Archive for the ‘Shark stories’ Category

Further to Anilbalan’s Ghost Cities blog post on megaladon – the giant prehistoric shark

August 26, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s blog loves a good shark story and here’s a great one:

“Richard Ellis, co-author with John McCosker, of the definitive book ‘Great White Shark’ (published by Harper Collins in 1991) speculates that there may be – just may be the tantalising possibility that some specimens of Megaladon survived long past their apparent terminal date.”
Hugh Edwards,Australian author of Shark the shadow below (also published published by HarperCollins, 1997).

Ellis quotes a report by another Australian, David Stead, a scientist and naturalist, and in 1938, president of the New South Wales Naturalist’s Society.

Here is the report:

“In the year 1918 I recorded the sensation that had been caused among the ‘outside’ (ie deep water) cray fishermen at Port Stephens, when for several days they refused to go to sea to their regular fishing grounds in the vicinity of Broughton Island.

The men had been at work on the fishing grounds, which lie in deep water, when an immense shark of almost unbelievable proportions put in an appearance, lifting pot after pot containing many crayfish, and taking as the men said ‘pot, lines and all!’

These pots, it should be mentioned, were some 3 foot 6 inches (1 meter) in diameter and frequently contained from two three dozen crayfish, each weighing several pounds. The men were unanimous that this shark was something the like of which they had never dreamed of.

In company with the loca Fisheries Inspector I questioned many of the men very closely and they all agreed as to the gigantic stature of the beast. But the lengths they gave were, on the whole, absurd. I mention them, however as an indication of the state of mind which this unusual giant had thrown them into. And bear in mind that these were men who were used to the sea and all sorts of weather, and all sorts of sharks as well.

One of the crew said the shark was 300 feet (90 meters) long at least. Others said it was as long as the wharf on which we stood – about 115 (35 meters). They affirmed that the water ‘boiled’ over a large space when the fish swam past. They were all familiar with whales which they had often seen passing at sea, but this was a vast shark. They had seen its terrible head which was ‘at least as long as the roof of the wharf shed at Nelson’s Bay.’

Impossible of course! But these were prosaic and rather stolid men not given to ‘fish stories’nor even to talking about their catches. Furthermore they that the person they were talking to (myself) had heard all the fish stories years before! The thing that impressed me was that they all agreed as to the ghostly whitish colour of the vast fish.”

END OF REPORT.

What did the men see. Not a whale shark – they eat plankton and copepods. Certainly not a whale. A living megaladon, a giant prehistoric survivor (with a taste for crayfish)?

Thought provoking.

New post from Anilbalan on hs Ghost Cities Blog: Megalodon, Terror of the Deep

August 24, 2013

Great! says Hugh Paxton’s Blog. Another post from Anilbalan’s Ghosts Cities Blog and this one on a truly giant shark! If you want to pursue the subject and learn more I strongly recommend Hugh Edwards’ book Shark, the Shadow Below. All his books are good, based on experience, and involve high adventure and things marine, pirate, diving. One of Australia’s finest sons!

If you are in a second hand book shop and see a novel called ‘Meg’ give the thing a miss. It’s crap! Trust me, believe me, I know. I had it for company on a long haul flight and as there wasn’t anything else to read, read it twice.

Over to Anilbalan and megaladon!

anilbalan posted: "Megalodon, an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 1.5 million years ago, is regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators in history. If you have a thing about sharks, then I’d suggest that you don’t read any further – Megalodon"

Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on Ghost Cities

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Megalodon, Terror of the Deep

by anilbalan

Megalodon, an extinct species of shark that lived approximately 1.5 million years ago, is regarded as one of the largest and most powerful predators in history. If you have a thing about sharks, then I’d suggest that you don’t read any further – Megalodon really is the stuff of nightmares. This prehistoric marine predator may have grown to a length of up to 100 feet and, with teeth the size of Olympic javelins, it possessed by far the most powerful bite of any creature that ever lived. Today, it is generally accepted that Megalodon’s descendant, the Great White Shark, is nature’s ultimate hunter. To put things into perspective, then, imagine a creature capable of swallowing a Great White whole in a single bite! With such fearsome natural weaponry at its disposal, it is hardly surprising to hear that, back in the Cenozoic Era Megalodon wasn’t too picky about its diet and in fact ate pretty much whatever it wanted. If imagining a shark the size of a battleship makes you shudder, then you might find the thought that Megalodon is now extinct fairly reassuring. Until, that is, you hear about the persistent, bloodcurdling reports that this super-shark still exists and continues to hunt at the depths of the oceans of the 21st century. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…

Read more of this post

anilbalan | August 24, 2013 at 2:00 am | Tags: Great White Shark, Megalodon, Sea Monster | Categories: Mystery, Sightings, Tall Tale, Unexplained Mystery, Urban Legend | URL: http://wp.me/p1Pozr-lo

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Online Study Sharks: You don’t even need to get wet or eaten

March 22, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests that if you want to learn about sharks you join a course. studysharks.org

It looks slick! Let us all know how you get on!

