Monday, March 26, 2012

WCPFC: Day 1

The fish in the Western and Central Pacific provides more than half of the world's tuna. This video from PNC News discusses what went on at today's WCPFC meeting.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Inspiring the World

Students from Simon Sanchez HS, George Washington HS, and John F Kennedy HS show off their art project "Shark Fins in the Sand" at Ypoa Beach on Saturday, March 24.  The students created 730 handmade shark fins to represent the 73 millions sharks killed each year for their fins.  Each fin represents 100,000 sharks, the number of sharks killed every 12 hours.
Guest Blog
by Carlotta Leon Guerrero

Around the world, Micronesia is fast becoming known as home to the world’s first shark sanctuary, the world’s largest shark sanctuary, and thanks to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, the second and third shark fin trade bans in the world, respectively.

Micronesia leads the world in shark conservation, both in terms of the area of ocean protected, implementation and enforcement of policies, and fines levied against lawbreakers. This leadership is an inspiration to the rest of the world.

Last year, following the laws passed in Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, the entire west coast of the United States banned the sale, trade, and possession of shark fin. Shark fin trade bans were also passed in the Canadian municipalities of Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, London, and Toronto. In the last few months, similar laws have been introduced in legislatures in Florida, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and even land-locked Illinois.

Stirred by Palau’s 2011 landmark declaration of the world’s first shark sanctuary, in 2011 The Bahamas, Tokelau, Honduras, and the Marshall Islands declared shark sanctuaries, ending commercial shark fishing in their countries’ full exclusive economic zones. The shark sanctuary in the Marshall Islands is 1,990,530 square kilometers, an ocean area four times the landmass of California.

Worldwide interest in sharks has boomed in recent years, and dive enthusiasts are willing to travel thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars to swim with these creatures. Palau, of course, is well known for dive sites that sharks frequent on a daily basis. A recent study found that this shark diving accounts for fully 8% of Palau’s annual GDP. It is only a matter of time before the world discovers the rest of Micronesia and the other shark and ray dives throughout your islands.

Congratulations to everyone involved on our one-year anniversary in creating policies to protect sharks. Thank you to our senators for working with the community to draft science driven, culturally sensitive policy, thank you to Governor Calvo for signing this important legislation into law, and thank you to all the citizen activists, especially the students at Simon Sanchez High School, George Washington High School, and John F. Kennedy High School for your infectious energy. Working together, with local citizens teaming up with international organizations like Humane Society International, Shark Savers, and the Pew Environment Group, we can protect the world’s sharks from extinction.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2012 Guam Sand Shark Festival

I hope this works. We haven't done as good a job using Flickr as we should (mostly we upload photos to Facebook and/or Blogger). So here's an embedded widget with photos from the sand shark sculpture contest held on Guam this weekend (and here is the link if the widget doesn't work on your computer).

Guam is celebrating the one year anniversary of their shark fin ban and students have been reminding their community how important sharks are to the ecosystem. Students from Simon Sanchez High School held a road side "wave" two weeks ago, and today students from Simon Sanchez, George Washington, and John F. Kennedy High Schools collaborated on "Shark Fins in the Sand," an art project to depict how many sharks are killed each year. The students created 730 handmade shark fins to represent the 73 million sharks estimated to be killed each year (Clarke et al, 2006). Each fins represents 100,000 sharks, the number of sharks killed every 12 hours.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Shark Protectors Sponsor Police Rugby League

The Fiji Police Rugby League team's preparation for the local competition has been boosted with a timely donation of a set jerseys and shorts by Coral Reef Alliance.
Founded in 1994 the Coral Reef Alliance is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting the health of coral reefs.

It is working in partnership with the Pew Environment Group and the Ministry of Fisheries in raising awareness for shark protection in Fiji.

In presenting the jerseys, the "Shark Man" or the voice of the sharks in Fiji Manoa Rasigatale said his organisation was happy to be associated with the Police Rugby League team.

He added that his organisation hoped their relationship with police would be strengthened and police would be a great partner in the conservation of sharks in Fiji.

Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua thanked the sponsors for their kindness and assured them police will spread the message of shark conservation in Fiji.

