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News of Sharks

MARCH 2013

March 30 , 2013 - "Shark whisperer" works to save endangered species

Ocean Ramsey is a 27-year-old model and scuba instructor with a figure that would let her pass for a Hollywood actress, but her name has become known for a very different reason: she risks her life diving along with white sharks, the largest marine predators, in an effort to preserve this species.

"I want to contribute to dissipating the irrational fear people have of sharks and get across what their real behaviour and their crucial role in the marine ecosystem is," said Ramsey in an interview with Efe.

"We're exterminating them. Human beings only protect what they love and they only love what they understand. People don't understand sharks. I want to change that," she added.

The Hawaii resident is in her fourth year of these activities, but her mission gained notoriety when a YouTube video showing her encounter last October with sharks in the waters off Baja California, Mexico, brought her story to the attention of the media.

Since then, the conservationist has been dubbed the "shark whisperer," a nickname that she doesn't completely care for because she wants to make clear that she is not trying to "train wild animals."

"People don't see sharks like I do. Their view is completely unreal. Their experiences are based on what they see on television or in the movies. It's very easy to demonize them. I travel, study and make an effort to understand their behaviour and study how they act," she said.

In the video, one sees Ramsey completely relaxed and without any protection scuba diving and grabbing onto the dorsal fin of the fearsome predators.

Several shark species are in danger of becoming extinct, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is estimated that fewer than 400 white sharks remain in the northern Pacific Ocean and no more than 3,500 worldwide.




                March 29 , 2013 - Seven-gilled shark donated to Napier Aquarium in New Zealand

A seven-gill shark has been gifted to the National Aquarium after a local fisherman caught it off Napier's coastline.

The 1.2 metre shark Big John - or BJ for short - was donated to the Napier aquarium a few weeks ago, but he has been in isolation for health checks until now.

Exhibits curator Kerry Hewitt said the young male had been released into the main oceanarium tank. He joined three other seven-gill sharks, which are also known as cow sharks.

''We isolated the shark for a good few weeks to check him over and make sure he was healthy and able to mix with the other sharks, stingrays and fish in the oceanarium tank,'' Mr Hewitt said.

''Thankfully he passed all tests with flying colours and has now been introduced to his new home and neighbours.''

A close up encounter with young BJ was a strong possibility if a swim with the sharks experience was on visitor's 'to do list'.

Seven-gill, also known as cow sharks, were not common in Hawke's Bay waters, so the find for the aquarium was welcome, he said.

They could reach about 3.5 metres' long and were easy to distinguish by their one dorsal fin set well back on the body unlike the two dorsal fins found on almost all other sharks.




March 28 , 2013 - Bull Shark With Two Heads Stuns Scientists

A shark with two heads.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Two sets of gaping razor-sharp teeth for the price of one.

Scientists, at least, are hailing the two-headed bull shark, discovered by fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico last April, as a one-of a-kind find.

And that may be reason for a very unscientific sigh of relief.

This critter never got a chance to inspire a Stephen Spielberg move, as it was was pulled while only a fetus from the adult shark's womb.

According to LiveScience dot com, the fetus lived on a few fleeting moments.

The deformity in this bull shark, also known as Carcharhinus leucas, was likely the result of an embryo beginning to split into twins, but doing so incompletely.

As a result, the shark had a pair of complete heads, hearts and stomachs. The rest of its body formed a single tail.

Michigan State University professor and study co-author Michael Wagner advised against linking the find to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that also occurred last April.

“Given the timing of the shark’s discovery with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, I could see how some people may want to jump to conclusions," he told Time Magazine.

"Making that leap is unwarranted. We simply have no evidence to support that cause or any other.”

According to reports, roughly six two-headed sharks have been documented over the years, but this was the first multi-headed bull shark to ever be officially recorded and documented.

According to the International Shark Attack File, 2012 saw 80 unprovoked shark attacks around the world, resulting in seven deaths.



         March 27 , 2013 - How Many Sharks Are Killed Per Hour? This Graphic Will Shock You

Click Here to See How Many Sharks are Killed PER HOUR!

Inspired by recent data on shark deaths, two data visualization heavyweights have created a stunning infographic to put the numbers in perspective.

A recent report published in the journal Marine Policy revealed that an estimated 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year. The paper added that the number of sharks killed could actually be anywhere between 63 million and 273 million.

In stark contrast, only 12 humans were killed worldwide by sharks in 2011, according to National Geographic.

