Sunday, August 30, 2015

"Aggressive" shark closes San Diego Beach

We arrived back in San Diego from our last Great White Shark trip just in time for an "aggressive" hammerhead shark to close a popular La Jolla (San Diego) beach.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, "A hammerhead shark that circled and followed a group of swimmers and kayakers near La Jolla Shores prompted lifeguards to close a stretch of water to thousands of beachgoers Saturday afternoon."

A hammerhead shark circles a kayaker near La Jolla Shores Saturday. The shark's aggressive behavior prompted the beach to close for the remainder of the day and night. — Jimmy Van Evera

Since these hammerhead sharks are not normally "aggressive" towards humans and usually quite shy, I was surprised to hear that one was actually approaching a group of swimmers.

Upon further reading of the article, I found that there was a good reason for the shark to come close to the kayak and the swimmers.  “We each caught a yellowfin, and we always bleed them out to keep them fresher,” said Jimmy Van Evera, who estimated they’d fished for three hours. “We were paddling back in and we saw this hammerhead pop up near our kayaks.” It was about 10 yards away, but ventured closer and closer"

Ok, that explains a lot. Hammerheads, like most sharks love to eat tuna. By bleeding their catch into the water, the fishermen essentially rang the dinner bell for the shark in question. The tuna blood was covering their kayaks and by paddling to shore, the kayak left a scent trail for the shark to follow.  The shark knows what a tuna looks like and once it sees the kayak, is curious to find out what smells like a tuna, but looks like a kayak. These hammerheads are not really a threat to humans, unless they happen to be covered in fish blood.
 
The headline for this story should have read "Irresponsible fishermen lure shark close to swimmers", instead of calling the shark aggressive. Read the entire article here.

If a human smells food and goes to check it out, is he/she showing aggressive behavior? Since there was tuna blood in the water and sharks are curious to investigate what smells like a tune, but looks totally different, it was probably a good idea for the lifeguards to get the people out of the water.

Personally, if I would hear there is a hammerhead in the water, I'd grab a mask and snorkel, go in and check it out. They are beautiful creatures and, as long as you're not smelling like fish blood, not a threat to humans.

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, August 24, 2015

30 White Sharks and a pod of Orcas

What an incredible expedition! We not only saw a record 30 different individual white sharks on this expedition, on our way back we ran into a pod of Orcas that came right up to our vessel. The pod included a whale with an incredibly tall dorsal fin, as well as some mothers with their babies. What a treat!




In addition to the sharks we encountered earlier this season, we had 3 new females, 3 new males, along with Keli, Andy, Johnny and Herman, all sharks we know from previous seasons.

Photo by Mark Denstedt, not Martin Graf

If you aren't among the lucky ones that already booked an expedition this season, we only have a couple of spaces left on our August 30 and September 9 expeditions. Call Cindy at our office 619.887.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com to reserve your space.


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.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Bigger than Deep Blue. The biggest shark at Guadalupe Island!

We just returned from our first expedition to Guadalupe Island this year. I'm happy to report that the big boys are back. Bruce, Jacques, Bite Face and Thor all made it back safely to the island. As big as those sharks are, they were dwarfed by the biggest shark to ever swim by a cage at Guadalupe. On our second day of diving, we encountered the largest fish on earth, a whale shark, swimming alongside a great white shark.

video

I have seen whale sharks before, but this is the first time I saw one swimming with a great white shark. You never know, what you are going to see on the ocean. Aside from great whites and the whale shark, we also got a visit from 6 bottle nose dolphins and a couple of green sea turtles.


It's not only the big boys that are back. We also saw the slightly smaller Hooper, Mau, Horizon, Ace, Micks, Mike, Drogin, Legend, Paul Walker, Seamus, Don Julian, Big and Ian along with the females Sydney and Amiria.

Like last year, we also encountered some new sharks. We definitely have another small female and male shark.


We only have a few spaces available for this season. Call us at 619.887.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com to reserve your space.

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, August 6, 2015

Courageous sea lion


From last season at Guadalupe Island, where we encountered a courageous little sea lion.

 

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, August 5, 2015

Who is at Guadalupe Island?

Our great white shark season is officially getting underway this coming Sunday. I can't wait to see who is back at Guadalupe Island. Is "Shredder" going to be there after being absent for a couple of years?