"The work of police officers now covers a wide range of issues, and one of importance is that of policing the environment".

He then advised the sponsors to use the police network in facilitating the conservation of sharks .

"You have my assurance that our officers will help spread the message of the importance of protecting sharks and our environment both on and off the field".

Police Rugby League team official Aporosa Lutunauga said the team embraces the partnership with Coral Reef Alliance and they will support their effort in shark conservation.

He adds this was also part of their corporate responsibility in giving back to the community and our environment.

The Fiji Police Rugby League team is the current holders of the World Police Rugby League Cup, and is scheduled to defend their title next year.

Press release from Fiji Police Force

Thursday, March 22, 2012

UnderWater World to host Guam's first Sand Shark Building Contest

In celebration of the one year anniversary of the Guam Shark Finning Ban, UnderWater World will be hosting Guam's first Sand Shark Building Contest this weekend.

The Sand Shark Building Contest will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at Ypao Beach Park. Registration is free and open to students in grade 1 through 12. The contest is limited to the first 100 participants. Students can register at 9 a.m. at the lifeguard stand. Participants must have a parent or guardian present and complete liability waiver.

“We are offering this contest to honor of the one-year anniversary of the Shark Finning on Guam. UnderWater World commends our community for passing this important measure in shark conservation” said UnderWater World General Manager Jeff Schindler. “On the anniversary of the bill, we need to keep the momentum going by continuing to build awareness of the importance of sharks to the ecosystems and culture of Guam.”

The contest will have an Elementary category and a Middle and High School category. The top three Sand Sharks from both categories will receive cash prizes. All participants will receive a free pass to UnderWater World. Students can work in teams of up to four people but may not have adults help them with the building.

UnderWater World is dedicated to offering quality family education and entertainment for the entire island community as a local business and member of the Guam Environmental Education Committee. UnderWater World® features an 800,000-gallon aquarium with a 319-foot tunnel. The entire aquarium experience is more than 600 feet long and home to more than 2,000 animals. The aquarium is home to sharks, stingrays, guitarfish and giant groupers.

For more information about UnderWater World’s Education Programs or to arrange an interview please contact Elaina Todd at 649-9191 extension 120, or at 977-0359.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Washington, D.C. Environmental Film Festival

This Saturday March 17, the 20th Washington, D.C. Environmental Film Festival will host a screening of Sanctuary: The Last Stand for Sharks, a new documentary that portrays the underwater world of these top predators and paints a global picture of the threats they are facing today. Globally shark populations are declining, but there is growing momentum to protect sharks. Filmed, produced, and written by John Weller and Shawn Heinrichs. The film screening will be followed by a discussion led by Matt Rand, Director, Global Shark Conservation, Pew Environment Group.

When: March 17th at 4:30 pm

Where: GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th Street, NW (Columbia Heights metro)

Free and open to the public

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2012 Beneath the Waves Film Festival

Exciting news! We just got word that Sharkwater Saipan has been accepted as an entry into the 2012 Beneath the Waves Film Festival in Norfolk, Virginia.

From the organizers:
We are honored to notify you that your film, “Sharkwater Saipan” was selected for showcase at this year’s main event on March 23, 2012, in Norfolk, Virginia. Your film was chosen because it combined elements of storytelling, research, and conservation. We are excited to show your piece to a large audience of marine scientists next week. Our film festival is also going on tour in the US and abroad in the Summer and Fall 2012.

Next week we will have all of the films being shown simultaneously in two rooms (an IMAX theatre, and a smaller theatre), in two successive 90-minute sessions. An official schedule will be available online shortly. Your film will be reviewed at the event by a panel of judges for the “Best Message” and “Best Amateur Film” awards. There will also be a People’s Choice award for the films screened in the IMAX theatre.
We'll have more information in the upcoming days, but wanted to let all of you know that we've been entered. More information is available on the Beneath the Waves website.

