Friday, February 27, 2015

Great White Shark in the Water?????

Stop the presses! News alert! A Great White Shark is "prowling" in the ocean off the coast of Washington.

A headline in the vancitybuzz is screaming "Large great white shark prowling Washington State shores" with a large picture of a Great White Shark accompanying the headline. 
 

The article states "The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is warning locals in the coastal town of Ocean Shores, located west of Seattle, that a great white shark is swimming in the area."

No way! There is a shark swimming in the ocean?! Who knew!? 

In related news. There have been reports of cars on the street and the department of transportation has advised people to be careful crossing the street. 

When will the media learn that the real news would be "No sharks swimming in the Ocean!" a headline that would be much more scary.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Memorial announced for "Island of the Great White Shark" filmmaker, Richard Theiss

A memorial for Richard Theiss, our friend, underwater filmmaker and ocean advocate has been announced for 7 pm, March 20, 2015 at the aquarium of the pacific in Long Beach.
 




His son Bryan posted this on his FB.

I'm pleased to share with Family, Friends, and Colleagues of Richard Theiss, that a Memorial Service has been planned for Friday, March 20th @ 7pm at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA. 

Please join us as we pay tribute to an incredibly thoughtful, caring and multi- talented man.
The Family would like to take a moment to thank Aquarium of the Pacific CEO, Dr. Jerry Schubel, for his gracious hospitality in allowing us to hold this Event. 

It's asked that if you plan to attend the Memorial Service that you comment here or message me directly so that we may gauge a guest count. However there will be plenty of room and ALL are invited. We also encourage you to share this announcement amongst your Industries, Committees, and Groups to ensure all are aware of this Date & Time. 

I thank you for your comments and well wishes over the past couple weeks and look forward to seeing you very soon! ~Bryan Theiss

Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way

Long Beach, CA 90802

 
Richard spent many years with us at Guadalupe Island, filming his Great White Sharks. His favorite shark was "Mystery" a gigantic female who is a regular at the island. The last time I saw Richard, just a few months ago, he asked about her. Richard was passionate about his sharks and the oceans until the very end.



Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Last chance, if you want to work with great white sharks!

This is a reminder that all interested applicants need to submit their resumes by March 1st.

Shark Diver is a commercial shark diving company, that's been in business for over 14 years and has a heavy emphasis on conservation. Our goals at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and  industry, while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the media and research partners.

We are looking for a SCUBA instructor for our 2015 Great White Shark season at Guadalupe Island.  Our season runs from August to mid November and the position is full time during that time.
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.dpuf
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.dpuf
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners. - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.dpuf
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners. - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.dpuf
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners. - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.d



The duties include the supervision of the divers, familiarizing the non-certified divers with the hookah gear, (discover scuba) ensuring the safety of the dive operation as well as general boat-crew work. He/she is also responsible for customer service, welcoming and checking in the guests, when they arrive on the boat. Additional duties include the production of a trip DVD and helping our divers with their gear.

The ideal candidate has a degree in, or is studying marine biology, has extensive experience diving with sharks, great customer service skills,  a basic knowledge of video and photo editing and prior live-aboard work experience. The ability to pay attention to details, adhere to established safety protocols and follow the directions of the captain are absolute must have's for the successful candidate. Teaching status, insured SCUBA instructor rating, with current first aid certification is also required.

Our vessel is registered and based in the US and all our crew members must be able to legally work here. A valid US passport/passport card, or a foreign passport with a valid work visa are required to work on the boat. No exceptions.

We are offering a competitive salary, the opportunity to work with a great team and to get up close and personal with great white sharks. What other job let's you say that there are great white sharks in your "office?"


This could be your "office"

Since it takes time to get to know the individual sharks and their behavior, we are looking for a candidate who is willing to commit to more than one season.

One of our characters at Guadalupe Island.

If you meet our qualifications, we welcome your resume. Please send it to sharkoperator@gmail.com, no phone calls please!  The application deadline is March. 1 2015 We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Let's go shark diving!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO


About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

We lost the "Shark Lady" Eugenie Clark.

National Geographic reported today that Eugenie Clark, an American marine biologist who fell in love with sharks as a child with her nose pressed against an aquarium tank—and whose research on the much maligned species earned her the nickname "Shark Lady"—died Wednesday morning in Sarasota, Florida. She was 92.

Photograph by David Doubilet    
Eugenie Clark was an inspiration to generations of ocean explorers and had a special passion for sharks. She was one of the first to disspell  as stupid and deadly. After the movie "Jaws" hit the theaters, she wrote and article in National Geographic titled  "Sharks: Magnificent and Misunderstood."

