News of Sharks
16 , 2013
- German tourist has arm
bitten off by shark while snorkelling at Hawaii’s Maui beach
HONOLULU — Officials reopened a Maui beach Thursday, a day
after a shark bit off the right arm of a German visitor
about 50 yards offshore.
About three kilometres of beach in the resort community of
Makena reopened at noon after lifeguards and firefighters
surveying the ocean found no sign of sharks in the area,
Maui County officials said.
The woman, who was about 20 years old, was snorkelling at
Palauea Beach when the attack occurred shortly before 5 p.m.
Wednesday. The water was choppy and visibility was limited
at the time.
Bystanders on shore heard the woman scream, put her on a
kayak and brought her to land, said Lee Mainaga, fire
services chief at the Maui Fire Department. Her right arm
was severed below the shoulder, he said. The limb wasn’t
The woman was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center in
critical condition. A spokeswoman there said Thursday that
the hospital had no further information to release.
It wasn’t clear what type of shark bit the woman. Witnesses
interviewed didn’t see the animal, said Department of Land
and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward.
“We will try to speak to the victim when she is cleared to
speak with us,” Ward said.
There have been six shark attacks in Hawaii this year
through the end of July, including three on Maui, according
to a state database. There were 11 shark attacks in the
state in 2012.
The last time anyone in Hawaii died from a shark attack was
in 2004, when a tiger shark bit Willis McInnis in the leg
while he was surfing 100 yards off Maui. McInnis suffered
severe blood loss and died on the shore despite rescue
efforts by beachgoers, police and paramedics. The last fatal
attack before that was in 1992.
State officials say fatal attacks in Hawaii are unusual
considering how many people are in the state’s waters.
Tiger sharks are the species most often blamed for attacks,
but it’s not known why they sometimes bite humans. They may
be trying to figure out whether a person could be prey.
To protect against attacks, authorities recommend swimming,
snorkelling and surfing with other people. They also say
people should avoid the water at dawn and dusk, as this is
when some shark species move inshore to eat.
15 , 2013
- The $20 Trillion Reason
Why Richard Branson Wants to Save Sharks
ocean ecosystem is being destroyed from seabed to surface
due to toxic chemical waste, overfishing, and species
depletion—including 70 million annual shark deaths.
PICTURED - Richard
Branson attends a news conference organized by Wildaid, a
wildlife conservation group, to promote shark conservation
in Shanghai. (Photo: Aly Song/Reuters)
Whale sharks don’t want you for dinner. I know this because
I’ve been halfway inside the mouth of one, swimming off the
coast of Mexico, and it simply spat me out. These gentle
giants can grow to weigh more than 20 tonnes and measure
over 12 metres long, but they are among the most majestic
and serene creatures in the sea. However, I am saddened to
know that they are a highly vulnerable species, their very
existence threatened primarily due to commercial fishing.
Recently, I’ve had the chance to swim with many other shark
species—Tiger, Lemon, Reef, even Great White!—in support of
our campaign with Virgin Unite and WildAID to ban shark
finning and protect the ocean.
Now you might be asking yourself, what do sharks and ocean
conservation have to do with business? Quite simply, the
ocean sustains life on our planet, delivering half of our
oxygen and providing an estimated $20 trillion worth of
natural resources and services a year. Without healthy
aquatic ecosystems we would lose the natural resources on
which life—and business—depend. Sadly, the ocean ecosystem
is being destroyed from seabed to surface due to toxic
chemical waste, overfishing, and species depletion.
One of the reasons I first decided to put my weight behind
ocean conservation was my intense reaction to Rob Stewart’s
film Sharkwater, about the plight of sharks around the
world. I was shocked to learn that high demand for shark fin
soup was driving the vicious slaughter of over 70 million
sharks a year, which are brutally left to die after their
fins are cut off.
In September 2011, I teamed up with basketball star Yao Ming
in Shanghai to call for a ban on shark fin soup—which could
save tens of millions of sharks a year. Recently, the
Chinese government took the symbolic step to ban shark fin
at state banquets, and we have learned that demand for shark
fin has dropped so dramatically that prices are down by as
much as 60 percent in China.
