Category Archives: Sharks

“Escaping Extinction: Whale Sharks of the Maldives”

“Escaping Extinction: Whale Sharks of the Maldives” produced by Ashley Kelly, will premiere at the 2017 WCFF this October in New York, NY.

17264913_1245303852191810_7534251360816354149_n

For over 60 million years, the mysterious Whale Shark has traversed the open sea, but very little is known about the world’s largest fish, this docile shark. Maldivian communities are proud to celebrate the Whale /Sharks and their marine biodiversity.

17155880_1245304475525081_8067126583934276454_n

These days, Whale Sharks in the Maldives are safe from their number one predator, man…. but this has not always been the case.

17201130_1245304575525071_2578249000992131337_n

Join us for the 7th year anniversary of the WCFF. October 19-29 in New York. Ten days of film screenings, panel discussions, receptions, field trips, conference and weekend retreat with film producers and scientists. WCFF is the only film festival on the planet whose mission is to inform, engage and inspire wildlife conservation and the protection of global biodiversity.

Advertisements

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

WCFF logo

Come to New York, NY October 13-19 for a week of extraordinary films, workshops, international filmmakers, red carpet gala and to meet some of the world’s leading wildlife conservationists. Included are dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Patricia C. Wright, Dr. Birute Galdikas, Nan Hauser, Dr. Mireya Mayor. More than 15 international wildlife documentary filmmakers and from National Geographic filmmakers, Bob Poole and David Hamlin

Elephants%20in%20the%20Room5

Elephants in the Room
produced by Peter Lamberti of Aquavision TV Productions in South Africa
will make its New York debut at the 2014 WCFF

Great Migrations: Episode 3: Survival of the Fastest NGC-US: Episode Code: 3592 NGCI: IBMS - 023560

Zebras On The Move
Produced by Oscar Portillo of Explora Films in Spain
will also make its New York debut

Get your tickets now for all 18 film series held at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway during the week and the Red Carpet Gala & Awards Ceremony at 583 Park Avenue

http://wcff.org/film-festivals/purchase-tickets-for-nyc-2014/

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, Inc.
Christopher J. Gervais, Founder & CEO
Christopher@WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: WCFF_org
Skype: christopher.j.gervais
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

The Cost of Plastic in the Oceans

marine-debris-collection

Estimates of the overall financial damage of plastics debris in the world’s oceans causing harm to marine ecosystems stands at $13 billion USD each year.

In the polar regions, scientists have recently found tiny pieces of plastic trapped in sea ice. Transported by ocean currents across great distances, these contaminated particles eventually become a source of chemicals in our food.

A large and unquantifiable amount of plastic waste enters the ocean from littering, poorly managed landfills, tourist activities and fisheries. Some of this material sinks to the ocean floor, while some floats and can travel over great distances on ocean currents—polluting shorelines and accumulating in massive mid-ocean gyres.

Communities of microbes have been discovered thriving on microplastics at multiple locations in the North Atlantic. This “plastisphere” can facilitate the transport of harmful microbes, pathogens and algal species. Microplastics have also been identified as a threat to larger organisms, such as the endangered northern right whale, which is potentially exposed to ingestion through filter-feeding.

plastic bottle beach 1

pacific_ocean_garbage_patch_pollution_plastic_albatross_chick_q_48866

bbb2a39508982a7bc6d3f608484fbbbf

rs9607_seal_plastic_ewanedwards_theclippertonproject_fpwc_media_use_ok-scr

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, Inc.
Christopher J. Gervais, Founder & CEO
Christopher@WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: WCFF_org

 

 

Slaughter of Dolphins in Peru

image_update_2e37ca2f85432f69_1382005678_9j-4aaqsk

Dolphins are being slaughtered by Peruvian fisherman to be used for shark bait

An international effort to end the brutal slaughter of dolphins in Peru was announced today by a coalition of marine conservation organizations. The campaign is aimed at fishing practices that rely on killing dolphins to use as shark bait.