You can read the National Geographic obituary here  and you can find out more about this inspirational woman here.

Thank you Eugenie, for your passion and inspiration. I hope you're out there exploring new worlds.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver 

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Are we to blame for shark attacks?

Today, I read this piece in the Huff Post. Paul Watson of sea shepherd infamy is explaining in staggering scientific fashion (sharkasm intended), why the number of shark attacks seems to be increasing. Watson is saying:

"Shark attacks are on the rise and the reason for this is entirely the fault of humanity." 

To start with, we are diminishing bio-diversity in the ocean. Overfishing has removed 90% of the fish from the sea since 1950. Every single commercial fishery is in a state of decline. This is not just bad news for humans who eat fish, but it is very bad news for sharks, orcas, whales, seals and dolphins who have no choice but to eat fish. In other words, starvation is a very big motivation for opportunistic attacks.

Hmm, what!? Because there are not enough fish, sharks are attacking humans? Wait, didn't I hear that the seal populations are increasing and GWS as well as Orcas eat seals? 

source

While I was contemplating on how to disseminate and respond to this stellar piece of fiction writing, I saw that DaShark beat me to it. He is doing it much more eloquently than I ever could here

In his colorful way, DaShark reasons: What a load of horseshit - predator/prey cycles anybody? And are we only decimating the prey - or is it not rather so that we have disproportionally targeted predator populations among which the Sharks? 

The truth is that there is not one single documented case of more Shark attacks occurring because of overfishing!

In fact, when it comes to some GWS populations, we may be experiencing the exact opposite! Having protected the Pinnipeds, we are now seeing more GWS in California, the East Coast of the USA and also Western Australia! And there are authoritative voices claiming that the Tiger Shark population of Hawaii may be increasing owing to the protection of Sea Turtles!


That is only part of his blog. You can read the rest of what he has to say here

Once again, excellent insight DaShark!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Is saving the Oceans saving people as well?

Channel 6  in San Diego aired a nice report on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and my friend Phil Zerofski, chief collector at the institute and owner of Seacamp San Diego. They are using stuff they find in the ocean for all kinds of research, including curing cancers.


I got my start as a SCUBA instructor with Seacamp San Diego and still work with their summer camp every year. If you have a kid that's interested in marine sciences, I can highly recommend their summer programs. They are not only educational, but a lot of fun to boot. Many lifelong friendships have started there, including some of mine.


If you want more information on Seacamp San Diego, visit their website at www.seacamp.com or call them at 1-800 SEACAMP

By the way, in the video they say that Phil is diving to 1200ft, they should have said 12 meters or about 40 ft.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Former Shark Diver CEO saving the Oceans?

Since I took over Shark Diver from Patric Douglas on January 1 2012, he's been a very busy fellow. I'll let him tell you personally what he's been up to. Never one to follow the herd, he has used the same vision that has turned Shark Diver into the premier shark diving company, to create his next project.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

So here is what Patric has been up to, in his own words.

I consider myself to be one of the luckiest fellows ever to have welded up a shark cage and set forth on the high seas of the Pacific to make my fortunes.

Well, it didn't quite happen like that, but 12 years ago the world was a different place.

Social media had yet to be born, digital cameras were still in development, and smartphones were still dumb phones...oh and people hated sharks.

Seems a bit anachronistic now, people hating sharks, but believe me 12 years ago welding up a shark cage was a really big deal.

So was the thought of creating a thriving commercial shark diving business 210 miles off the coast of Mexico at a tiny speck of land called Isla Guadalupe. But thanks to some fellow adventurers, one of them being Greg Grivetto with Horizon Charters, we forged ourselves into one of the best little shark diving companies on the planet - Shark Diver.

For the next decade I had the time of my life. Who would not want to be in the company of simply Titanic sharks each year and call that a job? Additionally, I got to name a few like Shredder (now departed) and Kimel.

We created a few unique conservation programs along the way, started a few shark tagging and research programs, did a lot of cool film and TV, and I dabbled in a blog that pissed off absolutely everyone in the now growing, "shark diving industry."

Let me say a few words about that.

With few exceptions, most everything I wrote about over those many years has come to pass. I came into the shark world as a seasoned tourism and travel veteran having run 21 day tours all over good mother earth. Through those travels I got to see tourism and travel development in many countries including wild animal tourism development grow and thrive and...in many cases go wrong.

The shark diving world was growing and changing, my goal was to be a voice, and it was a great time to have a voice - at the very beginning.

