Stories from the Sea: Listen here

At long last, here are my radio stories from the 2nd International Marine Conservation Congress. I was lucky enough to cover the conference for CBC Radio’s On The Coast and All Points West.

I think my favourite of the three stories was the one on sharks, which also aired nation-wide on CBC Radio.

[Updated June 2012: The CBC links expired, so I put the stories on Soundcloud]

Basking sharks have huge mouths, the better to filter plankton with. (Chris Gotschalk/DFO)

I walked into the conference with pretty remedial knowledge on why people are so concerned and passionate about the world’s shark species. Yes, I knew about the problems with “finning,” or killing sharks by cutting off their fins for soup.

But I didn’t have a context for why overfishing sharks would be any different than other types of overfishing. I also wasn’t sure whether this was something that affected sharks off Canada’s Pacific coast, or if it was only a problem other places.

It turns out, yes, overfishing sharks is different, and yes, the fin trade around the world affects endangered sharks here. I connect the dots with the help of patient scientists, to tell a tale about endangered basking sharks.

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