Horrified by these staggering numbers, Joe Chernov and Robin Richards created an infographic to illustrate these shocking figures. It was, The Huffington Post was told, a "passion project" for the pair.

By using the data in the report, Chernov and Richards determined that 11,417 sharks are killed per hour.

In a 2009 report, the International Union for Conservation of Nature noted that one-third of open ocean sharks are threatened or near-threatened with extinction due to overfishing. According to the website for Pew Charitable Trusts' global shark conservation initiative, many sharks are killed -- often inhumanely -- for the Asian delicacy shark fin soup.



  March 25 , 2013 - Shark Attack Causes Big Honeymoon Scare!

A close encounter with a great white shark nearly ended the honeymoon, literally, for one man in South Africa.

The man, identified only as “Roger” in a video posted on YouTube, was diving in the waters off Gansbaai, South Africa, last Thursday when a great white shark made a grab for him and a fellow diver inside a cage.

Shark Attack Video

Instead of going after the bait outside of the cage, the shark dove for his head, with his jaws wide open, inside.

“For the first few seconds, you can’t help but think the worst has happened,” said Bryan Plummer, the fellow shark diver who captured the terrifying scene on camera.

The honeymooner, who had just said “I do” the day before the dive, according to Plummer, managed to swim down just below the shark’s open mouth and avoid injury.

“His instinct was to just go down and avoid where the shark had access to,” said Plummer. “[It was] very quick thinking on his part.”

The terrifying moments before it was clear that both divers had survived were captured on YouTube by Plummer who described it as an “out of control situation.”

“Apologies for any profanity in the video,” Plummer writes in his description of the clip.

Experts say the shark was acting on its natural instincts.

“When they get the scent of blood or scent of fish in the water they can go into quite a frantic feeding-type frenzy,” said Ken Ramirez, executive vice president of Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. “They just sort of devour and hit everything in their path.”



March 14 , 2013 - Landmark shark ban upheld at conservation meeting

Three varieties of hammerhead will now be regulated under Cites for the first time, a move that campaigners say will help save the species.

Pro-shark fishing nations have narrowly failed to overturn a landmark protection deal struck at the Cites conservation conference in Bangkok.

Japan and China tried to block trade regulations on three critically endangered shark species by re-opening the debate in the final session.

But delegates refused the request by a wafer-thin majority and the shark ban was upheld.

The decision is being seen as a landmark win for animal conservation.

Campaigners say it is a truly historic day for the species, in which science triumphed over politics.

On Monday, the decision to increase protection for oceanic whitetips, porbeagle and hammerhead sharks had only scraped past the two-thirds majorities required by a handful of votes.

Campaigners had been extremely worried that China and Japan, the main opponents of the measures, would be able to muster the one-third support needed to re-open the debate and block the ban.

In a tense session here in the conference centre, they failed by just over 1%.

'Major step'

UK environment minister David Heath, who had just arrived in Bangkok, told BBC News that this was a great day for the Convention.

"I’m absolutely delighted. I think this is a major step forward today. What we saw was member states across the board say 'we are not going to be diverted from our path'," he said.

The proposals will not ban the fishing of these sharks but it will mean that for the first time, the international trade in them will be regulated.

Similar attempts at previous meetings of Cites had ended in failure. What seems to have made the difference here in Bangkok was the unity of Latin American nations, who all stood behind the proposals.

Hesiquio Benitez from the Mexican delegation told BBC News that this decision was good for sharks and for those communities that make their living from the sea.

"It's important to know that this is not prohibiting trade for domestic markets, it is not against the fisheries communities. It is to have more control, to have better assessments in the populations," he said.

Campaigners who had worked for decades to get these species listed in Appendix II of Cites said it was a landmark day.

The Appendix lists species which may become threatened with extinction unless trade is closely controlled.

"This is an historic day for marine conservation," said Glenn Sant from Traffic International.

"Shark populations are in freefall, but have been thrown a lifeline today - Cites has finally listened to the scientists," he said.




March 13 , 2013 - Shark dies in Kmart commercial shoot in the Valley.

Kmart may have jumped the shark in a recent commercial shoot in Van Nuys.

