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Aquarium of Niagara speaker 'jaws' about sharks

by jmaloni
Wed, Nov 9th 2011 09:05 am

Sharks need protection, too. While some have a bad rep, Danielle Barbiero of Lewiston has learned first hand that the misunderstood fish is well protected in some areas of the world.

Fiji is one of those areas. Danielle will share her shark experience in the Fiji Islands at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, in the Community Room at the Aquarium of Niagara. Her program will last approximately an hour and includes an underwater video of sharks she interacted with.

Recently returned from Fiji, Danielle studied sharks under the Broadreach Academic Treks College, based in North Carolina. She has been associated with the Aquarium of Niagara since 2005. She has a bachelor's degree in animal behavior research from the State University at Buffalo and is working on her master's in environmental science at the State University at Brockport. Her thesis work will consist of a series of behavioral experiments using the Aquarium of Niagara's white-spotted bamboo sharks.

Fiji is home to the world's best example of successful shark conservation, Danielle says. To make her point, video clips and artifacts from Fiji will be shown and displayed. There also will be information on the Shark Reef Marine Reserve, how it was established, its eco-tourism involvement and why it is successful.

Other topics she will speak about are threats to sharks - including pollution, overfishing, habitat degradation, myths and misconceptions, finning (taking only the fin, which is used in shark fin soup - considered a delicacy in some countries) gill nets and bottom trawling. In addition to regulations to protect sharks, Danielle will discuss how people can get involved in shark protection and conservation.

Anyone who arrives between noon and 1 p.m. and mentions the program at the admissions entrance will be charged $5, half the usual adult fee. Aquarium of Niagara members are always admitted free. Otherwise, regular admission is in effect. For more information, call 285-3575.

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