Emperors of the Deep-The Shark
Bi-Monthly Newsletter
May 2020
Sharks are now facing the greatest threat to their existence in their 450 million-year history. This newsletter, Emperors of the Deep, shines a spotlight on the key issues affecting sharks. In addition, we discuss the exciting new scientific discoveries about them.
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Record Shark Fin Seizure by the Tons

The most important news this month is that Hong Kong customs officials made their largest shark fin seizure, confiscating 26 tons inside a pair of shipping containers from South America. The fins represent the lives of 38,500 endangered sharks, the bulk of which came from thresher and silky sharks – both protected species. This seizure smashed the previous record of 13 tons recovered in 2019. The reason for the jump in fins? Traders are seeing a chance to ship shark fins while government officials are preoccupied with efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. Continue reading...

United States-Taking a Leadership Role

The US should lead by example and some states, like Florida, are taking action to stop trading in fins. The Florida Senate unanimously approved a bill, SB 680, already ratified by the state House, sending the legislation to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature. The practice of shark finning has long been outlawed under federal law, but most states currently have no prohibitions against possessing and selling shark fins. A decade ago, Hawaii became the first state to ban the possession and sale of shark fins. Since then, about a dozen other states have enacted similar laws.

However, Florida’s law provides an exemption for fishermen who currently have shark fishing permits until the end of 2024. (See photo of fisherman at Madeira Beach, FL.) They can continue to fin sharks. Such exemptions are a disgrace and make hypocritical efforts of US-based NGOs to stop trading in fins around the world. The Governor should realize that such exemptions should not be made. You can tell the Governor your opinion at his website.

South Africa and Australia Great Connection 

South Africa allows extensive long line fishing to catch sharks that are shipped to Australia. The meat is served as "fish n' chips". However the Australian customers typically don't know that the meat is from sharks. Learn more and sign the petition here

Tags- Not So Great for Sharks
Chris Fallows, a South African conservationist and scientist, has tagged sharks for years. On a recent diving trip, Chris saw tagged sharks with unfortunate consequences from the tags themselves.  Sadly, several of these tags were heavily overgrown and causing deep wounds on the sides of the sharks. He said he saw one shark in particular that was extremely emaciated, covered in parasites and had a deformed dorsal fin from the burden of carrying a SPOT tag which had been bolted to it's dorsal fin. Chris said, “I was left again wondering if the "juice is worth the squeeze" with all the tagging that is going on, or if the person doing the tagging was simply unaware of the damage being caused?”
Chris went on to say, “For the record I tagged over 70 great whites in the 1990’s thinking I too was doing good. I now regret my actions having seen no meaningful steps to help the great white sharks in South Africa come from these efforts.” For more information, visit Chris' website


Paperback To Be Released May 26
The paperback, Emperors of the Deep-The Shark, reveals many exciting new discoveries on sharks and why we need these magnificent apex predators. The reader will learn new insights into great whites, hammerheads, tigers and others.
The paperback will be available May 26. Go to my book website here, for more information on the book.
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Watch the book trailer here
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Copyright © 2020 William McKeever, All rights reserved.

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