Fast forward to 2012. It had now been well over a decade in the shark biz, the industry had grown and was in the middle of the 'teenage years' with social media adept youngsters trying to make their mark with sharks by riding them in bikinis - or putting bird cages on their heads.

I have never been a fan of teenagers, or their antics, and that got me thinking.

Was I going to spend the rest of my life with sharks?

The answer, as it tuned out, was a resounding - no.

I have always been one to tackle big things in life. To tread boldly where few have gone before and to create, build, and develop new ideas and new ways of doing things. So I traded Shark Diver for a very big bag of cash (thanks Martin Graf) and contemplated an Ex-Shark Diving CEO's Second Act.

Next BIG oceans idea - saving reefs - with design
A second act is a tall order, you do not always succeed, you sometimes fail, but you always learn.

At the ripe old age of 46 I am more about success than failure so I got the idea for Reef Worlds and went from there.

So here's the BIG IDEA.

Near shore resort reefs are in severe decline around the world. This is best exampled by the Caribbean where close to 80% of reefs are in decline or gone completely.

What *if* resorts around the world treated their near shore reefs as they did with their landscaping, what if they actually considered the oceans past the high tide mark offering an estimated 500 million tourists each year a chance to interact, become educated, and save the oceans at the same time?

To accomplish this resorts would need an incentive. Their new house reefs would have to be fully monetized because resort developers and resort management companies like Starwood do not do anything that does not add to the bottom line - and rightfully so.

This was the brainchild behind Reef Worlds. Re imagining what denuded house reefs could be, could look like, and could do for regional habitat with artificial reefs or as we call them - Dynamic Reefs.

Not all resorts need reef rehabilitation, but as we discovered in Dubai, whole coastlines without reefs are a perfect match for what we had in mind and it's working.

So, this is what an Ex-Shark Diving CEO does with his time, that and fly fish, or dabble in wave power companies, and yes I am writing a blog. But cringe not dear reader for no one on this blog is taken to task.The funny thing about coral people, none of them wear bird cages on their heads and all of them are struggling mightily to save reefs with simply great ideas.

Kind of like where the shark world was back in 2003 when an out of sight, out of mind problem called "shark finning" was the big issue of the day.

We can choose to sit on the sidelines and watch things change, or we can be the agents of change. Let me tell you, being a change agent is a lot of fun, once you try it, it will change your life forever.

Patric Douglas CEO
Reef Worlds









About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Volunteer opportunity for shark conservation in Fiji

Our friends at Projects Abroad have an opportunity to volunteer with their shark conservation program in Fiji. This is an awesome project and I can personally vouch for the fact that you will have the time of your life, doing something worthwhile. I had the privilege to go along on a tagging trip and it was a ton of fun.

This is their posting: This is truly the chance of a life time to work on pioneering shark protection projects alongside respected scientists and shark research experts.

video

This project is perfect for anyone with a passion for marine wildlife and the great outdoors. The Fiji Shark Conservation Project offers you the chance to get up close to some of the most endangered and mis-understood animals in the world. Volunteers are welcome on a gap year, a career break, for university research, or even as an opportunity to experience a very different way of life!

Diving with sharks

Working directly with the Fiji Shark Conservation Project, conducting the work of internationally renowned shark research scientists, volunteers will be directly involved in scientific shark research work, as well as actively working within the local community on mangrove reforestation, recycling and shark education initiatives. The volunteers and the conservation work are supervised by our resident marine biologist and local staff. We also work closely with other local and international marine conservation organisations, including the WWF Global Shark Programme.

The project is based in Pacific Harbour, on the south coast of Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, just 3 hours from Nadi.


Volunteers do not need any previous diving or shark research experience to take part in the Fiji Conservation Project. However, volunteers need to be able to swim, be medically fit to scuba dive and have a good command of the English language to get the most out of the Shark Conservation project. This project is not available for people who do not want to take part in the diving.
Volunteers who have not dived before receive the PADI Open Water dive course during their first two weeks on the project. Volunteers with an existing dive certification equivalent to the PADI Open Water qualification receive the PADI Advanced course. After the dive course, volunteers will also receive the Project Aware Shark Conservation Diver Course. Those who already have the Advanced certification or higher will receive the Project Aware Shark Conservation Diver Course during their first week, and an extra Shark Feed Dive during their project time.

You can get all the information on this link: http://www.projects-abroad.co.uk/volunteer-projects/conservation-and-environment/shark-conservation/fiji/

This project is of course at the same location we go to dive with bull sharks in May. If you can't volunteer for this project, maybe you want to come out diving with us and support Beqa Adventure Divers, the outfit who was responsible for creating the first underwater national park in Fiji.


