Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fiji on Predation - Great Stuff

Recently Da Shark was filming his favorite subjects - sharks, when an offscreen actor snuck in and displayed some canny predation moves on a tiny ramora.

The critter in question was a GT or Giant trevally, according to Da Shark these animals are quite the predators in their own right.

Kudos to Da Shark for this Nat Geo quality underwater series.

If you want to shoot something similar you're in luck, Da Shark is one of the owners behind Beqa Adventure Divers and this is his back yard, filled with sharks;)

More here.

Deserving of some Major Credit - Stefanie Brendl

For the past three years Stefanie Brendl has been in the "eye of the hurricane" for sharks.

As a shark conservationist who began her voyage to save sharks having owned a shark tourism operation on Oahu, she's become the embodiment of determination, grit, and political conservation savvy.

Haven't heard of her yet? Watch this video:

Direct Action Failure? Sea Shepherds Next Act

While Sea Shepherd congratulates it's self on an eco win this year, the second act of it's direct action policy is playing out in Japan.

There's always a second act.

As was the case last year, Japan is considering moving whaling operations to fragile coastal waters targeting whale and dolphin populations within Japans territorial limits.

"Jun Morikawa, an academic at Rakuno Gakuen University and the author of a book about Japanese whaling, says he is concerned that because fewer whales were killed in the Southern Ocean, Japan may want to hunt more whales and dolphins in its own waters."

This is Japans ultimate trump card, regional whaling pressure on a scale not seen since the end of WW2, and a disaster for coastal whale populations.

Does Sea Shepherd have a plan for this outcome?

Probably not, as their thin veneer of legitimacy and argument against scientific whaling would all but disappear in the face of Japans navy and coast guard vessels. A similar Catch 22 to Sea Shepherds now completely failed 30 year anti-sealing effort in Canada, which culminated in the loss of a two million dollar vessel, impounded and then sold off by the Canadian Coast Guard in 2008.

Canada has recently signed a multi-million dollar trade agreement for seal products with China, the largest trade agreement of it's kind for seals, and a complete repudiation of 30 years worth of direct action policy on the part of Sea Shepherd.

Whaling must end, but is direct action the method in which long term success can be achieved, or like a water balloon, are Sea Shepherds actions just putting pressure on other animals that, until now, have enjoyed relative safety and security off the coast of Japan?

Story here.

"It's like a fishbowl full of whale sharks"

ISLA MUJERES, MEXICO - U.S. and Mexican scientists believe they are close to solving one of the shark world's great mysteries.

They want to know why whale sharks, the largest shark species, gather each year by the hundreds in the teal-blue waters off this Yucatan Peninsula barrier island.

"It's like a fishbowl full of whale sharks," said Robert Hueter, director of the shark research center at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla. "We are witnessing a spectacle of nature down there that we don't fully understand."

Hueter, Mexican biologist Rafael de la Parra and a group of other marine scientists are trying to make sense of the big shark reunion, an event dubbed the "afuera." The word means "outside" in Spanish, and it was the name de la Parra initially used to describe to the phenomenon.

"They are showing up in an area outside the area the Mexican government set up for their protection and outside the area we had normally studied them," de la Parra said.

Complete Story.