Shark Week 2016 concludes tonight. You can review the program line-up, here. Again, we’ve compiled some conservation information around tonight’s shows to help provide a broader understanding about the status of the sharks presented and the locations featured.
9 pm EST – Shark Bait
This show will feature Great White Sharks in the waters of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Here’s hoping the show’s title refers to the local seal population, and that the focus of the show remains on that topic. We’ll see. Here is some additional information about this species.
~ The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List of Threatened Species lists the Great White Sharks as Vulnerable. The IUCN Species Summary states, “…exploitation of Great White Sharks is primarily undertaken with the aim of trading its teeth and jaws as trophies or curios and its fins for the oriental fin trade. In South Africa offers of US$20,000-$50,000 have been made for great white shark jaws and US$600-$800 for individual teeth.”
~ Great White Sharks are protected in the waters of the USA, South Africa, Namibia, Israel, Malta, Malta and Australia.
~ Great White Sharks are listed CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) Appendix II, which includes those “species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled.”
This show will also feature Great White Sharks but this time off the California coast.
~ The “Blue Serengeti” comprises a marine ecosystem defined by the California current, and like the African Serengeti has its own “Big Five” species: Great White Sharks, Blue Whales, Bluefin Tuna, Leatherback Sea Turtles, and Elephant Seals. All of these species have suffered severe population declines.
~ Great White Sharks and the rest of the “Big Five” are found both along the California coast and in deeper, open ocean waters, called the ocean’s pelagic environment which comprises 99% of our planet’s biosphere by volume. One study found it is likely that less than 0.1% of the oceans’ pelagic areas is currently legally protected, which makes these vast areas of the ocean vulnerable to illegal, unregulated and under reported fishing and even pirate fishing fleets.
Enjoy this final night of Shark Week 2016 and be sure to follow Shark Savers on Twitter @Sharksavers as we live-Tweet during the show; we’ll be using and follow #SharkWeek and #SharkWeek2016 and #SaveSharks.