Cheers! Hugh in Bangkok!

CITES 2013 brachte die Wende

March 18, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog reckons this will be of great interest to shark and ray enthusiasts who speak German. I am a little bit lost but I think I get the message. We should be happy? Yes, I think, we should all be happy!

Some sharks are safer. Although I’d have to add a quote from Hong Kong fin trader Mr. Yu (Yu means fish) “I’ll buy fins from other sharks.”

Cheers from Bangkok!

Hals und bein bruche

Ergebnis Cites 2013.pdf

Manta Rays: Gill plates: VICTORY for Manta Rays at CITES

March 15, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is always happy to pass on good news! Manta ray gill plates saved!! Good news can’t get better than that!

Let’s begin!

Good news!

The proposal to include the two species of manta rays in Appendix II has passed at CITES. This is the first time manta rays have been proposed here and to have the proposal pass sends an important message that Parties recognize the importance of conserving these gentle giants of the ocean.

This decision could change and is not final until it is approved in Plenary on Thursday 14th March. BLOG ED NOTE: IT WAS APPROVED)

The vote was 96 For, 23 Against, 7 Abstentions (and was taken by secret ballot).

While manta rays are a popular and lucrative eco-tourism draw, reaping huge economic benefits for those States in which they range, they are being heavily targeted for international trade in their gill plates. The gill plates are traded mainly to China, for use in a purported health tonic. Alarmingly, enormous local population declines have occurred in one generation or less in areas with targeted fisheries.

QUOTE: Elizabeth Wilson, Manager of Pew’s Global Shark Conservation Campaign
“Manta rays are some of the most fascinating and beautiful marine animals and are under serious threat from unsustainable demand for their gill plates. A female manta ray can produce no more than 5-15 pups over her lifetime, making this species extremely vulnerable to overfishing. Through this decision, CITES is giving these beautiful and much loved animals a more sustainable future and importantly, a chance to recover.”

QUOTE: Susan Lieberman, Director of International Policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“By protecting manta rays, CITES has fulfilled its mandate, and shows that it is able to tackle an emerging trade which is driving a massive decline in this species. This decision shows governments are listening to the science, and will enable the magnificent manta rays to have a future.”

Debate Over Global Shark and Ray Trade Heats Up

March 8, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog suggests that you read this if you are interested in political wrangling but I think in this case Thailand has made a bad call. Sharks are overfished. Killed. Too many, too quickly. By and large they mature slowly and if they are hooked out finned and the rest is thrown away, or utilized,  then it’s going to have an unhappy conclusion.

I met a Yale doctoral candidate at a shark booth today in the CITES conference and we had a brief chat and he gave me a bunch of stickers and three copies of a children’s book “ Shark Stanley”. It’s a poem sort of book, and the rhymes are not too clumsy. It’s short enough to maintain the attention of anybody reading it, hearing it read to them if they are tucked up in bed and wanting a bed time story. It needs a great deal more exposure and circulation.

Hugh Paxton Blog book Review: Five Stars

Every school should have a copy of Shark Stanley!

But enough of Shark Stanley! Here’s the news!

START:

Debate Over Global Shark and Ray Trade Heats Up
Thailand signals opposition to CITES listings while Senegal proclaims
support

Bangkok, March 7, 2013. Debate is heating up on proposed protections for
sharks and rays at a major
global trade meeting. Shark conservation experts have united to urge
governments to vote in favour of
the measures and thereby ensure the survival of the threatened species.
Roughly 150 of the 178
governments that are party to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (CITES) are
expected to vote on these proposals over the coming days.

“Sharks and rays, some of the most vulnerable marine species, are being
overfished across the globe,”
said Sonja Fordham, President of Shark Advocates International, a project
of The Ocean Foundation.
“International trade is central to shark and ray depletion, and existing
protections are woefully insufficient
to reverse population declines.”

