Monday, August 3, 2015

"Of Shark and Man" Official Trailer 2015

Finally it's HERE....
The official trailer of "OF SHARK AND MAN."

I am left speechless....... awesome many memories of friends...both Sharks and Humans ......Not to be missed!!

I cannot wait for the full documentary...... David Diley has created a SHARKSTERPIECE!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Rusiate Balenagasau 1960-2015

Left to Right: Rusi, myself and Gary Adkison 
I just received some very sad news from my friends at Beqa Adventure Divers, Fiji. Rusiate "Rusi" Balenagasau passed away in his sleep yesterday. He was 55 years old.

 I met Rusi when I was invited over Beqa Adventure Divers to spend a month at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve during the "2009 International Year Of The Sharks". I immediately "clicked" with this great kind, gentle and lovable man....a true shark lover....  He was an amazing shark handler and knew each shark by name and watching him handling a shark was like watching a dancing couple. Rusi was also an icon in shark conservation. He was always ready to share his amazing knowledge and was a friend and teacher to all that knew him.

I will never forget the awesome dives and the knowledge that he shared with me. It was an honour to have met the man in the yellow hood. He will surely be missed but his spirit will live on with those that knew him. My prayers and condolences to his family and friends


Monday, October 28, 2013

14 Shark species now protected in Malta.

Finally, the long awaited updated list of protected species in Malta has been released. The new revised list now has 14 Shark species and 5 species of Rays totally protected. 

The following list forms part of Legal Notice L.N.322 of 2013. Under schedule VI the following species are totally protected:

Sphyrna lewini - Scalloped Hammerhead
Sphyrna mokarran - Great Hammerhead
Sphyrna zygaena - Common Hammerhead
Galeorhinus galeus - Tope Shark
Carcharodon carcharias - Great White Shark
Isurus oxyrinchus -  Shortfin Mako Shark
Lamna nasus - Porbeagle Shark
Carcharias taurus -  Sandtiger Shark
Odontaspis ferox -  Small Tooth Sandtiger Shark
Oxynotus centrina - Angular Rough Shark
Cetorhinus maximus - Basking Shark
Squatina  aculeata  -  Saw-backed Angel Shark
Squatina  oculata  -  Smooth back Angel Shark
Squatina squatina  - Angel Shark

Mobula mobular - Devil Ray
Gymnura altavela - Butterfly Ray
Dipturus batis  - Blue Grey Skate
Leucoraja melitensis - Maltese Brown Ray
Rostroraja alba - White Skate

Also another 12 Shark species are listed under schedule VIII which are species whose taking and exploitation may be subject to management measures. These are;

Alopias vulpinus - Thresher Shark
Carcharhinus brevipinna - Spinner Shark
Carcharhinus limbatus - Blacktip Shark
Carcharhinus plumbeus - Sandbar Shark
Prionace glauca - Blue Shark
Mustelus asterias -  Starry Smooth-hound Shark
Mustelus mustelus - Common Smooth-hound Shark
Mustelus punctulatus - Blackspotted Smooth-hound Shark
Heptranchias perlo - Sharpnose Sevengill Shark
Hexanchus griseus - Bluntnose Sixgill Shark
Centrophorus granulosus - Gulper Shark
Squalus acanthias - Spur dogfish, Spiny dogfish

It has been a long hard road to get up to here, and my thanks goes out to all those that were involved and helped along the way.

Friday, November 23, 2012

European Parliament Votes at Last for Stronger Shark Finning Ban

Long-fought decision was last major hurdle on path to closing EU loopholes
Strasbourg, France (November 22, 2012): The Shark Alliance welcomes the European Parliament’s vote to close loopholes in the European Union ban on shark finning, the practice of slicing off a shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea. After years of debate, 566 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favor of a report endorsing the European Commission’s proposal to require that fins be left naturally attached to all sharks that are brought to port.
“Parliament’s vote represents a major milestone in the global effort to end the wasteful practice of shark finning,” said Sandrine Polti, EU shark policy adviser for the Pew Environment Group and policy adviser for the Shark Alliance. “Our diverse coalition has been working toward this and other fundamental reforms in European shark policies for more than six years and is thrilled with today’s vote and the progress we expect to stem from it.”
The 2003 EU regulation that banned finning included an exception under which fishermen with permits can remove shark fins on board and then land them separately from the  bodies. Compliance is monitored through a complicated process of measuring and comparing the weights of the fins with the weight of the whole shark, which leaves significant room for undetected finning.
The European Parliament called for improvements in the EU finning ban in 2006 and urged the commission in 2010 to propose an end to at-sea shark fin removal. The commission’s proposal, released in November 2011, was endorsed by the Council of Ministers and the Parliament’s Environment Committee in the spring of 2012. The Parliament’s Fisheries Committee deliberations have been lengthy and at times confused, with several MEPs fighting hard to maintain loopholes.
“We congratulate the European Commission for leadership in this long effort and extend our gratitude to the 25 EU Fisheries Ministers and hundreds of MEPs who supported a stronger EU finning ban, as well as the tens of thousands of European citizens who encouraged them to do so,” Polti said.
“Shark Alliance member groups look forward to continued cooperation in shepherding and promoting a final ‘fins-attached’ rule and in securing complementary safeguards, such as domestic and international catch limits, to fully address the overexploitation of sharks.”
Martin Clark
EU Coordinator for the Shark Alliance
(+44 (0) 7880 565 393 (mobile); +44 (0) 207 254 0280 (office)

