Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crazy Cool/Amazing Shark Video From Catalina

It's got all the elements, a gill netted seal, a hungry white shark or mako, and a surprise.

If it's September in California it's shark time folks. A free Shark Diver T-shirt to the first person to positively ident this shark as either a mako or very small white.

A similar attack by an actual mako on a seal happened on July 31, 2010 at Catalina.

Enjoy:


Isla Guadalupe Shark Cage Diving - 2011 Trip Reports

The 2011 white shark season has started with a "bang" at Isla Guadalupe and our Shark Divers have never been happier.

We have identified over 14 regular customers and a few new animals that have caught us off guard.

One of them, a young male, decided to test our cages last week with a gentle nibble, thrilling divers, and providing more shark stories for the 2011 season.

Newly minted shark divers Tammy and Wayne just got back with their own trip report.

Congrats guys, and welcome to the world of Shark Diver:

Wayne and I would like to extend our thanks to the entire crew of the MV Horizon. We set out the eve of August 19th, after a long trip from Canada, we were tired and a bit foggy but the crew were so enthusiastic and helpful we found our second wind. We were immediately made welcome and felt right a home very quickly. From beginning to end the entire crew made the trip, and we can't say enough. We have both traveled a lot, and client service and the food far exceeded our expectations !

The sharks were amazing, only a part of it though, the entire trip is an experience of a life time. It stands alone from lazing on a beach or by a pool, we both agree that it will leave a lasting memory for both of us. Experiencing the Pacific on the dive boat was awesome, waves at times but the crew was very diligent about safety and we never felt in danger.

Seeing Humpback wales, dolphins, turtles, Seals & Sunrises, was all part of the experience.

The crew made us feel like family and I don't think I was ever seconds with a look of "I'm not sure what I'm doing" without someone right there to help me or even asking if I wanted another beverage.

Mark & Kyle made the finest meals in that galley kitchen, AMAZING!

Captains Spence, Carie & Kyle, ran the boat and always made sure our safety was number one as well as having some fun with us too.

Nick, Mark & Tim made sure we always had what we needed and that if there was anything they could do to let us know. Martin made us feel very comfortable in the water, we are both non - certified, and we were not sure really what to expect, but Martin put all our concerns at ease and was very informative about the sharks too!

We have told everyone how much fun we had and have told them that it wasn't just the amazing sharks, it was the crew that made the trip so much fun!

We'd be happy to answer anyone's questions who might be considering going.


Thanks again for the memories

Tammy Leveck & Wayne Bigelow
Ottawa, Canada

Shark Diver The Movie on the App Store

Shark Diver : The Movie

Award winning Director Mark Tipple invites you experience the hauntingly beautiful world of the Shark Divers and go on an aquatic adventure in this short film based on his feature length screenplay.


Shark Hope Video - First Rate Conservation Messaging

From on Aug.30, 2011 at 10:54 am, under Shark Videos.



Shark Defenders have posted the trailer above for a documentary titled “Shark Hope” to their YouTube channel. According to the video description the documentary is a collaboration between Walker Films, Ratu Manoa Rasagitale, the Coral Reef Alliance and Pew Environment Group. The documentary focuses on efforts to create Fiji National Shark Sanctuary.



Kudos to everyone involved in this project, this is first rate shark conservation outreach and messaging:




Monday, August 29, 2011

Cephalopodic Horror - The Horror!

Far be it for us to suggest that any particular culture should abstain from "playing with food," but then again the following video is just plain gruesome.

The science behind this is simple, freshly dead cephalopods can be reanimated with a healthly dose of salt found in most soy sauces.

The results will make even the most hardened Zombie Apocalypse fan wince:


Are These the Killer Seychelle White Sharks?

The answer is no. These are Lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) fish eaters.

But that has not stopped the Seychelles gov from engaging in a wide spread Jaws style shark hunt in an attempt to prove to their tourism base that they do not have a "shark problem."

To the Seychelles credit and a country that depends of 50% of it's GDP to tourism dollars they had to do something, but an old school shark hunt targeting every shark species within 20 miles of an attack site?

That's not in keeping with modern tourism values, nor does it fully recognize the intelligence of today's tourist who understands more about sharks now than 20 years ago when a full court shark hunt was de rigueur.