"Shredder"

I'm really worried that something happened to him, but since "Quetzalcoatl" (no I did not name him)
once stayed away from Guadalupe Island for 8 years, I still have hope!

"Quetzalcoatl"

What about our regulars like "Bruce", "Jacques", "Bite-Face", "Johnny" etc.? Who is making an appearance this season?


"Jacques" one of our regulars.

Who is going to get hurt this season?  It never ceases to amaze me, how rough they play with each other.

"Bruce" a couple of years ago

But don't worry, they have an amazing ability to heal. Just look at the picture of "Bruce" below!

"Bruce" with barely a scar from his bite.

We never know who is going to be back. Every year we encounter new sharks and see old "friends". Right now, we have more than 170 individual great white sharks in our database, with a handful having been there every season, since 2001.

If you are interested in learning more about the photo id database of our great white sharks, check out MCSI's website here. We also have only 2 spaces open on our Sept. 14-19 science expedition with Nicole Nasby-Lucas, the scientist responsible for the database.

To join us on the science expedition, call us at 619.887.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com.

We also have limited openings on our Aug 30, Sept. 4 and Sept. 9 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.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

If you love sharks, you're going to love this movie!

I had the chance to watch David Diley's movie "Of Shark & Man" and absolutely loved it.

Here is how the filmmaker describes the movie.

David Diley is a thirty-two year old man, trapped in a dead end job in England's industrial north and his life is going nowhere. He does however, have a lifelong dream... 

Should David follow the advice of everyone around him and forget about it, or should he risk everything and against all the odds, take his one chance to fulfill his greatest ambition, an ambition which finds him in the middle of a feeding frenzy with sixty of the world's most dangerous sharks?


“Of Shark and Man” is a ground breaking film about one man's journey to get closer than anyone thought possible, to the world's biggest Bull Sharks and tell the incredible untold story of Shark Reef in Fiji, one of the greatest marine conservation successes of all time.

“Of Shark and Man” is an epic, incredibly ambitious and cinematic love letter to the world's most feared predator, in which, for once, the shark is the hero.

To me it is much more than just a movie about sharks and man, it is about following your dreams, overcoming obstacles and never giving up.

Here is the trailer. Check it out!


Of Shark and Man - Official Trailer (2015) from Scarlet View Media on Vimeo.

For more info on the movie, check out these links.

If you get inspired by the movie and want to go diving with these magnificent animals yourself, call us at 855.987.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com and we'll get you set up.

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, July 22, 2015

Are the sharks going to be safe at Guadalupe Island?

Sharknado 3 airs tonight on the SCIFY channel. At the rate those Sharknado's remove the sharks from the water, this might well be the last chance to see them live at Guadalupe Island.


When Brian Kilmeade, from FOX and friends was surprised that the water at a South African surf contest wasn't clear of sharks, he must have had thought that after Sharknado 2, all the sharks were gone already. Luckily, that was not the case. We saw them in record numbers at Guadalupe Island last season.


Just to make sure you visit the great white sharks at Guadalupe Island, before they all get sucked out of the water. Call us at 619.887.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com for more information, or to reserve your spot.


Stay safe tonight and 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.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Biggest White Shark ever filmed?

The Discovery Channel promised us a better quality of programming for "Shark Week" this season, so I was curious to see what they would offer. One of their episodes was titled "Island of the Mega Shark". So who, or what, is that mega shark?


When that "Mega Shark" swims under the cage Dickie Chivell exclaims that "this is the biggest shark I've ever seen in my life" and "you have to make up a new word for how big this shark is."

Well Dickie, we have a word for that "Mega Shark". We call her "Lucy". She is easily identified by her mangled tail and is certainly a big shark, but more in the 17 ft range and definitely not over 20 ft. If this is the biggest shark you have ever seen in your life, you should really spend some more time at Guadalupe Island and see the really big sharks.

"Lucy" is easily identified by her tail.

Imagine my surprise (sharkasm intended) when, a little later in the clip, I found out that this "Mega Shark" is actually more than one shark. The second shark is "Tail Scratch", again a large shark, but hardly 20 ft. When she was measured in 2009, she was 15 ft, which would make her between 16 and 17 ft. now. She is not even close to being the biggest shark that we regularly see at Guadalupe Island. The Marine Conservation Science Institute has a photo ID database that catalogs every shark that we have seen at Guadalupe Island in the past 15 years.


When you look at the pelvic fin area, you can clearly identify her. As you can see from the pictures below, it is the same shark.

