Monday, October 19, 2009

Maui Bans Shark Tourism - Surfer Attacked by Shark

Not weeks after Maui City Council members voted to ban non existent commercial shark diving to "protect swimmers and divers" in Maui - a surfer was bitten this morning by an estimated 6-8 foot sand shark.

He was surfing in the "Kalama Bowls" area of a local beach park shortly after 6:00 a.m. when he was bitten on the upper right thigh and the lower part of his right ankle, according to Maui County officials.

The unfortunate negative intersection of sharks and humans will continue to happen regardless of commercial shark diving operations in any given area.

Maui has never had commercial shark diving in it's waters.

Shark do not target humans as a general rule.

Maui's political decision to ban shark diving was just that, a political decision, and with this mornings unfortunate incident proved one thing for certain...sharks do not regard political decisions.

Commercial shark diving is under assault by a global anti-shark diving lobby that trades in on the fear of sharks. When bans are proposed "public safety" is touted as the net benefit to the community at large.

With this latest case in Maui, the anti-shark diving lobby has been exposed for what they are.

Simply put, purveyors of fear based nonsense.

Dr. Sylvia Earle's Deep Search Foundation - Whale Sharks

Isla Holbox is perhaps the best known commercial whale shark encounter sites on the planet. A surprising success story of commercial shark diving and growing site research and conservation.

With little known about these "gentle giants" a scientific expedition lead by Dr. Sylvia Earle's Deep Search Foundation chronicled it's time here from July 11th - 15th, 2009 in an in depth series of blog posts.

Great reading for those desk bound shark adventure seekers.

About Deep Search Foundation

Founded in 2008, Deep Search is dedicated to exploring and protecting Earth's ocean, the cornerstone of our planet’s life support system. More than 70% of Earth is covered by ocean, and 94% of our habitable space is in the seas. Yet, we have explored less than 5% of the ocean and protected only a fraction of 1%. These figures pale even further when one considers the deep sea.

Brazil - Blue Shark Nursery?

With Blue shark (Prionace glauca) stocks plummeting worldwide, new discoveries like this one off the coast of Brazil might help turn the tide.

If protections can be put in place in time:

New evidence suggests a blue shark nursery exists in the Southwest Atlantic
near Southern Brazil, according to a paper accepted for publication in the
journal Fisheries Research.

Scientists Santiago Montealegre-Quijano and Carolus Vooren of the
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande monitored the composition and magnitude
of blue shark accidental catches by longline fishery operations off the
coast of Brazil. (At least something positive can come from such data.
Bycatch has really put a dent in shark populations worldwide.)

The researchers determined that large adult blue sharks were not present in
the suspected nursery region, only juveniles. Size appears to be very
important to life stage shifts in these sharks, as the small juveniles were
found to remain at the site until they reached lengths of around 4 feet or

"After that stage," the scientists conclude, "the large juvenile males
disperse northwards, whereas the large juvenile females move to the south,"
and wind up going all the way to the southeast Atlantic off Africa.

The scientists added, "The subadult females move northwards in late summer
(March) to areas beyond latitude 25°S."

Complete Story

Media 101 - How "not to" promote a reality show

Hands up, who did not watch the "Balloon Boy" media sensation last week either live, or on hand held devices like a Blackberry or iPhone?

One...two...three...o.k, four of you. Thanks.

For the rest of us, a few hours spent following what seemed like the gripping story of a flying saucer balloon with a wayward six year old child inside had at least 200 million Americans and a handful of Dutch enthralled.

Sadly it was a hoax. Remember the Bigfoot scandal, yes we covered that too.

There's a point to this post. There are good and bad ways to promote a show concept to the major media and without the proper media guidance, stunts like these set very bad examples with serious consequences.

The family is facing $500,000 in fines and a minimum of 6 months jail time. Our guess after the dust settles will be a quick documentary, bankruptcy from legal bills, and a divorce.