At the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of Parties to CITES, proposals
from various governments to list
oceanic whitetip sharks, porbeagles, hammerheads, manta rays, and
freshwater sawfish under CITES, in
order to limit international trade to sustainable levels, have strong
backing from many non-governmental
organizations, including a coalition of diverse conservation groups*.

The fins of hammerhead and oceanic whitetip sharks are prized and traded
globally for use in Asian shark
fin soup. Porbeagles are valuable for both fins and meat. Manta ray gills
are increasingly sought and
exported for Chinese medicine. The freshwater sawfish is the only species
of sawfish that can still be
legally traded for aquarium display. All of these species are classified
by IUCN as threatened with
extinction.

“We were disappointed to hear that the host country, Thailand, plans to
oppose the listing of sharks and
rays, yet exceptionally pleased that these proposals have the strong
support of at least seven key West
African countries, as announced yesterday on the floor by Senegal,” said
Rebecca Regnery, Humane
Society International’s Deputy Director for Wildlife.

Proponents of the various shark and ray listing proposals include the 27
Member States of the EU,
Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt,
Honduras, Mexico, and the USA.
The listing proposals need a two-thirds majority vote to be adopted.

“CITES action is a vital and overdue part of the solution to global
depletion of sharks and rays,” added Ali
Hood, Director of Conservation for the Shark Trust. “We are urging CITES
Parties’ support for the
proposals to control trade in these magnificent, essential species, and
thus secure their future.”

*German Elasmobranch Association, Humane Society International, Project
AWARE, Shark Advocates
International, Shark Trust, and Wildlife Conservation Society.

Notes to Editors:
The CITES CoP is taking place at the Queen Sirikit National Convention
Centre in Bangkok through 14
March.

For more information, species factsheets, and updates visit
www.CITES4sharks.org and follow
@CITES4sharks.

For interviews, please contact Sophie Hulme,
sophie, Mob: +44 7973 712869
(London) or 08-9455-1663 (Bangkok)

Through the Project AWARE Foundation global Shark Petition
(www.projectaware.org/sharkpetition), more
than 120,000 scuba divers have voiced their support for the shark and ray
listing proposals.

CITES7 Debate Over Global Shark and Ray Trade Heats Up.docx

Vixay Keosavang – “The Pablo Escobar of wildlife trafficking”

March 8, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is posting a post from somebody else. This might strike you as a lazy way to run a blog. And if that’s what you’re thinking, I think your thinking’s right! The thing is that the Bioplanners blog does things well, is coherent and in my experience gets its perspective and facts right. My suggestion is to skip the middle man (me) and subscribe direct. But, for the time being, I will continue to bathe in the Biloplanner’s hard work and glory.

Read on! You are about to be introduced to a thoroughbred bastard.

We begin! With sharks. The bastards come later. Over to Mr. Duthie!

From David Duthie (Bioplanners)

Dear BIOPLANNERS,

Many of you will know that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is holding its 16th CoP this, and next, week in Bangkok, Thailand.

As usual, Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) is providing an invaluable insight into the meeting for those of us who cannot, or chose not, to attend via its daily coverage – see http://www.iisd.ca/cites/cop16/.

The CoP provides a good opportunity for me to flag the dire state of some of the species which will be the subject of the political “bagatelle” in Bangkok.

First up, elephants and rhinos, interestingly, victims of a “too much value” situation.

I have posted recently on the recent upsurge in elephant poaching across both Africa and Asia and there is excellent coverage at these links:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/africa/the-price-of-ivory.html http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/world/asia/an-illicit-trail-of-african-ivo ry-to-china.html

In November last year, I was reading a copy of the Jo’burg Sunday newspapers and read an article about a recent upsurge there in Thai “ladies” in South Africa taking up legal rhino hunting – see photo at
http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/03/04/world/WILDLIFE-3.html

At the time I wanted to post the story but could not access the photo, so let it slip.

But now, the New York Times has come to my rescue with an excellent story about Vixay Keosavang – “The Pablo Escobar of wildlife trafficking” – see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/world/asia/notorious-figure-in-animal-smug gling-beyond-reach-in-laos.html

– and below.

and – lo and behold – he is linked to those Thai “ladies”!

*******************************************

Second up – sharks (plus rays, skates and the enigmatically-named chimaeras) collectively known, for the taxonomically-inclined, as the Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous, as opposed to other, bony, fish).

Sharks have a bad reputation for killing people – statistically, this is a nonsense.

