Blog: Oceans

Shark finning sucks. Sort it out New Zealand!

Posted by Willie — 27 August 2013 at 10:07am - Comments
Shark fin soup drives the global shark finning trade.
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
Shark finning: not big, not clever, not defensible

There’s nothing defensible about shark finning. It’s the marine equivalent of the poachers who kill rhinos to hack off their horns or kill elephants to hack off their tusks. It’s not dissimilar to killing bears or tigers for spurious ‘traditional’ cures either. But it happens out at sea, to animals which don’t have big brown eyes, and which aren’t usually touted as cuddly toys or ‘adoptable’. They rarely win public polls on favourite animals, yet they fill column inches every silly scaremongering summer season in the tabloids.

Tackling overfishing from the Pacific to the Atlantic

Posted by Nina Schrank — 13 August 2013 at 11:34am - Comments
Senegalese fishermen in a traditional 'Pirogue' boat
All rights reserved. Credit: Clement Tardif
Fishermen in Senegal in a traditional pirogue boat

You may have been lucky enough to see the superb National Geographic programme Mission To Save The Ocean last Saturday. If not, don’t worry, I’ll give you the rundown here.

The programme went across the globe to West Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, following Greenpeace campaigners tackling the root causes of overfishing.

Is the tide turning in favour of sharks?

Posted by Willie — 9 August 2013 at 2:25pm - Comments
Sharks often hit the news for the wrong reason, here's some better news.
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
Down with scare stories - how about some positive shark news for a change?

At the end of Shark Week, it’s time for some good news on sharks. Despite all the earlier blogs this week, this is not me trying to convince you sharks are huggable and loveable (though, they are, obviously), rather a round-up of some good conservation news for the world’s often-underappreciated shark species.

Never-ending teeth, ninjas, and cannibalistic nurseries – 10 amazing facts for Shark Week

Posted by Willie — 8 August 2013 at 3:02pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

Sharks have a never-ending supply of teeth. They regenerate replacement dentition on an inexhaustible toothy conveyor belt ... which explains why you see so few shark dentists.

But sharks are not all about teeth, despite the bad press. Filter feeders like the megamouth shark, are mostly big (but harmless) mouths; the winghead shark has a head half the length of its body, and; the thresher sharks have a huge tai (ideal for stunning fish before eating them) that can be the same length as its body.

Shark Week: naming and shaming the world’s most ridiculous sharks

Posted by Willie — 7 August 2013 at 1:07pm - Comments
Less scary, more ridiculous - some names we give sharks seem pretty unflattering
All rights reserved. Credit: Willie Mackenzie
Sharks don't half get called some silly names

Lots of people are frightened of sharks. That makes some sense if you think all sharks are relentless man-eating teeth-machines, but in reality the vast majority of them are much more scared of us, or they should be. There are over 350 species of sharks around the world, but they don’t all get to grab the headlines or star in feature film franchises. So in honour of Shark Week, and to show you how daft it is to be irrationally fearful of some of these critters, here’s a quick guide to the silliest-named sharks in our oceans.

In pictures: swimming with sharks

Posted by Angela Glienicke — 6 August 2013 at 10:52am - Comments
Whale Shark
All rights reserved. Credit: Hilton/Greenpeace
Whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay

It’s Shark Week! This collection of photos from our archive supports Discovery Channel’s celebration of these amazing species and the television programme’s aim to raise awareness and respect for sharks.

The essential Greenpeace guide to surviving a shark attack

Posted by Willie — 6 August 2013 at 9:36am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Willie Mackenzie
Giving a hungry shark something else to chew on might be a good tactic.

It’s Shark Week. Despite us trying to tell you otherwise, some of you still worry about getting chomped by a shark. So, to allay your fears and help give you some practical ways to avoid being shark sushi, here is the handy Greenpeace guide to avoiding shark attacks.

Shaping up for a fin-filled Shark Week

Posted by Willie — 5 August 2013 at 8:30am - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton / Greenpeace
Every week is Shark Week for the oceans campaign.

It’s Shark Week. You’re allowed to be excited. If you already like sharks you will doubtless be enjoying that the internet is awash with sharp-finned fun. But if you don’t know much about sharks, or are a bit wary because they’re scary, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about.

Sharks need parks (and for you to stop rubbing them on your face)

Posted by Willie — 29 July 2013 at 3:34pm - Comments
Selfridges Project Ocean save our sharks display
All rights reserved. Credit: Willie Mackenzie
Selfridges Project Ocean - making sharks more fluffy

Okay, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever see a hammerhead on a helter-skelter; it’s fair to say you won’t see many basking sharks see-sawing with sawfish; and woe betide the wobbegong that tries to have a go on a roundabout. But sharks need parks too. They have as much right to play in safety as anyone else, right?

Blackfish: when whales turn killer

Posted by Willie — 24 July 2013 at 3:24pm - Comments
An orca performing
All rights reserved. Credit: Dogwoof
Being held in captivity can chop 50-60 years from a killer whale's life expectancy

When I was little, I can vaguely remember a trip to Blair Drummond Safari Park for my birthday. This was back in the days when the world was black and white, Starburst was called Opal Fruits, and they still had dolphins in captivity in the UK. I don’t remember much, but I know we watched a dolphin ‘show’ with balls and hoops and clapping and ‘ooh-ing’.

You can’t see a dolphin in the UK doing that today. That is progress.

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