This megamouth shark was fished in the Philippines on April 21, 2013. The megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios) is an extremely rare species of deepwater shark, so rare that only over 50 sightings have been recorded since its discovery in 1976.
Of the now 56 megamouth sharks recorded worldwide, 11 specimens (20%, most numerous next to Japan) come from the Philippines.
The megamouth is the smallest of only three filter-feeding sharks (the others being whale sharks and basking sharks).
Photo from CJ Fives for Butuan Bay Divers.
The amiable mood created by the abundant food could be the perfect ambiance for shark mating.
If the mere thought of sharks sends chills down your spine, consider the damage that a swarm of ants could inflict. And even cows have been known to be deadly.
Disgusting, shocking expose by Agence France-Presse. Hong-Kong. After people complained, tens of thousands of shark fins were brought to the roof tops to dry. The article says they did this to hide the fins from the public because of increased awareness of animal cruelty.
Shark fin traders in Hong Kong have taken to drying freshly sliced fins on rooftops since a public outcry over them drying the fins on public sidewalks forced them to move the trade out of sight.
Activists have raised concerns that the over-harvesting of fins is causing an environmental calamity. Although sales have fallen in recent years Hong Kong remains one of the world’s biggest markets for shark fins, which are used to make soup that is an expensive staple at Chinese banquets. NBC
I can’t stomach watching the process of shark finning (more videos here). Basically, they catch the shark, cut off its fins, and throw the shark back into the ocean - alive and awake. The sharks bleed to death and/or suffocate since they can’t swim.
But saying “gross” or “I’m sad” is not enough. There are a variety of ways you can help stop finning.
Sharks are threatened by climate change. Increased temperatures are affecting their habitat and food supplies around the globe. Changes to their habitat threaten their survival.
Last year, Discovery reported the world’s first hybrid shark and speculated it had adapted to climate change. They speculated that two separate shark species paired as a result of climate change. It was the first time a shark hybrid has been found and scientists speculated they were evolving, e.g., they adapted to increased temperatures.
The Australian black-tip is slightly smaller than its common cousin and can only live in tropical waters, but its hybrid offspring have been found 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) down the coast, in cooler seas.
It means the Australian black-tip could be adapting to ensure its survival as sea temperatures change because of global warming.
“If it hybridizes with the common species it can effectively shift its range further south into cooler waters, so the effect of this hybridizing is a range expansion,” Morgan said.
“It’s enabled a species restricted to the tropics to move into temperate waters.” Via Discovery
Adaptation is not fast enough. Habitat and food supplies are quickly being destroyed, not to mention ocean currents are shifting, adding additional pressure on marine life. Most importantly, the incredible increases wealth in China and Asia generally has increased demand for shark fin soup, which is considered a delicacy.
Gordan Ramsay, an A-list celebrity chef, was doused with gasoline and held at gun-point while exposing shark finning on his TV show last year. He tried the soup and deemed it unremarkable and bland, comparing the soup to eating salted potatoes.
He was horrified and sickened at the process (warning: very tough to watch. Several sharks are hacked live). Chef Ramsay subsequently advocated for the finning of these amazing animals to stop. He helped contribute to the passage of a bill banning shark fin soup in the U.S.
There are several ways to stop finning: Pressuring grocery stores and Asian markets, writing congress (it works, I swear), contributing cash and volunteer time to anti-finning campaigns, passing the word around to educate others, and signing petitions.
- And thanks for reading my post. m
Happy Shark Week!!!! I even get to go to the ocean back home this weekend. Score.
Giant, 1,000-pound bull shark takes researchers by surprise
The high-testosterone bull sharks go after bigger prey than smaller sharks thanks to their serrated teeth.
Who has more to fear? Man or Shark? - Infographic.
When the words “surfer” and “shark” appear together in a headline, the news usually concerns a bloody encounter. But in Venice Beach, California, a few days ago, video footage captured something remarkable: surfers grabbing and saving a great white shark.
Oceanic Whitetip Shark - Marsa Shagra, Egypt
Jacques Cousteau apparently considered this particular species to be the “most dangerous of all sharks” due to its habit of seeking out areas of feeding frenzies.
If you’re planning your two to three servings of fish for the week, don’t count on going to FoodNetwork.com for any recipes featuring shark meat. Thanks to a successful Internet campaign promoting shark conservation, the Food Network has removed all shark meat recipes from their website.
Conservation activist Jessica Belsky started the shark saving campaign on Change.org, the world’s fastest growing platform for social change, on August 2 during Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Food Network, which previously featured recipes such as shark tacos and shark au poivre, responded to the petition within 10 days and committed to leave shark off the menu.
“As a policy, Food Network and Cooking Channel do not incorporate or showcase recipes that involve animals on endangered species list or the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list, with the recent addition of sharks to those watch-lists, we will make sure that future content does not highlight shark as an ingredient. We understand there are many species with sustainability concerns, and we make efforts to stay informed and pass that information onto our audience,” says Susan Stockton of the Food Network Kitchens.
Sharks are simply not as beloved as dolphins and not as economically valuable as tuna or cod. As a result, they are too often low priority for politicians and fishery managers. Strong, vocal support from concerned citizens is essential for advancing the safeguards that sharks so urgently need.
Every year, up to 73 million sharks are killed for their fins, valued mostly for the Asian delicacy shark fin soup. Sharks grow slowly, mature late and produce few offspring over long lifespans, making them particularly vulnerable to overexploitation and slow to recover from overfishing.
Click here to sign petition for global conservation efforts. Save sharks and protect our oceans!
Source: PEW Enviroment Group