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