Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Man Catches Protected White Shark?

Image Ocean Research
The prize this week for "Simian, Rock Squatting, Douchebaggery with Sharks" goes to this guy.

Yes he's South African, and yes he's just caught himself a nice healthy white shark so he and his son could pose with this "protected animal" before watching its bleeding carcass come off the rocks and back into the ocean whence it came.

To say that we're angry about this is a disservice to the word angry, and you should be, because this is part of an ongoing pattern of animals killed in S.A that apparently enjoy some measure of conservation protection. On paper at least.

"The unidentified man, who told locals he was from Cape Town, apparently spent nearly an hour getting the shark on to the rocks, where he measured it before posing for pictures on Friday." 

Image Ocean Research
Wolfgang Leander, the wizened sage of the shark conservation movement, has been raising awareness about the tragic S.A shark disappearing act for several years now and yet it still happens, and now we have the visual proof to back his many blog posts up.

So before one more so called shark conservationist in S.A stands up to cry about sharks, before we are subjected to another pretty You Tube video from S.A featuring a bimbette riding the fin of a now dead and poached Tiger shark, let's get real about shark conservation.

It starts with this guy and a call for prosecution, the ensuing media madness, and a follow through to see that it is done. This cannot stand.

We understand that S.A is a world away from conservation norms, but to those who would claim that they are the leaders of any conservation movement with sharks in S.A we say "show us what you got".

It's your backyard and this guy just took a great big dump in it.

For this shark at least - time has ran out.

Giving Away URL's - For the Sharks

Years ago when shark conservation was not "in vogue," we were at the forefront of a nascent movement with a few others in the industry to create conservation change.

We started with the Isla Guadalupe Fund back in 2006 and responding to a Tiger shark killed in the Bahamas were the brainchild behind the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative.

Along the way we acquired a number of first rate URL's for use on shark conservation projects that ranged from a set aside global fund for sharks to a social network for sharks.

Alas, time was not on our side, and as it turned out there's only so much one company can do in any given calendar year. Our time has become increasingly limited as Shark Diver grows and we celebrate a decade of shark diving.

To that end we are offering up three URL's to those who might like them in the service of sharks.

The caveat is these URL's will only go to funded entities with a written game plan. We would like these URL's to work for shark conservation and to ultimately be succesful.

Let us know if you are interested by sending an email to staff@sharkdiver.com:




USA Today Shark-Free Marinas 2011

The revolution continues with 110 marinas now signed up to be Shark-Free and growing. 

Not mentioned in this article are the many folks world wide who became early adopters of the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative along with the fine folks from Fiji who saw this initiative and adopted it, creating the first actual Shark-Free Marinas in the world back in 2009.

Additionally kudos to Old Bahama Bay Marina in the Bahamas who went Shark-Free in 2010.

Less than two years after its creation, SharkFreeMarinas.com lists more than 110 marinas and businesses from eight countries — including 78 in the USA— as either shark-free or shark-friendly.

The initiative, organized by the Humane Society of the United States, the animal-welfare grantor Pegasus Foundation and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, which raises funds for marine-conservation research, works to persuade marinas to either refuse to allow sharks to be landed at their docks or to discourage the recreational killing of sharks. Marinas are registered as shark-free in the first case, shark-friendly in the second.

"This is a way to help the shark population, to save species of fish in our waters," said Tibe Larson, manager of shark-free Bonita Bay Marina in Bonita Springs, Fla.

Bob Hueter, a shark specialist at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Fla., which supports the initiative, said he's not against bringing a shark in once in a while for food. "I've published recipes for shark," he said. But, "too often," Hueter adds, "people bring a shark in, hang it up to show it off, maybe take the jaws, and then dump it."

Without a place to show off a dead shark, fishers are more likely to practice catch-and-release, he said.

"We used to fish for sharks, but I got out of that business close to 20 years ago, when it occurred to me that sharks were being depleted," said Phil Lobred, general manager and partner at H&M Landing, a shark-free sport-fishing landing in San Diego. "Usually, it's the younger crowd who wants to say they caught a shark: It's a macho kind of thing," he said.

In its most recent study on shark depletion, the National Marine Fisheries Service said that recreational fishermen along USA's Atlantic and Gulf coasts killed more than 200,000 sharks per year from 2004 through 2008.

SharkFreeMarinas.com members get signs with their shark-free or shark-friendly status, free ads on the initiative's website and educational literature.

Initiative director Luke Tipple, an Australian marine biologist and TV personality, said he doesn't expect the program to stop the recreational harvesting of sharks. However, he said he thinks it can have a positive impact on an important segment of the shark population: big breeding adults that trophy hunters target.

"They are selectively removing sharks that can contribute to the recovery of their species," Tipple said. "It's not how many sharks we save. It's how many we can protect."
Contributing: Lollar and Ruane also report for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla.