Category Archives: WWF Canada

ENDANGERED SHARK POPULATIONS

Just after publishing my June 6, 2012 blog,”OMG – Great White Shark versus kayaker”, I received a current WWF newsletter featuring the concern of endangered shark populations.

I am including excerpts from that article and urge you to visit WWF’s site to read through comments submitted and related links.

May 14, 2012
Posted by staffblogger Jarrett Corke, Shark Project Coordinator, WWF-Canada

For as long as I can remember, sharks have been my passion… Over the past year, I’ve been working at WWF-Canada on shark conservation in Halifax, Nova Scotia, tackling the most pressing issues for Atlantic sharks.

So when I received an envelope last week addressed to Mr. Jarrett Corke with the words ‘To the General Shark Scientists of the World’ written in pencil along the edge, I was intrigued.  Inside were two letters, … the first letter. Written by the father of an exceptional young boy by the name of Jack Titterrell from Bowmanville, Ontario, the letter explained that his son had taken it upon himself to create these signs in the hopes of spreading his message – save the sharks. The second letter, dictated by Jack to his father, explained why he thinks people should take more care to avoid the unnecessary killing of sharks.”

Jack’s reasons (See the blog for the information included in each numbered section) included: 

1)Sharks are endangered and I want them to survive.”…
2) “Sharks are nature and swim so fast.”
3) “If they don’t survive, they will become extinct.”
Jack is right to be concerned. Sharks are in trouble and they need our help. The loss of these predators may have direct and indirect effects on marine ecosystems, not only impacting other marine organisms, but us too – the human communities that rely on ocean resources.
To learn more about what we do to help protect sharks, visit - http://www.wwf.ca/conservation/species/sharks/

http://blog.wwf.ca/blog/2012/05/14/dear-general-shark-scientists-of-the-world/?utm_source=panda_mail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=panda_mail_June_2012

CANADIAN SHARKS THREATENED PLUS AWESOME VIDEO

Please read, “Help Save Canada‘s Sharks” Posted by staffblogger By Jarrett Corke, Shark Project Coordinator, WWF-Canada May 14, 2012

http://blog.wwf.ca/blog/2012/05/14/dear-general-shark-scientists-of-the-world/?utm_source=panda_mail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=panda_mail_June_2012

At the end of this topic I’ve included Jonathan Bird‘s video,Shark Biology” (Webisode 45) as I’m utterly amazed to learn so many astonishing facts, as Jonathan swims among the sharks.  What an incredible insight into this endangered species!   This is a 10 minute video and is definitely worth watching – A MUST SEE!!
 – Jonathan swims with blue sharks and tries to pet one – will he get bitten?…
 – an underwater cave hold a deep surprise…
 – Jonathan swims with the largest toother animal on earth, the sperm whale…

       PROTECTING CANADIAN SHARK POPULATIONS

http://www.wwf.ca/conservation/species/sharks/

Most sharks are vulnerable to overexploitation due to their slow growth, late maturity, low reproductive rates, and long life. Globally, sharks…are among the most threatened marine vertebrates on Earth. Large open-water or ‘pelagic’ sharks, such as great whites, are among the most threatened. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, it is estimated that 60% of pelagic sharks are currently threatened with extinction. As many of these species are wide-ranging top predators, their loss may have far-reaching consequences for marine ecosystems.

Twenty-eight species of shark have been reported in Canadian waters … Close to half of these species are considered to be globally threatened; still most Canadians remain unaware that sharks regularly occur in our waters…

 
 

WHAT ARE THE MAIN THREATS TO SHARKS IN CANADIAN WATERS?

In Canada, unsustainable fishing practices, in particular the unintentional capture of sharks in fisheries targeting tunas, swordfish or groundfish have caused shark populations to drastically decline.

Bycatch – ‘Bycatch’, or the unintentional capture of non-target species in commercial fisheries, is perhaps the single most significant threat to sharks in Canadian waters. Little is known about the distribution of sharks in Canadian waters and ways to minimize the incidence of bycatch and overall shark mortality…

Demand for shark fins – Shark ‘finning’, the removal of only the fins from sharks and dumping the remainder while at sea, is illegal in Canada; however, Canada is importing unsustainable shark products, including fins, for consumption and, globally, the growing trade of shark fins has become a threat to many shark species. The fin trade today is considered to be a primary driver in shark exploitation.

Changes in the marine environment – Destructive fishing activities, marine waste and coastal developments can have serious impacts on marine habitats which sharks depend on. Climate change impacts on the marine ecosystem can also be a cause of concern for sharks, particularly in terms of how population distributions and habitats for sharks, as well as their prey, may be affected.

VIDEO OUTLINE of Jonathan Bird’s, “Blue Sharks“:

Jonathan joins Charlie Donilon on his shark charter boat in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and learns about how shark tagging has shed light on the biology of and behavior of Blue sharks. Tagging has shown that these incredible swimmers actually migrate completely across the Atlantic ocean. Jonathan tries his hand at tagging a shark and then swims with Blue sharks. We also learn that Blue sharks are not nearly as vicious as they have been reputed to be, and the divers are actually able to pet the sharks!