It’s that time again when the white sharks are returning to our Sanctuary to forage and feast on some nice fat elephant seals. It is also the period of peak human- white shark interaction on our coast and in the Red Triangle. In 2009 Shark Stewards catalyzed annual events with our partners to educate the public on the importance of sharks (including how to avoid a shark attack) and to celebrate the return of these magnificent predators to our Sanctuary and coastline following an epic annual migration to and from the central north Pacific.
Each year we reach around 10,000 people with our National Marine Sanctuary, at the California Academy of Sciences and aquariums, schools and museums. This year we can reach even more people remotely and internationally!
Join us kicking off the celebration launching with Sharktoberfest with the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary September 26, and in October with the California Academy of Sciences and Seattle Aquarium and our dive conservation partners Blue Endeavors. See below for our online shark science and education series.
What a great way to celebrate Sharktober with the passage of a new shark fin law. Florida Governor Ron DiSantis signed into law a state shark fin trade ban. Championed and named after the late Assembly person Kristin Jacobs, this law was hard fought and won by activists and volunteers, following two previous attempts. Kudos to leaders Shark Allies, Guy Harvey Foundation, and others including the Shark Stewards SE Chapter, supported by our SE chapter lead Amber Platowski, board member Jeff Morrison and Florida Scuba Network of Divers (below) who understand sharks are far more valuable alive than dead. This law restricts the sales and trade of shark fin in Florida. However, loopholes allows for the export and sale of shark fins by any commercial fisherman who harvested sharks from a vessel holding a valid federal shark fishing permit on January 1, 2020. This bill is a great step, there is work to be done for sharks along the Eastern seaboard.
Fourteen US states now have shark fin trade bans in some form. With this incentive, we are putting pressure on the Senate to pass S 877 and make this a victory for all 50 states. Click Below to tell your Senator to support shark and ocean protection.
To celebrate Sharktober, our new science book, Sharks for Kids, goes on sale.
We are excited to share our new science book directed at youth. This STEAM science book focuses on shark biodiversity, ecology, taxonomy, behavior and conservation. Sharks for Kids introduces youth to these magnificent creatures through vivid illustrations and photographs of some of the biggest, smallest, and strangest sharks swimming the seas. You’ll also learn about how they see, smell, and communicate in the deep sea. Good for big kids too, your underwater shark adventure begins here!
Now available on Kindle, Sharks for Kids will be available on Amazon and other book sellers October 6. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and enter to win a free copy.
Expedition to Save Pacific Sharks From Poachers
Picture above: R/V Viking. Lower left: Chinese flagged longliner trans-shipping fish, Right: Ship data fishing between Galapagos and Central America. Image Global Fin Print
During the COVID crisis strong evidence exists of illegal fishing in marine reserves protecting marine life from California to the Galapagos. In the latter, a fleet of over 300 Chinese fishing vessels have been documented fishing along the edges and encroaching inside the Galapagos killing tuna, sharks and sea turtles.
Taking advantage of the lack of ecotourism and patrols, these vessels are targeting sharks and other large species in marine reserves and along the migratory pathway shared by other species such as marine mammals and sea turtles.
This fall, Shark Stewards joins Ocean Explorer on an expedition visiting remote Pacific marine reserves areas to expose and document Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in and around marine protected areas. The film and media project will support the proposal to protect the region between to create the Cocos-Galapagos Swimway, a 240,000 square-kilometer underwater highway that connects the National Parks of two sovereign nations: Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park with Ecuador’s Galapagos Marine Reserve. Follow our voyage from California to Panama on live social media and on our Field Notes column with National Geographic to learn more.
Thanks to artist and our board member Pamela Ordonez Comstock for developing this new program to promote ocean artists and help us save sharks. Launching this month on Instagram and at artforsharks.org, the site will launch with works contributed by painters, sculptures, photographers and writers: Gary Rose @garyrose_sharks Mark Cunningham @kkandmc Peter Shepard Cole @petershepardcole Keale Comstock @vandemuurpaintings David McGuire @sharkstewards Ian Shive -@ianshivephoto Peter de Boer – @atelierpeterdeboer Kevin Mirsky – @the_single_fin_theory Sarah Philips – @studio_philips.
Artists contribute a part or all of the proceeds from sales of their art to help save sharks and protect ocean habitat.