We want to thank our collaborators on this project. Rob Stewart directed, Shawn Heinrichs filmed, and Duane Trow edited. Of course, Kathy Pagapular's 6th grade class at San Vicente Elementary School starred. Congrats and thanks!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Guam Shark Law One Year Anniversary

On March 9, 2011, Guam became the third place in the world to ban the sale, trade, and possession of shark fin, after similar laws were put in place in Hawaii and Northern Mariana Islands.

Yesterday, on the one year anniversary on the signing of the law, students from Simon Sanchez High School in Yigo, Guam held a rally at the busy intersection across from the Micronesia Mall.

The students want to see the creation of a Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary that would stretch from Palau in the West, the Marianas in the North, and the Marshall Islands in the East. The students, along with other students in Palau, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Majuro, and Saipan, have been collecting signatures on a petition asking President Manny Mori and the four governors of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia to complete the final piece of the regional shark sanctuary.

The students hope to turn over their petition, along with signatures from students from the other islands, next week at the Micronesian Chief Executive Summit.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Resolution Calls for Shark Sanctuary in Federated States of Micronesia

Palikir, Pohnpei, FSM—Congress is considering a resolution that would request the President of the FSM and the four State governments to take action to declare the FSM exclusive economic zone as a marine sanctuary.

In the Western and Central Pacific Ocean the FSM EEZ is second in size only to the EEZ of Kiribati. It is a huge area of ocean comparable in size to the entire land mass of the Continental United States.

The resolution, which has not yet come to a vote in the FSM Congress, would be a Congressional declaration that the FSM EEZ is a marine sanctuary for sharks, rays, dolphin and, whales. It would urge President Mori to take necessary action to create the sanctuary and for the Governors of each FSM State to do the same for each of their 12 mile zones within the FSM EEZ.

The resolution was sponsored by former FSM President, Senator Joseph Urusemal of Yap.

The resolution recognizes the important role that sharks, rays, dolphins, and whales play in the ocean’s ecosystem, as well as a significant part of the FSM’s cultural heritage and tourism throughout the FSM.

It says that international agencies have indicated that the populations of sharks, rays, dolphins, and whales are in a worldwide decline. “Despite efforts to educate the public as to the disruption to the ocean’s equilibrium, sharks, rays, dolphins, and whales are still in decline,” the resolution says.

If the FSM passes the resolution it would join “the international community in its commitment to ensure that sharks, rays, dolphins, and whales do not become extinct.

Last year the Republic of Palau declared its waters to be a shark sanctuary and banned shark finning, in their EEZ.

Written by Bill Jaynes and published in the Kaselehlie Press on February 22, 2011.
A shark sanctuary in the Federated States of Micronesia would create a contiguous area of ocean stretching from Palau in the west to the Marshall Islands in the east where sharks were protected.  Leaders at the 15th Micronesian Chief Executive Summit in Pohnpei agreed to create a Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary.  The Marshall Islands and Palau declared shark sanctuaries in 2009 and 2011, respectively, while Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands banned the sale, trade, and possesion of shark fin in 2011, the strongest protections they can implement as U.S. protectorates.  You can show your support by liking Micronesia Shark Defenders on Facebook.

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What's Your Favorite Shark Name?

Great whiteshark
Here's a full list of common names of shark species (we're sparing you the latin names). Of the 480 species of sharks assessed by the IUCN Red List, 1/3 are threatened or near threatened with extinction. Nearly half lack the data needed to make an accurate assesment of their conservation status.

We encourage you to learn about these shark species and their conservation status. It will make you a stronger advocate. You can read all about every single species of shark by navigating the IUCN Red List website at Run a search for CHONDRICHTHYES, and the results will pull up 1083 species of chimeras, rays, skates, guitar fish, and of course, sharks.