Video of the slaughter of dolphins and the catch of undersized sharks off the coast of Peru was obtained by the Peruvian NGO Mundo Azul in cooperation with Florida-based BlueVoice. Based on calculations of the number of fishing boats and undercover testimony documenting the numbers of dolphins taken it is estimated that between five and fifteen thousand dolphins are killed yearly.

The coalition announced it had conducted undercover surveys of the sale of dolphin meat and found several locations where illegal sales were taking place. But the number was few relative to years past, perhaps indicating the sale of dolphin meat is being driven underground. Jones and Austermuhle announced there will be continuous surveys of fish markets over coming months and that a network of concerned citizens has been formed to report violations of dolphin protection laws to Mundo Azul’s office in Lima.

In addition the coalition offered a bounty of $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone harming dolphins. “We want the fishermen to know they cannot carry on their dolphin killing and meat sales without exposure”, said Hardy Jones, executive director of BlueVoice.

The coalition called on the Peruvian government to both enforce existing laws and enact legislation banning harpoons on fishing boats. “Harpoons are used solely to kill dolphins and banning them would save the lives of thousands of dolphins,” said Austermuhle.

Peru_dolphin_killings

article-0-18c742ba00000578-984_634x712

dolphin-bait-peru

1382338348925_1382338348925_r

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, Inc.
Christopher J. Gervais, Founder & CEO
Christopher@WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: WCFF_org

 

Historic Moment in Marine Conservation

dsc_6334

“The Natural Park of the Coral Sea” is established.
The largest protected area in the world

An exemplary decision by the Government of New Caledonia to protect its natural wealth and create the world’s largest protected area on land or sea is a historic moment in marine conservation and sustainable development.

In Noumea last week and by legislative decree, New Caledonia President Harold Martin and the French territory’s political leadership legally established the Natural Park of the Coral Sea (Le Parc Naturel de la Mer de Corail). The new law brings under careful management a multi-use, marine protected area which totals a massive 1.3 million km2, making it the largest protected area in the world. Essential to people, biodiversity and climate resilience, the park’s ecosystems generate around 2,500-3,000 tons of fish each year, providing food to New Caledonia’s quarter of a million people and an economic driver for the territory’s sustainable economy.

“New Caledonians have always understood how much we depend upon nature—especially our oceans,” said Jean-Christophe Lefeuvre, Conservation International’s program director for New Caledonia. “The careful and thoughtful management of natural resources is essential to long-term human well-being. This legislation sends a powerful message that investing in the value nature can provide the basis for a healthy and sustainable society.”

Located 2,000 miles east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean, the Natural Park of the Coral Sea covers all of New Caledonia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), or, the marine waters extending 12 to 200 nautical miles from its coasts. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the park is home to more than 4,500 km2 of fishery-supporting coral reefs, the deepest site in France, 25 species of marine mammals, 48 shark species, 19 species of nesting birds and five species of marine turtles. It also increases French contributions toward the United Nations’ protection targets for 2020—from four percent of France’s national jurisdiction marine waters being protected, to 16 percent today—a remarkable and inspiring accomplishment.

New Caledonia itself is the world’s only stand-alone Biodiversity Hotspot, and a French overseas territory, which is highly dependent on its natural capital. Its coastal waters boast the world’s largest lagoon, which has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

“This is a monumental decision for New Caledonia and the entire Pacific,” said David Emmett, senior vice-president for Conservation International’s program in the Asia-Pacific. “Such a measure exemplifies what other countries in the Pacific can do to fully invest in the long term health and productivity of their ocean resources.”

Plans to create the park were first announced in at the Pacific Island Forum in 2012​, when the New Caledonia government offered its first official commitment to the Pacific Oceanscape. An unprecedented effort among 16 Pacific Island nations and six territories for collaborative management of nearly 40 million square kilometers of vital ocean, The Pacific Oceanscape represents 10 percent of the world’s total ocean surface.

