One great devil ray species (Mobula mobular) was doing well in the Mediterranean Sea last year, but it is still classed as endangered, whether in Gaza or migrating to the Tuscan Sea. As it isnt a food item, this probably saves it from the fate of its smaller relatives. They are disappearing fast, and there has been little effort at conservation.
We need to know how predators such as sharks and the ocean giants, the whales, can influence our ecosystems. Here, numbers count!
Cats, dogs, tigers and sharks, turtles, butterflies and beetles: take your pick. The danger is in every species we know becoming more and more uncommon. Habitat loss varies from wetland draining, damming and forest clearance to marine pollution, ice loss and mountain tourism. The IUCN at least keep us up-to-date on many animals and plants. Beware- you could be losing one of your local favourite species, and you never knew!
The conservation of are animals has many and varied techniques, some of which could be exclusive to one species. The maintenance of living sperm within the female body after mating is a device that is useful to ensure diversity. In this case, it could prove useful when the last living male shark is killed and a mated female still exists.
How long can we allow shark-fin soup to decimate and make extinct the top predators of our oceans? The shark is not just one fish. The range of shapes and sizes is vast in these ancient cartilaginous fish. We need that diversity and presence in the ecosystem. Here is one species we hardly notice, as their time is spent far from us, where they are probably better off!
International Tiger Day: The remaining 3,200 tigers from 6 sub-species are lucky to be free, but also suffer severely from human interference and frequent attack. It is our job above all to ensure that the distinct tigers are able to breed and reproduce the animals that can survive in their 6 distinct niches. Without help, I'm afraid there is no future whatsoever. The Far East is responsible for huge losses of tigers (elephants, bears, sharks and rhinos, too) and "breeding programs" have to be curtailed when they are obviously simply selling tiger parts. Awareness and ultimate protection will all contribute to a successful defense of these last of the really big cats.
The thresher shark is yet another unique and ancient type of shark with unique abilities. Now vulnerable, thanks to 'shark-fin removers' as well as other fishermen, we have to understand its modus operandi in order to save the species.
Off the coast of Scotland are northern coral reefs that have now been discovered to be the nurseries of catsharks. Scottish scientists are now hoping to protect these precious areas as reserves, with only line fishermen allowed.
David McGuire of Shark Stewards gives his account of the state of the shark nation and insight into the diabolical shark finning trade. It's great to have personal accounts of the real animal in its element, the open ocean.
Marine fish often visit the surface to warm up after diving deep. Whale sharks were used to test some time/depth recorders to see how they regulate their body temperatures.
As 5% more people every year consume shark fin soup, the number of rare sharks in the sea continues to fall dramatically.
Powered by wave and solar, the Liquid Robotics Wave Glider lets you follow tagged sharks in real time with the 'Shark Net' app for your iPhone or iPad.
Sharks of all species are doomed unless action is taken now to stop the fin trade and Chinese demand for shark fin soup. All shark species are subjected to the ancient but increasing habits of certain Chinese restaurateurs.
The Project AWARE Foundation is a 20-year-old group of thousands of conservation-minded scuba divers who care passionately about the oceans and marine environment. Sharks in Peril and Dive Against Debris are just two of the current conservation campaigns running. They are also looking for an ocean hero as part of their Ocean Action Project, could it be you?
A new version of the scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) has been found. Almost certainly a new species, the fish has been hidden among the endangered scalloped population.
Denticles on shark skin helps them swim faster and by increasing thrust and reducing drag, but swimsuits for humans that mimic shark skin, are not quite as effective, says a US scientist.
With sharks becoming rarer, gill rakers from manta rays and mobula rays are being used instead. The use of endangered species for their reputed and superstitious powers is being manipulated by some people in China yet again. The trade and demand for gill rakers is putting manta and mobula rays at serious risk.
Why great white sharks are such bad news for Cape fur seals. A pair of scientists have put the ocean's greatest killing machines under the spotlight to find they rely on cunning, speed and stealth to get their prey.
