Shark Steward’s mission is to save sharks from overfishing and by protecting where they live, including the critical habitat and ecosystem all species depend upon. Supporting the creation of no fishing zones, expanding the boundaries of our National Marine Sanctuary in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and creating a new National Marine Sanctuary with NOAA and stakeholders in the California Chumash community are a major focus protecting US waters.
In January the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity released its ‘zero draft’ text proposal for a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Featured in the text is a target to protect at least 30% of the planet — land and sea — by 2030. The draft text is a proposed framing for a 10-year strategy to halt and reverse species decline, and restore ecosystem services that are critical to humanity’s survival. Included in the draft is retaining all intact ecosystems with a strong linkage to nature-based climate mitigation.
Dr. Enric Sala, Explorer in Residence at National Geographic, and co-author of the Global Deal for Nature recommends 30 percent of Earth to be formally protected and an additional 20 percent designated as climate stabilization areas.
On October 7, 2020 California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the state to create a new California Biodiversity Collaborative and conserve 30 percent of its land and coastal waters by 2030. This program aligns with the international “30 by 30” goal shared by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and many of the world’s most prominent conservation scientists.
It also aligns Shark Stewards initiative to expand marine protected areas in California by supporting the proposal for a new national Marine Sanctuary off the Big Sur coastline and expanding the network of Marine Protected Areas by creating new MPAs in the San Francisco Bay.
The first part of the Governor’s executive order calls on the collaborative to bring together several state government agencies plus tribal groups, agricultural groups, and “business and community leaders” to take an inventory of California biodiversity. An important place to begin is to develop an inventory of species, including identifying hot spots of biodiversity.
The inventory also offers an opportunity for community science engagement such as our Shark Watch Program and MPA Collaborative Network. Shark Stewards is working with the California Academy of Sciences in citizen science projects that help map biodiversity. With iNaturalist, the platform operated by the Academy of Sciences, already holds more than 5.8 million observations of California wildlife. Join our effort campaigning to protect 30% of the ocean from California to SE Asia one MPA at a time.