Lemon Shark in black and white

Sharks

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Groundbreaking Lawsuit Pushes Mexico to Protect Hammerhead Sharks

Fri, 20/03/2020 - 10:40

 

The legal action is likely the first-ever lawsuit aimed at forcing wildlife protections under NOM-059, Mexico’s equivalent of the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The suit, filed in district court in La Paz, notes that Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) ignored scientific evidence demonstrating that hammerheads urgently need protection, as is already recognized internationally.

Mexico Exported 300,000 Pounds of Hammerhead Shark Fins in Three Years

The Bahamas' Tiger Beach

A pregnant tiger shark is redirected by the feeder, while two more tiger sharks swim in the background, Tiger Beach, Bahamas. Photo by Matthew Meier.

Standing on the swim step, trying to time my entry with a gap in the dozen or more lemon sharks circling directly below me was a bit daunting the first go around. Of course, the sharks knew this routine well and skillfully avoided my clumsy splash into the water. The reward waiting beneath the surface was an assemblage of sharks that cannot be collectively encountered anywhere else in the world.

Isla Mujeres: Swimming with Whale Sharks in Mexico

For me, the most spectacular encounter possible during the Afuera is the “Botello” of bottle feeding.

Every year, as the summer heat descends on the Yucatan peninsula, an amazing phenom­enon takes place in the waters to the northeast of the small holiday island of Isla Mujeres. Local fishermen call it the Afuera (Mexican for “outside”), in reference to those deeper waters offshore from the tip of the Yucatan where, come July and August, the largest known gathering of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) takes place.

The Bahamas’ Tiger Beach: Petting Zoo or the Real Deal?

Divemaster strokes a tiger shark near the bait box behind him, Tiger Beach, Bahamas.

Tiger Beach in the Bahamas is firmly established as one of those global dive destinations of which almost everybody has heard. Its fame is largely derived from the many published images of its most celebrated visitor—Galeocerdo cuvier, the tiger shark.

Sharks: Still Misunderstood

The first time I met a shark, I was struck by silence. Having observed the wildlife of the Canadian mountains all my life, my knowledge of sharks was limited to the information gained from watching the movie <i>Jaws</i> many years before. All that remained from that brief education was that they bit and badly. Very badly. Essentially, if you met one, you died.

Diving with Great White Sharks of Guadalupe Island

Great white shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico.

“You’re crazy; I don’t get in the water with bitey things!” The announcement of my impending great white shark trip drew a variety of such responses from horrified friends. The undisputed bad boys of the shark world, great whites are the largest of all predatory sharks, reaching lengths of up to 6m and weighing in at over 2,000kg.

Sand Tiger Sharks of North Carolina

There I was, off the coast of North Carolina at a depth of about 20m (60ft) when the shadowy shape of the WWII wreck Caribsea came into view—but it looked almost as if it was moving! Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a cloud of tiny bait fish completely covering the wreck. As they moved, the ship seemed to move with them; and then, out of the swarm, a massive, tank-like, gray silhouette emerged.