Conservation International has had a presence in New Caledonia for more than 12 years, working at all levels to develop and implement integrated, sustainable solutions on land and at sea. In 2013, Conservation International facilitated the knowledge-sharing “sister site” agreement between New Caledonia and the Cook Islands Marine Park, which was declared in 2012 as a commitment to the Pacific Oceanscape.

Over the next three years, Conservation International experts in New Caledonia and the region will help the government shape the park’s spatial planning and management plan, fund key scientific research to inform that plan, and integrate New Caledonia’s contributions within the Pacific Oceanscape and Big Ocean Network. The management plan will use best practices for integrated management and the protection of ecosystems, habitats and species. It will also strengthen monitoring strategies, preserving cultural values and work to increase international visibility.

In the next phase of the park’s development, the levels of protection will be defined. Ultimately, the Natural Park of the Coral Sea will be a multiple use area with various zones for economic activity and conservation

0502-NEW-CALEDONIAbluefintrevally_caranx_melanpygus

wave2-huon-15112013

The above article was written by Conservation International.
Photo’s courtesy of the Living Oceans Foundation

 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, Inc.
Christopher J. Gervais, Founder & CEO
Christopher@WCFF.org
Facebook.com/WCFForg
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
Twitter: @WCFF_org

 

 

Plastic Seas

pacific_ocean_garbage_patch_pollution_plastic_albatross_chick_q_48866
Every year 20 million tons of plastic debris enters the world’s oceans
.

In the Pacific Ocean there is an area the size of Texas called the “Plastic Sea”. More of the world’s oceans now have a “plastic patch” and the situation is getting worse.

In 2012 the Rio + 20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable development called for a management program by 2025. We cannot wait another 11 years for action to take place.

Plastic debris in the oceans is not only aesthetic problem. It is a major threat to the Biodiversity of the planet. Plastic debris is an ecological disaster that affect the entire food chain, from microscopic organisms, to fish, marine birds, sea turtles, marine mammals and humans.

As we consume more seafood, we ingest the plastic that other life has absorbed. This has only negative side affects and is a threat to the health and safety of the human race.

ocean-garbage

ocean-plastic-toxic-absorb

Hilton Removes Shark Fin From Menu

Image

Hilton Removes Shark Fin from All Establishments Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide will be taking shark fin dishes off the menu at all restaurants and food and beverage facilities across Asia Pacific. This is the final step of the company’s plan to ban shark fin from all its establishments. “We made a decisive commitment to influence consumer demand and ensure operational compliance across our portfolio of hotels by taking a measured country-by-country approach. In placing a global ban on shark fin, we take action in support of environmental conservation efforts worldwide, and progress our efforts in responsible business operations,” said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.

The company’s campaign began in December 2012, when the company decided to remove shark fin from its Chinese and Southeast Asian establishments, and only serving it on request. A ban then followed in Southeast Asia on 1 September, 2013 and then in Greater China on 1 February, 2014.

“The demand for shark fin in Asia Pacific has been identified as a major cause of decline in global shark populations. Hilton Worldwide’s ban on shark fin will go a long way in this region towards protecting valuable shark species, which are in turn crucial for maintaining the health of our marine ecosystems. Hilton Worldwide’s measured and step-wise approach towards responsible sourcing is a fine example of how businesses with strong leadership can, and should, take responsibility for their impact on the environment,” said Elaine Tan, CEO, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) -Singapore.

In January 2014 the IUCN reported a staggering quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction.

ImageThousands of shark fins in Asia waiting to be shipped off to market

Image

Sharks are often still alive for hours after their fins are cut off.
Those that do not die of blood loss, drown as their ability to swim is taken away

Image

Do you really want a bowl of shark fin soup?
It has little nutritional value, bland, and is added in most cases with chicken broth