The Seychelles even went to the extreme lengths to hire several South African Shark Mercenaries to hunt down their Killer Sharks.

What has transpired over the past several weeks in the Seychelles has been a farce.

At first this was not a shark attack, then it was deemed a shark attack, then the animal without any scientific proof was identified as "not a local animal." From there various sources within the Seychelles gov said this was a white shark, again no proof was offered but it worked nicely with the desperate storyline that the Seychelles did not have sharks in its waters.

Along with this weeks Lemon shark haul, Seychelles shark hunters also came back into port with two large Tigers, so much for the Seychelles storyline that they don't have sharks in their waters.

It's evident that the Seychelles have no clue how to deal with their sharks, even though these animals have been living in a peaceful coexistence with swimmers for the past 30 tourism filled decades.

At this point all that can be done is to watch the unfolding disaster and plan for the next gov reaction to a shark attack. We can learn from the Seychelles media disaster as a case study on how not to react and deal with the aftermath of a shark attack.

While shark attacks are unfortunate, and deaths from shark attacks tragic, they remain rare events and we can do a lot better than South African Shark Mercenaries, and media reports that attribute attacks to species that most likely no where in the region at the time of the event.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tiger Beach Bahamas Video - Frazier Nivens

Underwater DP Frazier Nivens with Ocean Imaging spent a few weeks this spring with the M/V Kate in the Bahamas at Tiger Beach.

This video is about as good as it gets. If you have ever wondered what shark diving with Tigers is like, look no further, the Bahamas remains the quintessential Tiger shark site on the planet.

Shot in RED.

By the way we'll be back again with the M/V Kate this fall, who's in?

Enjoy:

Dear Shark Conservationist How About a Modicum of Style?

Dear Shark Conservationist,

It has come to our attention that your shark conservation public outreach displays seem a little, what's the word here, lame?

Yes you have the tents, along with the hand drawn signs in some sort of day glow crayon that cry out "Save The Sharks!" and as always the cute, fuzzy, plush shark toys.

Seriously, this is five years of shark conservation public outreach? Have any of you ever done corporate display work?

Fact is the folks who market and trade shark products for money do not have cute, fuzzy, shark plush toys at their trade shows. They are in the business of selling shark products to the wider public and as such are trying to make a positive impression.

Ouch.

May we suggest that the next few dollars you manage to acquire from some well meaning donor be spent wisely and that you beef up or at least try and create memorable and professional displays for your public outreach work.

Here's one thought, let's get rid of those plush toys and replace them with a few dozen of these (see video).

When it comes to marketing sharks give the public what they want and deliver it to them with style:





White Shark Caught on Huntington Pier, Ca?

Huntington Beach Pier is a well known hot spot for shark fishing. The specialty of this pier in season is Thresher shark.

Unfortunately from time to time young of the year White sharks are taken and as this video demonstrates these animals are often misidentified as Mako sharks. Leading to the question, could it be possible for a shark group in the region (and we know there's a few) to create signage to help folks identify caught sharks?

Peter Thomas has the scoop on what happened to the folks who caught this shark:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear Bamahas West End - We're Thinking of You

If Hurricane Irene models are correct the next 24 hours will be a rough one for the good folks in Freeports West End.

Freeport is especially dear to us because we stage all of our Tiger shark diving operations from this wonderful island and from the West Ends Old Bahamas Bay Resort and Marina.

We made a choice a few years ago to have divers fly to the island and spend time at the resort to put back into the Bahamas economy, suffering from one of the worst tourism downturns in recorded memory.

This week the Bahamas will suffer another hit. Hopefully it will be a glancing blow from a Cat 2-3 hurricane and our hopes and prayers are with the people of Freeport and the local business folks who we have come to know.

Hang in there guys we're looking forward to seeing you all again in a few weeks.

Let us know what we can do to help!

Cheers,

Patric Douglas CEO
www.sharkdiver.com
www.sharkdivers.com

Isla Guadalupe 2011 White Shark Season - Quick Report

With our first few expedition trips away to Isla Guadalupe this season divers are writing back to update us on their experiences. Chuck lives in Arizona and when not diving with sharks he's usually found whitewater rafting.