Screen shot from video

Tail Scratch (from Shark ID book)
Watch the video below from youtube. It shows the typical Jeff Kurr, and ABC4 stuff. If you want us to actually believe that there is a mega shark at Guadalupe Island, at least improve your editing a little so it is not painfully obvious that you are showing more than one shark.

video

ABC4, Jeff Kurr and Dickie Chivell, your failure to consult with a real expert, like maybe Nicole Nasby  Lucas, who could tell you all about the known sharks at Guadalupe and your inability to identify an individual shark, even when one has a completely mangled tail, clearly shows what kind of "experts" you are when it comes to great white sharks. 

For anyone interested in identifying the great white sharks at Guadalupe Island, you can buy the photo ID book here. It is a great resource for anyone watching "Shark Week" or who's going to Guadalupe Island. Shark Diver is proud to support Nicole's research and has her hosting our special science expeditions to Guadalupe Island each year. 

Let's go shark diving and experience these magnificent animals up close and personal. See for yourself awesome these sharks are in real life.

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, July 10, 2015

Awesome great white sharks at Guadalupe Island

Alan Davey posted some awesome pictures from his trip to Guadalupe Island with us last year. The pictures were taken in August, the best time to see multiple sharks.

Alan Davey photography

For his complete trip report, more pictures and some great advice for photographers, check out his blog http://allandaveyblog.com/2014/10/28/a-truly-great-white-shark-adventure/



Check out the sea lion go face to face with a great white shark!

A photo posted by allanjdavey (@allanjdavey) on

Thank you for sharing your awesome pictures Alan. Not only are they beautiful, but they proof that you can get great pictures from the safety of a cage. Check out the pictures he posted here

If you want to experience these magnificent creatures up close and personal, call us at 619.887.4275 or email us at staff@sharkdiver.com. We do have a few spaces available for this season and are taking reservations for 2016.

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.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Valerie Taylor, the most glamorous shark advocate in the world

With the 40th anniversary of the release of "Jaws", "The Telegraph" has a very nice article on Valerie Taylor. She, together with her late husband Ron, was an underwater videographer for Steven Spielberg's "Jaws".  The article's headline calls her "The most glamorous shark hunter in the world". Though I think "The most glamorous shark advocate in the world" is a much more fitting title, the article itself does a great job of telling Valerie's life story. From her beginning as a champion spearfisher to one of the world's leading advocates for conservation.


The article shows to how Valerie and Ron were being chastised for demonizing sharks "Within the marine conservation world, Ron and Valerie were vilified for their role in a movie that demonised sharks. “It caused the most incredible slaughter of innocent sharks that would never have hurt anybody, and they tried to blame Ron and me,” says Valerie. “To us, Jaws was a fictitious story about a fictitious shark. You don’t go to New York and expect to see King Kong hanging from the Empire State Building. But Jaws was so well done that people took it to heart.”

It talks about why they decided to become conservationists "It was at the Australian Spearfishing Championship in Queensland in 1969 that the pair had an epiphany. “We looked at all these beautiful tropical fish lying on the beach waiting to be weighed in, and I thought, 'What have we done?’ Ron said to me, 'This is terrible. We’re making a living filming beautiful marine animals and then for sport we’re killing them.’” They won the competition but never fished again, instead using their celebrity status to raise awareness. “I was young and beautiful and had long blonde hair, and I’d jump into the sea with any animal and do anything, so I was very successful in the field of conservation,” Valerie says, wryly."

It shows that eventually they became known as conservationist. "By the 1980s, Ron and Valerie - along with fellow conservationists Benchley and his wife Wendy - had regained the high regard of the international conservation community. They successfully lobbied the Australian government to protect the Coral Sea Islands off Queensland, and their documentary films about the wreck of the Yongala, an iconic diving site, and the Great Barrier Reef, proved instrumental in promoting the conservation of reefs. Valerie, who still lives in Sydney, has continued her conservation efforts alone since Ron’s death, as well as continuing to dive with sharks". 
  
Valerie is still a very active diver, despite the fact that she'll be 80 this November. My favorite part is how the article starts. "When I tentatively ask 79-year-old Valerie Taylor if she still scuba-dives, she erupts with incredulous horror. “Oh my God, yes! What else would I do?"