Our trips are from May 9-17, 15-24 and 22-31. For more information call 619.887.4275, email us at staff@sharkdiver.com or visit us on the web here.

Let's go to Fiji!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Do you want to work with Great White Sharks?

Shark Diver is a commercial shark diving company, that's been in business for over 14 years and has a heavy emphasis on conservation. Our goals at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and  industry, while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the media and research partners.

We are looking for a SCUBA instructor for our 2015 Great White Shark season at Guadalupe Island.  Our season runs from August to mid November and the position is full time during that time.
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.dpuf
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.dpuf
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners. - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.dpuf
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners. - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.dpuf
The goals for us here at Shark Diver are to be advocates for our sharks and our industry while delivering top shark species encounters to our divers, the mainstream media, and research partners. - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/#sthash.DQoUz7KI.d



The duties include the supervision of the divers, familiarizing the non-certified divers with the hookah gear, (discover scuba) ensuring the safety of the dive operation as well as general boat-crew work. He/she is also responsible for customer service, welcoming and checking in the guests, when they arrive on the boat. Additional duties include the production of a trip DVD and helping our divers with their gear.

The ideal candidate has a degree in, or is studying marine biology, has extensive experience diving with sharks, great customer service skills,  a basic knowledge of video and photo editing and prior live-aboard work experience. The ability to pay attention to details, adhere to established safety protocols and follow the directions of the captain are absolute must have's for the successful candidate. Teaching status, insured SCUBA instructor rating, with current first aid certification is also required.

Our vessel is registered and based in the US and all our crew members must be able to legally work here. A valid US passport/passport card, or a foreign passport with a valid work visa are required to work on the boat. No exceptions.

We are offering a competitive salary, the opportunity to work with a great team and to get up close and personal with great white sharks. What other job let's you say that there are great white sharks in your "office?"


This could be your "office"

Since it takes time to get to know the individual sharks and their behavior, we are looking for a candidate who is willing to commit to more than one season.

One of our characters at Guadalupe Island.

If you meet our qualifications, we welcome your resume. Please send it to sharkoperator@gmail.com, no phone calls please!  The application deadline is March. 1 2015 We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Let's go shark diving!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Friday, February 6, 2015

We lost a great friend and shark advocate.

Yesterday, we lost Richard Theiss, a nice guy and great underwater filmmaker. His son Bryan posted the following on his facebook page.



Richard Hartman Theiss
9/25/1951 - 2/5/2015
              

Today I lost my Father, Best Friend, Unwavering Supporter and Mentor. The world lost today a Musician, Oceanographer, Wildlife Conservationist and Animal Rights Activist. The Heavens gained today the most Compassionate, Sincere, Caring, and Thoughtful person I've ever known. I miss you with every breath Dad!

The Family would like to welcome any Photos, Stories and Memories you'd like to share. You are welcome to post here, private message me them directly, or email me at brtheiss@msn.com


I've know Richard for over a decade and remember him for his love of the Great White Sharks. He came out with us for many, many expeditions, filming his documentary "Island of the Great White Shark". We shared some good times, over the years and I remember him always asking about his favorite shark "Mystery"

The last time I saw Richard was last year, when he told me that he was looking forward to spending time with his son Bryan in Hawaii. Sadly that time turned out to be much too short.

Richard, you will be missed my friend!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver


About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Do you want to join a researcher at Guadalupe Island?

Every year we get hundreds of emails from people asking us, how they can get involved with shark research. This has lead to Shark Diver teaming up with Nicole Nasby-Lucas from MCSI to offer special science expeditions to Guadalupe Island. These special science expedition give our divers a chance to actively participate in the Great White Shark photo ID project and also learn about the results of various studies, involving our sharks at Isla Guadalupe.

The response from our divers has been overwhelming. Last year's science expeditions filled up in just a couple of weeks and for this season, we already sold out our September and October expeditions. Right now, we do have a a few spaces left on our November 11-16 expedition.

Don't miss your chance to be part of this exciting research, which up to today has resulted in over 160 sharks being identified at Guadalupe Island. Some individuals like "Bite Face", "Jaques", "Thor" and "Chugey" are regular visitors and have been seen every year since we started going to Guadalupe Island. You will learn the differences in behavior and migration between male, female, juvenile and adult sharks along with many other interesting things about Great White Sharks and sharks in general.

Nicole has a wealth of information and is excited about sharing her knowledge with you, our divers and research assistants. She will teach you how to identify the individual sharks and tell you about their history at Guadalupe Island. Just imagine, next time you watch "shark week", you might recognize the shark and realize that it's the one you came face to face with. The one that looked you straight into the eyes!

