Caribbean Shark Defenders (CSD) is a collective body of shark enthusiasts with a common interest of Caribbean Shark Defenders (CSD) is a collective body of shark enthusiasts, with a common interest of promoting shark and ray species conservation, in Grenada and the wider Caribbean.
Our objectives focus education and outreach, while working along with other groups towards our goal- creating shark sanctuaries and supporting the proper management of shark and ray species in the Caribbean.
Operating as usual
Sharks ‘critical’ to restoring damaged ecosystems, finds study Research in Australian bay shows absence of apex predators can exacerbate extreme climate damage
We should always be vigilant when in the sea, however, we have not had an increase in shark sightings in Grenada.
In light of the public landing and killing of a Longfin Mako shark yesterday on Groom's beach we wanted to share some information on this kind of shark and sharks in general.
Reminder: Our fishermen for a long time have brought sharks to shore from the deep. This was not always on camera as it can be today. Situations are easy to take out of context via viral videos.
Please make an effort to fact check and reach out if you have questions and suspected sightings.
A few quick facts:
- Longfin Mako Sharks are pelagic sharks, deep water offshore sharks
- Longfin Mako sharks are not as fast as their cousins the Shortfin Mako Shark, locally known as the Tuna Shark
- You guessed it, Mako sharks are a primary predator on Tuna and help keep the Tuna populations healthy
- Yesterday's shark was spotted offshore by fishermen, it was behaving irregularly and brought into the shallow water
- Mako sharks are very rarely seen or caught in areas shallower than 90 m/300 ft
- There has never been a reported attack on a human from a Longfin Mako Shark
- Shark meat is high in mercury, a toxic heavy metal to ingest. Shark meat and oil are not recommended as a regular protein especially for children, and pregnant or nursing moms.
- Mako sharks, both longfin and shortfin, are endangered and populations have plummeted in the last 50 years from fishing pressure
- yesterday's occurrence was a rarity and from reports the shark appeared to be unwell. Reminder, that shark did not come in to the beach on its own.
Continue to follow this page, more factual resources will be shared. Education is key.
To report sightings please contact:
Mr Olando Harvey, Grenada Fisheries Division
Christine Eco Dive - Grenada
Kate Ocean Spirits
Pure Grenada Discover Grenada Pure Diving - Grenada & Carriacou Eco Sgu Grenada Green Group G3 NOW Grenada MTV News Grenada Group
Longfin Mako Shark The longfin mako shark is a large, highly migratory predatory shark that lives worldwide and reaches a maximum length of 14 feet (4.3 m).
Shark Populations Are Crashing, With a ‘Very Small Window’ to Avert Disaster Oceanic sharks and rays have declined more than 70 percent since 1970, mainly because of overfishing, according to a new study.
Thank you to NOW Grenada for this coverage! Education is key!
No need to panic over shark sightings Lifeguards have been alerted and that there will be an established protocol in place for handling the unlikely event of a shark coming near shore.
An important read ... context is critical.
Over the past few days, there has been increased attention & interest, some of which has resulted in the sharing of false or misleading information and fake news in Barbados surrounding sharks. This appears to have resulted from a reported shark "attack" in St. Kitts & Nevis last week which has prompted some Governments in the Caribbean region to issue bulletins, advisories and urge caution for users of the sea.
This is also following a reported and unfortunately fatal incident with a shark in French St. Martin in December 2020.
As such, I wished to share a bit more information on sharks, primarily in Barbados in the hopes that it will help to spread awareness on these important species.
Firstly, both sharks & rays have adapted to living in a wide range of habitats in the Ocean / sea - this is their home. As Barbados is surrounded by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, yes this does mean that sharks live in Barbadian waters which are home to a diversity of shark & ray species.
Growing up in a family of Ocean lovers including fishers and speafishers, I remember hearing stories of sharks and also seeing my first shark at 6 years old in the waters of the Caribbean.
If you speak with spearfishers, fishers, surfers, divers or even your grandfather who likes shark liver oil, they may have a story or 12 to share with you on sharks in Barbados.
As my interest in sharks peaked, I explored these species through learning and broadening my knowledge & skills including with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Global FinPrint & IUCN to name a few.
As such, I wished to share the following which are my personal views based on my knowledge & experiences over the past years.
Based on my research with FAO which included many conversations, visits to fish markets and landing sites, surveys, boat trips and dives, we created a preliminary poster of the most commonly caught and sighted species of sharks & rays in Barbados waters: http://www.fao.org/3/a-bc383e.pdf. This is not a full list and has also been updated slightly since with changes to some of the local names and to reflect some additional species, however, it gives an idea of the potential diversity (types) of sharks & rays that can be found in Barbadian waters. It must be noted that some of these species can be found on average up to 200 miles offshore while others may be reef associated species and sighted by spearfishers for example on the East Coast (in areas where the average individual does not take a Sunday sea bath) from time to time.
Based on this preliminary research which began in 2015, the most commonly caught and landed shark species in the main primary market, the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex were the short fin mako (lion) shark & the blue (peter) shark, often caught by longline vessels which target yellow fin tuna and other offshore open water species.
There is a small directed fishery for sharks which meets the demand for shark meat consumption and shark oil use in the island (more on shark consumption and sustainable seafood in another post)!
At a policy recommendation level, this research led to the development of something called a National Plan of Action (NPOA) for the Conservation & Management of Sharks in Barbados which unfortunately was never adopted. However, it must be noted that the catching of sharks is still legal in Barbadian waters and that there is a need for strengthened management & legislative framework in the Caribbean to appropriately address the conservation & management of these species.
There is no scientific evidence that suggests that there has been an increase in sharks (abundance) or an increase in different types (diversity) of species of sharks in Barbadian waters over the past months. However, it is important to note that the Ocean is changing and facing many threats including climate change, overfishing, impacts from land based sources of pollution and marine pollution. This includes changes in water temperatures (and in some instances slightly cooler temperatures in some Caribbean islands this year as a result of the Southern Oscillation that we are in) & an apparent change in the amount of prey and potential migration patterns of some marine species that do migrate. There is also a small possibility that the reduction in marine traffic as a result of the COVID - 19 pandemic could be one of the potential reasons for anecdotal information on an apparent increased number of sightings.
It is important to remember that when you enter the sea, you are entering the home of a diversity of marine species some of which may pose potential threats and as such , it is important to not only be aware but know how to act to minimise risk of threats.
With regards to risk from shark interactions, incidents & attacks (provoked & unprovoked), there are hundreds of shark species, of which a very small number of species have been reported to be associated with "attacks".
Although the relative risk of a shark attack is small, risks should always be minimised whenever possible in any activity. Here are some tips to minimise risk of a shark interaction or incident:
-When in the sea, always stay in groups as sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual
-Avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are more active
-Avoid waters with known effluents or sewage and those used by fishermen who have been baiting or chumming up the water
-If diving or spearfishing, always dive with a buddy and if spearfishing, conceal fish in a suitable bag such as a crocus bag
Sharks are a very misunderstood species and it is important to fight the fear and panic with facts. For example, there are many other things including marine species such as box jelly fish and mosquito borne diseases such as dengue that are more likely to kill you than sharks.
As the Caribbean places a greater focus on the Blue Economy - our Ocean, it is important that we all better understand this space and how to protect it.
If interested in learning more, check out some of these resources which I have created or contributed towards until I can share more information.
If there is anyone who would like to use this information to create a visual, PSA or short animated video so that more people will look at it and hopefully learn, please reach out!
Mainstream media acknowledges the toll the Jaws Movie has on sharks
cbr.com While Jaws has cemented itself as the original blockbuster film, it also had a tragic impact by changing the public perception of sharks.
BREAKING NEWS! Canada Protects Endangered Mako Sharks with Groundbreaking Atlantic Ban
The Shark Trust and our #SharkLeague partners are welcoming a science-based decision by the Canadian government to end all retention of #Endangered #ShortfinMako sharks in Atlantic fisheries. With this action, Canada becomes the first North Atlantic country to heed a longstanding recommendation from ICCAT scientists to prohibit retention of Shortfin Makos from the region.
Such action is urgently needed across the North Atlantic to end overfishing and rebuild the seriously depleted population.
For the full press release visit: https://www.sharktrust.org/news/canada-protects-endangered-mako-sharks-with-groundbreaking-atlantic-ban
This week webinars for kids free of charge and a lot of fun!
Eco Dive - Grenada Deb Eastwood Hayden J Redhead
Join us April 6-10 for more JAWsome webinars! We have 11 sessions next week!
➡️Full schedule, more info and links to watch recorded lessons https://www.sharks4kids.com/webinars
To watch on Zoom you must have the free app. We will also be streaming LIVE on our YouTube channel
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for updates or to watch LIVE
⭐ Monday April 6 at 11 am EST
Sawfish Science with Dr. Andrea Kroetz
Age 10 +
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/277665825
⭐ Monday April 6 at 1 pam EST
Intro to Sharks with Jenny Bortoluzzi
Age 5 +
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/327205573
⭐ Tuesday April 7 at 1 pm EST
Filming Sharks with Filipe DeAndrade Wildlife Photography
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/993184107
⭐ Tuesday April 7 at 5pm EST
White shark nurseries with Dr. Chris Lowe CSULB Shark Lab
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/968056733
⭐ Wed April 8 at 11 am EST
Shark Fin ID with Diego Cardeñosa
Middle & High School
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/467678683
⭐ Wed April 8 at 1 pm EST
How to Draw a Shark with Dr. Julius Csotonyi
Age 7 +
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/465270869
⭐ Wed April 8 at 7 pm EST
Sawshark Science with Paddy Burke
Age 10 +
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/623404867
⭐ Thrs Apr 9 at 1 pm EST
Sharks, Rays, Ratfish & Cool Creatures from the Deep!
with Underwater Explorer Annie Crawley
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/476483836
⭐ Thrs April 9 at 5 pm EST
What is a Chimaera with Dr. Brit Finucci
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/259403289
⭐ Friday April 10 at 11 am EST
Creating 3D models of sharks for science & Education with Dr. Duncan Irschick Digital Life
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/401262461
⭐ Friday April 10 at 2 pm EST
Sink Your Teeth into Shark Biology with Joshua Moyer
➡️ Link to Watch: https://zoom.us/j/486562187
JAWsome Weekend Activity! ( We want to see pics of your creations)
Coco Shark created by Lisa from Stoked On Salt SOS Debris Art
HOW TO VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUdtth7owys
This is the second extinction event of the anthropocene. The first is in our oceans and is ongoing - albeit barely noticed by the world. It will not be our last. But we do not have to roll up our sleeves and give up. We do not have to accept extinction events and world wars as the only way out of this mess. We could - wait for it - cooperate!!!! Help each other. Take responsibility for our actions and clean up our act. Face the truth and take responsible decisive action. Meanwhile in Ontario northern temps are 100% below normal 🥶 and southern temps are 90% above normal 🥵 #fubar #futureshock
theguardian.com Millions of animals have been killed in the fires but the impact on flora and fauna is more grim even than individual deaths
Here is a very interesting educational resource for ocean lovers, kids and teachers 👍
neal.fun Scroll down the deep sea in this interactive page.
This is huge news! ‘Our’ sharks migrate and belong to all of us. Well done (and about time)!
#protectgrenadasharks #finfree 🦈 🦈
BREAKING NEWS; U.S. House votes YES to ban the Shark Fin trade!
Thanks to all of you for your hard work and support. Rob Stewart who started the movement would be so happy! But we still need your help as the bill moves to a final vote in the Senate!
Please continue to sign the petitions to ensure your senators vote YES as well.
The U.S. House passed The Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act (H.R. 737) today in a bipartisan vote of 310-107. The bill bans the sale, possession and transport of any product containing shark fin.
A shout out to Rep Kilili Sablan and Michael McCaul for sponsoring the bill. Sablan is the House Rep from Saipan and Guam, which have been protecting sharks for years. Rob visited the islands in 2011, when the countries banned shark fin trade, as you can see in Rob’s movie, Revolution.
His films, Sharkwater, Revolution and Sharkwater Extinction, taught people around the world to protect sharks. Rob dedicated his life to shark and ocean conservation, saying: “More than ever, sharks need our help, now.”
Click the link below to sign the petition for Oceana.
Click the link below to sign the Change.org petition for Shark Stewards.
Click the link below to sign the Care 2 petition for Humane Society.
#humane Society US
#Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
#Michael McCaul (R-Texas)
#Scuba Schools Intl
OCEAN DEFENDER - Hawaii
🙏 Know what you are eating!
Fish patties from fast food restaurants?
Frozen fish products?
Many use this kind is shark meat in their products so please read the ingredients!!
The harvesting of the spiny dogfish has led to collapses of regional populations due to overfishing.
Like many other shark species, the spiny dogfish takes several years to reach sexual maturity.
But they also have one of the longest gestation periods of any elasmobranch species – 24 months
A female spiny dogfish will take 2 years to incubate up to 20 pups before giving birth to live young. So the spiny dogfishes are slow to rebound from population declines due to fisheries.
Frozen fish sticks and fish sandwiches especially from fast food restaurants use this species regularly.
Become a conscious consumer and citizen of the world. Your everyday choices do matter