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We Can Learn From the Kahu Manō  

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Shark Stewards Newsletter April 12, 2024

We are proud to share our new documentary Kahu Manō a film on sharks, culture and traditional conservation. This is an adventure film featuring two young Hawaiian women learning to free-dive with sharks, and we filmed almost entirely by breath-holding! The film will screen at the International Ocean Film Festival April 13th at 1PM, as a work in progress, to increase protection for critically endangered pelagic sharks and support community based marine conservation. We are using the film as part of a campaign to generate increased protection and gear changes first implemented in Hawai’i across all oceans, especially to protect critically endangered sharks like the oceanic whitetip shark.

Our next screening will be at the Dana Point Film Festival May 4 where we will be hosting a panel, and at the Inter-American Pacific Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) meeting May 20, where we will be advocating for gear changes to reduce bycatch of pelagic sharks and retention of endangered species. Learn more, and watch for screenings below.

We are grateful for the guidance from the Kahu Manō and learn from the wisdom of the Ohana creating the first Community Based Conservation Area on Hawai’i, and share their example to protect sharks and reefs elsewhere in the world.

Kumu Micah Kamohoali’i, a Kahu Manō featured in the film, chanting at Hale o’ Kapuni, a sacred shark heiau

Happy World Seagrass Day! Recognizing and Protecting Seagrasses

 Seagrass beds serve as critical habitat for many marine species and play a crucial role supporting marine biodiversity. Several species of sharks use these for shelter, pupping and feeding grounds. Leopard sharks love eelgrass, and tiger sharks act as custodians maintaining these blue carbon sinks! Here on the west coast, seagrasses are suffering from a wasting disease, potentially linked to climate change. Check out the infographic above based on the work of Nowicki et.al. (2021). Protecting this important habitat can protect sharks and help mitigate carbon change!

Spinning Disease, Illegal Wildlife Trade Threaten Endangered Sawfish

Smalltoothed sawfishes (Pristis pectinata) live in tropical estuarine habitat- including seagrass beds! Studies have demonstrated that the sawfish use their rostrum to both sense and manipulate prey. Click image for video.In the world of sharks, considerable focus is placed on the more charismatic species like great white sharks. However, little attention is given to lesser-known species such as the Sawfish, arguably the most threatened family of marine fishes in the world. Currently, a pathogen is causing an alarming spinning behavior and deaths of this critically endangered sawfish in Florida.

Sawfish are a type of ray in the family Pristidae, also known as carpenter sharks that have a long, flattened rostrum, or saw extension, lined with sharp transverse teeth. All species of sawfish are listed under Appendix II of CITES, thereby limiting their possession, harvesting and trade internationally. However, the saw is a curio coveted by collectors, and can bring thousands of dollars on the market.Shark Stewards has compiled a report on vendors of sawfish rostra and jaws from other CITES listed species like white sharks for sale on eBAY, and provided this data to eBay and the US Fish and Wildlife to investigate and identify the provenance, and any permitting or illegal trade. Read our report and tell eBay to stop the sale of protected and non-permitted shark and ray body parts.
Act Now

As seen in Sharks of the Sea of Cortez, a Lost Treasure?, 98% of scalloped hammerhead sharks have been fished from Baja Waters. Click link to see the film and learn more. Image David McGuire, Shark Stewards

A report by The State of the World’s Migratory Species report reveals that 97% of fishes listed under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) are threatened with extinction. Overfishing, pollution and bycatch are driving the dramatic declines.

Of the species listed, sharks are the most threatened including oceanic whitetip sharks and scalloped hammerhead sharks that have seen an average population decline of 90% since 1970. In part, this is likely because the large ranges of these species make them habitat to protect. Included in this category is the Sea of Cortez where we have joined forces with the Mexican NGO Pelagios Kakunja to protect critically endangered scalloped hammerhead shark’s migratory and nursery habitat. Supported by the Ignite Foundation, together we will return the lost sharks to the Sea of Cortez.
Watch Here

Join Us!

Happy Earth Month- Shark Events

One third of all sharks including the Oceanic Whitetip and Scalloped Hammerheads are imminently threatened with extinction. 

Join us, volunteer, and help us save critically endangered sharks from fishing, and protect their habitat. Join us at one our Earth Month events below.

To keep sharks swimming, it is urgent we work together with Communities and Conservation.  
Join the team and help keep sharks and marine ecosystems alive and thriving!

With your support, we keep sharks swimming and the ocean healthy. We value your time, your passion, and any size donation. Shark Stewards is rated highest by Charity Navigator, Platinum-ranked by GuideStar, a member of 1% for the Planet, and a proud project of the Earth Island Institute, a federally registered 501(c)3 non profit.
                                            Will you help us save sharks with your donation?   Copyright © | 2024 | SHARK STEWARDS | All rights reservedOur mailing address is:
Shark Stewards, PO Box 617, Sausalito, CA 94966
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