Saturday, 27 November 2010

Where Doha Failed...

At last ICCAT, the prehistorically slow moving regulatory body for the tuna fishing industry has pulled its finger out of the pie and after a meeting of some 48 countries in Paris, has protected the Oceanic White Tip shark and imposed catch limits on several species of hammerhead, as well as imposing catch data requirements for the shortfin mako.
Details are sketchy right at this moment, as this news is hot off the press, so expect more details in the coming days.
Although extremely welcome news, it remains to be seen whether this protective measure for the Oceanic White Tip will be enough as it is one of the most declined species in the Atlantic.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Costa Rica to close private dock to finning fleet.

Through an official communication of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock MAG (CP-078-2010), Minister Gloria Abrahan Peralta announced she had reached an agreement with the Costa Rican fishery sector, to close the private docks of Puntarenas to the foreign shark finning fleet as of December 1st, obligating them to land their products in the public dock of Barrio el Carmen, as is established by law. This measure would mean the government would finally be abiding by Articles 211 y 212 of Costa Rica’s Customs Law, which mandate the use of public infrastructure for the importation of products.


Science Leads on Shark Insights

There are two interesting articles today on the web-o-sphere, which makes a refreshing change from the usual killer-death-shock-horror-probe blah that abounds on most days.
First is an article about how scales play a role in aquadynamics in the Mako Shark. The high speed hunters rely on the angle of their scales and can change their dynamic profile which is affected by the position of the fine scales on their skin.
The second piece is slightly wierdly titled leading us to believe that whale sharks can do maths (or math if you're from the states). I think what they mean is that the scientists used maths to justify the principle of their observation, but anyway, interesting notheless. Read it here.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Dive Blue Sharks with us in the Azores

I have just released this very exciting itinerary for next summer, diving with blue and mako sharks in the azores. Our operator reports a 100% hit rate with the blue sharks, and about a 30% appearance of the elusive mako shark. This will be an incredible itinerary. Don't miss it. Only Eight Places.
Download the itinerary here and from the Acuatours site.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

D'day mate, which way to the Acropolis..

This interesting piece on the beeb's science and environment pages suggests that Great Whites from Australia were possibly touring the med some 450,000 years ago. I even think, if great whites could speak, they might possibly have an auzzie accent...

Monday, 8 November 2010

Tigers and Sharks

There are a lot of comparisons between tigers and sharks, and I don't really need to list them here. This wild aid ad contains some great action shots and is worth not just a look, but a bit of thinking about. Culture is the key.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Power of the Internet

We received some really great news this morning that the tag Andrea Marshall placed on our mantas back in September, having released near to the border with peru, drifting further south, and subsequently been picked up by a fisherman, has now been handed over and should soon be winging its way back to the states and will allow finer analysis of the data captured whilst it was on the manta.
The journey of this tag since it came off of the manta has been almost as interesting as when it was on the manta, and serves to remind us that the future of mantas is inextricably linked with our relationship with them.
After Andrea launched an internet campaign to try to find the tag, a contact from somewhere in south america put us in touch with Kerstin Forsburg who runs a marine non profit in the northern peru region where the tag was loose. After an exhaustive search with the help of local contacts and fliers, a fisherman came forward and the tag was handed over yesterday morning.
Such an operation would never have happened in days pre-internet, and is a marvelous demonstration of how, through technology, conservation efforts can reach to the farthest flung corners of the planet. Through finding this tag, we have also found an important allie in the future of manta ray conservation, and the global manta village has grown by a few more inhabitants.

Monday, 1 November 2010

A Great Success!

Phew!..24 hours after the Birmingham Dive Show and my feet are just about getting back to feeling normal, and after so much talking I think my mouth has lost some functionality. We had really strong interest in our manta and basking shark itineraries, and made some good business to business relations to sell some amazing new dive tour products. The Acuatours presence at the show was assisted marvelously by my '10 manta project volunteers Katherine Burgess, Christine Skippen and Tim Reynolds, who helped to inject some personal accounts of life in the field on our manta project so that our many potential assistants for next year can get a better idea of how we get things done. It was also great to catch up with some old friends, and to meet people who I'm sure will become new ones. It was also great of course to catch up with our favourite person of the year award winner Andrea Marshall and see her fill the auditorium to the brim with eager listeners on both days of the show. Top Notch!!