Chuck and his cousin Georgene are now "Official Shark Divers" having spent the last three days in the company of our wonderful white sharks at Isla Guadalupe and witnessing first hand white sharks jumping clear out of the water right next to our boat.

We call it a shark breach, Chuck calls it amazing:

This is from an Arizona desert rat who never ventured deeper than the shallow end of the swimming pool.

First day on Guadalupe the sharks circled the boat and you could hear the "Jaws" music in the background, but none came to the cages.

Next day started with a complete jump out of the water by a 15 foot plus sweetie name "Chugie" (sic) and the fun began."Chugie" gave a second jump that day... sharks o'pleanty all day. No more fins, just beautiful Great Whites coming to the cages for the next two days. Mark, the chef, put 4 pounds on me. The entire crew was fantastic and the trip will be a "bucket list" topper.

Thanks so much "Shark Diver" for a memorable and wonderful trip...CHUCK SHUMWAY

Monday, August 22, 2011

Great White shark carried out fatal Seychelles attack?

Strange though it may sound to folks who know white sharks, apparently the Seychelles gov has proof that a recent well documented shark attack was that of a great white.

Now we're not conspiracy theorists, but when you look at this a little closer somethings rotten in Denmark.

We point to the fact that almost from day one Seychelles gov officials said repeatedly that the shark involved "was not one of theirs," hoping to shift blame to a "rogue shark theory".

The recent discovery of a white shark tooth and confirmation from South African experts seems to back the gov assertions that a rogue shark is in the waters of the Seychelles, an island nation that relies on tourism revenues for 50% of GDP.

No mention of the typical tropical species like the tiger and bull sharks that frequent the waters of the Seychelles - there goes Occam's Razor.

We would like to see the tooth and find out who the SA shark experts were who signed off on the "rogue white shark" in Seychelles waters, anyone know who these folks are?

The whole thing doesn't sound right, and when it comes to high profile shark attacks in major tourism waters shark attack experts fly in by the truck load and everyone has a theory.

The hard facts are sometimes harder to come by.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Can A Magnet Repel A Shark Attack? No, No, No and Ah, No

Take it from us, we're experts, we know sharks. We also know shark feeding events commonly known as "shark attacks" and there's nothing on this planet short of prayer that will "Repel a Shark Attack."

Sharks are wonderful predators with a simply fantastic suite of senses designed to confirm when or not a shark should make an attempt at feeding. If these triggers are set, either by mistake, poor visibility, or by predatory design there's nothing some rare earth magnets can do to save you.

Did you read that Shark Shocker guys?

This video is one of the best examples of bald faced shark hucksterism we have had the misfortune of seeing in a long while and a complete disservice to the swimming public at large:


Friday, August 19, 2011

NBC News and Sharks - Taking WTF to New Lows

If you happened to be watching NBC's Today Show this morning you saw reporter Stephanie Gosk ham fist her way through a shark attack story out of the Seychelles.

Spouting factoids about sharks that were incorrect and providing descriptions of species that, if proved true, will redefine shark science as we know it, Stephanie unwittingly became the spokesperson for why the mainstream media needs to be educated about sharks.

It's time for push back because watching her in action today was enough to cause me to spill my sustainably harvested trade certified coffee all over my shirtfront while becoming "outraged."

Being outraged as a shark conservationist is state of grace we get outraged for a number of reasons when it comes to sharks.

For me major news media bias is one of them.

Yes sharks are predators, and yes sharks attack humans occasionally but the reasons behind shark attacks are what mainstream media folks fail to cover time and again, they focus on the blood, the loss, and the hype.

In case you want to know why the incidence of shark attacks are on the rise you need look no further than this recent article, great stuff.

Back to Stephanie. I won't give away her most glaring indiscretions, I will let you watch this media hit piece and perhaps become outraged as well. Suffice to say the bad taste exhibited by airing the grieving widows last recollections of her husband as he bled out on the beach in front of her reminds me of equally tasteless Shark Week productions wherein shark attack victims were forced to watch a mechanical shark monster slam into sides of beef to reenact their limb loss.

Yes this is the same kind of overblown media hype that does little to understand sharks.

As a shark conservationist I am not asking the media to rewrite what sharks are, or even attempt to soft peddle their basic predatory nature. All I am asking for is balance, nuance, and some hard facts, not the time warped 1970's lens that folks like Ms.Gosk seems to train on these animals whenever man and shark interact.

