Japan’s whaling industry loses support of commercial fishing companies
Japan’s largest seafood company, Maruha, and fourth largest fisheries company, Kyokuyo, have both committed to end the production and sale of whale meat products in Japan. Both Kyokuyo and Maruha were among Japan’s leading commercial whaling companies until March 2006, when they divested their ownership in Japan’s whaling fleet in response to pressure from international campaigns. It is estimated that these companies have killed nearly half a million whales since 1929.
Allan Thornton, president of the Environmental Investigation Agency said: “This should mean the end of the commercial whaling business in Japan with Kyokuyo and Maruha pulling their sales of millions of cans of whale meat each year. It’s time to silence Japan’s harpoons and work together to conserve whales for future generations.” Post your thoughts in the discussion...
New fishing legislation in Mexico allows longlines and gillnets
The Mexican legislation NOM-029-PESCA-2006 took effect on May 16, 2007. Originally advertised as a way to “reduce the overfishing of sharks and rays in Mexican waters,” and specifically, in the Sea of Cortez, the bill became strongly supported by commercial fishing interests.
Under NOM-029, there is a reduction in protected no-take zones for marlin, dorado, sailfish, and other species, no reduction in currently issued permits and no restriction on ‘incidental’ by-catch (resulting from longline and gillnet fishing), which some studies have reported “runs 60% to 80% of the total catch.”
Environmental organization Sea Watch has issued a call to action to contact Mexican government and civic officials in an attempt to stop the implementation of NOM-029. Take the time to send a message to preserve these marine habitats, or suggest alternatives in the ongoing discussion...
RSMAS Underwater Photography Contest 2007 Winners
Congratulations to Wetpixel members Patrick Weir (whose photo took ‘Best Overall’), Neil Hammerschlag, Matthew Potenski, Alvin Rosenfeld, and Phillip Gillette (and others?) for placing. Discuss the winning images in the competition thread...
Taiwan bans whale shark trade by 2008
For the past 10 years, Taiwan has been actively fishing whale sharks for their meat, often served in restaurants as “Tofu Shark.” “In 1995, according to records, Taiwan caught 270 whale sharks. In 2001…about 100,” said Zhuang Shouzheng, an associate professor at National Taiwan Ocean University. The numbers of whale sharks have significantly dwindled in recent years, causing the Taiwanese Fisheries Ministry to impose quotas, which were set at 60 and 30 in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
Beginning in 2008, Taiwan will enact a total ban on the trade of whale sharks and whale shark meat. A number of conservation groups have been working in the area for years to stop the killing of whale sharks, and this decision by the Taiwanese government is hailed as a major step towards achieving this objective.
Special request for Wetpixel members - do you shoot with models?
Do you shoot underwater with models? Do you want your name and quote in an issue of Sport Diver Magazine? Eric Cheng and Jason Heller, of Wetpixel & DivePhotoGuide, have entered into a special partnership with Sport Diver to write the “Images” column moving forward.
We are currently working on a column about “Shooting with Models.” Send us your top tips and any great or horrible experiences that you’ve had shooting with models, and your quote and name may appear in an upcoming “Images” column of Sport Diver Magazine. Only catch is that we need this info by tomorrow (ASAP!). Anything you send will be considered and much appreciated!
Embedded POTW contest winner announced
Wetpixel would like to announce ReefNet Incorporated as the winner of the Embedded Photo of the Week website contest! Although all of the entries used the embedded POTW in creative ways, ReefNet’s implementation included Wetpixel’s Photo of the Week as if it had been designed into the site from the beginning. ReefNet wins a 20th Anniversary Citizen Aqualand Eco-Drive dive watch donated by Marine Visions.
We’d also like to acknowledge DamienSiviero.com‘s excellent incorporation of the Wetpixel POTW into his site. Damien went a bit further, writing custom code to pull larger images from Wetpixel in a page that highlights the last POTW winner as well as his most recent entry.
Bryant Austin’s life-size whale photographs featured in gallery
Photographs by Marine Mammal Conservation through the Arts founder, Bryant Austin, are currently featured at the Mill Gallery in Santa Cruz, California through June 30, 2007. Through the Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts, Austin is supporting his international campaign, “Whales in Public Spaces,” with the display of life-size images of humpback whales as large as twelve feet high by ninety feet long.
A special reception is scheduled for June 1, 2007 - continue reading for the full press release and information on Austin’s future plans, which include a housed Hasselblad H3D 39 megapixel digital camera…
New DiveFilm Podcast Videos - Episode 43
DiveFilm Podcast Video has released the first of a two part video, Episode 43 “The Sharks of Clipperton Island”, now available for free at iTunes. The video by Mary Lynn Price includes archive footage and images from Conrad Limbaugh’s expeditions to Clipperton in the 1950s when he encountered numerous and aggressive sharks. At Clipperton today, sharks are few and old fishing longline crisscrosses most of the island’s abundant coral reefs.
Part two of the video will examine the issues facing the sharks of Clipperton Island and current ideas for their protection. DiveFilm Podcast Video is produced in association with Wetpixel.com and are “Featured TV & Film Podcasts” at iTunes.
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