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The Swan Island Expedition Day 06

Farewell to the Swan Islands.
The story of the Swan Islands boils down to one subject. Protection. The expedition came to the islands with high expectations. The Swan Islands are referred to as the “Galapagos of the Caribbean”, and it was that description the team carried with them in the long crossing. But the reality of the Swan Islands is that even here on this isolated island, overfishing has severely impacted the reef ecosystems. The expedition repeatedly noted a significant lack of fish.

The western side of Swan Island as seen from the air, (c) Kip Evans Photography

Dr. Sylvia Earle:
“That’s part of why we’re here in the Swan Islands, to look at the nature of this place that has periodically been fished very hard.…

Posted in expedition, Honduras, mission blue, Swan Island, swan island expedition, Sylvia Earle Alliance |

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Shark Research at Swan Island 05

“I remember when there were so many sharks in the bay, we couldn’t put a hook in the water without catching a shark” recounted a patriarch fisher from the island of Utila in the Bay Islands in Honduras. This recollection of shark abundance is heard time and again with most Western Caribbean fishers over 50 years old. Today, it’s a different story. Sharks have been so heavily over-fished to feed the demand for white meat during the Lenten season and supplying fins for the seemingly insatiable demand for shark fin soup, that they are rarely encountered by today’s fishers. Sharks are seen even less frequently by divers, many of who pay thousands of dollars for the opportunity to see sharks in the wild.…

Posted in expedition, Honduras, mission blue, shark tagging, Swan Island, swan island expedition, sylvia earle, Sylvia Earle Alliance, Wildlife Conservation Society |

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