defense has launched a campaign against Albertson’s/Supervalu because of their continued refusal to remove shark meat from their stores. Many sharks, including the thresher shark (being sold at Albertson’s) are now considered by experts to be at risk of extinction; many sharks are on the IUCN red list of endangered species.
Unregulated overfishing means that shark species have fallen by 90% compared to their levels just 20 or 30 years ago.
Shark meat is also highly toxic and can contain levels of mercury 60 times the official acceptable level. The EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) has classified it as an “Eco-Worst Choice” food.
Oceanic Defense has provided Albertson’s/Supervalu with the above information (and much more) but the company continues to market and sell shark meat. Albertson’s/Supervalu, like many companies, likes to ride the “environmental” bandwagon and make money branding themselves as environmentally friendly, but when push comes to shove they come off as phony.
I am asking you to:
1. Contact the following executives and ask them to stop selling shark meat:
Stephanie Martin Director of Communications
714.300.6659 office . 714.234.1078 cell
SUPERVALU. 1421. S Manhattan Avenue. Fullerton. CA. 92831
Supervalu Corporate contact:
2. Tell them you will boycott their stores until they make a commitment to stop selling any type of shark product.
Please spread the word to friends and family and on social networks, blogs and websites. Let’s make Albertson’s aware of the strength of feeling of the public about ocean conservation!
Petition to Palau to stop government reversing shark finning ban (June 16th 2009)
This issue is still very much alive – please sign this petition to ask the government of Palau to maintain their shark finning ban. To reverse it would be a disaster for sharks and would actually hurt their tourism industry as it is a very popular area with divers.
Boycott of Discovery’s Shark Week (June 15th 2009)
Sharkman’s World Organization has organized a petition to boycott Discovery’s shark week.
You might think it odd that we are suggesting you sign a petition against TV programs about sharks – but check it out and see why.
Campaign to remove shark nets from South African coast (June 4th 2009)
“It is hard to believe in this day in age with all we know about sharks, including their dwindling numbers, their critical role in our ecosystem, and the small risk they pose to us, that the archaic process of shark culling through the installation of shark fishing nets still exists.
But in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, hundreds of harmless sharks, as well as turtles, dolphins and rays, still meet an untimely death every year by the 28 km of nets. It could be said there was a time and place for nets.
When they were installed in the 50’s and 60’s, the public knew little about sharks and the fear of attack was high, with shark populations far healthier than they are today.
Since then, while shark fishing has skyrocketed eliminating much of the world’s shark populations, the public has been educated on the environment and biodiversity conservation, the risk of incident, as well as the sharks’ true behaviors towards humans.
It is time for a change. It is time for the nets to be removed. Join our campaign.”
Holista Stops Selling Shark Cartilage (May 27th 2009)
ARK II has received the formal letter from Holista which states that, “Holista has ceased purchasing Shark Cartilage raw materials and will no longer be producing Shark Cartilage products. It is our hope that this decision will contribute to the necessary global moratorium required on the harvesting of sharks.”
To read Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s formal letter provided in advance to the Holista executive board meeting to table this issue, please click here.
We wish to thank everyone who can been persistent with us in calling and writing Holista to encourage and influence this important decision.
Please take a moment to send a thank-you letter to Holista for leading the way to the necessary global moratorium on shark products. Please call or write to:
Holista Health (Canada) Inc.
2000 Brigantine Drive
Coquitlam, BC V3K 7B5
Toll Free Telephone: 1-800-204-4372
Toll Free Fax: 1-888-668-4252
Support the Marine Bill (19th May 2009)
The Marine and Coastal Access Bill is going through Parliament in the UK now. Check out the campaign section for information on how to support this very important Bill. Please get involved with this, it is a groundbreaking piece of legislation and the world is watching.
Help stop Palau government from reversing shark fin ban (6th April 2009)
If you’re like me you might not even know where Palau is. I admit I had to look it up on Wikipedia. If you like watching reality shows you may know it from the “Survivor” TV program. Palau is a young, beautiful island nation in the Pacific Ocean and it is a paradise for sharks. That’s why they have a ban on shark finning. Now it seems that the government wants to overturn the ban and allow sharks to be finned again under proposed new legislation (SB8-44). Maybe they think they can make more money from finning than from tourism? Who knows. They seem to be forgetting that sharks are an integral and vital part of any ocean eco system and are therefore essential to the health of the islands’ waters. On top of this the government also wants to introduce another bill (SB8-50) that will exempt fishing companies from export taxes on fish caught by purse seining and to allow those fish to be off-loaded at a foreign ports. According to Palau Shark Sanctuary, the combined effect will be:
- * To permit and encourage the killing of sharks in Palau’s waters
- * To promote shark finning
- * To promote fishing methods that according to Monterey Bay Aquarium “result in large amounts of unintended catch” including sharks, dolphins, turtles, rays and juveniles: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_gear.aspx
- * To exempt fishing companies from any export taxes on fish taken from Palau’s waters
- * To make it practically impossible for Palau’s law enforcement personnel to successfully prosecute alleged violators in the courts
- * To risk destroying Palau’s sustainable tourism industry
- * To risk destroying Palau’s marine resources through unsustainable practices
- * To gamble on all of the above for no apparent gain to Palau or Palauans.
So – how can we help? The private industry organizations Palau Chamber of Commerce (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Belau Tourism Association (email@example.com) and the government tourism office Palau Visitors Authority (firstname.lastname@example.org) are urging those around the world opposed to shark fishing, shark finning and unsustainable fishing practices to please express their concerns immediately by e-mail to all of the respective organizations. It seems unbelievable that Palau won the worlds very first Sharkprojects “Shark Guardian of The Year Award”, and that the government is considering such backward legislation! So please email all the above organizations to let them know you care about sharks and you want to see progressive legislation to protect them.