If you would like to be part of this experience, we recommend that you book now, since this is your last chance to join a scientific expedition in 2015.

The price for this trip of a lifetime is $3300 and it includes a copy of the photo ID book, containing all the identified sharks at Isla Guadalupe. We will also provide digital underwater cameras for you to use and you'll get a DVD of your trip to take home and share with your friends. If we encounter a new shark during your expedition, the group will be offered and opportunity to name the shark!

This special science expedition will run from September 11-16 2015

To book your expedition, or for more information, call us toll free at 855.987.4275 or 619.887.4275. You can also reach us via email at staff@sharkdiver.com or visit http://www.sharkdiver.com/dive-packages/great-white-shark-diving-science-expedition/

Let's go shark diving!

Cheers!

Martin Graf
CEO
Shark Diver
 
About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wanna join us on a film expediton to visit the Great White Sharks at Guadalupe Island?

Join Shark Diver and Emmy award winning underwater cinematographer Peter Kragh at the peak of Isla Guadalupe's shark season, to learn about the many facets of underwater documentary film making. Whether you are just an amateur or an emerging filmmaker, this is an opportunity to get some expert tips to improve your videos and, of course, see some of the greatest sharks in the world.

Peter Kragh
Peter is intimately familiar with sharks. He has filmed everything from little horn sharks to whale sharks and great whites and worked on many Shark Week episodes. He will be there to help you improve your photography skills and experience. There will also be screenings of some of Peters work. With all his diving experience from around the world, Peter can also help you find that "secret" location for your next diving adventure.

Here is a short video, showcasing Peter's work.


Demo Reel 2014 from Peter Kragh on Vimeo.

As a professional cameraman for over 10 years, Peter has worked on well known BBC and National Geographic projects like Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life and Secret Life of Predators. In 2013 he won an Emmy award for outstanding cinematography on the Nat Geo series "Untamed Americas". He has also worked on multiple Imax films: Deep Sea 3D, Hubble 3D, Under The Sea 3D, and Journey to the South Pacific 3D.

With all his experience filming both underwater and topside, you are sure to learn a lot from Peter. This is a unique opportunity to both improve your filming skills and have an experience of a lifetime, coming face to face with the Great White Sharks at Isla Guadalupe.


Come join us and Peter on either September 4-9 2015 or September 9-14 2015 for a trip of a lifetime.
Cost is $3,300 for a 5 day live aboard trip, leaving from and returning to San Diego.

For more information visit www.sharkdiver.com/dive-packages/great-white-shark-diving-film-expedition/ or call us at 619.887.4275 toll free 855.987.4275 email staff@sharkdiver.com

You can also contact us via our website http://www.sharkdiver.com//bookings/

I hope to see you this in September.

Let's go shark diving!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

Peter is intimately familiar with sharks. He has filmed everything from little horn sharks to whale sharks and great whites and worked on many Shark Week episodes. He will be there to help you improve your photography skills and experience. There will also be screenings of some of Peters work. With all his diving experience from around the world, Peter can also help you find that “secret” location for your next diving adventure. - See more at: http://www.sharkdiver.com/dive-packages/great-white-shark-diving-film-expedition/#sthash.Jnwq8Fgl.dpuf
About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

The "baddest" shark at Isla Guadalupe?


I want to introduce you to some of the sharks we have met over the last 14 years at Guadalupe Island.
Thanks to the Photo Id project we are able to individually identify the sharks and keep track of who's visiting the Island each year. We are now at over 155 different sharks, some of them having been seen at Guadalupe every years, since we started going there in 2001.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the ID project here and now I want to start out by introducing you to the guy who got me hooked on shark diving.

"Shredder"
"Shredder" was one of the real characters at Guadalupe Island. Never the most careful shark, he definitely kept us entertained an on our toes. Most divers recognized him by his shredded dorsal fin. While some called him "Scar" and others "Cal Ripfin", to me, he has always been "Shredder". Most people think that he got his name because of his "shredded" dorsal fin. That is actually not the case. He got his name a few years before he "shredded" his fin. On the very first trip to Guadalupe Island one of the divers went up to the captain of the "Horizon" and told him "A shark just bit through your anchor line". Knowing how thick the anchor line is, the captain doubted that the shark bit all the way through it and went to the bow, to check things out. There were indeed just a few feet of anchor line dangling over the  rail and just as he got there a shark jumped up, trying to get the rest. .... that is how "Shredder" got his name, he shredded the anchor line.