Sharkman's comment.  The Shark Alliance has been working on this campaign for over 6 years. Sharkman's World Organization has been a member of the alliance since 2007. It is great to see that finally our hard work has paid off. 

In 2007, The Shark Alliance presented over 20,000 signatures to the EU Commission asking for better regulations. 

2007 - Shark Alliance members outside EU Commission in Brussels.

2007 - Over 20,000 signatures handed over to the EU Commission.
In 2008 the Shark Alliance continues to campaign for better Shark regulations and a total stop to shark finning.
Over 100,000 signatures where again presented to the commission.

2009 the EU Fisheries Commissioner releases the "Plan of Action for Sharks". This was the first sign that the EU was listening to what the people wanted.

2009 - Shark Alliance members with EU Commissioner Joe Borg.
.In 2010, the proposal for the ending of all finning at sea was made and this was endorsed by the Council of Ministers.

In 2011, Shark Alliance members meet and propose the "Fins Naturally Attached - With No Exceptions" campaign.
2011- Shark Alliance initiate the "Fins Naturally Attached - With No Exceptions."
In Spring of 2012 Parliament’s Environment Committee endorsed the proposal but Fisheries committee had some opposition. The debates were lengthy and at times very confusing  but finally, yesterday European Parliament voted 566 to 47 in favour of ensuring that all sharks are landed fins naturally attached without exception. The amendments we supported were passed and those we opposed were soundly defeated.

Once again, the road to victory was a long and hard one, but at the end, we did it!

My thanks goes out to all my fellow members at the Shark Alliance and especially to the steering committee. To all the MEP's and Ministers that supported and voted for our sharks. To all the thousands that signed our petitions and to everyone that helped make the possible. 

God bless you all.

Shark Powered

The Sharkman.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Handover of European Shark Week Books

As part of the Shark Alliance on going campaign for shark conservation, four Maltese NGOs, (Nature Trust Malta, Greenhouse, Sharklab Malta and Sharkman's World Organization), handed over European Shark Week books to Malta's Shadow Minister, Leo Brincat, and to Fisheries Director, Joseph Caruana.

The event was held in June at St. Thomas More Primary School in Marsascala. The school children showed much interest in sharks and their conservation during the previous months and had also made an exhibition of drawings. They also made a large shark, on which everyone present at the ceremony, including Mr. Caruana, left their hand print to show support.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tributes To Ron Taylor.

This past week, the world is still mourning the sad departure of a true gentleman. All over the International media and the Internet, tributes to Ron Taylor can be found. 

Whilst reading some of the blogs, I came across two that I would like to share with you.

My friend David Diley's wrote a wonderful contribution here. It seems that David and myself share the exact feelings and we both saw Ron as our Inspiration and our Hero.  

Another good friend of mine also posted on here and here.  Mike was very close to Ron and they have dived together on many occasions. 

Thanks for sharing guys. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Farewell My Friend: Ron Taylor 9 Sept. 2012

I have just heard the sad news. I am still in disbelief. Ron Taylor has sadly passed away after a long fight with   Leukaemia. He was 78.

Ron, together with his wife Valerie, beside being world famous Underwater Film makers / photographers was also a pioneer in Shark Conservation.  The couple had both started as Champion Spear Fishing divers but soon turned to marine conservation. They became World famous for their work especially with sharks.
Who can forget the amazing images of "Blue Water, White Death."

Those that know me, know that Ron & Valerie have been my life long inspiration. I have never met them personally, but in the past years, we have been in contact via email. Ron was always cheerful, gentle and very helpful. He was also the first person that I had interviewed for my website. (See here) 

Ron, thank you for all that you have done for Sharks and for the Marine world. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the world and with me.

Valerie, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Farewell Ron, Farewell Dear Friend.