Online survey to collect information on the costs of operating Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

The objective of this research is to produce a global overview of MPA costs and funding requirements to benefit MPA planners and managers in the future. 
 
We would appreciate if you are a MPA manager / representative to answer this survey conducted by a researchers team from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Stony Brook University, and by 'The Nature Conservancy'.
 
The questionnaire will take less then 20 minutes of your time and is available through the following link and can be completed in English, Spanish or French (you can change the language at top right-hand corner of the screen)  https://survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90267465/MPA-Cost-Survey 

Signatories of this letter recognise the urgent need to improve drifting-FAD management in the Indian Ocean

More than 100 organisations, SEI included, call to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission for urgent curb on destructive drifting Fish Aggregating Devices to rebuild tuna stocks and protect fragile marine ecosystems.

These fish aggregating devices, which have also been referred to as “the tuna industry's floating atoll destroyers”, are deployed in their tens of thousands each year by industrial purse seine fishing vessels, attracting large schools of tuna underneath them in the otherwise quite featureless open ocean.

Endangered sharks, turtles and marine mammals are often caught when those drifting nets are encircled by the massive purse seine nets and are then hauled aboard as ‘bycatch’ together with the tuna destined for markets in the EU, UK and elsewhere.

LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR PROPOSAL IOTC-2021-SS4-PropD SUBMITTED BY KENYA AND SRI LANKA “ON MANAGEMENT OF FISH AGGREGATING DEVICES (FADs) IN THE IOTC AREA OF COMPETENCE”

Dear IOTC Secretariat,

This letter serves to confirm support of its signatories for the Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) proposal submitted by Kenya and Sri Lanka, “On management of fish aggregating devices (FADs) in the IOTC Area of Competence”, for consideration during the upcoming Special Session of the Commission.

Signatories of this letter recognise the urgent need to improve drifting-FAD management in the Indian Ocean and consider this proposal to be both timely and suitable for this purpose. Successful implementation of this proposal will help facilitate rebuilding of the Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock, primarily by reducing catches of juvenile tropical tunas, but also by more broadly enabling sustainable management of industrial purse seine fleets operations within the Indian Ocean. Implementation would also help mitigate other ecological impacts associated with drifting-FADs, including those on turtles, sharks and marine mammals, which are affected as direct bycatches, and through entanglement mortality with continued ghost fishing when drifting-FADs are lost, discarded or abandoned. The damage to coral reefs and other sensitive inshore habitats when drifting- FADs become stranded, as well as the contribution of drifting-FADs to marine debris and marine plastic pollution, could also be mitigated through implementation of this proposal.

Following various requests by NGOs and market stakeholders for IOTC members to actively help resolve the overfished stock condition of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean, we also take this opportunity to commend Kenya and Sri Lanka for their submission of this aligned proposal. We are encouraged to see coastal states taking a leadership position on these important matters and sincerely hope that more IOTC members and other stakeholders will also show their support for this proposal as we collectively pursue sustainable management and thriving tuna fisheries throughout the IOTC area of competence.