"Shredder's unique dorsal fin"
Biting anchor lines were not the only thing he was famous for. He loved showing off for our divers. On one particular day, he kept swimming back and forth, just inches from the cages for 7 solid hours. It was during a day, where we couldn't put any attractant or baits into the water. That didn't stop him from checking out our divers all day long.  Swimming by the cages, looking each diver in the eyes, the exactly how he got me hooked on shark diving.

Hi I'm Shredder!
 Another thing that made "Shredder" unique was the fact that he didn't seem to have gotten the memo that great white sharks have a hierarchy based on size. Normally, the smaller sharks defers to the bigger ones, but not Shredder. He was definitely not intimidated by anyone.

Shredder with Dr. "Mau"
He was also a shark that loved to breach! I have seen him do that at least 5 or 6 times.

"Shredder" was at Guadalupe Island from 2001 to 2012 and hasn't been seen since then. I don't know what happened to him. Maybe he got caught by a fishing boat, maybe he didn't defer to a bigger shark and died. I prefer to think that he's still out there, swimming in the vast oceans and will return some day. It's not unprecedented that a shark stays away from Guadalupe for years at a time. We had one show up after an absence of 8 years.


If you want to come out with us and see if "Shredder" returns this season, call us at 855.987.4275 or visit http://www.sharkdiver.com//bookings/

Let's go shark diving!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Australia. Sabotaging Eco Tourism?

I hate to say it, but Australia is at it again. After hunting down a tagged shark for simply being too close to shore, they now have declared their intention to "opt out of protections for 5 shark species".


The guardian writes that The government is submitting a “reservation” against three species of thresher shark and two species of hammerhead shark listed as protected migratory species under the UN-administered convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals.
  
The five types of shark were among 31 species granted new protection status at a convention summit in November. A record 21 species of shark and ray, including sawfish, were put on the list along with polar bears, whales and gazelles.

Although Australia did not object to the listings in November, it is now seeking to opt out of the commitment to cooperate with other countries to ensure the five migratory shark species do not become extinct. The expanded list is due to come into effect on 8 February.


Since sharks are a vital part of a healthy ocean environment it seems that the government is not too concerned about losing all the tourists who visit Australia to dive and enjoy the incredible reefs they have. The only ones they care about is the fishermen. The article quotes Alexia Wellbelove, senior program manager at Humane Society International "the opt-out was to appease commercial and recreational fishers, some of whom catch threshers and hammerhead sharks as primary catch or as bycatch for other species. “This is a political decision, it has nothing to do with conservation, which is pretty pathetic really,” she said. “Australia has always spoken out against other countries making reservations under these kinds of treaties, so this move is really concerning.

The article states "A spokesman for the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, said the government’s move was to avoid “unintended consequences” for fishers in Australia, who would risk being fined up to $170,000 and face two years in jail even if they obeyed their permits.  

So they say that their laws are too harsh for the fishermen who kill these sharks and instead of changing the punishment for the killing, they just kill the protection for these sharks. Sound reasoning indeed. (sharkasm intended)

Read the entire article here 

Dashark's reaction here 

I recommend that you send your opinion to the Australian tourism website here and click on the feedback link.  You can also visit their Facebook page and leave a comment there.

If the politicians won't listen to us, maybe their tourist board is more receptive.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver
 
About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shark Attack in Australia? What really happened.

Shark Attack in Australia? Part 2


Yesterday we talked about the teenager who got "attacked" by a shark here

Today he admits that it wasn't really the sharks fault. Watch the video below.
Sam Smith now says that the shark would have ignored him, had he left him alone.






Funny, how the commentary still refers to it as an attack.

I'm glad the kid is going to be OK and that they reported what actually happened. Hopefully that will reduce the hysteria that usually follows an incident like this.

Cheers,

Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Shark Attack in Australia?

Sky news reports that a teenager was attacked by a shark off Australia's east coast.
The article states that Sam Smith was spearfishing off Mollymook beach, 140 miles (230km) south of Sydney, when a shark bit his hand. The 17-year-old's friend Luke Sisinni said they were both filming when they spotted the shark, with Sam swimming down to get footage. Luke told the Ulladulla Times: "He said it spun around and started coming for him, so he stabbed it with his spear to try and scare it off, but it just went ballistic and bit him."

So these kids are spearfishing and when a shark comes to investigate, one swims down to film it. When the shark turns and swims towards him, he stabs him with his spear and is surprised that the shark went ballistic on him.

I think a headline saying "Teen attacks shark, shark fights back" would be more appropriate. This another typical media hype. Anytime a shark bites a human, they call it a shark attack.