So, what is your favorite common name for a shark species? Leave your answer and explain why in the comments of this blog post.
African Angelshark
African Lanternshark
African Ribbontail Catshark
African Sawtail Catshark
American Sawshark
Angel Shark
Angular Angelshark
Angular Rough Shark
Antilles Catshark
Arabian Carpetshark
Arabian Catshark
Arabian Smoothound
Argentine Angel Shark
Arrowhead Dogfish
Atlantic Angel Shark
Atlantic False Catshark
Atlantic Sawtail Catshark
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark
Atlantic Weasel Shark
Australian Angel Shark
Australian Blacktip Shark
Australian Sawtail Shark
Australian Sharpnose Shark
Australian Spotted Catshark
Australian Swell Shark
Australian Weasel Shark
Austrliana Marbled Catshark
Azores Dogfish
Bali Catshark
Banded Catshark
Banded Catshark
Banded Houndshark
Banded Wobbegong
Barbeled Houndshark
Barbelthroat Carpetshark
Bareskin Dogfish
Bartail Spurdog
Basking Shark
Beige Catshark
Bigeye Dwarf Shark
Bigeye Houndshark
Bigeye Sand Tiger
Bigeye Thresher Shark
Bigeyed Sixgill Shark
Bighead Catshark
Bignose Shark
Black Dogfish
Black Roughscale Catshark
Black Spotted Catfish
Blackbelly Lanternshark
Blackfin Gulper Shark
Blackgill Catshark
Blackmouth Catshark
Blackmouth Lantern Shark
Blacknose Shark
Blackspot Shark
Blackspotted Catshark
Blackspotted Smoothhound
Blacktailed Spurdog
Blacktip Reef Shark
Blacktip Sawtail Catshark
Blacktip Shark
Blacktip Topeshark
Blotched Catshark
Blotched Catshark
Blue Shark
Bluegrey Carpetshark
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark
Blurred Smooth Lanternshark
Boa Catshark
Bonnethead Shark
Borneo Shark
Bowmouth Guitarfish
Bramble Shark
Brazilian Sharpnose Shark
Bristled Lantern Shark
Bristly Catshark
Broadbanded Lanternshark
Broadfin Sawtail Catshark
Broadfin Shark
Broadgill Catshark
Broadhead Catshark
Broadmouth Catshark
Broadnose Catshark
Broadnose Sevengill Shark
Broadsnout Lanternshark
Bronze Whaler
Brown Catfish
Brown Catshark
Brown Catshark
Brown Shyshark
Brown Smoothhound
Brownbanded Bamboo Shark
Bull Shark
Burmese Bambooshark
California Horn Shark
Campeche Catshark
Caribbean Lanternshark
Caribbean Reef Shark
Caribbean Roughshark
Caribbean Sharpnose Shark
Carter Gilbert's Lanternshark
Chain Catshark
Chilean Catshark
Clouded Angelshark
Cloudy Catshark
Cobbler Carpet Shark
Collared Carpet Shark
Common Sawfish
Common Smoothhound
Common Thresher Shark
Comoro Catshark
Cookiecutter Shark
Cook's Swellshark
Coral Catshark
Cosmopoliton Spurdog
Creek Whaler
Crested Port Jackson Shark
Crocodile Shark
Cuban Dogfish
Cuban Ribbontail Catshark
Cyrano Spurdog
Daggernose Shark
Deepwater Catshark
Deepwater Catshark
Deepwater Sicklefin Hound Shark
Deepwater Spiny Dogfish
Densescale Lanternshark
Draughtboard Shark
Dusky Catshark
Dusky Shark
Dusky Smoothhound
Dwarf Catshark
Dwarf Catshark
Dwarf Gulper Shark
Dwarf Lanternshark
Dwarf Ornate Wobbegong
Dwarf Sawtail Catshark
Dwarf Spotted Wobbegong
Eastern Angel Shark
Eastern Banded Catshark
Eastern Highfin Spurdog
Eastern Longnose Spurdog
Eastern Spotted Gummy Shark
Elephant Shark
Elongate Carpetshakr
Epaulette Shark
False Pygmy Shark
