I really do love our New England sharks. But I also love to surf. And as the water temperature at my favorite break is going down, the great whites are heading south. One less thing to worry about as I struggle with frigid water, thick head-to-toe neoprene, and my own personal resolve to surf all year long.
Out of sight may be good news for a surfer like me, but it’s important that we don’t let these magnificent creatures get out of mind. With Shark Week 2012 still 263 days away and counting, I am resolved to do occasional posts of shark news, facts and conservation updates to help get us through the long, sharkless months ahead.
So to kick things off, here are a few of my favorite current events, a la shark:
- Taiwan will no longer allow shark finning, starting next year. Hopefully this type of ban will become more prevalent, and our important apex predator will be allowed to grow in size and number and help our oceans thrive. If you’re not sure you want more sharks, and bigger ones at that, consider the incredibly important role they play in our marine ecosystems. In short, they help preserve a healthy balance of species, from other large fish, on down to clams and oysters.
- And a great local story: the Cape Cod Shark Hunters. Don’t worry, they don’t hunt to kill. They track down “The Landlord” (surfer nickname for great whites) and tag it. Then scientists from Woods Hole and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries track them to learn more about their habits, and to help us know when it isn’t safe to go in the water. I love their slogan: “Tag a shark, save a tourist!”
If you love sharks and can’t wait until my next post, check out the series I did around Shark Week 2011. More to come soon!