Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act

How about some good news about Shark Finning? Seems the US Coast Guard is on the ball in Alaska:

JUNEAU, Alaska - The Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet temporarily terminated a fishing voyage approximately 30 miles northeast of Kodiak at approximately 2 p.m., Monday.

A boarding team from the Acushnet, a 213-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska conducted a routine fishing vessel inspection and found a shark fin hanging from the rigging of the fishing vessel Arctic Wave. Having a shark fin without the carcass is a violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1996.

Upon further inspection of the vessel, it was found that the Arctic Wave had an insufficient number of immersion suits. (Editors Note: If you read through the lines here, this vessel is under suspicion of doing bad things with sharks but only has one fin on board so gets cited for the suits instead). The Acushnet contacted Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak and National Marine Fisheries Service personel and terminated the fishing trip. The Acushnet escorted the Arctic Wave back to Kodiak.

The fishing vessel was met in Kodiak by Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak and National Marine Fisheries Service personnel. The captain of the Arctic Wave was able to acquire a sufficient number of immersion suits while in port. After the Coast Guard reinspected the fishing vessel and found no other violations, the Arctic Wave was allowed to continue their fishing voyage. The fishing vessel left Kodiak at approximately 9 p.m. Monday.

White Shark? Dolphin? White Shark?

For our money this is a dolphin, here's why:

1. No tail, white sharks tails are vertical, if you can see the dorsal on this critter you should be able to see the tail.

2. This story was brought to you by a U.K paper-home to the guys who brought you last month's White shark in Wales.

For those of you who subscribe to Occam's Razor...yeah you're looking at it.

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate"

Isla Guadalupe-Sarah Beatty U.K

We get divers joining us from all over the planet. In the past 6 years Isla Guadalupe has become the "defacto" white shark observation and research site on the planet.

For those observing the mechanics and models of sustainabale shark diving-this site is also a continuing lesson in how it can be done:

Sarahs Trip Report

I have been interested in sharks, in particular Great Whites, since my
teens (so, about 20 years). I remember watching documentaries by Ron and Valerie Taylor on the tv and being fascinated by the sharks' behaviour, their commanding presence in the water and that beautiful cunning grin.

So, I decided it was time to get up close and personal (but not too
close) with these creatures and go cage diving. The location, Isla
Guadalupe, was beautiful with its abundant wildlife, clear blue
waters, blue sky and sun. I was still slightly apprehensive about how
I would react when I saw a shark for the first time. Within a few
minutes of being in the cage, we saw a shark in the distance and
watched it glide effortlessly in our direction and check us out.
Watching it was one of the most calming, relaxing experiences I have
ever had. I didn't feel scared. I was stunned and thrilled with what
I was seeing. Although I'm a photography enthusiast, it was better to
forget the camera was there and just watch the sharks and observe
their characteristics and behaviour.

They would gradually wind their way towards the cage and sometimes appear to look directly at you, with that wonderful grin. On several occasions, we would lose sight of the sharks then one would suddenly appear directly in front of us and so close to the cage. We saw about five or so different sharks on the first day, some of which reappeared throughout our time there. Lucy
was a regular visitor and was fairly distinctive with her damaged caudal fin. It was always a treat to see her. Unfortunately my namesake, Sarah, didn't appear. But if she's anything like me she was probably having a lay in!

It was overwhelming to see the sharks in real life and the experience has reinforced my respect and admiration.

This trip was a truly wonderful experience from the moment the boat
set sail to the (sad) day that it returned to San Diego. A week
later, I don't think I have yet come down to earth.