13 August 2012 Sharks Sharks and More Sharks. Posted by: Brian Bovard | 1 comment | Share: Blue shark, credit: Mark Conlin, NOAA This week kicks off Discovery Channel’s 25th anniversary of Shark Week, and while the TV lineup will certainly contain the sensational shark footage of these apex predators that people love to watch with shows like ‘Air Jaws Apocalypse’ the take home message of the series has always been one of conservation and coexistence. And for sharks that is an important message indeed. Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins alone in order to be used to make shark fin soup most notably targeting the porbeagle shark, the oceanic whitetip and the globally endangered hammerhead sharks whose fins are considered to be of the highest market value. The brutal process of “finning” involves catching a shark, cutting off its fins typically while alive, and then throwing the still living shark back in the water where it drowns or bleeds to death. Defenders has worked with other conservation organizations, both domestically and internationally, to raise awareness of this practice and see it ended. However, shark finning isn’t the only threat sharks face. Tens of millions more sharks are killed each year as what’s known as “bycatch” which means they are accidentally caught and killed in fishing nets while fisherman are targeting other species. In areas where sharks are becoming critically endangered off the US coast this is particularly discouraging news. In 2011 Defenders worked with many conservation organizations in California to stop the sale, possession and trade of shark fins in the Golden State. And thanks to thousands of our CA supporters sending letters and calling their state legislators the bill was passed. However, sharks are still being killed there as by-catch, specifically great white sharks that live in the waters of the northeastern Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. But thanks to our ever vigilant friends at Oceana, The Center for Biological Diversity, and Shark Stewards a petition was sent last week to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to protect the estimated 340 great white sharks that live there against bycatch by listing them as an endangered species. If successful the petition could change the way fishing is conducted in the area and give crucial protections to the great white sharks that live there. We hope that you will tune in to Discovery Channel’s Shark Week and learn more about these majestic animals from the deep and what’s being done to protect them. And of course, to watch some awesome shark footage. Learn more about threats to sharks and how you can help. Give a Gift that Helps Save Sharks Shark adoptions are a great way to share your appreciation for this keystone species while helping to support Defenders’ work on their behalf. Save Something Wild! Visit our Wildlife Adoption Center to adopt a shark or one of our other imperiled animals today! One Response to “Sharks Sharks and More Sharks.” juanda1234 September 3rd, 2012 the shark killing has gone out of control the world should do msomething about this Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Recap of Pinetop Hearing; Celebrating Sucesses: 700,000 comments from wolf supports in to USFWS regarding wolf delisting proposal; this week USDA annouces they plan to audit Wildlife Services Predator Program. Also- another call to action for our supporters: Tell your Congressman to sign Grijalva and Fitzpatrick’s letter endorsing continued protection of gray wolves! Audit of Wildlife Services to be Conducted in 2014 United States Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General has confirmed that they will be undertaking an audit of Wildlife Services’ Predator Control program in 2014. A rare sighting at Skilak In a remote part of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, our Alaska representative catches a rare glimpse of a majestic but elusive animal.