More from RTSea Blog.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Private Yacht Shark Diving Services - Shark Diver

Shark Diver offers all inclusive shark diving and support services for mega yachts worldwide, specializing at Isla Guadalupe, the South Pacific, and the Bahamas.



Our yacht services are geared towards adventure diving and pristine shark encounters.



Based in California and Florida, we are ideally positioned to comprehensively support luxury mega yachts who desire to engage in safe shark diving and specialized dive charters with additional destinations available.



Shark Diver was the first commercial shark diving company to offer mega yacht services in 2004 with a private cage system build out on the M/Y Triton and shark diving services to Alaska with Salmon Sharks (Lamna ditropis). Our dive crews and support vessels maintain the highest safety and proven track record for animal encounters and we remain the premier shark and adventure diving and cage build service provider.



At Isla Guadalupe your white shark experience is our highest priority. Changes in vessel permitting at this remarkable site have made these experiences more challenging for yachts, we can help you with the process.



Shark Diver commercial shark diving yacht services are comprehensive with an eye towards value and safety.



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Yacht Dive Management Services

  • Voyage planning
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Not everyone loved our Gillette commercial?

Shakespere once said "all the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players," now I highly doubt many within the shark community read The Bard, in fact I know they don't.

But for those who do this video will be as amusing to you as it was to us. Yes, as it turns out not everyone loved our Gillette commercial this year. Although it was seen by one of the largest televised audiences outside of the Superbowl and even won a prestigious award at the Cannes Film Festival.

But when it come to "Charks and Chaving" this young lady does bring up several good points which we took into this weeks latest production meeting.

Enjoy:

Any DeHart Spokesman For Sharks - NBC Today

Andy DeHart is the director of biological programs for the National Aquarium, Washington, D.C., as well as Discovery Channel shark adviser. As such we have been rather dubious of Andy's shark motivations after seeing him on Shark Week for a few seasons pitching what amounted to an ongoing and horrific shark attack blood fest in 2009.

But as they say, "you don't know a fellow until you have seen him on NBC's Today Show," at least that's what someone said in our office this morning.

Responding to a recent shark attack and unfortunate death in the Seychelles this week Andy offers up a well balanced, truly fact based assessment of shark and human interactions without the usual strong armed attempts to recast sharks as anything else but what they are, predators.

If you're looking for talking points about sharks, shark attacks, and counter points to the medias persistent bias and 1970's view on sharks, watch this mornings interview, it's about as good as it gets.



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Canadian White Shark Caught?

Great white shark caught in Bay of Fundy

CBC News, 17 August 2011.



A great white shark was caught this week in the Bay of Fundy, the first confirmed great white shark sighting in Atlantic Canada in more than six years.



The three-metre, 272-kilogram shark was caught in a fishing weir by fisherman Wayne Linkletter, near Economy, N.S.



Steve Campana, head of the Canadian Shark Research Laboratory, said the shark was likely looking for fish when it got trapped.



“They’re interested in fish and perhaps small seals and dolphins. It’s very unusual for a great white to attack a person and usually when they do, it’s because they look up and see a surfer on a surfboard and it resembles a seal, which is one of their favourite prey,” said Campana.



Campana added that great white sharks are often more threatened by humans, rather than the other way around.



“Canada is within the range of great white habitat, so they’ve undoubtedly been coming up here since time immemorial,” he said. “It’s just that the population of great whites used to be much larger, at least 10 times larger, just 30 years ago than it is now.”



Campana said the sharks are sometimes seen around Sable Island.



“The great whites will go up there and have a buffet meal of tasty young seal,” he said.



The shark was caught alive but later died.



The head was sent to Halifax’s Museum of Natural History for further study.

Tiger Beach Fall Shark Diving 2011 Bahamas

Bahamas Tiger sharks are calling and fall is just around the corner. There's no better way to celebrate the end of summer shark diving than being in the Bahamas surrounded by pristine offshore reefs, ancient wreck sites, sharks and wild dolphins.That's what we do here at Shark Diver each and every year with six new, and returning dive friends.



Mark your calendar and join us September-November in 2011 and again in 2012 for unique shark encounters close to home when the biggest sharks appear in the Bahamas.