Just a few weeks ago Valerie was diving with bull sharks in Fiji. The picture below shows her diving with the late Rusi at the "Shark Reef Marine Reserve",  a dive that she describes as "The best shark dive in the world!

picture by Sam Cahir "predapix"
You can read Valerie's life story here it gives you a great view of who Valerie Taylor is.

If you want to dive with sharks yourself, give us a call at 619.887.4275 or email us at staff@sharkdiver.com and we'll be happy to give you all the info you need to make your dream a reality.

Let's go shark diving!

Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver
www.sharkdiver.com

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, June 24, 2015

Shark Week at Guadalupe

With "Shark Week" coming up, a lot of you are probably dreaming about what it would be like to be part of the show. How would it feel to come face to face with a great white shark? How awesome would it be to show your friends a movie of you experiencing a "real shark week"?


Well, you can make that dream a reality. We have 2 special film expeditions to Guadalupe coming up on September 4-9 and 9-14-2014. Peter Kragh, Emmy Award winner 2013 for Outstanding Cinematography on Nat Geo's "Untamed Americas", who was also part of many "shark week" specials, is leading those expeditions. He will film you with those great white sharks and show you the tricks of the trade. Just imagine how awesome it will be to experience these amazing creatures in the water, and have a movie to show to your friends. It will be an experience of a lifetime with memories you'll never forget. The next time you'll talk about "shark week", you'll be telling your friends about the time this shark swam by and looked you straight into the eyes.

Peter Kragh

In addition to filming for "Shark Week", Peter was also part of the following productions.

Journey to the South Pacific /  IMAX / MacGilivray Freeman Films 
Untamed Americas / National Geographic
Secret life of Predators / National Geographic
Under the Sea 3D / IMAX 3D
Life / BBC
Deep Sea 3D / IMAX 3D
Planet Earth / BBC
Valley of Sharks / Living Oceans Foundations
Hubble 3D / IMAX 3D
Wild Wild West / National Geographic
Reef Wranglers / Gurney Productions / Discovery
Humpback Whales / IMAX / MacGillivray Freeman Films
Black December /Gurney/Discovery
Shark City / Gurney/Discovery
Battle of Giants, Off the Fence / National Geographic
Jurassic Arctic, National Geographic
Ultimate Guide to Shark Attacks / Gurney/Discovery
Transparent Ocean, Burning Gold/National Geographic
I’m Alive, Gurney Productions/Animal Planet
Inside Natures Giants, Windfall Films
Blue Planet / BBC
 

Peter will be sharing his professional knowledge and help you create your very own "shark week special". Learn some tricks of the trade and get tips on how to shoot and edit your movie.

This is an amateur video from last season. Just imagine how much better your video will be, with Peter's professional help.

video

September is the best time to see the greatest numbers of sharks at Guadalupe Island. You'll see some of the big boys like "Bruce", "Jacques", "Bite Face" or "Chugey" along with many others. They love to come close to the cages and look you straight into the eyes. I'll never forget the first time a great white shark (Shredder) did that to me. It got me hooked on shark diving and after 14 years, I'm more excited than ever to go back and see who's going to be there.


The price for this experience of a lifetime is $3300 and is all inclusive. On top of Peter's professional help and advise, you'll be pampered with sumptuous meals from chef Mark and the crew will do everything they can to spoil you on your 5 day expedition to Guadalupe Island.  We even include a free GoPro rental and of course your own trip movie. The only "extras" we have are the tip for the crew and any shark diver gear you may wish to purchase.

For more information or to reserve your spot, call us at 619.887.4275 or toll free 855.987.4275 Email staff@sharkdiver.com

Let's go have a "real shark week"!

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, June 21, 2015

Sad news out of Fiji

I just heard the terrible news that iconic shark feeder Rusi (Rusiate-Balenagasau) from Beqa Adventure Divers has passed away.

Rusi 1960-2015 with his sharks.

I just got back from Fiji a few weeks ago and had the privilege to dive with Rusi and his beloved bull sharks. I can't say I knew him well, but his love for the sharks and his dedication to their conservation was obvious. I fondly remember watching him feed his sharks and it will not be the same without him.

Rusi 1960-2015

My sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and all the guys and gals at Beqa Adventure Divers.

Rest in peace Rusi!

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, June 18, 2015

Anyone can help save sharks

Do you want to help save sharks, but think there is nothing you can do, because you live too far from the Ocean? Do you think "I'm alone, what possible difference can I make"?

