Emperors of the Deep-The Shark
Bi-Monthly Newsletter
July 2020
Paperback For Summer Reading at the Beach
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.
Go to my book website here, for more information.
Order Paperback Now

Coral Disease- Similar to COVID Underwater

Stony coral tissue loss disease is a new threat to coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea. The disease first started in 2014 and has been spreading from the Florida Keys throughout the Caribbean in such areas as the US Virgin Islands. As the pictures show, the coral, which usually has a vibrant color, develops a white lesion. These lesions eventually take over the entire coral and kill it. The disease spreads quickly and kills like COVID in people. Scientists are not sure the cause of it and how to stop the spread; perhaps divers cause the transmission; however, scientists are not sure. It is possible antibiotics might help the reef but any treatment needs more further study. Read more here.

Hammerheads pursue blacktip sharks in Florida.

Hammerheads Hunt Other Sharks

Blacktip sharks evade hammerheads in this video by swimming into the shallow water. Hammerheads are true apex predators and they keep other shark populations like blacktips under control. Read more...

Video From Florida Atlantic University

Longline Fishing in Brazil

Longline fishing typically targets tunas and swordfish but that has been changing. Brazilian pelagic longlining for tunas began more than 50 years ago, in the northeastern region. Sharks have always accounted for an important part of the bycatch, but as tuna and swordfish dwindled, sharks, particularly blues, have replaced them as a key target. 25% of the total catch in the longline fisheries in Brazil is now sharks. One of the causes for the overfishing of shark species is the high market value of shark fins in response to the demand for shark fin soup. Blue sharks suffer the most.

With these high catches, the IUCN classifies the blue shark as Near Threatened. Almost all shark species exploited in the Atlantic Ocean have similar rankings such as the mako which is classified as endangered. Yet, shark tournaments in the US still kill them both.

Springer Intl Publishing- Rev Fish Biol Fisheries (2015) 25:365–377, Research paper Sharks caught by the Brazilian tuna longline fleet: An overview. By Flavia Fredou
Giant Squid Washed Ashore Dead in Africa

Cause of death is unknown. This one was only 13ft long; they usually grow to 35 feet in length. This animal is the prey of the great white shark. Sharks have suction cup marks on them from encounters with squids. These ferocious battles take place 4,000 feet below the surface.

Sharks and Gambling

MyBookie, an online sportsbook, came up with an idea for gamblers to place wagers on the summer migration patterns of nine great white sharks. The company’s website hopes to place odds on each shark’s travel itinerary. That data will be provided by Ocearch, which operates a free website that tracks shark migration. Ocearch and MyBookie are now negotiating to see if they can set something up.

Some conservationists worry about the ethical implications of merging gambling and ocean conservation. I am in favor of it for several reasons.

Real shark gambling has gone on for years in the form of shark tournaments. Boats wager tens of thousands of dollars to determine who can catch the biggest shark. Scores of boats head out on weekends and come back laden with dead sharks. The boat winners are paid in some cases $100,000 to $200,000 for the heaviest shark. The losers are the sharks that end up in landfills; however, people lose out as well. There is a real environmental cost to these tournaments when sharks are removed. For example, mako sharks are routinely killed in these tournaments. As crucial apex predators, they roam across the entire Atlantic Ocean keeping it healthy for commercial fishing. The IUCN classifies these sharks as endangered.  You can read about the evils of these so-called tournaments in my book, Emperors of the Deep-The Shark

Is this the kind of shark gambling that society wants that ends up with so many losers? I think that gambling on shark migrations makes a lot more sense. Sharks are not killed, and people get to know something about sharks.

So let’s bring shark gambling into the modern era. Ditch the lines and put it online.

Watch the book trailer here
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Copyright © 2020 William McKeever, All rights reserved.

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