This spring 2011 was a banner season for us entertaining multiple film crews, a site visit from the great folks over at the Bahamas Film Commission, and divers joining us from as far away as Italy!



Here's a look at Tiger Beach and the diving from RTSea Productions:


International partnership expands shark research in Palau

An international team of researchers, conservationists, commercial dive operators, and government agencies has joined together to deploy and operate an array of acoustic devices to monitor the movement of sharks in the waters of Palau. This array, the first of its kind in the waters of Micronesia, supports Palau’s world-leading effort to conserve and protect sharks within the whole of their Exclusive Economic Zone.


Initially established by the Micronesian Shark Foundation, the Save Our Seas Foundation, and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the 14-station array has recently undergone an expansion with funding from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), through the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS). PacIOOS is a program led by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.


The PacIOOS investment is targeted at increasing the density and geographic range of stations—providing a more precise and complete picture of shark movement in the Palauan archipelago.
“Sharks are a sentinel species in the global ocean and are important for ensuring the health of all ocean species in the future,” said PacIOOS Director Chris E. Ostrander. “Shark populations worldwide are threatened by increasing illegal fin fishing and a shifting climate. The Government of Palau’s dedication to conserving shark populations in their waters is an extraordinary step to helping shark populations recover and we are pleased to be able to assist, with our partners, in providing necessary information on shark movement, migration, and mating.”


PacIOOS is the Pacific Islands regional component of the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and is charged with providing timely, reliable, and accurate information on the coastal and open ocean waters of the Pacific Islands to residents and visitors alike.


For more information about this topic, please contact Chris Ostrander at (808) 956-5902 or chriso@hawaii.edu.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Shark Diver Guadalupe 2012 - Shark Diving Expeditions

Shark Diver M/V Horizon 2012

August


17-21, 22-26, 27-31


September


1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-26


October


8-12, 13-17, 18-22



Our 2011 pricing includes 12+ divers per trip max (compare other boats with 16-24 divers), U.S. shark and vessel crews, all shark diving permits, unlimited beer and wine, soft drinks, wet suits, weight systems, on board accommodations, meals, snacks, transfers from San Diego airport.

Shark Diver offers expedition forward pricing so you do not get hit with surprises down the line.

Solo shark divers are encouraged and never hit with a single supplement fee. Ever.

Book your 2012 Adventure Today

Departs from San Diego

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$3100 per person

Michael Reiser and Blue Sharks - Great Video

Michael Reiser is a new and upcoming underwater videographer who has been spending some time free diving with Blue sharks off Rhode Island this year with Joe Romeiro.

The results speak for themselves and this is as good as it gets:


Shooting Pistolas Underwater - Thrill? Yes

"We're gonna use this satellite dish to beam the image straight to the 80's so my...."

Classic, all hail You Tube for another quality wasted moment:


Monday, August 15, 2011

Media Message Kings RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation

New online video that caught our attention.

Dunlap program director Dr. Neil Hammerschlag decided to film a Lemon shark necropsy to use as an online teaching tool. The end result, edited together by Dunlap program multimedia specialist Christine Shepard, is below.

On a side note pay close attention to multimedia specialist Christine Shepard for this latest video. This is about as good as it gets in the modern media world for sharks.

Hat Tip Southern Fried Science


Faulty Shark Conservation Foundation Numbers?

It would appear so, and Mike aka Da Shark, has the unenviable task of bringing what amounts to conservation heresy to the masses this week.

It is clear that the conservation world does not fully understand the shark fin trade and we have said this many times before.

They understand the basic concepts behind the trade, they make assumptions based on the trade, but it is an argument driven by fragmented data and a whole lotta passion - it's a conservation Sword of Damocles.

Do we know how many fins are traded each year? Do we know where the trade markets originate, with what species and in what quantities? Do we understand emerging shark fin markets? Do we understand the global value of the shark fin trade? Do we understand the main players in the shark fin trade? Are they really based in Hong Kong? California? South East Asia?

There are so many unanswered questions that get pigeonholed into the "100-70 million sharks killed" statement. Which as we found out last month is a best guess, one that in the absence of actual data spawned a host of ridiculous shark conservation "statements of fact".

