Upcoming Public Lecture at CIEE on Sharks

11537243_1129045137112721_1458092592605579475_nWe’re very happy to announce a upcoming public lecture that will be co-hosted by CIEE Bonaire and STINAPA. The lecture will be given by Angelo Villagomez who works for the Pew Trust as a manager of their global shark conservation campaign and will take place at our location on Kaya Gob. Debrot 26 from 1900-2000 on Thursday 25-June.

Angelo will be speaking about “Bonaire Sharks: Making a global difference at the local level.”

Here is a brief description of what Angelo will be discussing: Sharks have roamed our oceans since before the time of dinosaurs, but their long reign at the top of the ocean food chain may be ending. The onset of industrial fishing over the past 60 years has drastically depleted their populations. Of the shark and ray species assessed by scientists for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), nearly 50 percent are threatened or near-threatened with extinction.

Every year approximately 100 million sharks are killed in commercial fisheries. The catch of shark for their fins, meat, liver oil, cartilage, and other parts remains largely unregulated in most of the world, driving some populations toward extinction.

In general, sharks grow slowly, mature late and produce few young over long lifetimes, leaving them exceptionally vulnerable to overexploitation and slow to recover from depletion. As key predators, their depletion also has risks for the health of entire ocean ecosystems. For example, tiger sharks have been linked to the quality of seagrass beds through their prey, dugongs and green sea turtles, which forage in these beds. Without tiger sharks to control their prey’s foraging, an important habitat is lost.

Pew has identified the present moment as a critical time to reverse the global decline of shark populations. We work internationally to influence the fishing nations and treaty organizations that regulate high seas fisheries. In addition, we work with nations whose waters still have diverse populations of sharks to declare shark sanctuaries and to advocate for international shark conservation.

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