A 5-foot-long white-tipped shark died March 6 after being shipped from New York to Los Angeles and placed in an above-ground pool in a Van Nuys backyard for a commercial for Kmart, according to a letter sent to the American Humane Assn.
The shark was injected with adrenaline and received oxygen from a trainer after it showed signs of stress. It was later removed from the pool and transported to Long Beach to be examined by a specialist, but the shark died that afternoon, the complaint said.
The incident triggered a rebuke of the American Humane Assn. -- the group charged with overseeing the welfare of animals on sets -- from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA, which is opposed to all use of animals in filming, has repeatedly raised questions about the nonprofit group's role. The AHA is responsible for the "No Animals Were Harmed" certification listed in film credits.

"Sharks are sensitive animals who, in captivity, require a highly specialized and controlled environment,'' Julia Gallucci, an animal behavior specialist for PETA, wrote in a Tuesday letter to an association official. "Given the delicate nature of this species, why would the AHA approve the transport and use of the animal?"

Citing a "whistle-blower" who worked on the commercial, Gallucci said in her letter that the production company, Boxer Films of Los Angeles, had recommended against using a live shark. When the animal died, Kmart asked that a second shark be brought on set, but the production company refused and replaced the animal with an animatronic hippopotamus, Gallucci alleged in her letter.
Jody Frisch, spokeswoman for the AHA, said the nonprofit had asked a third party to investigate the circumstances of the shark's death. "We're trying to be responsible and find out what the cause of death was," she said.
Frisch added that the shark was placed in a 60,000-gallon water tank that was large enough to accommodate the animal and the AHA representative called off the shoot when it was clear the shark was ill. The crew was not filming at the time, she said.
Although AHA reviews scripts and make recommendations on how animals are used in productions, it doesn't make "decisions about what animals are used, nor do we have jurisdiction over their transportation," Frisch added.
A spokesperson for Kmart parent Sears Holdings said: "We take this matter very seriously and we are investigating."

A representative for Boxer Films was not immediately available for comment.

In January, the former director of production for the AHA's film and television unit alleged that AHA thwarted her efforts to enforce AHA's animal safety standards and prevent "animal abuse and cruelty" during the filming of "Luck," which shut down in March after three horses were killed. The AHA declined to comment on the allegations but has said it acted within the scope of its jurisdiction.





March 12 , 2013 -68-year-old fisherman killed in shark attack

A Massive tiger shark on Tuesday attacked and killed a 68-year-old Westmoreland fisherman in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine.

According to reports, George Facey was fishing in an area called Red Light Pillikin, some 18 miles from the Old Harbour Bay coastline, when the incident happened.

The recovered body had some limbs missing and bore several huge bite marks.

Anthony Daley, who was also on the fishing expedition, said the shark which killed Facey was one of the biggest he had ever seen in his 10 years of fishing.

Facey was one of five fishermen who went to sea.

"Me fish everywhere in Jamaica and even as far away as Honduras, and this is the biggest shark me ever see. The shark is definitely a killer, because George (Facey) never have any fish for it (the shark) to kill him for. It is just a devil shark," Daley said.

Daley said they noticed something was wrong with Facey when he did not signal for the boat after the captain started picking them up from the water.

Body found without limbs

"Him just in the water so, and when we start pull him in, we realised that his hand and foot were gone, and then we see the shark, circling around," added Daley, with a very distraught look on his face, as he recalled the tragic shark attack.

A large crowd of onlookers gathered on the Old Harbour Bay fishing beach on Tuesday to view Facey's body.





March 12 , 2013 - Shark wrestler saves children at Australian beach, later loses job

A Welsh grandfather hailed as a hero for wrestling a shark away from children in Australia has been fired because he was on sick leave at the time.

Paul Marshallsea, 62, was on holiday with his wife Wendy, 56, when the incident at Bullcock Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast occurred.

When a shark was spotted swimming toward a group of young children, he waded into the sea, grabbed the 1.8-metre dusky whaler shark by the tail and dragged it into deeper water.

The incident received widespread coverage after a local TV crew filming nearby caught the incident on video.

Mr. Marshallsea’s bravery made headlines in the Australian and British media, and lifeguards praised his actions.

But the charity worker and his wife were supposedly on extended sick leave from their jobs with the Pant & Dowlais Boys & Girls Club in Merthyr Tydfil, 30 kilometres north of Cardiff. The couple returned home to find they had been dismissed.

In a letter, the trust wrote, “Whilst unfit to work you were well enough to travel to Australia and, according to recent news footage of yourself in Queensland, you allegedly grabbed a shark by the tail and narrowly missed being bitten by quickly jumping out of the way; the photographs and footage appearing in newspapers and television broadcasts.”




( As of December 2012 )


MARCH 2013





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