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
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA. August 13, 2012 – At the close of the annual meeting of leading American shark and ray scientists, the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG) is releasing the first compilation of conservation status assessments for nearly 300 sharks, rays, and chimaeras (collectively known as chondrichthyan fishes) found in North American, Central American, and Caribbean waters conducted using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species criteria. The report and supplementary materials can be downloaded from the IUCN website.
The report documents that 13.5% of the region’s shark, skate, and chimaera species qualify for one of the three “threatened” categories — Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable — associated with an elevated risk of extinction. Nine rays and 20 sharks qualify as Vulnerable. Sixteen percent of species are classified as Near Threatened, 27% as Least Concern, and 43.4% as Data Deficient. Read more
Big 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
August 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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