Too Much Love for the Fish Everyone Hates

Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthus)

The much-maligned, misunderstood and now treasured “trash fish,” the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthius). Photo: © Boris Pamikov

It was a sadly typical meeting of the Board of Collier County (Florida) Commissioners in the late nineties. As the meeting droned on, I tuned it out and fell into deep concentration, obsessively rewriting now long-forgotten remarks I would deliver to the Commission about conservation in Southwest Florida on behalf of The Conservancy of Southwest Florida where I was president and CEO. Our environmental policy director, Michael Simonik, suddenly elbowed me, “Can you believe this?” he gasped. As I looked up, Commissioner Barbara Berry was on her soapbox delivering a monologue, and like Michael, I was stunned to hear what she was saying. She soared into hyperbole to sing the praises of the land developers, declaring Southwest Florida far better than when she arrived, and with a look of disgust tinged with horror, told us how awful it was before the developers came, with all of these unsightly “tangles” of trees and messy vegetation. Nature run amok. Thank god the developers came along and made Southwest Florida a better place, with the neatly manicured lawns of its gated communities (not to mention highest number of golf courses per capita in the world). But as I gazed around the room, there were heads nodding. And I learned something. [Read more…]

Big Day in European Shark Conservation

Silky Shark (c) 2011 David E GuggenheimBig news in shark conservation from our sister organization, Shark Advocates International: EU Officials Sign UN Migratory Shark Initiative, Propose Stronger Finning Ban

Bergen, Norway. November 21, 2011. The European Union (EU) today became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Sharks, just as the European Commission announced a proposal to strengthen the EU ban on shark “finning” (slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea). An EU representative signed the Shark MoU at a ceremony at the 10th Conference of the CMS Parties which opened today in Bergen while the announcement on the finning proposal came from Commission headquarters in Brussels. [Read more…]

How to Save a Shark

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.netAugust 9, 2010: You’ve experienced Shark Week, now learn the compelling conservation story behind these incredible animals and why it matters with Shark Advocates International president, Sonja Fordham. Where’s the oil? The Ocean Doctor’s Spin Alarm is triggered by the Administration’s misleading sound bytes. How OtterBox saved The Ocean Doctor’s Gulf sampling program on Tools of the Trade.

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