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Shark fin, sea cucumber exports banned in Marshalls

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Finned shark 

MAJURO — Escalating worry about illegal shark fin and sea cucumber exports prompted the Marshall Islands to ban trade in both marine products on Wednesday this week.
Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority Director Glen Joseph announced Wednesday a moratorium on the trade in and export of shark fins and sea cucumbers following reports of expanding illegal export operations in the Marshall Islands.  
The fisheries department’s board of directors voted to place a moratorium on the trade of these two marine products until new procedures are in place to regulate them effectively, Joseph said.
“No one is registered and authorized to fish for sharks, but there are substantive reports that it is happening,” Joseph said.
Sea Cucumbers drying out
The same situation is occurring with sea cucumbers, he said. “Any company involved is required to register and get authorization from the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority to export sea cucumbers,” Joseph said. But MIMRA officials recently discovered a half-full container loaded with sea cucumbers waiting for export. “We fined the company $10,000 for violating the law,” Joseph said.
In the mid-2000s, the Marshall Islands licensed shark fishing, but after two years, the company fishing for sharks called it quits. According to fisheries officials, many local fishermen sell shark fins to Majuro-based companies for export to Asia. But Joseph said he hopes the new moratorium will shut this down.
The problem with Marshall Islands law relating to marine products is that there are no specifics for regulating the harvest of sea cucumbers, Joseph said. Key issues such as the size that can be harvested and periods during which harvesting is allowed are not spelled out.
“So MIMRA has instituted a moratorium on sea cucumber trade until we develop a management plan,” Joseph said.
Experts from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community are visiting Majuro next week to work with MIMRA on developing a national sea cucumber plan.

Save Shark Sunday

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  • Not all species of sharks are required to be in continuous motion to breathe
  • A shark’s teeth are usually replaced every eight days.
  • Some species of sharks shed about 30,000 teeth in their lifetime.
  • As sharks never get cancer, their cartilage is being studied in the hope of developing anti-cancer drugs
  • The Whale shark is considered the biggest fish in the world
  • The Basking shark is the second largest, it is as long as 40 feet.
  • The Pygmy shark is about 11 inches in length
  • The Dwarf shark is as tiny as you hand, while some Whale sharks are as large as a bus
  • The Dogfish sharks are so named, because they attack their prey like a pack of wild dogs
  • Great white sharks can grow about 10 inches every year, thus, they grow to mature lengths of 12 to 14 feet
  • Up to 100 MILLION sharks are killed each year for shark fin soup. By contrast, less than 50 people are killed by sharks each year!

Pic of the Day

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Stunning!

Taiji dolphin slaughter 13 January 2011

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I am at a complete loss for words to explain how utterly disgusted I am. My respect for the Japanese as a nation has plummeted to a new low. The image I had of them as one of the most civilised nations has been completely turned on its head. Their reputation has been tarnished forever. This is nothing short of barbaric savagery.

A tribute to Sea Shepherd

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I made this last night for Sea Shepherd SA. Very moving, I hope you like it. No copy right infringement intended. Backing track is Sarah McLachlan. I do not own the rights to the pics, they were taken off the web. I do not make money out of this.

Pic of the Day

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Cool pic!

Do Captive Dolphins Die of Boredom??

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In September 1982 the Seaquarium’s performing dolphin named Poncho died of intestinal failure. His intestines literally exploded. Now we know why. 
This photo was presumably taken by Miami Seaquairum Vet. Greg Bossart. In Poncho’s stomach were found:
• 2 Deflated Footballs
• 31 Coins
• 21 Stones
• 1 Trainers Whistle
• 1 Ten Penny Nail
• 2 Screws
• 1 Metal Tag
• 1 Piece of Wire
• 1 Metal Staple
• Several Other Unidentifiable Objects



“They get bored in captivity,” says former dolphin trainer Russ Rector, “They pop the footballs and swallow them whole.”

According to marine biologists dolphins living and dying in the wild rarely have anything other than fish in there stomachs but in captivity this is a common occurance.
“People seem to think the dolpin tanks are wishing wells and throw coins in. The dolpins snatch them up and swallow them,” says Rector, “At Ocean World (now closed) one of our dolpins died of zinc poisoning from swallowing too many pennies.”


Chuck Swift

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Chuck Swift from “Whale Wars” is the Bob Barker Captain and a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in the Animal Planet reality docu-drama.

Born and raised in Southern California, Chuck Swift has a history of involvement in conservation and animal welfare issues spanning the last 20 years.