The sharks of the North Atlantic and elsewhere have been caught by mistake (shark bycatch) for too long. With 860,000 blue sharks alone being killed and discarded and an equal number caught deliberately. PEW have set out some changes that could help mitigate these devastating losses.
The President of the Marshall Islands, Jurelang Zedkaia, declared the world's biggest shark sanctuary on October 2nd. The parliament or Nitijela unanimously passed a law prohibiting commercial shark fishing in the two million km2 piece of ocean surrounding the Pacific islands.
New research indicates that sharks and marine turtles are in trouble around the globe. Scientists offer some new insights into possible methods for reversing these trends. Pressures on marine environments - from rising sea temperatures and overfishing to pollution and oils spills - is taking an increasingly heavy toll on a variety of marine species including turtles and sharks.
Celebrities and conservation organisations are working together to call for an end to the production of shark fin soup. A California Assembly Bill (AB 376) deals with this matter. It will ban all trade and import of shark fin in California. It is only lacking Governor Jerry Brown's signature before it can be made law.
An anti-shark finning group is appalled at the mutilation of baby sharks discovered on New Zealand's beaches this week. Two people came across around 200 finless baby sharks washed up at Owhanake Bay, Waiheke Island, which is one of the many islands in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.
Recently the media has been full of stories about 'killer sharks' and, according to a leading expert, it could be a change in human behaviour that is creating the conditions for such incidents. Richard Pierce, a UK-based shark conservationist and a writer and broadcaster, believes that because we spend more time in the water, the risk of confrontation between man and shark is increasing.
Chile has banned the practice of shark-finning which costs up to 73 million sharks their lives each year. Shark fins are usually sold to the Far East, where they are made into shark fin soup. The toll on some of the ocean's biggest and baddest predators can be terrible - they are often de-finned before being dumped, still alive, back into the sea.
CITES convention examines effects of trade on at-risk species like long-tailed macaques, sharks, and several snake species. Unsustainable wildlife trade not only devastates local ecosystems, it also causes great suffering to individual animals and can introduce invasive species that damage ecosystems abroad.
Shark Finning: When those aiming to save the shark are up against bloody trade making big money, seas and fisheries that are not policed and a community wanting to defend its cultural heritage, how can they win the battle? By turning the shark fin soup bowl into a dining room outcast.
The Bahamas has outlawed the commercial fishing of sharks. The islands' government announced yesterday that the 630,000 square kilometers ( or 243,244 square miles) of the countrys waters are now off limits to commercial shark fishing.
Film Review of ''Surfing and Sharks - A Close Encounter in South Africa,'' which will be shown at the Wavescape Film Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, on December 2011. The film examines the effects - both locally and internationally - of shark attacks that have taken place at some of South Africa's hottest world class surfing spots.
Whale sharks are gathering off the Yucutan Penisula to feast on tunny eggs, showing the area is a rich marine habitat that requires more protection say Smithsonian Institute scientists. The popular image of the whale shark is of a lone wanderer, scientists have found that when conditions are right they are more than happy to spend time together in very large groups.
The city of Brantford, Ontario, has captured the attention of the world by becoming the first city in Canada to call a halt to the trade in shark fins. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that around 73 million sharks are killed every year, mostly for their fins. The majority of the fins are taken using barbaric methods where the shark is thrown back into the ocean alive and without its fin.
The state of Sabah in Malaysia is likely to be the first in the country to introduce a ban on shark hunting for their fins. Shark finning is a lucrative industry as many countries enjoy it as a delicacy but has recently caught the attention of the world and now the Sabah state government is concerned that the barbaric slaughter of sharks for their fins is damaging their tourism industry.
A new study investigates the economic benefits of sharks. Shark hunting is rife, even in protected areas such as marine reserves. The result is the unsustainable slaughter of up to 73 million sharks every year, decimating shark populations and damaging marine ecosystems.
Scientists are now able to track where shark fins have originated from through their DNA. The finding that sharks have DNA 'zip codes' means that the fight against the shark fin trade is strengthened as scientists can work out what region sharks where born in. Whilst sharks tend to have a wide habitat in which they live they are connected to the coastal regions where they always go to reproduce.
