While the public fascination with sharks is sure to pull huge interest and rating numbers during the annual Shark Week 2013 that begins Monday, marine scientists such as Dr. Guy Harvey are reminding the public that shark conservation is a 52-week obligation.
From seeding money to support a tag-and-release structure for shark tournaments, launching expeditions to study these apex predators in their environment and funding ongoing scientific research such as the national Guy Harvey Fisheries Symposium scheduled for September in Florida, Dr. Harvey and fellow conservationists are working hard to give sharks a fighting chance.
Shark populations around the world are continuing to spiral downward, the result of devastating commercial fishing techniques and an exotic taste for shark-fin soup—an expensive delicacy for which tens of millions of sharks are killed annually.
Late last month, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) provided $10,000 in cash prizes to the top anglers in the revolutionary Shark’s Eye tournament held in Montauk, NY, a satellite tag and release tournament, with 64 total sharks caught over two days. All sharks were tagged and released and four received satellite tags so their movements can be tracked. For a tournament overview, go to http://vimeo.com/71385876
More highlights from the Shark’s Eye tournament will be aired nationally on NBC’s The Today Show Monday morning, August 5th.
“The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation has been working with shark tournaments to encourage recreational anglers to release more sharks and, when possible, work with researchers to deploy satellite tags on the sharks they catch,” said Dr. Harvey. “We were extremely excited to bring this catch-tag-and-release format to Montauk, NY; the home of recreational shark fishing and shark kill tournaments.”
The Guy Harvey team, which has in the past held its own catch-tag-and-release shark tournament in Punta Gorda, Florida, and funded catch-and-release divisions for long-standing tournaments, such as The Ocean City Shark Tournament, is taking its message online next week, with a fun-inspired site to inform and help those interested get involved through interactive games, prizes and merchandise all designed to help raise awareness and funds for shark research and awareness.
The visit the site, go to www.guyharvey.com/shark-week-guy-harvey
Image courtesy Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation