Dr. Chapman takes a DNA sample from a nearly 15-ft blunt nose six-gill shark in the Bahamas. Photo by Sean Williams, Cape Eleuthera Institute. Blog by Dr. Demian Chapman, shark geneticist and Blue Ocean Fellow: When I first started studying sharks in the mid 1990s, they were already in serious trouble and there was no reprieve in sight. The Chinese economy was booming and with this boom had grown a new middle class with an insatiable demand for luxury products. One such product was shark fin soup, a $100-a-bowl appetizer served at special events like weddings, banquets and business dinners.
Guest Blog by Jesse Senko When I first visited Lopez Mateos, a small fishing community on the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur, Mexico, I remember walking a 40 km stretch of beach littered with dead sea turtles. At times the stench of rotting turtle carcasses was so intense I had to wear a bandana around my nose to avoid throwing up. It didn’t always work.
Guest Blog By Lydia Ball – When the U. S. Navy sent the Trieste deep boat to the Mariana trench in 1960, it was the first time that humans had reached the deepest part of the ocean. The ocean floor was covered with silicon-based algaes, known as diatoms, and Jacques Piccard, a crew member, described it as “snuff-colored”. Since then, technological advances have allowed for further exploration with more scientific rigor. In 2012, James Cameron made the second manned dive to the depths of the Mariana Trench. A flat, desolate landscape, seeming sparsely populated except for small shrimp-like creatures swimming before him as he collected geological and biological data.