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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 07:41 PM
Original message
Bahamas Bans Shark Fishing
Source: The New York Times

The Bahamas on Tuesday joined the growing global movement to protect sharks, betting that the endangered animals are worth more to visiting divers than they are to fishers.

The law, signed into effect by Lawrence S. Cartwright, the agriculture and fisheries minister, bans all commercial shark fishing in the countrys 243,000-square-mile territorial waters and prohibits trade in shark products.

The Caribbean nation, a renowned diving destination, is famed for its shark encounters.... the country banned long-line fishing gear 20 years ago in another boon to shark populations... The new regulations will ensure that that sharks can continue to thrive for generations in our waters, one of the worlds best places to see sharks, Mr. Carey said in a statement.

As I noted in a post here on June 24, the shark protection movement has been gathering momentum, particularly in countries that see a close link between sharks and dive-tourist dollars, even though the economics are not always that clear-cut. Honduras, the Maldives and the Micronesian nation of Palau are other diving destinations that have announced shark-friendly polices recently.

Read more: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/bahamas-bans-...



I have a soft spot for these dinosaur-era denizens of the deep, so this is great news I had to share. :)
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good! Ban it everywhere. n/t
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Would you rather dive with dolphins or sharks?
I used to ask people that question just to get their response.

I think shark are awesome, too.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Dolphins.
Edited on Tue Jul-05-11 07:54 PM by ClarkUSA
Sharks are awesome in their sheer length of existence, which I hope is not snuffed out by humanity's greed and ignorance, but I would love to commune with dolphins because they are so much like us.

I go whale-watching every year in MA and it's fab.

How about you?
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Sharks.
But mostly because most Dolphin Dive things are going to be Captive Dolphins to a certain extent.

Get a shark to do a backflip or tailwalk for a single herring and a kiss on the snout.

g'head and try.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. The dolphin diving I'm thinking of are with wild dolphins.
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=div...

I'd like to see sharks up close, too, of course, but am not as interested in standing in a steel cage watching sharks swarming chum as I am playing with wild dolphins on their terms.
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. A cage? Why?
If you've ever swam in the ocean at all you've probably had a shark swim within ten feet of you. They're not that interested in us.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. See Reply #9.
There are many sharks that are not interested in humans but I should have added that I'm talking about great white sharks. If I had to see a shark, those are the ones I'd choose.
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I might very well get out of the water if things got hinky.
Edited on Tue Jul-05-11 09:35 PM by alphafemale
But I've never been a fan of "nice safe cages"
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Me too...
Edited on Tue Jul-05-11 09:40 PM by ClarkUSA
... which is why I'd prefer playing with wild dolphins who have been habituated to gentle humans.
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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #10
25. Great Whites don't like people, we taste like *&^(
White Tips on the other hand think we taste just fine.

Sharks have their place in the cycle of life. While they shouldn't be over-fished I am not opposed to fishing when their numbers support such.
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Butch350 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Hey let's kill all the sharks...
so you'll feel safe when you go diving twice a year.
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I prefer sharks
thanks tho
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Cereal Kyller Donating Member (400 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
26. Hey!
San Jose has a great team. Too bad they fold in the playoffs.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #2
17. Done both. Both experiences are great.
Actually, I've both dove and snorkeled with dolphins in the wild and have been diving with sharks in a variety of locations, including Fiji, Palau, the Galapagos, etc. As great as those experiences were, snorkeling with humpback whales in the Silver Banks was even better.

Extraordinary experiences. But then again, so is diving with a school of reef squid or watching a turtle snack on a sponge or any number of experiences one can have diving or snorkeling. Its why what we've allowed to happen to our oceans is criminal.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
9. I have to agree.
About 5 minutes into my first SCUBA dive off of Freeport, I ran into a group of large Bull Sharks. Their behavior was aggressive. perhaps it was the mating season, but I decided to be safe and get out of the water.



http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/bull...
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Perhaps some more experienced diver was pulling your flipper.
You can tell new divers because they always ask, during drive briefings, "Are there sharks here?" And some of the older divers love to scare them with shark stories.

The odds of seeing a group of bull sharks five minutes into your first dive would be astronomical. Bull sharks are solitary animals. They only get together for mating. May-June is mating season for the Bull sharks of the Bahamas. The mating of the Bahamas bull sharks is likely to occur around the coasts of Florida, marked by an abrupt absence of bull sharks in the Bahamas starting in late April, and a large increase in Floridas bull shark population around this time. They don't hunt or travel in groups. The "shark dives" offered by the dive operators, like Stuart Cove are targeted at the reef sharks. If one of the Big Three predators - Tiger, Bull or Great White shows up, all divers get out of Dodge at once. There are lots of reef sharks in the Bahamas, and they quickly learn where the shark feedings will take place and show up waiting for their goodies. So if you saw a group of sharks, likely they were Caribbean reef sharks. You can also come across multiple and fairly large nurse sharks tucked under overhanging rocks and reefs, napping in the daytime.

