Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Please help Shark Savers to get 10,000 signatures for this Thank You card to Palau!!

From Julie Andersen:

Shark friends,
Last April, Palau announced they were considering legislation to legalize shark fishing for foreign vessels in their water. A country who relies upon tourism for over 60% of their GDP – the majority of that being dive tourism.

Over the last several months, Shark Savers, with the support of several international and local Palau organizations, has been actively conducting a campaign to protest this legislation, engaging citizens of the world to appeal to the government of Palau through individual letters and through a petition. And in that time, countless letters have been written while the petition gained over 4,500 signatures; many from tourists who had or were planning on visiting Palau.

This month, I am sure everyone is aware by now that Palau has completely changed their stance -– in part thanks to the outpouring of support from folks who participated in this campaign and made their voices heard. It is true... Our voices count!

A real 180 degree strategy shift. Instead of opening their waters, Palau has unequivocally closed them – creating the world’s first national shark sanctuary. 240,000 square miles protecting 130 species of sharks. And while Palau, like so many other countries, does not have the funds to enforce the sanctuary to the level needed (a recent flyover revealed 70 long lining boats in these waters) and our work is clearly not done, it is an important step. One that deserves some recognition!

Please sign the thank you card to President Toribiong and Palau. We will be presenting this to him publicly to celebrate this win amongst all of us and show everyone that together, we can protect sharks.  We are hoping this attention ignites much more positive change.
And besides, it is so nice to sign something positive related to shark conservation, isn't it? We would like to get at least 10,000 signatures from all over the world, so please have everyone you know sign it and promote it however you can (blogs, thru your organization & mailing list, etc.) This should be our battle cry!

Julie Andersen
Founder & Director, Shark Savers -
Shark Angel -
A Shark Angel's Blog:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shark Rescue is here! Hong Kong based organization working to protect sharks and the oceans.

Sign up for the Shark Rescue Examiner

Shark Rescue is Here! 
Welcome to the Shark Rescue Examiner, where you'll find our latest updates, get shark-conservation news, learn about the companies we've challenged and are winning over, and more. We've got big plans in store and you're invited to join us. Welcome!

Shark News
Florida proposes more protection for sharks 
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) on Thursday proposed rules to enhance its long-standing policy to protect stressed shark populations in Florida waters.
Mutilated sharks turning up in SA waters
Foreign fishermen are continuing to hack the fins off sharks in South African waters and toss the animals back into the sea while they are alive.

No Thanks! 
How we're asking businesses to stop selling shark. Get involved!
+ We confront the Sheraton and Starwood Hotels. After our launch, one of our fans let us know that the Sheraton Futian in Shenzhen was actively promoting a shark-fin offer. Want to get involved? Send their Executive Assistant Manager and email and tell them to remove all shark from their menu!

 + We confront the City of Destin, Florida. Destin is a city that has regular 'shark rodeos', where fisherman get up to $250 in prize money for the largest shark that they kill. Makos, tigersharks and more are the casual victims of these tournaments.

 + We tell Best Bully Sticks to stop selling shark spines. The company sells chew toys for dogs, and one of their products is a thresher shark spine, which their distributor gets from India. Thresher sharks the world over are threatened, and we're trying to get Best Bully Sticks to stop selling threatened species and join Shark Rescue as a winning organization. Want to get involved? Send them an email and tell them to remove all shark from their menu!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Announcing the NEW Shark Safe Network website!

We want to encourage and enable more people to get involved with shark conservation and make a difference.

On the Shark Safe Network website you can find out:
  • What shark conservation groups around the world are doing to save sharks and how you can support their efforts.
  • How to start your own shark conservation campaign in your community.  We’ll help you to do it!
  • Urgent Alerts on important shark conservation issues – Please check today’s Urgent Alert about protecting Florida sharks.
For each of seven main campaign areas, the Shark Safe Network website provides:
  • Overview of the issues
  • Campaign goals
  • Action plan
  • Materials to download – Brochures, Sample letters and more
  • Links to more information and resources
  • Information on current campaigns you can join
It’s been a huge project to compile all this information and create all these materials, but there’s much more to do!  Please send us your ideas on how we can improve this resource for you and for the sharks!!

