Protection of species

Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis)
Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) is one of the many shark species now protected in Hawaii.

Shark fishing is now illegal in Hawaiian waters

The ban does not apply to people with permits issued by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), shark fishing for public safety, sharks captured for self-defence, or sharks taken outside of state marine waters with required documentation.

According to Act 51, the conditions of non-commercial permits for the take of sharks “shall include native Hawaiian cultural protocol, size and species restrictions, and a prohibition on species listed as endangered or threatened.”

Shortfin mako shark
Shortfin mako shark

Ban on fishing of mako sharks reached at meeting

At the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) last week, North Atlantic fishing nations have pledged to ban catches of the shortfin mako shark.

The efforts to secure the ban was led by the UK, Canada and Senegal. The move means that the countries agreed to end overfishing immediately and to gradually achieve biomass levels that were enough to support maximum sustainable yield by 2070 for the species, according to an article in The Guardian.

Mmo iwdg / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Long-finned pilot whale cow with her calf, off the coast of Ireland. Photo by Mmo iwdg / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Buoy in Celtic Sea tracks oceanic noise

Equipped with an autonomous hydrophone, the buoy's function is to conduct for the first time real-time acoustic monitoring of the water's cetaceans to assess how oceanic noise pollution affects them. 

Deployed as part of the Smart Whale Sounds project, it will also track the distribution and behaviour of whale species in real-time and be used to train machine learning models to identify different species' calls. 

Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk
(File photo) Fresh shark fins drying on sidewalk

Maldives backpaddles after outcry over lifting shark fishing ban

Shark fishing was completely banned in the Maldives in 2010 so when the country announced plans to discuss legalising the practice again, it created a massive backlash from the international community.

Sharks have always been a valuable tourist attraction in the small island nation and the declining status of shark fisheries, exacerbated by unresolved conflicts with other stakeholders led to the declaration of total shark fishing ban in 2010. With the shark fishing ban in place, sharks are now caught as bycatch in the Maldivian fisheries.

Peaceful sharks

IUCN update finds sharks increasingly threatened

The Lost Shark, Carcharhinus obsoletus, is already extinct, and others that are expected to follow soon include four species each of hammerhead and angel sharks, from the world’s most threatened shark families. In spite of all the press that shark conservation has received in the past two decades, no effective protection of sharks has been established, no sharks have been saved, and their decline into extinction is ever more apparent.

Appeal to Shark Lovers!

The paper presents the reasons why large predators of great ecological importance cannot supply the rising demand for shark fins, which is driven by profits that rival the drug trade and involves the fisheries of nations around the globe. They have essentially run out of fish so are targeting sharks now that the shark fin trade has made them valuable.

Sharks at risk from quest to develop vaccine against corona virus

Development of a vaccine against Covid-19 could come at the expense of sharks, researchers warn; A key ingredient used in vaccines to enhance immune response and increase effectiveness, squalene — an oily substance found in plants and even human skin — is particularly concentrated in shark livers.

The Three Gorges section of the Yangtze River.

Commercial fishing banned in Yangtze River for 10 years

The Chinese government has imposed a 10-year commercial fishing ban in the Yangtze River to combat "across-the-board" declines in the populations of rare species like the Chinese sturgeon.

As it came into effect on 1 January 2020, it is hoped that the ban will tackle the problems of dwindling fish stocks and declining biodiversity in the 6,300m river. It will be applied at 332 conservation sites along the river and be extended to cover the main river course and key tributaries by 1 January 2021.