Fat Catshark
Fatspine Spurdog
Filetail Catshark
Fintooth Shark
Flagtail Swellshark
Flapnose Houndshark
Flathead Catshark
Floral Banded Wobbegong
Freckled Catshark
Frilled Shark
Fringefin Lanternshark
Frog Shark
Galapagos Bullhead Shark
Galapagos Shark
Ganges Shark
Geko Catshark
Ghost Catshark
Ginger Carpet Shark
Goblin Shark
Graceful Shark
Granular Dogfish
Gray Reef Shark
Gray Smoothhound
Great Lanternshark
Great White Shark
Green Lanternshark
Greeneye Spurdog
Grey Bamboo Shark
Grey Gummy Shark
Grey Sharpnose Shark
Grinning Izak
Gulf Catshark
Gulf of Mexico Smoothhound
Gulper Shark
Happy Eddie
Hardnose Shark
Harrison's Deepsea Dogfish
Herlequin Catshark
Highfin Dogfish
Hoary Catshark
Honeycomb Izak
Hooded Carpet Shark
Hooktooth Dogfish
Hooktooth Shark
Humpback Catshark
Humpback Smoothhound
Icelandic Catshark
Indian Swellshark
Indonesian Bambooshark
Indonesian Shortsnout Spurdog
Indonesian Speckled Carpet Shark
Indonesian Speckled Catshark
Irrawaddy River Shark
Izak Catshark
Izu Catshark
Japanese Angelshark
Japanese Bullhead Shark
Japanese Catshark
Japanese Roughshark
Japanese Sawshark
Japanese Shortnose Spurdog
Japanese Spurdog
Japanese Swellshark
Japanese Topeshark
Japanese Velvet Dogfish
Japanese Wobbegong
Jordon's Blue Dogshark
Kermadec Spiny Dogfish
Kitefin Shark
Knifetooth Dogfish
Knifetooth Sawfish
Large Sleeper Shark
Largenose Catshark
Largespine Velvet Dogfish
Largetooth Cookiecutter Shark
Largetooth Sawfish
Largetooth Sawfish
Lemon Shark
Leopard Catshark
Leopard Shark
Leopard Shark
Leopardspotted Swellshark
Lined Lantern Shark
Lined Lanternshark
Little Sleeper Shark
Lizard Catshark
Lollipop Catshark
Longfin Catshark
Longfin Mako
Longfin Sawtail Catshark
Longhead Catshark
Longnose Catshark
Longnose Hound Shark
Longnose Pygmy Shark
Longnose Sawshark
Longnose Sawtail Catshark
Longnose Spurdog
Longnose Velvet Dogfish
Longsnouth Dogfish
Lowfin Gulper Shark
Mandarin Shark
McMillan's Catshark
Megamouth Shark
Mexican Hornshark
Mosaic Gulper Shark
Mouse Catshark
Narrowbar Swellshark
Narrowfin Smooth Hound
Narrowmouth Catshark
Narrownose Smoothhound
Narrowsnout Sawfish
Narrowtail Catshark
Nervous Shark
Network Wobbegong
New Caledonia Catshark
New Guinea River Shark
New Zealand Catshark
Night Shark
Northern Sawtail Shark
Northern Spiny Dogfish
Northern Wobbegong
Nurse Shark
Oceanic Whitetip Shark
Ocellate Topeshark
Ocellated Angelshark
Oman Bullhead Shark
Onefin Catshark
Orange Spotted Catshark
Ornate Angel Shark
Ornate Dogfish
Pacific Angel Shark
Pacific Black Dogfish
Pacific Sharpnose Shark
Pacific Sleeper Shark
Pale Catshark
Pale Spotted Catshark
Panama Ghost Catshark
Papuan Epaulette Shark
Pelagic Thresher
Peppered Catshark
Phallic Catshark
Philippines Spurdog
Pigeye Shark
Piked Dogfish
Pink Lantern Shark
Pinocchio Catshark
Plunket's Dogfish
Pocket Shark
Polkadot Catshark
Pondicherry Shark
Port Jackson Shark
Portuguese Dogfish
Pretty Happy
Prickly Dogfish
Pygmy Lantern Shark
Pygmy Ribbontail Catshark
Pygmy Shark
Pyjama Shark
Quagga Catshark
Queensland Sawfish
Rasptooth Dogfish
Reticulate Swellshark
Reticulated Swellshark
Ridgebacked Bamboo Shark
Rough Longnose Dogfish
Roughskin Catshark
