Showing posts from 2008

Alibaba Ceases Trade in Shark Fins

Press release

December 21, 2008 In Honour of The Year of the Shark, Alibaba Ends its Trade in Shark Fins
The International Year of the Shark gets off to a good start on January 1, 2009, as on-line trading giant, Alibaba, ceases its trade in shark fins.

The company has been in negotiations regarding the issue for the past year, since shark advocate Brain W. Darvell brought the problem to their attention. Urging Alibaba to cease the trade, which poses a major threat to the survival of the targeted shark species, has been one of the prime projects of The Shark Group.

As a result of the information they provided, and the numbers of organizations concerned by the company's involvement in the shark fin trade, Alibaba made the group-wide decision to disallow shark fins, and shark fin products, on any of their trading sites. They have encouraged their users to report incidences of shark fin trading, saying that perpetrators would be "suitably punished.”

The company's decision gi…

2009: The International Year of the Shark


The Let Sharks Live Network
November 29th, 2008


As the hands of the clock approach midnight for sharks, organizations working for their protection have joined forces in a global communication network named Let Sharks Live, and declared 2009 The International Year of the Shark. The motion aims to raise global awareness of their imminent extinction and the oceanic crisis at hand.

Recent findings of the Global Shark Assessment indicate that at current rates of decline, extinction of the most threatened species of shark is forecast in 10 to 15 years. In large regions, species that were once numerous have fallen to 1% of their original numbers, in a massacre comparable to that of the buffalo on the North American plains 200 years ago, but on a much larger scale. For example, in the Mediterranean Sea there is a 97 to 99.5% decline in shark numbers. Studies of oceanic sharks estimate 80 to 90% of heavily fished species are gone. Yet the…

Kiss the Great White Shark Good-bye

Tahiti is right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, one of the most isolated islands in the world. The dolphins here are increasing in numbers, and all of them are perfect. None have new scars inflicted by shark's teeth anymore, because the oceanic sharks are almost gone. If they are so depleted here, they must be even more depleted elsewhere too.

When a commodity becomes scarce, it becomes very valuable, as is seen with ivory, tiger parts, shark fins and so forth.

As the white shark goes down to extinction, its jaws, teeth, and other parts, will become so rare that collectors will try to get one. Princes in white marble palaces in obscure parts of the world, with a taste to display the biggest tiger skin, the most interesting gorilla hand, the biggest elephant tusks, the most curled rams horns, and so forth, will hear of a new treasure, the jaws of the famous sea monster, soon to disappear. And he'll send out his minions to get one.

Illegal wildlife smuggling is estimated …

A Logo for The Year of the Sharks

Me and my friends are trying to get the year 2009 or 2010 officially designated as Shark Year. We are inviting all other shark protection organizations to network together with us in order to use it to draw as much attention to the plight of sharks as we can.

Here is the logo that I finally got designed for our use. Note that the shark is not showing its teeth--sharks rarely do, yet are usually depicted that way--and that the logo can be used with or without words--the image speaks for itself, of sharks under the protection of people.

The Sharks' Habitat

The sharks I study are the female and juvenile blackfin reef sharks who live in the lagoon, within the protective arms of the barrier reef. The males live in the ocean on its outer slope, which shelves off gently, in rolling ridges, to finally fall away into the abyss.

This is how the reef appears underwater, on a good day, of course! Days when it is calm enough to photograph a wave breaking upon the reef are rare. Sharks often cross over the reef between the ocean and the lagoon when the depth of water allows; the two essentially divided populations of males and females do visit back and forth, but the juveniles remain within the protection of their shallow water habitat, in regions of thick coral, in the lagoon.

Across the Barrier Reef

Some marine animals are accidentally swept and battered over the reef, to drift, exhausted, on the other side.