Yours sincerely,

IPNLF - BLUE MARINE FOUNDATION - ARTHWORM - SAINSBURY'S - THE INTERNATIONAL GAMEFISH ASSOCIATION - WOLLWORTHS - WILDAID - OLIVE RIDLEY PROJECT - NATURE SEYCHELLES - BLUE VENTURES - WWF - SHARKPROJECT - OCEAN MIND - EDEKA - MALDIVES FISHERMEN - GLOBAL FISHING WATCH - GESELLSCHAFT ZUR RETTUNG DER DELPHINE - DAKSHIN - WORLD WISE FOODS - SHARKS EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE - DEUTSCHE STIFTUNG MEERESSCHUTZ - WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY - OCEAN BRANDS - BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL - WDC - ALL FOR BLUE - BLUE WAVE FISH TRADERS - GREENFISH - MARINE MEGAFAUNA FOUNDATION - OCEAN UNITE - LOCAL OCENA CONSERVATION - BLUE RESOURCES TRUST - MANTA TRUST - THE SOUTH AFRICAN TUNA ASSOCIATION - CORDIO EAST AFRICA - BORN FREE - ECO WORLD - CETACEAN SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL - ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE - OSCAP - AMERICAN TUNA - FISHERMEN'S ASSOCIATION MALDIVES - PFC - NEKTON - LARGE PELAGIC - AP2HI - ANIMALS ASIA - PRESIDENTIAL CHALLENGE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION - KMMREC - VERVET MONKEY FOUNDATION - BLOOM - FISH4EVER - WATAMU MARINE ASSOCIATION - KMMN - IWB - MUNDUS MARIS - MSPEA MALDIVES - MALINDI SEA FISHING CLUB KENYA - PRO WILDLIFE - WILD OCEANS - THE MALDIVES RESILIENT REEFS PROJECT - ENSIS - MUTARE SPCA - WATAMU SEA FISHING CLUB - FISH TALES - MALDIVES QUALITY SEAFOOD - OCEAN ALLIANCE - FAUNA & FLORA INTERNATIONAL - KENYA ASSOCIATION OF SEA ANGLERS - WILD TRUST - ABALOBI - CATCA ENVIRONMENTAL AND WILDLIFE SOCIETY - ECOLOGY ACTION CENTRE - HORIZON FISHERIES - ASSOCIATION FOR DHIFFUSHI DEVELOPMENT - NLA INTERNATIONAL - BIGFISH MALDIVES - OHF - OCEAN SEAFOOD - SAAMBR - KINGFISHER MALINDI KENYA - AUSTRALIAN MARINE CONSERVATION SOCIETY - BILLFISH FOUNDATION - BLUE SEAS PROTECTION - INSTITUTO AUGUSTO CARNEIRO - MARINE CONSERVATION SOCIETY SEYCHELLES - GALLIFREY FOUNDATION - SCIAENA - GENTNER - THE LAMU MARINE CONSERVATION TRUST - OCEAN SPORTS - SEA FOOD SOUQ - SUSTAINABLE OCEAN SEYCHELLES - OCEANIC SOCIETY - NRT - CAPTAIN ANDY'S - BAN ANIMAL TRADING - HEMINGWAYS WATAMU - SIF - OUR FISH - IDPE ASBL - OCEANS ALIVE - CAOPA - THE FLIPFLOPI KWALE RECYCLERS - KURUWITU CONSERVATION & WELFARE - TENG HOI CONSERVATION ORGANIZATION - DIVERS FOR SHARKS - WCA - SATLA - ENDANGERED WILDLIFE TRUST

Stop Finning - Stop the trade!

Stop Finning – Stop the trade!

 

Every year, between 63 and 273 million sharks die as a result of human activity.[1] The exact numbers remain speculation, as there is a lack of reliable data and the worldwide number of unreported cases of illegal fishing is extremely high. Sharks are hunted worldwide, primarily because of their fins. These are eaten especially in the Asian region as shark fin soup. For this supposed delicacy, with a few grams of fins, up to 90€ are required.[2] A lucrative business with huge profit margins at the expense of the sharks!

The fins are often caught in a cruel way by “finning”. Finning means that the sharks’ fins are cut off alive. The animals are then thrown overboard because their meat is almost worthless compared to the fins. Without fins the sharks sink to the seabed where they suffocate, bleed to death or are eaten alive.

This business is also served from Europe.

Since 2013, the so-called “Fins Naturally Attached” regulation of the European Union prohibits without exception the storage, transhipment and landing of all shark fins in EU waters and on all EU ships. The fins must remain naturally attached to the carcass when the ship is unloaded in port. The fins can then be separated from the animal and exported to Asia.

It is time to finally take consistent action in Europe to protect sharks and our oceans! Therefore, we ask you to support this opportunity to rethink legislation in the European Union.

Celebrating The Year Of The Shark 2019

This year, Sharks Educational Institute joins the The Shark Group to draw public attention to the plight of Sharks, on a big and worldwide celebration: The INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE SHARK 2019. 



Long-line fishing factory ships loot the oceans with lines of up to fifty miles long, and thousands of baited hooks. For every ten pounds of fish killed, they throw away one hundred pounds of marine life. This waste of fifty billion pounds of marine life yearly, including sharks, is casually referred to as “by-catch”. The massacre is comparable to that of the buffalo on the North American plains 200 years ago, but on a much larger scale.



This INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE SHARK 2019 was inspired by findings of The Global Shark Assessment that at current rates of decline, the most threatened shark species would be extinct in ten to fifteen years. In large regions, species that were once numerous had fallen to 1% of their original numbers.



The latest global research finds that rampant over-fishing, driven by profits from shark fins that rival those of the drug trade, has resulted in sharks and rays being in worse shape than any other line of animals, in spite of their incalculable ecological importance. The bad reputation sharks have been given by blood thirsty tabloids, movies and the mass media, has erected a barrier to their protection and encouraged their massacre with almost no public outcry nor protest.