Roughskin Dogfish
Roughskin Spiny Dogfish
Roughtail Catshark
Rusty Carpet Shark
Rusty Catshark
Saddled Carpet Shark
Saddled Swellshark
Sailback Houndshark
Sailfin Roughshark
Salamander Catshark
Saldanha Catshark
Salmon Shark
Sand Tiger
Sandbar Shark
Sarawak Pygmy Swell Shark
Sawback Angelshark
Scalloped Bonnethead
Scalloped Hammerhead
Scoophead Shark
Seychelles Gulper Shark
Seychelles Spurdog
Sharpfin Houndshark
Sharpnose Sevengill Shark
Sharptooth Lemon Shark
Sharptooth Smoothhound
Sherwood Dogfish
Shortfin Mako
Shortnose Demon Catshark
Shortspine Spurdog
Shorttail Lanternshark
Shorttail Nurse Shark
Shovelnose Spiny Dogfish
Sickle Fin Weasel Shark
Sicklefin Hound Shark
Sicklefin Smoothhound
Silky Shark
Silver Shark
Silvertip Shark
Sixgill Sawshark
Slender Catshark
Slender Hammerhead
Slender Sawtail Shark
Slender Smoothhound
Slender Weasel Shark
Slendertail Lanternshark
Small Spotted Catshark
Smallbelly Catshark
Smalldorsal Catshark
Smalleye Catshark
Smalleye Hammerhead Shark
Smalleye Lanternshark
Smalleye Pygmy Shark
Smalleye Smoothhound
Smallfin Catshark
Smallfin Gulper Shark
Smallmouth Velvet Dogfish
Smalltail Shark
Smalltooth Sand Tiger Shark
Smooth Hammerhead
Smooth Lanternshark
Smoothback Angel Shark
Smoothtooth Blacktip Shark
Snaggletooth Shark
Sombre Catshark
South China Catshark
South China Cookiecutter Shark
South Pacific Angel Shark
Southern Collared Catshark
Southern Lantern Shark
Southern Lanternshark
Southern Sawshark
Southern Sawtail Catshark
Spadenose Shark
Sparsetooth Dogfish
Spatulasnout Catshark
Speartooth Shark
Speckled Carpet Shark
Speckled Catshark
Speckled Smoothhound
Spinner Shark
Spinous Shark
Spiny Angel Shark
Splendid Lanternshark
Spongehead Catshark
Spotless Catshark
Spotless Smoothhound
Spottail Shark
Spotted Gully Shark
Spotted Houndshark
Spotted Smoothhound
Spotted Swellshark
Spotted Wobbegong
Squatheaded Hammerhead Shark
Starry Catshark
Starry Smoothhound
Steindachner's Dogfish
Stout Catshark
Straighttooth Weasel Shark
Striped Smoothhound
Sweet William
Swell Shark
Taillight Shark
Tailspot Lantern Shark
Taiwan Angelshark
Taiwan Gulper Shark
Taiwan Saddled Carpetshark
Tasselled Wobbegong
Tawny Nurse Shark
Thorny Lanternshark
Tiger Catshark
Tiger Shark
Tropical Izak Catshark
Tropical Sawshark
Variegated Catshark
Velvet Belly Lanternshark
Velvet Catshark
Venezuelan Dwarf Smoothhound
Viper Dogfish
West African Catshark
West Indian Lanternshark
Western Angel Shark
Western Gulper Shark
Western Highfin Spurdog
Western Longnose Spurdog
Western Longnose Spurdog
Western Spotted Catshark
Western Spotted Gummy Shark
Western Wobbegong
Whale Shark
Whiskery Shark
White Clasper Catshark
White Ghost Catshark
Whiteeyed Shark
Whitefin Dogfish
Whitefin Smoothhound
Whitefin Swellshark
Whitefin Topeshark
Whitely's Sleeper Shark
Whitenose Shark
Whitesaddled Catshark
Whitespot Smoothhound
Whitespotted Bamboo Shark
Whitespotted Bullhead Shark
Whitespotted Izak
Whitetail Dogfish
Whitetip Reef Shark
Whitetip Weasel Shark
Whitish Catshark
Wide Sawfish
Widemouth Blackspot Shark
Yellowspotted Catshark
Zebra Port Jackson Shark
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