From Shark Conservation

United Arab Emirates bans shark finning

UAE bans shark finning

According to a report by Emirates 24/4, The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has issued a measure to ban shark finning. In addition to the ban on finning, the measure will also make it illegal to hunt sharks within 5 nautical miles of the UAE shores and 3 nautical miles of from the shores of UAE’s islands.

The measure was issued by UAE Minister of Environment and Water, Rashid bin Fahd. It will be enforced beginning September 1, 2014.

Indonesia’s ‘walking’ bamboo shark highlights conservation efforts

Dr. Mark Erdmann recently posted an article discussing how the recent discovery of a “walking” bamboo shark highlights a shift in Indonesia’s shark conservation attitude. According to Erdmann, Indonesia has gone from leading the world in the export of dried shark fins for almost three decades to creating regulations to protect elasmobranchs (including shark and ray sanctuaries in Raja Ampat and West Manggarai). Erdmann cites an increased awareness of the importance of sharks due to both their role in the ecosystem and potential economic value through eco-tourism.

Scientific discoveries such as the newly discovered ‘walking’ shark (Hemiscyllium halmahera) present an opportunity to the government and local business to promote tourism to Indonesia. The species of bamboo shark uses its fins to ‘walk’ along the ocean floor and could potentially serve as symbol for marine conservation efforts in the region.

For more information, check out the full story at the Conservation International Blog.

European Union (EU) adopts strict shark fin ban

According to an Oceana press release, the European Union (EU) adopted a strict ban on shark finning, which became effective on July 6, 2013. Existing shark EU shark finning regulations banned the finning of sharks. However, loopholes in the existing regulations allowed exemptions which made enforcement of the ban difficult.

The amended shark fin ban closes the previously existing loopholes and requires all sharks landed in EU ports and by EU vessels worldwide to have their fins naturally attached.

For more information, check out the Oceana press release and the full-text of the amended EU regulation

Los Angeles children celebrate Kids Ocean Day

2013 Kids Ocean Day
2013 Kids Ocean Day – Artwork designed by Adam Mendoza – Photo by Lou Dematteis

Press Release – Kids Ocean Day

More than 3,500 Los Angeles kids, teachers and volunteers form a giant kid, designed by 8th grader Adam Mendoza, holding a seashell to its ear as the ocean says "Listen" as part of the 20th Annual Kids Ocean Day Adopt-A-Beach Clean-Up organized by the Malibu Foundation, City of Los Angeles, Spectral Q, Keep LA Beautiful and the California Coastal Commission in Los Angeles on May 16, 2013. The kids are alerting the world about the need to listen to the ocean and protect it from the everyday trash and plastic litter that flow down the streets, killing marine life and polluting food resources.

Kudos to all those who participated in this year’s Kids Ocean Day at Dockweiler State Beach. Not only did the participants join together to make some very cool “aerial artwork,” they also contributed their time and hard work to help clean up the beach!

Massachusetts Great White Shark license plate pre-order

Massachusetts drivers may soon be able to show off a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) themed license plate, if a minimum of 1,500 of the plates can be pre-sold by June 20, 2013. The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy recently unveiled the new license plates, featuring artwork by marine artist Paul McPhee.

Massachusetts waters around Cape Cod have become a renown aggregation point for white sharks during the summer months. Atlantic White Shark Conservancy have introduced the license plates with the goal of raising awareness, promoting education, and supporting research associated with Atlantic white sharks.

According to the AWSC website

Atlantic White Shark Conservancy is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization committed to raising public awareness of white sharks.

The Conservancy supports scientific research, improves public safety, and educates the community, to inspire conservation of white sharks in the Atlantic Ocean.

If you are a Massachusetts resident, and you would like to pre-order the AWSC license plate, you can get all the information you need at the campaign website, which includes a link to the license plate order form.