Our insatiable appetite is devastating fish populations in the Mediterranean. The report documents the first comprehensive assessment of native marine species for an entire sea; an enormous undertaking. Almost half the species of Mediterranean sharks and rays are threatened, in addition to at least 12 other fish species. The main threats to fish populations in this region are - predictably and sadly - overfishing and pollution.
According to an April 2011 report released by Greenpeace, the earth's oceans are in jeopardy due to the devastating effects of overfishing and bycatch. DThe report's findings indicate that careless industrial fishing practices continue to be a large part of our ocean's troubles, and are now responsible for reducing populations of ecologically vital animals like cod, sharks and tuna by up to 90 percent.
Shark finning, the horrific practice of cutting off the fins of sharks, and then dumping them still alive into the sea to die, is being pushed back by a new bill going through the Chilean Senate. The measure, which would help stop the wasteful slaughter of increasingly endangered sharks, is being supported by a visiting Pew Environment Group team.
Human waste-tips some 5,000 years ago helped to build south Florida's tree-islands, new research being presented at today's American Geophysical Union's Chapman Conference shows. As the waste piled up, the ground became raised enough for trees to colonize - and then stabilize - these island wildlife sanctuaries in the Everglades' Shark River Slough.
Pelagic thresher sharks are coming up from the deeps in the Philippines to be cleaned of ectoparasites. This is the first study of wild shark interactions with cleaner fish. The sharks will drown if they do not continuously circulate oxygenated water over their gills, so they make repeat circular passes over the discreet areas of the reef where the cleaner species hold court.
Great white shark population is worryingly low, say scientists. Great white sharks have an unwarranted reputation. In the media, sharks are cast as villains - man-eaters and killing machines. This couldn't be further from the truth. Great white sharks rarely attack humans and they play a vital role in the marine ecosystem. As top predators, sharks help to control many fish and marine mammal populations
Endangered Great hammerhead sharks have been tracked by satellite into the North Atlantic for the first time by scientists at the University of Miami. The animals are under threat from shark finning operations who prize them for their large fins.
A new report has expressed concern about the future of the world's shark populations despite a decade of conservation work. The 20 countries account for more than 640,000 tonnes annually, nearly 80 per cent of total shark catch reported globally. The top ten are named in the report as Indonesia, India, Spain, Taiwan, Argentina, Mexico, Pakistan, United States, Japan, and Malaysia.
An average of five humans have been killed by sharks each year since 2000, yet every year we kill up to 75 million sharks for their fins, used in Chinese shark's fin soup, and as bycatch in our fisheries. Shark finning has expanded globally due to rising demand by affluent Chinese for the high status shark fin soup. Retailing at about US$ 430/kg in Hong Kong the trade is a lucrative one for fishermen. Finning is inhumane and cruel in the extreme.
Large, oceangoing fish like the shark have been in steady decline for years, victims of poor regulation and overfishing by big industrial fleets. But now some reprive seems to be in sight thanks to a US law. The US Congress approved a bill prohibiting shark finning in all United States waters.
In a bold move, the Senate of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has voted to prohibit all shark finning in its waters. Sharks living in the ocean around the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) have suffered from intense overfishing and poaching for their valuable fins. Sharks in particular are vulnerable to illegal fishing because, as a species, they reproduce very slowly.
A new sanctuary surrounding the entire island of Raja Ampat in Indonesia has secured long-term protection for sharks, manta rays and dugongs. The new reserve encompasses this unique marine environment and surrounds the whole island at just over 15,000 square miles.
A recent international meeting in Paris has agreed to increase global protection for sharks and sea turtles; but the bluefin tuna appears to have lost out. Representatives from 48 nations recently met to discuss the fate of fishing quotas in the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas.
Critically endangered populations of hammerhead and oceanic white tip sharks have plummeted by 70% and 99% in the North Atlantic respectively according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. An unsustainable harvest of at least 1.3 million sharks were fished there in 2008, the last year for which data is available.
The European Commission has announced that they plan to totally remove shark finning from EU waters, and prohibit EU fishing vessels from shark finning anywhere in the world.