1. "a billion sharks a year are killed for fins"

2. "if we kill all the worlds sharks we will run out of oxygen"

3. "the oceans will completely collapse without sharks"

All of this amounts to a runaway train of conservation misinformation lead by many of the top tier NGO's and their aligned sub tier groups who have carried the party line of "100 million shark killed" to this moment in time.

They are also aware that this data is faulty at best, at worst a lie, and still used to make an argument. Case in point the drive to get California to ban the sale and possession of shark fins.
The fate of a proposed bill is to be decided this month based largely on the faulty 100 million quote.

There's ancillary evidence to support some big declines of certain shark species, and as the counter argument goes, we are saving sharks for the broader conservation effort the oceans in general.

So what's the deal about the numbers?

Numbers translate into credibility. The shark conservation movement has managed to pull off an outstanding coup with far ranging shark protection measures and even entire shark sanctuaries based on the faulty numbers.

All that is good for sharks, but now these numbers have been outed it is high time for the shark conservation world to get serious about the internal drivers of a global industry they seek to diminish and end.

Think of it as growing up. We can think of 100 million reasons why this new fact based understanding of a global industry, it's impacts on regional species, and global trade would benefit everyone...including the sharks.

Infographic by Save Our Seas Foundation.


Cheers,
Patric Douglas CEO
www.sharkdiver.com
www.sharkdivers.com
415.235.9410

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Isla Guadalupe Shark Research - Supporting CICIMAR 2011

Shark Diver has been a long time supporter of the CICIMAR shark tagging effort at Isla Guadalupe.

We initiated the program in tandem with Dr. Peter Klimley from U.C Davis back in 2002 and remain the first commercial operation to embrace shark research at the island. At the time graduate student Mauricio Hoyos was tapped to lead a nascent Mexican tagging and tracking program with white sharks.

Today Dr. Mauricio Hoyos is back for his 9th shark season and once again we're providing material support and operational support to his tracking efforts.

This year, thanks to our divers and strong demand again for our 5 day white shark expeditions we are providing Dr.Hoyos with a brand new satellite phone in 2011.

In 2010 a very unfortunate accident at the island lead to the deaths of three staff members from CONANP, they did not have the basic equipment to call for emergency medical help while at the north end of the island. It was a tragedy that really hit home with us.

As we begin another sold out 12 week commercial shark diving season at Isla Guadalupe we want to say "thank you" to the many divers who have been joining us since 2002. It is with your help and support that we are able to purchase everything from boat engines, to pangas, and electronic equipment that is essential for the ongoing work with sharks at the island.

Let's go shark diving!


Cheers,
Patric Douglas CEO
www.sharkdiver.com
www.sharkdivers.com
www.guadalupefund.org
415.235.9410


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Shark Defenders Action Alert

Admittedly one of the coolest Shark NGO logo and branding efforts goes to Shark Defenders.

They also have the pulse on all things related to Grey Nurse Sharks in Australia and they need your help.

As Da Shark in Fiji points out:


"Australia's Grey Nurse Sharks are critically endangered and it is imperative that we counteract the pressure by the NSW fishing lobby who wants to encroach on their aggregation sites. As SD correctly points out, individual testimonies are generally more effective than copy/pasting templates or joining petitions."

Submission close on Friday, August 26.

Please do submit your testimony.

Diana Nyad Long Distance Swim/Shark Team

Over at the RTSea Blog filmmaker and friend Richard Theiss has an in depth recap of the recent Diana Nyad swim.

Richard was hired by the Diana Nyad team to document her attempt at swimming across the Florida Straits this week.

He was also part of the dive safety shark team hired to provide non lethal swimmer protection for sharks and lead by shark conservationist and Director of the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative, Luke Tipple.

Here's the shark recap:


The Safety Diver Team (aka Shark Divers)


The safety diver team was headed up by my friend Luke Tipple - marine biologist, dive safety officer on many television productions, and Director of the Shark-Free Marina Initiative. Several other leading pro-shark professionals were enlisted to round out a team of four but due to scheduling conflicts as the weeks wore on, some would have to regrettably drop out and others were called upon to fill in. From the first meeting held to discuss safety diver protocol right up to the moment of the event, one mutual understanding between the divers and Diana existed: in the course of ensuring her safety in the presence of any sharks, only non-lethal techniques would be employed. No harm would come to any shark in the course of our duties.


