Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shark Free Marinas - Action?

Back in 2007 and again in 2008 Shark Diver responded to the news of two 15 and 13 foot female Tiger sharks, taken by sport fishers in the Bahamas for their jaws and a few photos.

Shark Diver then posted the story and images on this blog several times and sent the posting around to regional dive shops and shark diving operations asking for help.

The response was dead air.

Shark Diver then went on to create, launch and promote the Shark Free Marinas Initiative in an effort to stop the slaughter of adult sharks worldwide.

The original concept and roll out for the SFMI came from us a commercial shark diving company wanting to see regional changes and to protect sharks.

In the Bahamas four marinas to date have agreed to support this initiative and become "shark free" thanks largely to the efforts of Duncan Brake, Jillian Morris, staff members from Bimini Sands Hotel and Marina Katie and Grant and the staff at Cape Eleuthera Institute.

In Fiji, thanks to one mans ongoing efforts, Stuart Gow, 17 marinas have signed on pledging to stop the shark slaughter in their waters.

This week another 12 foot Tiger was taken by a Florida sport fishing vessel in the Bahamas. It is estimated as many as 10-30 animals are taken each year in this manner. While the numbers are anecdotal they do tell a story of an adult Tiger fishery that runs contrary to the entire Bahamian dive industry and commercial shark diving operations impacting five operators in the region.

There is a vehicle to stop the slaughter, all that's missing is the desire:

1,239-pound tiger caught aboard Ticket

The well-known Port Canaveral charter boat Ticket — skippered by Capt. Ed Dwyer — took a group over to the Bahamas for a weekend fishing trip. While there, the group did very well catching yelloweye, queen and yellowtail snapper. But the anglers lost several rigs to what was believed to be a large shark that was picking off catches as they were reeled to the surface, according to Candy Dwyer.

Finally, the shark that was eating their catches and rigs bit a bait on a rig that used a cable as leader material. Garett Vanorman picked up the Shimano 80W and began a battle that lasted 1-hour and 15 minutes.

Once the shark died, the whole crew was needed to haul the big tiger shark through the boat’s tuna door. It measured 12 feet, 6 inches in length, 88 inches in girth and weighed 1,239 pounds. The shark was filleted and its meat was distributed to Bahamian residents where the Ticket was docked.

Inside its stomach, the anglers found a whole loggerhead turtle.

Complete Story

Patric Douglas CEO