More info here.
Bite-Back campaign to ask Rick Stein to stop selling endangered fish (1 April 2009)
The UK shark and marine conservation group, Bite Back, has launched an email campaign to persuade well-known restauranteur and cook Rick Stein to stop selling endangered species of fish in his restaurants. Rick has so far refused to stop selling shark, monkfish, skate and other species in danger of extinction, saying that to do so would affect his wealthy business empire. Click here for more info and to send an email. Rick Stein’s web site is here, and it is also possible to email his business at this email address: email@example.com.
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ADVISES AGAINST EATING SHARK (March 27th 2009)
Due to the high levels of mercury found in shark meat the US Environmental protection agency advises pregnant women and children against eating shark.
In fact this warning is the first of their three main recommendations given on their website. “Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.”
What is mercury and methylmercury?
Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution. Mercury falls from the air and can accumulate in streams and oceans and is turned into methylmercury in the water. It is this type of mercury that can be harmful to your unborn baby and young child. Fish absorb the methylmercury as they feed in these waters and so it builds up in them. It builds up more in some types of fish and shellfish than others, depending on what the fish eat, which is why the levels vary.
Shark is one of the 4 species of fish that has been found to contain the highest levels of mercury. The levels of mercury found in shark fin are listed here.
Shark fin shows higher concentrations of mercury than other parts of the shark’s body. This is because the fins are dried and the mercury is therefore concentrated to a greater degree. Cooking does not remove the mercury.
Sharks are top predators. They accumulate all the mercury of the fish they eat. When you eat shark, you accumulate a shark’s lifetime of mercury.
More information is available here.
DON’T EAT SHARK FIN SOUP!
Shark Fin Bill Introduced in Palau (March 12th 2009)
A bill was introduced this week in the Palau Senate to allow shark finning in Palau. This contradicts the existing laws that apply harsh penalties for shark finning.
Please send a letter of protest to:
Palau, PW 96940.
80,000 tourists come to Palau each year to see fish and reefs, including sharks. This bill would allow the Taiwan and other country’s fishing vessels to shark fin in Palauan waters, where there are a lot of sharks due to the protection that has been afforded them previously. This bill, if enacted, will have a negative effect on tourism as well as further help to destroy the already declining shark population around the world.
This is a really dumb bill because sharks is one of the attractions for visitors to Palau.
Pledge to NEVER consume or serve shark fin products (March 6th 2009)
Many shark species today are in peril of extinction. You can help save them by signing this “no shark fin” pledge and encouraging your friends and family to do the same. Working together, we have the power to make a difference for sharks and the species that depend on them. (From the Humane Society website).
Loblaws no longer selling shark fin soup (January 21st 2009)
I was recently alerted to the fact that Canadian superstore Loblaws was stocking tinned shark fin soup to celebrate the Chinese new year. I posted on myspace about this and emailed the company. I received an email within 48 hours to alert me to the fact that they have now removed the product. The email I received is below:
Thank you for taking the time to email us as we always appreciate hearing from our customers.
At Loblaw Companies, we strive to offer our customers excellence in customer service alongside offering superior products.
As a company, we are committed to providing our consumers with a wide range of high quality, safe foods that are produced, manufactured and sourced responsibly. We serve a wide range of customers, and are proud of our ability to offer a large variety of choices to meet their expectations.
We have taken steps which we feel support our commitment for responsibly raised and caught fish and seafood products, including a partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). We are in the process of reviewing our policies regarding the sale of critical seafood species and are currently developing a future sustainable fishing policy.The shark fin soup product was a new, limited time item for Loblaw available only in select stores. We appreciate the sensitivities around the item that were brought to our attention, and upon close and immediate review we have now removed it from our shelves directly and the item will no longer be featured in our flyers.
As we value our customer feedback, we hope that we have addressed your concerns today and look forward to continuing to serve you.
Lisa D. Service à la clientèle Provigo, Loblaw, Maxi & Maxi et Cie.
Alibaba STILL selling shark fins (January 19th 2009)
This is a huge disappointment but depressingly predictable. Shark fins can still be easily sourced and bought through Alibaba as this article from Ocean Sentry shows. Buyers just ask suppliers of sea food if they can supply shark fins. Most say they can. These suppliers are listing their company names on Alibaba, and they are being contacted through Alibaba. The only thing that Alibaba have done is stop the listing of shark fin as a product on their site. But you can still buy massive quantities of shark fins at their site. To be fair to Alibaba they do appear to have made a sincere effort to stop the sale of shark fins (they remove any forum posts offering shark fins for example), however, it seems that more needs to be done.
What must Alibaba do? The following:
– make a policy statement on their website that shark fins must not be sold by any company who uses Alibaba’s services
– any company found to be selling shark fin products on their site should be permanently removed and banned from listing any products on Alibaba
Please write to Alibaba: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Let them know what you think they should do to stop companies selling shark fins through their site.
Alibaba now shark fin free (January 8th 2009)
Alibaba are now shark fin free, as their founder Jack Ma promised at the end of 2008.
A search of their website no longer produces any results of companies selling shark fins.
Much of the credit for this important victory must go to Brian Darvell of The University of Hong Kong whose patient and careful negotiations with Alibaba top dogs brought about the desired result. However in any issue of this nature, nothing happens unless their is a groundswell of public support for it. If we, the activits and campaigners had not done anything then Alibaba would probably have felt very little need to stop brokering shark fins.
This is a significant step towards educating the public about shark conservation. Shark fin soup is BAD!!