So resolute were the divers in this regard, that when the New York Times reported on Diana's upcoming swim and erroneously described her safety team as "divers with spears," there was a momentary blow-up and some of the team members chose not to be involved with an endeavor that would have them characterized in such an anti-conservation manner. In the end, while many - including the divers - wanted to downplay the "shark-infested waters" angle and focus more on Diana and the swim itself, eventually Diana laid out her position regarding sharks so that members of the ocean and shark conservation community could be put at ease - despite the media's ongoing fascination with a sensationalistic shark angle.


Her is a portion of what she wrote for CNN's Health blog, The Chart,
"Our team has worked hard toward this world record. But it is of paramount importance to us that we achieve the dream in perfect harmony with all the creatures of the sea we encounter . In some regard, I am humbly asking the sharks of this particular ocean to allow me to skim across the surface of their home for about three days. I am duly respectful of them, their habits and their habitat, as is every individual on the Xtreme Dream Team.


We are humbly entering their world, their territory. Yes, let’s not be naïve. There is reason to take intelligent precautions for my safety. But it is imperative to me and every member of my team that those precautions be in the hands of a highly expert, experienced team of four divers who are versed for many years now in using cutting edge, nonlethal technology to deter sharks.


These divers dedicate their lives to raising awareness for sharks and persuading nations around the world to ban shark finning."

Of course, in times past, this proactive non-lethal approach would not necessarily have been the case. And I can understand any trepidation that Diana might have had regarding sharks. Consider her environment - constantly swimming, rotating her head to take a breath and check her position in relationship to nearby kayakers and support vessels. She just wouldn't have the luxury that scuba divers or snorklers have of looking around at what might be swimming underneath and that can certainly prey on the imagination.



Add to that, the media frenzy that surrounded swimmer Penny Palfrey, following her Cayman Island swim where she encountered several sharks that were mistakenly reported by the press as having been killed, and it became very clear to Diana that a pro-shark protocol sufficient to protect her and the sharks was needed. We had a range of steps and options with regard to any shark encounter, but rather than detail them here, you can read about them at Luke Tipple's website.



Ultimately, Diana's safety diver team consisted of Luke, myself, Capt. Rob MacDonald, and Capt. Jon Rose. We were ready to go; the August tropical storm/hurricane season was bearing down and the windows of opportunity were narrowing. When tropical storm Emily, which was initially bound for Cuba and then the eastern Florida coast, dissipated unexpectedly, a potential weather window had opened. The word went out: the time is now.




Complete Post.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tiger Rip Fest Nom, Nom, Nom

A pack of tiger sharks take turns to attack the carcass of a dead humpback whale in Onion Bay on Palm Island, near Townsville. The sharks, some up to a 5m in length, stick their snouts out of the water to rip the blubber off the carcass.

Yes we love this video, watching sharks do what they do "au naturel" is a sight to behold.

Behold:


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Shark Tunes Imelda May - Mayhem

The crew of Shark Diver is rarely in the office these days, we're spending too much time at sea with our sharky friends, but when we are home the tunes are cranked to "11" and the day begins with Imelda May and "Mayhem."

Call us old fashioned but this tune has a righteous hook.



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Behold The Swim Diaper - Evil Incarnate

As Americans enjoy the last big blast of summer and millions of children their quality water time I am here to reflect on the Hydrological Abomination that is - The Swim Diaper.

Call me old fashioned but back in my day there were "kiddies pools" and "adult pools," with an unmentioned social wall in between.

Kiddies did not play in adult pools for fear of incontinent faux pas. And for good reason, kiddies just want to let go anywhere, we know this, we were all once kiddies.

In my day we enjoyed screaming hours of water fun in the kiddie pool often overlooked by an adult of some sort who then went back to the 1970's social scene of the day.

Today at the ripe old age of 42 I am a member of a local gym that sports a very nice Olympic outdoor heated pool. Don't hate me for having a great gym. The pool has no signage but it is assumed that it is an adult pool as no kiddies are ever present.

That is until a few months ago.

Oh, it stared off innocently enough, a few Moms with their terribly cute offspring dipping legs in the shallow end to squeals of delight. Then there were more Moms and kiddies and soon, kiddies and Moms playing with water wings fully immersed in my lovely pristine waters and all sporting The Swim Diaper.