Rob’s most recent film project, Revolution, makes the larger
point that the risks to sharks’ existence represent greater
threats to the sustainability of the ocean, and in turn to
the whole natural world. Encouragingly, a recent study by
the Global Ocean Commission shows that the overwhelming
majority of people around the world understand the
fundamental importance of the ocean for life on our planet.
According to the study, 85 percent of people believe that
“governments must take the needs of future generations into
account when deciding how international parts of the ocean
should be used and governed.”
A wonderful group who share this belief is the OceanElders,
a collective of leaders working with partners to protect,
value, and celebrate the ocean and its wildlife. I am
fortunate to be a part of the group, alongside Jackson
Browne, Dr. Sylvia A Earle, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco,
Dr. Rita Colwell, Jean-Michel Cousteau, Graeme Kelleher,
Sven Lindblad, Her Majesty Queen Noor, Ted Turner, Nainoa
Thompson, Captain Don Walsh and Neil Young. The latest
member to join is James Cameron, a longtime activist and
believer in the positive impact of the ocean and the need to
So far the OceanElders have made significant breakthroughs
on issues from creating nature reserves to banning shark
finning. However, as well as the support of brilliant groups
like this, there is a tremendous groundswell of support for
ocean conservation on social media. We have seen
overwhelming responses on social media to campaigns to save
sharks, manta rays and reefs. These illustrate how every
single one of us can help to protect the ocean.
So are you are interested in getting your feet wet? Join one
of these initiatives to help save the sharks and conserve
- Stand up for sharks! Don’t eat shark fin soup, go diving
and snorkelling with sharks, and encourage your friends to
do the same. Learn more and get involved with our partners
WildAID and SharkSavers. ( wildaid.org sharksavers.org )
- Sign the I’m FINished with Fins ( finishedwithfins.org )
petition here to support the end of shark finning in Hong
14 , 2013
- Its a Shark Eats Shark
World Out there
Students from the University of Delaware had a good start to
shark fishing season - catching two at the same time.
The scientists from the Ocean Exploration and Remote
Sensing, Biogeography Lab got more than they bargained for
when they reeled in a large female sand tiger shark - and
discovered a 3ft dogfish inside its giant mouth.
"This unlucky smooth dogfish couldn't resist the menhaden
used as bait and unfortunately fell victim to one of the top
predators in the bay," said a post on the laboratory's
13 , 2013
- Discovery reports that
its annual Shark Week posted the highest ratings ever in its
26-year history. The week of programming from Aug. 4 to Aug.
10 also pulled in a record number of eyeballs in the persons
Image Credit: Matt
The bragging rights continued among men 18-49 demo: Shark
Week helped Discovery to become the No. 1 network in all of
TV among dudes, including broadcast and cable. Many of the
network’s shark programming enjoyed high-rated premieres in
persons 18-49, including Voodoo Sharks, I Escaped Jaws,
Great White Serial Killer and Great White Gauntlet.
A lot of the network’s success rests on the special
Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, a mockumentary that
questioned whether a giant prehistoric shark could still
exist today. Though it averaged a record 4.8 million
viewers, some questioned whether it toyed with the network’s
reputation. “With a whole week of Shark Week programming
ahead of us, we wanted to explore the possibilities of
Megalodon,” Shark Week executive producer Michael Sorensen
said in a statement. “It’s one of the most debated shark
discussions of all time, can Megalodon exist today? It’s
Ultimate Shark Week fantasy. The stories have been out there
for years and with 95 percent of the ocean unexplored, who
8 , 2013
- Sharknado Sequal Title
“Since Twitter played such a huge role in the success of the
original movie, we wanted to use that platform to ask our
fans to name Sharknado 2,” says Thomas Vitale, executive vp
of programming at Syfy.. “This response is another reminder
of how Sharknado has become a pop culture phenomenon. We
want to thank all our viewers for their wonderful
contributions to keeping up the shark-mentum.”
The title was selected by Syfy from more than 5,000
submissions via Twitter.
Sharknado 2: The Second One, which like the social media
smash original film will be produced by The Asylum, arrives