Thursday, September 18, 2014

Live Shark Tracking Map


FishTrack has recently implemented a tagging program to better understand the behaviors and migratory patterns of Shortfin Mako sharks off the California coast.




Sugar Lips

Mo Follow them live...   

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Conservancy is working, let's Keep it Up!

Study: More great white sharks off Marin, California

Great white population means endangered status not needed

By Mark Prado

The number of great white sharks in the Pacific Ocean has grown to 2,400, a study found.
The number of great white sharks in the Pacific Ocean has grown to 2,400, a study found. (Al Giddings — California Academy of Sciences)

The number of great white sharks that prowl the waters off Tomales Point, Stinson Beach, Duxbury Reef and Bolinas for marine mammals is larger than previously thought, according to a new study.

Some studies showed the population roaming in a section of sea from the Monterey Bay, Farallon Islands, north of Marin to Bodega Bay at between 200 and 400. That prompted calls for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

But the new effort published in PLOS ONE last month suggests that great whites — also known just as white sharks — are returning to abundance in the Pacific Ocean and puts the number closer to 2,400.

The study by a 10-member team led by George H. Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, bolsters a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration determination that the eastern Pacific Ocean population of great white sharks does not warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission also made the same determination.

Under California law that went into place in 1994, it is illegal to take great white sharks whether it's sports fishing or commercially.

"That we found these sharks are doing OK, better than OK, is a real positive in light of the fact that other shark populations are not necessarily doing as well," Burgess said. "We hope others can take our results and use them as a positive starting point for additional investigation."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Have a Great Weekend Everyone!

Shark cull rejected by Western Australia Environmental Protection Authority

No baited drumlines will be set this summer after concerns over program’s impact on great whites leads to EPA recommendation
A great white shark
Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority has recommended the shark culling program not be extended. Photograph: Alamy
Baited drumlines will not be deployed in Western Australia this summer after the Environmental Protection Authority recommended that the state’s controversial shark culling program not be extended, citing “a high degree of scientific uncertainty” about the impact of drumlines on the great white shark population.
Under the WA government’s proposal – which followed a three-month trial earlier this year – more than 70 hooks would be strung about 1km off popular beaches in Perth and the state’s south-west each summer for the next three years.

The state government’s own environmental assessment estimated about 25 great whites, a protected species under state and commonwealth regulations, would be snared on the hooks. 

But on Thursday the EPA chairman, Paul Vogel, said a CSIRO review of the government’s estimates “stated there remained too much uncertainty in the available information and evidence about the south-western white shark population, population trends and the bycatch from commercial fisheries”.

“In view of these uncertainties, the EPA has adopted a cautious approach by recommending against the proposal,” he said.

The EPA’s recommendation is open to public appeal for two weeks, with a final decision on the shark cull to be made in October by the WA environment minister, Albert Jacobs. The program also needs to be approved by the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt.

Vogel said the EPA had only assessed the impact of the drumlines on the environment. “The minister, in making his final decision, may take other matters into consideration,” he said.

The WA premier, Colin Barnett, told parliament he was disappointed by the decision, but it was “very unlikely” the government would appeal.

“That means it will not be possible to have drum lines over this summer. If we were to do so there would clearly be court challenges and you would never get there,” he said.

Barnett said Perth beaches were “pretty well safe” due to air patrols, but he could not say the same for beaches in the state’s south-west, where the government would have to rethink how it could provide greater protection.

“I cannot look the people in the south-west in the face and say ‘your beaches are safe, your diving [and] surfing conditions are safe’ because I don’t believe they are.”

Hunt has previously said that he would approve the cull only if it underwent a full environmental assessment.