You can read the whole article here

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Is this the way to promote shark conservation?

Diver interaction with sharks is getting way out of hand. Everyone is trying to outdo each other, to do a "world's first", "world's closest", "world's best" etc. We have talked about these stupid stunts here, here, here and many, many other times.

The latest entry into the "world's closest" category, is Aaron Gekoski from London, who claims to have taken the "worlds closest selfie" with a shark.

source

The London Evening Standard writes

"Mr Gekoski, who lives in East Dulwich, south east London, who says his pictures are the world’s closest shark selfie, added: “We did two dives to get the perfect images - and quite a lot happened during them."

“At one point it all kicked off and I got hit in the face by a tail. I also got a face full of claspers - which is what we call shark genitalia. That was unpleasant."

source

“At another point, one of the sharks got spooked and made a grab for my camera. I could have lost my fingers with that one."

“Perhaps the most terrifying moment of all was when one of the sharks grabbed on to the buoy line just above my head. I had no idea what was going on at the time - the video footage shows me looking bemused at the camera with it all going on above me. I was very lucky not to get tangled in it or dragged away. That was quite close.”

So why does Mr Gekoski think it's a good idea to take these selfies, when obviously it seems quite dangerous and they had no idea what to expect from the sharks?

Here is his explanation 

“Myself and Chris Scarffe, my colleague and filmmaker, have made hundreds of films but we thought it was time to reach a bigger audience. I watched loads of videos online featuring animals - pandas sneezing and cats with heads stuck in bread - many of which were very popular and thought I needed to harness the power of social media."

So they have made hundreds of films that nobody watched, so they needed a stunt to reach a broader audience. Refreshing honesty. 

But wait, there is more! Here it comes
 
“The selfie has been huge for the past two years - so I thought it would be a great way to highlight the plight of the shark in a modern way. Whilst sharks are one of the most feared animals on Earth, they in fact have a lot more to be scared of than we do and are now on the brink of extinction. We wanted to highlight that it’s not me in danger, but the sharks themselves."

Of course, it's all to highlight the plight of the sharks. They didn't want to point out their "heroic" actions, risking life and limbs, diving with these sharks. It's wasn't a "look at me!" kind of stunt, like all the others we have gotten used to. Of course not. They simply wanted to highlight how the sharks were in danger.

I mean, what better way to get people to think that sharks are not a big danger to us than to point out how close they came to disaster during their two dives.

Not only do they do nothing to show that the sharks are not dangerous, but by their blatant disregard for any safety during their dives, they actually risked being bitten, which would have accomplished the exact opposite of what they claim their intentions were. It would have become another shark attack, reported around the world.

And their final thought?

“I was still glad to get back in the boat at the end though.”

So they want to say how we should not be afraid of the sharks, but they sure are glad they are back on the boat and cheated death again? Yep, I sure don't know a better way to do that.

All I can say is what I always say. When will we learn that sharks are neither mindless killers, nor harmless pets. Let's portray them the way they really are.

We at Shark Diver promote "Safe and Sane" shark diving expeditions. We don't fear the sharks, but we do respect them and always take all the safety precautions necessary to ensure a safe and exciting shark dive.

Let's go shark diving!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver
 

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Reef Check California Seeks Southern California Volunteer Coordinator


Reef Check is a Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to Empowering People to Save Our Reefs and Oceans          




Founded in 1996 by marine ecologist Dr. Gregor Hodgson, the Reef Check Foundation is an international non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of two ecosystems: tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs. With headquarters in Los Angeles and volunteer teams in more than 90 countries and territories, Reef Check works to create partnerships among community volunteers, government agencies, businesses, universities and other non-profits. Reef Check goals are to: educate the public about the value of reef ecosystems and the current crisis affecting marine life; to create a global network of volunteer teams trained in Reef Check's scientific methods who regularly monitor and report on reef health; to facilitate collaboration that produces ecologically sound and economically sustainable solutions; and to stimulate local community action to protect remaining pristine reefs and rehabilitate damaged reefs worldwide. 


 They are looking for a Southern California Volunteer Coordinator

For more information and to apply, click here

This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to make a difference and help conserve the Oceans.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver


About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Scientific study on the effects of shark diving?

Yesterday, I posted a blog from "DaShark" in Fiji on whether shark diving operators should be regulated or not. You can read it here.

The blog is based on a paper by Richards, K., et al. Sharks and people: Insight into the global practices of tourism operators and their attitudes to Sharkbehaviour. Mar. Pollut. Bull. (2015)

The author has some interesting insights into the shark diving industry, but overall, I'm not impressed. The authors bias against shark dives featuring provisioning, is made clear from the outset by the following statement.

