Monday, August 18, 2014

Shark Stanley's New Tiger Shark Friend

We are developing a new Shark Stanley book and creating 13 new characters for him to be friends with. The first character in this series is going to be a tiger shark from The Bahamas. This shark is going to be very curious and always hungry, so what should we name him? We've put up an online survey for our supporters to help us choose his name. Please vote!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Skip Megalodon, Watch Mission Blue Instead

Tonight at 9 PM, Discovery channel is going to show Megalodon: The New Evidence, the sequel to last year's mockumentary of the same name. At this point, is it really necessary to rehash what the scientific and conservation community thinks about Megalodon? It inspired #FakeSharkWeekFacts!

Also tonight, Sylvia Earle's new film about Hope Spots, Mission Blue, is going to premier on Netflix. We encourage you to join us in skipping Megalodon and instead, please turn to Netflix and watch Sylvia's movie about her lifetime of science and conservation. We'll start livetweeting at 9 PM EST (that's 6 PM for all of you living in California and past your bedtime for everyone living in Europe).

Here's more information about the movie from Mission Blue:
We’re tremendously excited to announce that the Mission Blue Film is going live on Netflix today! While Dr. Earle has been spreading her message of hope for years, we believe that in the coming days this message — our Mission Blue — is going to leap to the next level of awareness in the global public consciousness.

With the documentary, directed by Robert Nixon and Fisher Stevens available in 40+ countries, we anticipate that Dr. Earle’s simple message of ocean conservation, of respect for our planet and what sustains us, will reverberate through the homes and hearts of Netflix’s global audience. We hope that a public awakening to the dire state of our ocean — and what we can do to save it — will propel personal decisions and public policy that favors the future of our ocean and ourselves.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, “It’s her natural charisma and infectious enthusiasm that are most compelling on screen. As the foremost American women oceanographer, she became a standard-bearer among female field-research scientists, while also marrying and raising a family, long before the term “supermom” ever entered the lexicon.”

The Mission Blue Film offers a 360-view not only of what’s happened to our oceans over the last half decade, but also of Dr. Sylvia Earle's quest to raise awareness in the global public about ocean decline. As we all know, it’s not Dr. Earle’s style to leave her supporters despondent and hopeless about the future of the ocean. Indeed, the film reaffirms the straightforward approach of creating a global network of marine protected areas — Hopespots! — large enough to save the ocean, Earth’s blue heart.

So get to a television or computer today and watch the Mission Blue Film! Afterwards, make sure to engage us on social media using the hashtags #missionblue and #hopespots or on our website and let us know what you think.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What Is a National Shark Sanctuary?

Palau is "The World's First Shark Sanctuary"
A shark sanctuary is a national-level fishing regulation established through decree, legislation, or regulation amendment, which bans the commercial fishing of sharks throughout a country’s full exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Palau, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, and Tokelau are shark sanctuaries.  Hawaii; US territories American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands; and all four Federated States of Micronesia, Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap; have protected sharks in local waters, but not federal waters.  The Federated States of Micronesia is considering a full shark sanctuary.  The United States of America is not, but 12 states and territories have banned the trade in shark fins.
In 2003, Palauan President Tommy Remengesau signed legislation banning foreign vessels from fishing sharks in his country’s EEZ. In 2009, a bill was introduced in the Palau Senate "to amend Title 27 of Palau's National Code to allow for the commercial fishing of sharks within Palau's EEZ, to impose a tax on the export of sharks and tuna-like species, and for other related purposes." Beginning that year, The Pew Charitable Trusts worked with Palau’s Chamber of Commerce, the local dive industry, the Council of Chiefs, and then-President Johnson Toribiong to block the proposed shark fishery. That year, Palau was proud to announce at the United Nations General Assembly that it had established “the world’s first shark sanctuary.”

There are three shark sanctuaries in the Caribbean.
 Ten countries and overseas territories in three oceans have created shark sanctuaries since 2009. The existing shark sanctuary countries are The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Honduras, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Palau, and Tokelau. Shark sanctuaries now cover more than 12.7 million square kilometers (4.9 million square miles) of the world’s oceans.

The Maldives became the worlds second shark sanctuary in 2010.

From the Twitterverse to the Blogosphere

When I was a kid, my brothers and I would actually turn off playing Metroid and Super Mario Bros. 3 to watch Shark Week. I don't remember the shows being about fake sharks or attacks,either; they were about science. They are part of the reason, but not the only reason, why I decided to focus mostly on science in high school, a decision which has followed me through my entire career (and part of the reason my writing is so terrible - I haven't taken an English or writing class since I was 17). Many people have similar stories. And while many of the scientists upset over Shark Week's programming have chosen outrage, I prefer ridicule.

#FakeSharkWeekFacts has really taken off on Twitter. Topsy says that there have been more than 1000 #FakeSharkWeekFacts tweets in the last week. The most influential tweet comes from a planetary astronomer at UC Berkeley (wow!). But that tweet is so last year (even if it holds the all time most influential crown). This year's most influential tweet (so far) comes from George T. Probst of The Dorsal Fin: The Blogosphere is picking up on #FakeSharkWeekFacts, too. Here are some stories I've found, please add more in the comments section if you find them:

The Insightful Panda: REALLY Shark Week? – From Megalodon to ‘Submarine’, Discovery Channel’s Fake Documentaries Continue
Ad Age: Debunking Discovery's Shark Week Is a Rising Cottage Industry
The Improper: Discovery's Shark Week Getting Torn To Shreds by... Scientists?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...