In 2011, 17 fatalities were recorded as having being caused by shark attacks, out of 118 recorded attacks. According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), between 1580 and 2011 there were 2,463 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks around the world, of which 471 were fatal. Even considering only people who go to beaches, a person’s chance of getting attacked by a shark in the United States is 1 in
11.5 million, and a person’s chance of getting killed by a shark is less than 1 in 264.1 million. In the United States, the annual number of people who drown is 3,306, whereas the annual number of shark fatalities is 1. [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_attack%5D

In a recent review in Marine Policy journal, Boris Worm and colleagues estimated that, in 2000 alone, humans caught (aka “attacked and killed”) something of the order of 100 million sharks, exceeding the biological productivity of most species and thus an unsustainable harvest that will lead to extinction of shark species and loss of
a(nother) potentially sustainable harvest of animal protein.

Worm, Boris, Brendal Davis, Lisa Kettemer, Christine A Ward-Paige, Demian Chapman, Michael R Heithaus, Steven T Kessel, and Samuel H Gruber (2013, in press) Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding options for sharks. Marine Policy, vol. 40 pp. 194-204;
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308597X13000055 (subscription required)

Adequate conservation and management of shark populations is becoming increasingly important on a global scale, especially because many species are exceptionally vulnerable to overfishing. Yet, reported catch statistics for sharks are incomplete, and mortality estimates have not been available for sharks as a group. Here, the global catch and mortality of sharks from reported and unreported landings, discards, and shark finning are being estimated at 1.44 million metric tons for the year 2000, and at only slightly less in 2010 (1.41 million tons). Based on an analysis of average shark weights, this translates into a total annual mortality estimate of about 100 million sharks in 2000, and about 97 million sharks in 2010, with a total range of possible values between 63 and 273 million sharks per year. Further, the exploitation rate for sharks as a group was calculated by dividing two independent mortality estimates by an estimate of total global biomass. As an alternative approach, exploitation rates for individual shark populations were compiled and averaged from stock assessments and other published sources. The resulting three independent estimates of the average exploitation rate ranged between 6.4% and 7.9% of sharks killed per year. This exceeds the average rebound rate for many shark populations, estimated from the life history information on 62 shark species (rebound rates averaged 4.9% per year), and explains the ongoing declines in most populations for which data exist. The consequences of these unsustainable catch and mortality rates for marine ecosystems could be substantial. Global total shark mortality, therefore, needs to be reduced drastically in order to rebuild depleted populations and restore marine ecosystems with functional top predators.

If we continue to allow such unsustainable practices to continue, just to benefit a few at the long-term cost of the many, we will, in the end, have to eat our words – the only things that will be left if we chose not to act appropriately. Let us see if the CITES Parties are “fit for purpose” or not!

My final comment is to re-emphasis a point made, long ago, by the economist Colin Clark in his seminal paper

Clark, Colin (1973) The Economics of Overexploitation. Science, 1973 vol. 181 (4100) pp. 630-634;
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/181/4100/630
(subscription required)

The general economic analysis of a biological resource presented in this article suggests that overexploitation in the physical sense of reduced productivity may result from not one, but two social
conditions: common-property competitive exploitation on the one hand, and private-property maximization of profits on the other. For populations that are economically valuable but possess low reproductive capacities, either condition may lead even to the extinction of the population. In view of the likelihood of private firms adopting high rates of discount, the conservation of renewable resources would appear to require continual public surveillance and control of the physical yield and the condition of the stocks.

Whilst private-profit-motivated individuals and companies can “mine” natural and biological resources at rates beyond natural rates of regeneration, and hide their actions within socially-negligent financial institutions, then we are truly “eating the future”.

Best wishes

David Duthie

******************************************

March 3, 2013

In Trafficking of Wildlife, Out of Reach of the Law

By THOMAS FULLER

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/04/world/asia/notorious-figure-in-animal-smug gling-beyond-reach-in-laos.html

HONG TONG, Laos – On an obscure and bumpy dirt road not far from the banks of the Mekong River, the compound of Vixay Keosavang stands out for its iron gates and cinder-block walls topped with barbed wire, a contrast to the rickety wooden stilt houses nearby in the shade of rubber trees.

A security guard who opened the gate recently said tigers, bears, lizards and many endangered anteaters called pangolins were inside. He called his boss and handed the cellphone to a reporter seeking permission to enter the compound.

Mr. Vixay (pronounced wee-sai), who spoke politely in a mixture of Thai and Laotian, denied that there were any animals inside or that he was in the wildlife business.

