SCS is a small volunteer run Society which has achieved an enviable record of conservation and research wins. The world today is obsessed with everything needing to be safe. A small adventure group of shark enthusiasts (SCS) simply can't afford the legal, insurance and administrative back-up which would guard against any risks of SCS having to pay out in the event of a claim or a legal action. The cost of our expeditions would have to double or treble!
When I read last year that a BBC film crew had to do a 'risk assessment' before filming a group of Morris dancers it brought home to me just how pathetic the world has become, we all know how dangerous knotted hankies can be! Today's adventurer who wants to be safe must wrap him/her self in cotton wool, go to bed and watch TV.
The directors of the Society are currently studying this problem searching for a way for our expeditions to be able to continue. It is with great regret therefore we have to announce that until this process has been completed, and a way forward found, we will have to suspend expeditions.
To our loyal supporters and past volunteers the message is 'We are not going away, won't lie down, and will find a way at going on, even if it involves all volunteers having to buy shares in cotton wool and avoid Morris dancers'! More to follow.
On the 2009 expedition this area had been identified as a possible nursery site for Whitecheek and Milksharks. Subsequent surveys in 2010 and 2011 gathered evidence which supported this, and due to the Society being on an expedition in neighbouring Bahrain, it was decided to do a one night survey in 2012.
A total of 8 hours and 5 minutes chumming was achieved with sardines being the material used, and with a mixture of power chumming and chumming at anchor. During the survey 80+ possibly 100 catfish were caught. In previous years catfish numbers had been nothing like this – sharks had always been more numerous. Clearly a one night survey is a tiny snapshot and adds little, however all the surveys continue a trend as follows:-
If the area were closed to fishing for the three months suggested (February, March, April), it would be interesting to see if juvenile Whitecheek and Milkshark numbers increased again. Numbers of pups in Doha markets would indicate huge fishing pressure continues, and if the animals are being taken in large numbers as juveniles, clearly the population will crash. During previous surveys in this area, 8 hrs. 5 mins chumming and fishing effort had always produced larger numbers of juvenile sharks. However the fact that a juvenile was found is consistent with previous years.
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Dateline 16th March 2015.
We would like to draw all members attention to a campaign to ban shark fins soup from all government related events in Singapore. The campaign is collecting pledges and you can go online at Campaign.com/FINishedwithFINs to sign up.