The goal of The Year of the Shark 2019 is to spotlight sharks' plight and work towards an international ban on their commerce, while uniting concerned individuals and organizations around the world.



Like as in 2009, the INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE SHARK 2019, was conceived, created, and executed by The Shark Group, founded and led by the Sharkman of Malta, Alex Buttigieg. Our Shark Behaviour Specialist, Ila France Porcher, created the Let Sharks Live Group to discuss affiliated projects and raise public support.



For more information please visit the website https://theyearoftheshark.wixsite.com/2019/ and if you wish to join us, or help by translating some of the material into another language or in other ways, you can contact us by email at: 

the.year.of.the.shark@gmail.com or at: info@sharksinstitute.org 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

















FLY WITH BULL RAYS

Together with the Sharklab from Malta, the South African Association for Marine Biological Research, and the IMAR from the Azores, the Sharks Educational Institute is one of the founder's organisations of the Citizen Science project Fly With Bull Rays, and coordinates all the related activities in the Canary Islands, Spain. Fly With Bull Rays is a project created by Silvio Solleliet-Ferreira which aims at setting the baseline and kick-starting a global population study for the species Aetomylaeus bovinus.

By developing the first intraspecific photo-identification methodology for Bull Rays, a non-invasive technique, the FWBR Project will enable to start understanding their life history and support citizen science.

The project is based on a global data-gathering process with routine free-diving surveys and widen the contact network for citizen science; this constant data gathering is expected to provide sufficient data to publish population studies able to influence local and European decision makers in the future, regarding habitats and species conservation needs.

Since 2015, Bull Rays (Aetomylaeus bovinus) have been part of the 53% of native elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean Sea which are at risk of extinction. Globaly assessed by the International Union for Conservation of nature (IUCN) in 2006, on the Red List as DD (Data Deficient), the Bull Ray population in the Mediterranean jumped, in 2016, to the CR (Critically Endangered) statute assessement. The main reason for such population decline relies on bycatch from industrial and artisanal fishing gears. Despite the critical state of this species, its population size, trends, habitat, ecology and dynamic remain unknown.

The main objective of this project is the development of the first intraspecific photo-identification methodology for bull rays. Indeed Bull rays have remarkable natural patterns on their back, which make the individual identification very easy, those patterns are bluish stripes which may remind you of the reflections of the water surface on a sandy bottom. 

Photo-identification is considered as a non-invasive method, because we do not disturb the animals, in this case we do not even touch them in the wild. A simple picture of the animals back is enough to answer major questions about the individual (Who? Sex? Maturity state?). Both invasive and non-invasive techniques have provided relevant results for individual identification, both with their advantages and limitations.

We need interns and volunteers to run snorkelling surveys and gather picutres of Bull Rays all the time, in Azores, Canary Islands, all around the Atlantic Ocean Eastern coasts, and in the Mediterranean Sea. If you would like to know more, or if you are looking for an exciting intership, please Email us at info@sharksinstitute.org or visit the website flywithbullrays.eu 

Evaluating the attitudes of common people towards sharks

The Sharks Educational Institute, together with several other environmentalists' organizations dedicated to the investigation and conservation of sharks and marine biodiversity, is collaborating in the study 'Evaluating the attitudes of common people towards sharks'.

This study is a collaborative project involving the Department of Biology of the University of Padova (Italy), iSea (Greece), MER (Cyprus), OGS (National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, Italy), CHAM - Portuguese Center for Global History, FCSH/NOVA University (Portugal), A.P.C.M. (Portugal), ÇOMÜ (Turkey) ICM (Spain), NIWA (New Zealand), Planeta Océano (Peru) and BALYENA (Philipines and Japan). 

The aim of the present study is to assess the attitude of the public towards sharks and investigate differences between regions and countries. The online questionnaire, completely anonymous, is composed of three parts. The first part is constituted by some demographic and general information of the responders. The second part includes 13 statements used to measure the attitude of the responder towards sharks. The 13 statements used are based on the classic study of S.J. Kellert (1996), in which he describes the attitudinal dimensions towards wildlife. The third part aims at evaluating the knowledge of the responder towards sharks and will be used to analyze how knowledge can affect the attitude. The questionnaire will be translated in different languages with the goal to collect as many answers as possible from all over the world, from people of different educational levels, different ages (10-60+) and different backgrounds.

To participate in the survey and fill in the questionnaire click here.

Thank you for the contribution!