“There’s nothing there,” Mr. Vixay said of the compound, which is a five-mile drive to the nearest paved road. “Who told you about it?”

Mr. Vixay is notorious among investigators and government officials in several countries fighting to cut off syndicates operating a thriving trade in endangered animals that spans continents and has led to the slaughter of elephants in Africa, the illegal killings of rhinoceroses and the decimation of other species living in Asia’s jungles.

Mr. Vixay, says one investigator, is the “Pablo Escobar of wildlife trafficking.”

Interviews with government officials in five countries and a review of hundreds of pages of government and court documents compiled by a counter-trafficking organization provide strong evidence that Mr. Vixay, a Laotian, is a linchpin of wildlife smuggling operations.

South African authorities prosecuting a case of rhinoceros horn smuggling say one of Mr. Vixay’s companies, Xaysavang Trading, perpetrated “one of the biggest swindles in environmental crime history,” circumventing the law by hiring people to pose as hunters, who are allowed to kill a limited number of rhinos as trophies. In a separate case, Kenyan officials tied the company to the smuggling of elephant tusks for the ivory trade.

But the bulk of Mr. Vixay’s wildlife trading operations, investigators say, is the “laundering” of animals.

The ruse, the documents suggest and investigators say, involves smuggling animals from other countries into Laos and then exporting them – with Laotian government paperwork – under the pretense that they were bred there in captivity and therefore, in many cases, could be sold legally.

The case is especially frustrating to those outside Laos, who say Mr. Vixay appears untouchable as long as he remains in his home country, where, they say, officials have refused to do a thorough investigation despite the reams of evidence presented to them. And without stopping him, wildlife officials and investigators say, they have little hope of breaking down a business empire that they say connects the African savanna to the Asian jungles and ultimately to customers of ivory and traditional medicines in Vietnam and China.

“He is the single largest known illegal wildlife trafficker in Asia,” said Steven Galster, the executive director of Freeland, a
counter-trafficking organization that has been trailing Mr. Vixay for eight years. “He runs an aggressive business, sourcing lucrative wild animals and body parts wherever they are easily obtained. Every country with commercially valuable wildlife should beware.”

Freeland has been instrumental in building a case against Mr. Vixay, and was the source of the vast majority of the documents reviewed for this article, including business contracts and Laotian customs documents that attest to the scale of his operations. Founded in Bangkok more than a decade ago, Freeland is staffed by current and former law enforcement officials from Britain, the United States, Thailand and a number of other Asian countries, and is financed partly by the American government.

The nonprofit organization, which works closely with government officials in Africa, Asia and the United States, also provided entree for The New York Times to some of those officials. The Times interviewed authorities from Thailand, China, South Africa, Laos and Vietnam.

The booming trade in exotic wildlife has been fueled by rising wealth in China and Vietnam and the demand there for things like the scales of the pangolin, which are consumed in the unproven belief that they help lactating mothers.

Mr. Vixay, who is in his 50s, has met this growing demand for animals like snakes, lizards and turtles from his base in the impoverished countryside of Laos, a thinly populated country bordering Vietnam and China and known for its widespread corruption.

For years, the inner workings of his syndicate remained somewhat opaque to the Thai investigators trailing him. But in 2011, for the first time, a part of Mr. Vixay’s operations was exposed by the arrest and trial of a Thai man who says he was his deputy, Chumlong Lemtongthai, thousands of miles away in South Africa after an investigation of a rhino-horn smuggling operation.

One of the tip-offs for the authorities was Mr. Chumlong’s choice of fake hunters: petite Thai women who turned out to be prostitutes. Thai officials who intercepted some of the rhino horns from South Africa could not believe the women had actually bagged the animals.

“It’s a very, very big gun,” one officer said when questioning Mr. Chumlong, according to a video recording by a representative of Freeland who was at the interview.

Questioned by Laotian officials after a query from South African authorities, Mr. Vixay said he “had no idea about suspects arrested in South Africa.” But Thai investigators discovered a photo on Mr.
Chumlong’s computer that showed him posing with Mr. Vixay, and a certificate at Mr. Chumlong’s office outside Bangkok that said he had been appointed a representative of Mr. Vixay’s company.

Evidence at the trial, which included airway bills showing that some rhino horns from the hunts were shipped to one of Mr. Vixay’s addresses in Laos, raised hopes among investigators that his business would be severely disrupted, if not dismantled.