Bull sharks have the highest levels of testosterone in its system than any other species on land or sea, including bull elephants in must. If one corners a bull shark, it is very likely to respond with aggression. However, this shark is designed to be an ambush predator, with a dark back that is hard to see in murky water. If a swimmer accidentally makes a bull shark feel cornered, the shark could respond with aggression. Because the sharks are hard to see in the water, it could be relatively easy to find yourself in a situation where the shark feels cornered.

I went to a presentation by the Shark Institute at the Philadelphia chapter of the Explorers' Club - about their research with Great Whites off the coast of South Africa. During the question and answer period, someone asked if the Great White was the most dangerous. The speaker said in his opinion, the Bull was the most dangerous because of its extremely high testosterone levels. He said it would attack anything, whether it was hungry or not. Next most dangerous was the Tiger Shark, which he called the garbage disposal of the ocean (it was a tiger shark in that scene in Jaws, where they cut open the shark and a license plate clanks out). He ranked the Great White as the third most dangerous. He showed slides of the Great Whites "spy-hopping" like whales do. They came up to the research boat, lifted their heads out of the water and looked over the crew on board.

Shark dives where the sharks have been conditioned to show up to be fed are scary and dangerous, but also bogus. I say dangerous, because the dive guide/feeders wear chain mail type full body dive suits, and every one of them I met admitted to having been bitten by a shark during one of these feedings. I say bogus because it's like turning these marvelous animals into circus performers. This is not how these magnificent animals act in the wild. I've seen sharks patrolling up and down along the bottom of WW II Japanese cargo ships sunk in Truk Lagoon, & three magnificent silky sharks circling about 30 feet below me in the Blue Hole near Andros Island in the Bahamas. I was diving off the Cuan Law at Saba and the dive master claimed he saw a bull shark swimming off as our group descended to Eye of the Needle (volcanic seamount with a tip at 90 feet-wow! what a dive!), but I didn't see it. Rays are a form of shark as well, and they are so elegant as they fly through the water - we saw one huge leopard ray at Santa Monica Reef in the BVI. It had a 10 foot wing span and 3 remora fish under it. At Truk Lagoon in Micronesia we got underwater video of a dolphin and a manta ray in the same shot.

I did a dolphin encounter in Roatan, Honduras. The dolphins could jump into and out of a huge fenced in patch of ocean about the size of three football fields. It was amazing to see how fast they could swim, turn at right angles and come to a dead stop under water.



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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Good story, thanks. /nt
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. ...uh, not quite.
I started SCUBA Diving in 1966 while stationed in Key West in the Navy. We used to go out to the Reefs every Weekend when not on duty and during the Week, Snorkel in the shallows off the Island int he evenings whenever possible. Have not dove in a couple of Years. My last Dive was off Kona in Hawaii.

...but that was Ancient History, probably before you were born.
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. I guess! Lucky you to have all those years of diving.
From your brief post, it sounded like your first dive was recent. My mistake.

In '66 I was already raising the first 2 of my 3 kids. I didn't get certified/start diving until 2000. I was making 3 dive trips a year until 2009 when my retirement savings got disappeared by the Bush financial debacle, and around that time my trusty divemaster/dive buddy had to quit diving for health reasons. I still have hopes of diving again - maybe next year at Saba, NA. This fall I'll be back in a Zodiac on the Moray Firth, Black Isle, Scotland, observing Bottlenose dolphins, but not diving.

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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. I guess we were both wrong.
In 1966, I was still a virgin....lol :hi:
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Throd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 09:41 PM
Response to Original message
13. Wow, finally a ban I can support.
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awoke_in_2003 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
15. k&r. nt
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marasinghe Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-05-11 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
18. Good. (n/t)
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 05:27 AM
Response to Original message
19. Shark fishing banned in the Bahamas
Source: BBC News

The Bahamas has banned shark fishing in its waters and prohibited the sale, import and export of shark products.

The new law will effectively turn all 630,000 sq km (243,000 square miles) of the nation's territorial waters into a shark sanctuary.

The ban was approved by Agriculture Minister Larry Cartwright in the capital, Nassau, on Tuesday.

The archipelago joins Honduras, the Maldives and Palau in outlawing shark fishing.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14040902
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
23. The ban on trade in shark products is more important
Without it, clueless tourists will continue to go out in the ocean to view sharks, bemoan the destruction of shark populations at the hands of evil greedy commercial fishermen, then order shark steak at dinner that night.
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I HATE to see grouper on a menu -
Some of the big Nassau groupers are so friendly - they come up to be petted and tickled. It's like they see scuba divers as their personal cleaning stations.

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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-06-11 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. So do cows, sheep, pigs and horses like to be petted,
but still they are slaughtered, killed and eaten. I am not guilty as I am a vegetarian. I don't eat the animals. They are my friends.
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