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Antonio Busiello / WWF-US

Belize Ends Oil Operations in Its Ocean Waters

Belize, home of the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, has permanently suspended oil operations in its ocean waters. The legislation marks the first time that a developing country has taken such a major step to protect its oceans—and all the life within—from oil exploration and extraction.

The new suspension of oil activity marks an enormous win for the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site, the wildlife that live there, and the hundreds of thousands of Belizeans who rely on the reef for survival.

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Scalloped hammerhead shark. Kevin Lino / NOAA / Flickr

Sharks: Last on Trump’s List, First on His Plate

On his trip to Asia, President Trump ate shark fin soup in Vietnam. While this meal is considered a status symbol, delicacy and a sign of wealth in Asian culture (it can sell for over $100 a serving in restaurants), the continued consumption of shark fin soup has a devastating effect on shark populations around the world.

Shark fin soup is believed by some to have medicinal healing properties and its proponents view its consumption as a cultural right. Sharks rely heavily on international and regional treaties for protections and management measures, and in some countries domestic regulations have been adopted.

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Scuba Divers Rescue World's Biggest Fish Trapped in Net

In this beautiful video from The Dodo, scuba divers rescue whale sharks stuck in a fishing net. The best part comes next—when the divers' newfound friends hang around to celebrate.

The extraordinary whale shark takes 30 years to reach maturity and can live more than 100 years. They can grow more than 40 feet long. They can even stand on their tails.

And while they are the largest fish in the sea, they are not predators, but rather filter feeders subsisting on the tiniest food available—zooplankton and small fish such as sardines and anchovies swimming into their open mouths.

Their size and thick skin help protect them from predators, but not from humans, as commercial fishing has exploited them to the brink of extinction.

This amazing footage was shared by Txus R. at Indocruises.

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Dead whale shark buried at Pamban South Beach in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. @TOIChennai

Whale Shark Found Dead, Plastic Spoon Stuck in Digestive System

An 18-foot long whale shark washed up dead on Pamban South Beach in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.

"The cause of death is found to be heavy internal injuries it has suffered when it either hit a rock or a big vessel," local wildlife ranger S Sathish told the Times of India.

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9 Facts That Will Change How You Think About Sharks

By Jen Sawada

Sharks have been around for 400 million years, before the time of the dinosaurs, but there's much more to them than big teeth and summer blockbusters. Consider these facts, which will change what you think about sharks.

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Does 'Shark Week' Do More Harm Than Good?

By John R. Platt

Tiger Shark Terror. Great White Shark Serial Killer Lives. Great Hammerhead Invasion. Australia's Deadliest Shark Attacks. These are just a few of the programs airing this week during Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week and NatGeo Wild's copycat, Sharkfest.

Undoubtedly, these programs will attract their usual massive ratings, but they may be guilty of the same kinds of film fakery that plagues many wildlife films, where the images on your screen don't tell a full or even truthful story. In the process, experts warn the films may actually send the wrong conservation message and harm endangered species.

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A Leopard shark at Crown Memorial State Beach. Sean Van Sommeran/Pelagic Shark Research Foundation

Scientists Closer to Solving Mystery Behind Major Shark Die-Off in San Francisco Bay

By Mia Nakaji Monnier

Hundreds of sharks have died in the waters off Northern California over the past few months, and scientists still have more questions than answers. In an article for National Geographic, Eric Simons told the story of these mysterious shark strandings through the eyes of Mark Okihiro, a senior fish pathologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Sheriff to Paddleboarders: You Are Surrounded by 15 Great White Sharks

On May 11, in Southern California, paddleboarders got a frightening message from the sheriffs department via helicopter:

"This is the Orange County Sheriffs Department, be advised, the State Park is asking us to make an announcement to let you know you are paddleboarding next to approximately fifteen Great White sharks. They're advising that you exit the water in a calm manner. The sharks are as close as the surf line."

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Photo credit: Greenpeace

Illegal Shark Fins Found Aboard Foreign Fishing Vessels

Shark fins have been discovered on two Chinese fishing vessels during a joint surveillance conducted by Greenpeace and Guinean fishery authorities. One of the vessels also had illegally altered fishing nets on board, while a third Chinese vessel was caught using illegal nets and fishing for species outside of its license. The two vessels with shark fins on board have been fined $264,787.50 each, while the third vessel has been fined $370,702.50. The catches from all of the vessels have been seized by Guinean authorities.

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