Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mike Westhoff NY Jets - Catch and Release Shark Fishing

"If I don't catch 'em, so what? It's a frickin' shark," he says. "I throw 'em back so they can go on with their lives."

Admittedly a bit gruff for a catch and release media quote but what do you expect from the ever crusty Mike Westhoff aka NY Jets Special Teams Coordinator?

This week writer Kevin Armstrong of the NY Daily News covered Westhoff on one of his recent shark fishing trips.

As an unlikely ambassador for catch and release shark fishing Westhoffs final quote sealed the deal, not all shark fishermen have an adversarial relationship with sharks, and some even care about the resource and the future of these magnificent critters:

"How beautiful are they?" he says, looking at a photo. "I could never kill one."

Great White Sharks now more endangered than tigers with just 3,500 left in the oceans

In the spring of 2010 I was in New Zealand looking at a pristine population of white sharks off the south island.

It was a remarkable experience.

Up until that recent expedition I had assumed the population we have been working with at Isla Guadalupe since 2002 was, in fact, a healthy population.

It clearly is not.

After seeing a vertically integrated population in New Zealand that featured juveniles, sub-adults and adults all mixed in together at the same site, I have come to the conclusion that what we have at Isla Guadalupe is a barely sustaining population of sharks, if not a declining one.

There's no science behind this observation, but I find it hard to believe that we see so few juvenile sharks at Isla Guadalupe (4-7 foot sharks) each season.

Time will tell is my observations are correct, meanwhile some scientists are raising the red flag this week suggesting that the global population of white sharks are indeed in serious decline.

Patric Douglas CEO