Another tough year for sharks and rays   Leave a comment

 

2006 has been another tough year for elasmobranches (sharks and rays). The legal long-lining of sharks continued to chip away at the already stressed populations throughout the year and although the impact of illegal finning is hard to estimate, it undoubtedly added significantly to the death toll.

Stingrays also came under attack in 06 after the much publicized death of Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter). Beach goers and fishermen were left angry and scared and took out their frustration on any stingrays that they could find. It may take some time for stingrays to shake their new, largely undeserved, deadly reputation.

Not all the news was negative. New strides were made to protect sharks in different areas. One considerable victory was achieved when the Taiwanese agreed to stop harvesting Whale Sharks. This year’s formation of the Shark Alliance also bodes well for the future. The combined efforts of its member organizations will hopefully give shark conservationists a much more powerful voice with which to fight for more realistic shark fishing quotas and a complete ban on finning.

 

Personally, I have had a great year taking shark pictures. Mostly traveling with Eli from Shark Diver Magazine, I have been able to photograph many new species to add to the Elasmodiver Shark Picture Field Guide.

As well as shark images, we have managed to film an entire season for our upcoming TV show. The first episode of which is finally edited to everyone’s liking and ready to be pitched to the networks. So with luck, you will be able to catch the action some time next summer. As soon as we sign a deal, we’ll post all the information here on Elasmodiver and on Eli’s site.

In 2007 I will be hunting for shark pictures whenever time permits. I am already finalizing my plans for the first adventure which I hope to be leaving on by the middle of January. I am going after some rarely seen sharks that I believe have never been photographed alive before, but I’m keeping tight lipped about the details until I come home with the shots.

Eli is also putting the itinerary of the next season of the show together so between Chasing Sharks, SDM’s shark photography trips, and my own adventures it is going to be a very busy year!

 

Merry Xmas and a shark filled new year.

For the Sharks,

Andy Murch

 

Andy Murch is the staff photographer at Shark Diver Magazine and the creator of the Elasmodiver Shark and Ray Field Guide which contains Shark Pictures from around the world.

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Posted December 16, 2006 by Andy Murch in Environment, Nature, Photography, Sharks, Uncategorized

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