Now I am not a curmudgeon, at least not yet, but how do we know when one of these marvels of swim technology fails? It's too horrible to contemplate, and frankly it's beginning to gnaw on my mind during swim laps each day as I am forced to acknowledge Swim Diapered kiddies in my pool.

To the evil men and women who perpetrated the Swim Diaper on American Moms, a pox on you and your whole extended families. You do not have to swim in pools that have been tea bagged by Swim Diapered hoards across America. No you probably have your own pool at home with a big sign on it that says "No Children," because you know your product is neither fail safe nor sanitary.

What happened to the days of the Wet Banana? (see video).

I had fun with the Wet Banana, I didn't wear a Swim Diaper and if I or any of my little kiddie friends had a organic accident, we were shuttled off, cleaned up and sent back in for hours of screaming fun.

To the Moms who purchase Swim Diapers, you're not bad Moms, you have just bought into the marketing and hype surrounding this product that promises a Dihydrogen Monoxide Moon Shot when in fact delivers all the safety and diaper security of a Pinto with a side of biological horrors leached into my Adult Water Sanctuary.

Let's bring back the Wet Banana and lose the Swim Diaper, it's time for America to come back to safer waters.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Did this shark get beat up?

Watching Shark Week this year I noticed a show on Tigers in the Bahamas. The shark featured was a well known resident female who was in pristine condition at the start of the production.

The night segment was standard stuff for Shark Week, but it was this day after segment with the same shark that really caught my eye.

Does this shark look beat up to you?

More on this ongoing issue with Da Shark in Fiji.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Shark Conservation Numbers - Oops

Yeah, so as it turns out for the past five years we have been spouting out shark conservation numbers and, like everyone else in the room, we have had it all wrong.

Shockingly these numbers come from one source, you know the figure, 100 million sharks killed each year, or is it 70 million?

Either way these numbers represent an unsustainable figure, sharks are in decline and we'll run out of them soon if action is not taken.

At least that's the party line.

As a shark conservationist I had assumed that these figures often quoted by the major NGO's were sacrosanct.

As it turns out not only are these numbers a best guesstimate and not science fact, but the lower end of these numbers is 30 million sharks, and the researcher behind the cornerstone of the entire shark conservation movement is now coming forward to say, "wait one second folks".

Wait one second indeed.

If the global number is only 30 million sharks the shark conservation movement has a lot of explaining to do because there's a fine line between shark conservation and sustainable fisheries.

That's not to say that there's not a lot of anecdotal shark fisheries stories and evidence to support shark loss. The Blue sharks of California is one example.

I have to hand it to Dr Shelly Clarke for coming forward and to Sea Web for printing what amounts to shark conservation heresy. But like all movements, religious or otherwise, the facts often get in the way of the self developed narrative.

Somewhere in between a nascent global movement to protect sharks and the hard facts is the truth about shark conservation. Where we go from here and how credible that movement becomes will all rest in the numbers.

For us it's been a disturbing week of discovery.

More from Da Shark in Fiji.

Cheers,
Patric Douglas CEO
www.sharkdiver.com
www.sharkdivers.com
415.235.9410

Monday, August 1, 2011

White Shark Cage Diving Guadalupe 2011

With the start of our 2011 white shark season just days away we thought you might like a sneak peek at the island the world has come to know as, "The Island of the Great White Sharks."

This video was shot by Oceans Aloft with the help of Shark Diver at Isla Guadalupe in 2009.

Are you ready for Guadalupe? The 2011 clock is ticking down...

San Agustinillo, Oaxaca Shark Fishing Video

A regional shark fishing boat comes back to Playa San Agustinillo, Mexico with the days catch.

San Agustinillo is known as an upscale tourism hub in Mexico on the Pacific coast. Most of these sharks will be finned and the meat sold as "swordfish" in local markets.

San Agustinillo, Oaxaca Shark Fishing Video

A regional shark fishing boat comes back to Playa San Agustinillo, Mexico with the days catch.

San Agustinillo is known as an upscale tourism hub in Mexico on the Pacific coast. Most of these sharks will be finned and the meat sold as "swordfish" in local markets.