But more than a year and a half after the arrest of Mr. Chumlong, who has since drawn a 40-year sentence in South Africa, Mr. Vixay remains a free man.

An operative in the smuggling operation arrested in South Africa, Puntitpak Chunchom, suggested a possible reason, telling investigators that Laos was a perfect base for Mr. Vixay because he was untouchable in the country.

“He is so well protected that nobody can arrest him in Laos,” Mr. Puntitpak said, according to a transcript of an interview by Thai authorities.

Freeland has obtained official Laotian documents that show Mr. Vixay’s company is authorized to breed rare and endangered animals and to sell them within Laos and across borders.

But documents suggest he is also trading in endangered animals or animal parts from other countries, which for some species is always prohibited by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. In other cases, the United Nations treaty allows some trade, but only if the animals are bred. (Laos became a signatory to the treaty in 2004.)

A single sales contract from 2009 obtained by Freeland suggests the large volume of animals that Mr. Vixay trades in. Xaysavang Trading, Mr. Vixay’s company, agreed to sell 70,000 snakes, 20,000 turtles and
20,000 monitor lizards to a Vietnamese company in a deal worth $860,000.

Experts say the sheer volume of animals is evidence of laundering. Breeding 20,000 of the species of turtle that Mr. Vixay’s company commonly sells – the yellow-headed temple turtle – could take a decade, according to Doug Hendrie, an adviser at Education for Nature, a group in Vietnam that conducts investigations into wildlife crime.

In recent years, Thai authorities have intercepted a number of trucks carrying turtles, tiger cubs, tiger carcasses, pangolins and snakes headed for Mr. Vixay’s businesses on the other side of the Mekong River, according to Freeland.

In addition, 280 kilograms of ivory – more than 600 pounds – seized by the Kenyan wildlife police was addressed to Mr. Vixay’s company.

An item on the seizure on the Kenya Wildlife Service Web site ends with this entreaty, “Kenya’s outcry is to totally stop the bloody elephant trade.”

Laotian authorities admit that animal smuggling is a problem but say the evidence against Mr. Vixay is not sufficient to investigate him further.

“We found nothing there,” said Bouaxam Inthalangsi, a top Laotian official in the forestry department.

But when pressed about the voluminous evidence against Mr. Vixay, Mr. Bouaxam hinted at obstacles. Enforcing the law was “difficult,” he said.

“It’s about influence,” he said. “Trafficking syndicates have links to influential people – this is the main problem.”

=================
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Shark Savers demands trade regulations and control of Manta Rays and their products. / Shark Savers Germany fordert Regulierung und Kontrolle des Handels mit Mantarochen/-produkten

March 3, 2013

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) Conference of Parties in Bangkok has just kicked off with thousands of delegates, campaigners, politicians, journalists, artists and photographers converging to discuss the future of the wildlife trade, poaching, species protection etc.

I’ve received the following from Finished with Fins and Shark Savers. There are some excellent videos attached covering sharks and manta rays. Really very worthwhile checking it out. I’ll be hooking up with some of these guys later in the week. Should be fascinating. Who knows? I may even meet Peter Benchley, Jaws author turned passionate shark conservation advocate.

Do read on if time permits. And as I say the videos and links are excellent. Text is largely in English and German.

START:

Shark Savers demands trade regulations and control of Manta Rays and their products.pdf
Shark Savers fordert Regulierung und Kontrolle des Handels mit Mantarochenprodukten .pdf

Invitation to Press Event on Sharks CITES COP 16_final.pdf
Fact Sheet Porbeagle.English.pdf
Benefits document_English.pdf
20130226 joint letter from Brazil Colombia CostaRica Honduras EuropeanUnionfor next CITES CoP.pdf

Thai Days: Fin Free Swissotel – a Thailand first

February 19, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog applauds Swissotel Le Concorde’s decision to pull shark fin off its menus. It is the first of Thailand’s five-star hotels to do so. The move was partially spurred by the “Fin Free Thailand” campaign launched on Feb 10th by a coalition of chefs, environmental groups, businesses and celebrities.

“Although choosing sustainable seafood can be challenging, we have created alternative culinary choices because we believe the food that we eat should sustain and benefit the planet we live in.”

Marcel Sawyere, Swissotel General Manager.

Bunaken Cha Cha: Baby white tip shark

January 18, 2012

And to complete today’s Bunaken Cha Cha diving resort photographic hat trick here is this friendly fellow!

Baby white tip shark


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