Captain Chuck (“Whale Wars”) began volunteering for Sea Shepherd in 1990 and remained involved for nearly a decade. Captain Chuck Swift’s campaign roster includes the 1994 Whales Forever campaign in which Sea Shepherd was violently attacked by the Norwegian Coast Guard, multiple seal campaigns including the explosive 1996 confrontation in the Magdalene Islands, and a variety of other campaigns before and after.

During his absence from Sea Shepherd, Captain Chuck (“Whale Wars”) worked in various professions, earned a degree in Business Administration, a professional certificate in Change Leadership from Cornell University, and as time permits, he continues his studies toward a Masters in Communication and Leadership. Since his return to Sea Shepherd in early 2009, Captain Chuck Swift has functioned as Sea Shepherd’s Deputy CEO, positively influencing both the administrative and ship operations sides of organization—most notably helping to secretly acquire, refit and then ultimately captain Sea Shepherd’s newest ship the Bob Barker during Operation Waltzing Matilda.
Captain Chuck (“Whale Wars”) believes that the time for talking is over, and prefers a direct action approach on behalf of Sea Shepherd’s customers (“the salty ones”) currently threatened by societal greed and exploitation. While serious about his dedication to the protection of marine and other ecosystems, Captain Swift maintains that a good sense of humor and positive attitude are critical to the success of any movement. Captain Chuck (“Whale Wars”) has been heard to say, “We should take our mission seriously, but never ourselves.”

International Anti-Whaling Day 5 November.

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Mmm, so it’s been a few days since I did the whole blog thing. What have I been up to? This is the question.
Aside from a very dull day job, I’ve been working behind the scenes with some cool people for the International Anti-Whaling Day Protests happening tomorrow, 5 November. Cape Town and Pretoria being two of more than 120 cities in over 60 countries taking part.

So, what’s all the noise about? Well firstly, each year around 22 000 dolphins are killed off the coast of Japan alone. These creatures are herded into a death trap where they get speared to death and their throats are slit. The Japanese also hunt whales. Lots of them. More than a thousand. Around 900 Minke whales, the balance made up of hump-backs, southern rights etc. The Japanese do this in a protected area and attempt to disguise the massacre as research. The IWC are spineless and recent evidence goes so far as to show Japan giving monetary aid to developing nations on condition of supporting Japanese whaling policy. Thats buying the IWC vote!

Whaling has hardly changed in the last 100 years. These majestic creatures are shot with a harpoon which has an exploding tip attached to it, The harpoon shot does not kill the whale, but causes massive trauma and unbearable pain. The injured and alarmed whale thrashes futilely against its fetters and is shot repeatedly with rifles until it dies some time later.

Now, before you wish to vent your fury solely on the Japanese, consider the following. Japan is one of TEN nations involved in this barbaric practice. So is the US of America,  Russia, Norway, Faroe Islands, Canada, Indonesia, Greenland, Iceland, St Vincent and the Grenadines. The slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands is particularly heinous and very much akin to the atrocities perpetuated in Taiji Japan. Paul Watson refers to them as the Ferocious Islands. The participants of the “grind” slaughter just under a thousand each year. The water turns crimson as it is stained with blood as men with machetes and knives hack these innocent creatures to death. None are spared, not even pregnant females.

 

I could continue ad nauseum, but you get the picture. So thats what all the noise is about. Fortunately, people do actually care. Hundreds of folks from all around the world will unite in condemnation of this horribly cruel practice. It will be the largest animal rights protest in history. I am proud to have played a small roll in its execution and I further thank and congratulate all parties involved for their contribution. I pray that policies surrounding whaling change, the slaughter relegated to a thing of the past, a haunting reminder of the apes we used to be.
For further info and how you can help, check out the facebook page for Sea Shepherd SA

Barbaric. Utterly Disgusting.

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I have been criticized as being a bit “over the top” with regards to my love and passion for wildlife, nature and the creatures I share the planet with. I have resigned from my crappy poor paying job in the corporate world. It may be good for some people, but sitting behind a counter, shuffling paper back and forth and dealing with a chain of incompetent useless idiots… well it brought me not one iota of happiness. It was Ghandi, I think, who said “Our future depends on what we do in the present.” And this IS the present. So what AM I doing? I am raising awareness, sharing ideas and fighting rampant cruelty as best as I can. I have joined up with Sea Shepherd. Some of you groaning “those lunatics!” Yes. Sea Shepherd. Lunatics? Watch this clip and decide for yourself before you condemn the folks who actually have the balls to do something about protecting the marine environment.

My attempts may be in vain, after all saving the life of one animal will not change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal. At the end of the day, when all is said and done… will you have said more than you have done? Thanks Gina for these wise words. For one so young and yet so aware, you are an inspiration. You are already the voice that animals do not have.

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