Thanks for your support and looking forward to working with you!!

Shark Safe Network Team

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Looking Good for Lemon Sharks and other Florida Coastal Sharks!

Overall the FWC meeting on Sept 10th went extremely well and Dr Gruber is happy! The Commissioners spoke very favorably about amending the rules to add lemons, tigers and hammerheads (great, scalloped and smooth) and possibly bulls to the prohibited list, and also to require circle hooks for shark fishing.
We were hoping that they would make the decision right then and there, but after some discussion the Commissioners decided that they should first get some more input from staff.  For one, they would like to have more data to be able to make the case for Federal protections, since some of the lemon shark aggregations span State and Federal waters.  They also cited concern about protecting one species and then just shifting the fishing pressure to another species.  So while the focus was clearly on the lemon sharks to protect their winter aggregations, the Commission is open to adding protections for other shark species that are vulnerable.

The final public hearing will take place in December. In the meantime, we would still encourage you to send comments to the Commissioners (     
If you send a comment, please thank the Commissioners for their leadership in protecting sharks and let them know that you support adding more vulnerable shark species to the Prohibited Species list, especially Lemon Sharks, Hammerheads, Tigers and Bulls.  Observations from any of you who have been diving and fishing in Florida for a long time with regard to the declines in shark populations in Florida and specifically which species have declined the most would be helpful.  And of course scientific data documenting these declines is important as well. 

And please don’t forget about the proposed circle hook requirement.  This is huge!  In Florida alone over a million sharks are caught and released.  The use of circle hooks vs J hooks has been demonstrated to increase the post-release survival dramatically.  So this rule alone could potentially save the lives of hundreds of thousands of sharks in Florida every year.

Friday, September 4, 2009

UPDATE to Florida's Lemon Sharks Need our Help!

Written comments can be submitted to:

By postal mail:

Kathleen Hampton
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

Comments submitted will be forwarded to the Commissioners for their review and for the record.

Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law. Most written communications to or from state officials regarding state business are considered public records and are available to the public and the media upon request. Therefore, your e-mail communications may be subject to public disclosure.

Public attendance is still vital though!! Please try to make it to the meeting in person. The Sept. 10th FWC meeting takes place at the Mission Inn Resort & Club. This is a really nice place to spend a few days and only minutes from Orlando! Very reasonable rates too (call to check - we got a lower rate than advertised on the website).

See previous post for more info. Please also see the flyer posted on the Shark Savers site, which includes links to full details about the proposed regulations.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Florida's Lemon Sharks Need Our Help!

As regulations tighten for other fish, lemons sharks and other large coastal shark species - already in trouble! - are facing increased fishing pressure. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is seeking feedback from the public on options for amending its shark management rules.

Commercial fishermen are gearing up now to target the winter lemon shark aggregations off Florida's coast. It's critical that as many people as possible speak up in support of greater protections for lemon sharks and other highly vulnerable large coastal shark species.

Please join Dr. Samuel Gruber, Walt Stearns, publisher of the Underwater Journal, and others who are concerned about the fate of Florida’s sharks in this effort to save lemon sharks and other highly vulnerable sharks.

Lemon sharks take 12 to 15 years to reach maturity and then only mate once every two years, have long gestation periods and give birth to a small number of young. These slow reproductive characteristics, very high first year mortality destruction of lemon shark nursery habitats, combine to make this species extremely vulnerable.

The lemon shark "aggregations" - large gatherings that take place off the coast of Florida in a small regional area close to shore with a highly predictable time frame, also make them easy targets for fishermen. Satellite tagging studies have proven that the lemon sharks that aggregate off Florida’s coastline have come from all up and down the East Coast of the US and the Bahamas.

Commercial targeting of Florida's lemon shark aggregations can severely deplete or even wipe out lemon sharks populations very quickly and will impact a large geographic area. This is a potential shark conservation disaster!

If at all possible, please attend this meeting and ask the FWC to add lemon sharks to the Prohibited Species List.

The FWC Meeting is will be held on September 10th 8:30 am. at:

Mission Inn
10400 County Road 48
Howey-in-the-Hills, FL
Phone: (352) 324-3101
Fax: (352)

Contact Shark Safe Network: