MIAMI, FL—APRIL 7, 2011—Celebrated marine artist, scientist and conservationist Guy Harvey has offered his artistic talent and foundation sponsorship funding in support of the upcoming Circle Hook Symposium scheduled for May 4-6 in Miami.
The symposium, hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is an international gathering of scientists, resource managers and constituents convening to discuss the performance and use of circle hooks in commercial, recreational and artisanal fisheries.
Designed as an exchange of information through both oral and poster presentations, the symposium will also review abstracts on circle hooks and scientific papers on related studies.
The internationally regarded Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) and Guy Harvey Research Institute of Nova Southeastern University are among several primary sponsors of the symposium, which include the U.S. Marine Fisheries Service, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, University of Miami RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, World Wildlife Fund, and others.
While it is legal to use a J-hook to fish for sharks, experts such as Dr. Harvey recommend using a circle hook, where the barb points inward and not outward.
Dr. Harvey recently joined the growing ranks of individuals and organizations calling for strict regulations to ban the commercial fishing of all sharks in The Bahamas.
Scientists with the International Union for Conservation of Nature have estimated that 30 percent of shark and ray species around the world are threatened or near threatened with extinction. The loss of these animals could cause irreversible damage to the ocean’s ecosystem and result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in the tourist trade.
Laishley State Park in Punta Gorda, Florida is hosting the 2011 “Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge Tournament” on May 13-15th, which has become a model for the next-generation of shark catch and release tournaments with the mandatory use of circle hooks. Scientists from Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota will be on the water working with the Tournament fishermen, tagging qualifying sharks and assisting with the release.