"If those who report using bait are added to those who admitted intentional feeding then 42% of operators used shark attractant.”  The term “admitted” is implying something negative, like "Ah, gotcha! You admitted to feeding sharks!"




They are basing their conclusions on statements like Illegal provisioning of sharks by a diving company was one theory put forward to explain a cluster of shark attacks near the Egyptian resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh in 2010 This is the unproven hypothesis (a scientific theory is something that has been proven) of a guy who can’t tell a shark from a dolphin and should be weighed heavily in any respectable paper. (sharkasm intended)

They are stating correctly, that shark diving is increasing and "Due to this, questions about the effects of shark tourism and associated activities such as SCUBA diving and provisioning on shark behaviour should be asked in order to establish effective management for the practise and to preemptively mitigate risk of unwittingly increasing shark attacks on humans.  ... Oh, I see, since we don’t know the effect of that increase, we should regulate something we don’t understand. Hmm!


Here is another gem from the paper, showing their "scientific" reasoning "Whilst our research corroborates previous studies highlighting that the majority of shark encounters pose very little risk to people, the fact that a small minority of shark operators did report concerns about shark behaviour towards clients, and that threat displays such as bumping people and swimming erratically were reported, suggests that people should never become complacent." .....  Dang, did they have to go to college to come up with this. I’m so glad they told me we should never become complacent. Who knew!?!? (sharkasm intended) Shark Diver has always advocated "Safe and Sane" shark diving, because we know that sharks are neither mindless killers, nor harmless pets.


I think by now it is pretty clear the authors have an agenda. But hey, it gets better Results of our survey indicate that shark operators take responsbility for good practise seriously, given that 93% of 43 shark opera- tors said they followed a code of conduct either voluntarily or because of national guidelines, although the quality and detail of voluntary codes of conduct provided varied widely. Our results however cannot differentiate between those who do this out of concern for sharks or for fear of liability should a shark harm a customer.  WTF? So we dive operators take safety serious, but they don't know if we do it to keep our divers safe or because we don't want to get sued? Hmmmm, let me think about this. How about we keep em safe because we care and when they don't get hurt, we don't get sued!?!? Besides, since they are not sure what our motivation for our safety consciousness is, the want to regulate it. Well that will clear up any confusion about our motivation. 

For most of their "conclusions" they state the source. Their interpretation of the source is not very logical, to say the least, and is primarily twisted to support their view. As if frustrated by the fact not supporting their hypothesis, they start to just make stuff up. Like this  However, recent research has indicated negative behavioural impacts arising from shark diving or snorkelling and inadequacies in management have been highlighted.  Did I miss the study they quoted???? Anyone? .. anyone? ....Bueller!!! I guess it’s just another PIDOOMA estimate (Pulled it directily out of my #$$)



The same goes for this In general, shark operators did acknowledge the potential for accidents to happen, but most defended their own practices even when scientific evidence contradicted their view, Of course, no “scientific" data is provided, or a study cited. As a matter of fact and I quote "DaShark"

There are some other statements in that paper that simply don't make sense and clearly show their bias. Several respondents said that individual shark’s behaviour towards people differed, for example, if divers approached too closely, some sharks quickly moved away while others were bolder, corroborating research that shows shark species and individuals show varied responses to provisioning and that behavioural responses can change over time How is this corroborating anything? What has the individual behavior of a shark got to do with provisioning? Sharks have different “personalities”, we've known that for a long time. It has nothing to do with provisioning.

Another stellar "scientific" conclusion is this. Links are frequently made between shark baiting/provisioning and attacks, and while these remain speculative, a precautionary approach is warranted that would be best delivered through regulation.  Yep, I couldn’t agree more, there is some speculation, so we just have to regulate. Everyone know, speculation requires regulation. (can you detect the sharkasm?)




This is yet another one of their conclusions. While our questionnaire indicates that the majority of shark encounters and shark tourism currently pose very little risk to people, more field research is required on shark behavioural responses to tourism practices to help assess best practices for sharks, people and environment. So they are saying there is very little risk and more research is needed, but in the meantime, Regulate! Regulate!

I could go on and on, but it doesn't get any better.


Overall, this paper is something I would expect from a grade school student, not a scientist. Just like a politician, the authors of this paper are stating some facts and then come to a conclusion that is completely unsupported by those facts. Not surprising, since their bias was clear from the outset. John Stewart of the "Daily Show" would have a field day with this, if only a real politician had authored it. 

Cheers,

Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.