Well, there is good news! You can do something!

PADI, the professional association of dive instructors, through their Project Aware has launched a campaign to raise awareness for the huge problem plastic garbage entering the oceans presents.

Please help to save me! Thank you!

From Project Aware: Did you know that a staggering 250 million metric tons of plastic could make its way to the ocean in the next 10 years? And that as much as 70 percent of marine litter has been estimated to end up on the seabed.
Marine debris comes from many land and ocean sources. Yet few of us understand that our trash can travel over land, down streams, rivers and storm drains to the ocean. 

That's why Project AWARE is collecting marine debris data from divers. We're painting a clear picture of the underwater trash that threatens ocean life and building a case against ocean trash for all to see. 

Follow The Ugly Journey of Our Trash to discover more about its journey to the ocean and its dangerous impact on our marine life. Poster versions available in Chinese, Korean, Dutch, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Russian.

Watch and Share the Ugly Journey of Our Trash.

 

 

Help by educating your community, friends and colleagues on how our rubbish becomes the ocean's problem.






Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver 

Shark Diver is running great white shark expeditions to Guadalupe Island from August - November, tiger shark dives in the Bahamas from April - November and bull shark trips to Fiji from May - June.


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. By phone 855.987.4275 or 619.887.4275

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

White Sharks Shock California Lifeguards?

The Inquisitr's headline reads "Shark Drone Shock Lifeguards" 

They report:  "A new shark drone used by Southland lifeguards in California reveal shocking evidence of the number of sharks swimming near the shoreline at Seal Beach. It wasn’t something lifeguards there were prepared to see."



Imagine the shock these lifeguards must have felt. Who knew that there were sharks in the water? Where have these guys been lifeguarding all their lives? At a pool?

Actually, when reading the article, you'll find out that the lifeguards are perfectly capable and were not "shocked" by the drone footage. They write: "The Chief Seal Beach Lifeguard, Joe Bailey, tells CBS News Los Angeles  This morning, we launched it and 10 minutes later, we knew there were 10 to 12 sharks all in the Surfside [Beach] area"

The article further states: "Bailey loves the shark drone. It’s easy and safe for everyone to see where the creatures are and when to steer clear of them.
“It works great. It flies up about 100 feet, looks down a wide area, and when we see the shadows, we’ll go down and focus in on them.”
A juvenile Great White in waist-high water at Surfside was captured by the drone Monday morning. At the time, there weren’t any swimmers in the water."

And here is my favorite part of Joe Bailey's statement according to the Inquisitor “If we get bigger sharks or we get sharks that are aggressive, we’re actually going to close the water. But right now, we have sharks that are 5- to 6-feet long, non-aggressive, acting like normal sharks, feeding on bottom fish, doing exactly what we would expect them to do. That’s why we have it posted just to let people know that they are there.”

Great response Joe Bailey! No hype, no scaring anyone and promising a reasonable response, should there be any potentially dangerous sharks coming too close to swimmers. I believe that closing a beach for a period of time is the best response to the sighting of a potentially dangerous shark.



Overall a good article, if only they could find a headline that is not in direct conflict with the article. Maybe something like "Lifeguards NOT worried about white sharks swimming off the coast"? 

Read the entire article here

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver


Shark Diver is running great white shark expeditions to Guadalupe Island from August - November, tiger shark dives in the Bahamas from April - November and bull shark trips to Fiji from May - June.

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, June 15, 2015

Shark attack in North Carolina

Yesterday, two teenagers were bit by a shark in North Carolina and got severely hurt. This serves as a reminder that, no matter how much we may love these sharks, they are not harmless pets. We have to stop portraying them as either mindless killers or harmless pets that just want to be hugged.

source
Before I say anything else, I want to send my best wishes to the victims of these attacks. Regardless of how rare shark attacks are, it doesn't help them that the chances of getting bit are slim. They got hurt and have to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives.

If we want to protect these awesome and important predators, we have to start portraying them the way they are. We have to educate people and give them a real understanding of sharks. If we keep telling them that these sharks are harmless and just want to be hugged, we loose credibility, every time someone gets bit. We have to acknowledge that sharks are not harmless. We have to say that there is no need for fear, but that we have to respect them. Every time we post pictures of bikini clad "shark whisperers" holding on to a great white shark and try telling people how harmless they are, we just reinforce their belief that we are out of touch with reality. When we do that, people will not listen to us, when we tell them how important the shark are to a healthy ocean environment.


We have to acknowledge that sharks do occasionally attack, but let's put things into perspective.  Time after time, people point out things that are more dangerous and kill more people than sharks each year. I'm actually hard pressed to find something that kills fewer people than sharks do.

So why is it that people are generally afraid of sharks? When we go into the water, we are in an environment that is foreign to us and people tend to be afraid of what they don't know. Our fear of sharks is similar to our fear of flying. Even though airplanes are the safest form of transportation, there are more people afraid of flying than taking any other mode of transportation.  Part of the reason is that just like when a plane crashes, every time there is a shark attack, the news goes around the world and creates a perception that sharks are more dangerous than they really are.

Every time we go into the Ocean, we have a chance to see a shark and an even greater chance to be seen by one, yet shark attacks remain extremely rare.

Shark Diver has been diving with sharks for 15 years. We never forget that we are dealing with predators and conduct all our dives with safety in mind. When diving with white sharks, we use cages. When we dive with tiger and bull sharks, we have strict protocols in place to make sure all our divers have a safe and exciting experience. By showing our divers that we use a safety protocol, we are also telling them that we have to respect those sharks and that they are not harmless pets.


Meeting the sharks from the safety of a cage!

When we tell people about sharks, let's tell them the truth. Tell them that we have to be aware and take reasonable precautions when going into the ocean. Tell them that we shouldn't touch them, pull them by their tail or ride them and most importantly, let's lead by example. Stop promoting these irresponsible divers who touch, ride and hug the sharks, by not sharing their self aggrandizing pictures and videos.

Great White Shark with some "love" bites.
 
I've been diving with sharks for a long time and absolutely love them. But as I always tell our divers, "Make no mistake, I love these sharks, but it's NOT a mutual feeling". If you love sharks, love them for what they are, don't humanize them, don't make them into something they are not. If you try to make them out to be something they are not, you don't really love them. You want them to be something they are not.

Let's go and meet those sharks!

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, June 14, 2015

"Expert" advice by Julie Andersen

Once again I've been scooped by "DaShark", who beat me to the punch in pointing out Julie Andersen's hypocrisy in her latest post, telling us to "Do as I say and not as I do". I other words he pointed out what a complete hypocrite this "Shark Angel" and "shark expert" really is. She once again showed that she is much more interested in promoting herself, rather than shark conservation.

Read "DaShark's" blog here

Back in 2013 Julie wrote an article for "SCUBA Diving" where she wrote. "The topic of touching sharks can spark heated debates. It’s an inner turmoil I wrestle with often, having spent hundreds of hours underwater with them. A quick Google search reveals many images in which I am brazenly touching sharks. Yes, it is something I did (and often still am tempted to do), but it is something I don’t encourage. In fact, just the opposite."

I have to admit, that I did have a problem with her stand, because she gained her fame by touching and riding sharks and once she had that name recognition, she didn't want others to get in on the act and compete with her for sponsorships, money and fame. Ok, we all make mistakes and who hasn't done something we are not proud of? I thought: "at least she admits that she did something that wasn't good and is changing".

Skip a couple of years and here is her latest post on  "Shark Angels"

It's time to change your perspective.

Watch this stunning new video from Built By Wildman featuring founder Julie Andersen showing the world sharks aren't what they seem. Give sharks a chance. After all, it's about our oceans... and our collective futures.
 


video


What they really meant to say it this "It's time to change your perspective. Watch this stunning new video from Built By Wildman featuring founder Julie Andersen touching sharks and showing the world she isn't what she seems. She says "Don't touch sharks!" while still doing it herself. Give Julie a chance. After all, it's about her... and her future as a spokesperson and her ability to maintain her fame.

We at Shark Diver promote "Safe and sane" diving with sharks. We respect the sharks by not touching them and staying inside that cages at Guadalupe Island. We realize that is is all about the sharks. Protecting them and supporting conservation is our primary goal. 

If you want to come and experience what it feels like to come face to face with these awesome predators in a safe and respectful way, give us a call. You can reach us at 855.987.4275 or via email at staff@sharkdiver.com


We dive with great white sharks at Guadalupe Island, with bull sharks in Fiji and tiger sharks in the Bahamas. 


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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Biggest Great White Shark?

Mauricio Hoyos shared this video on his facebook page. It was filmed at Guadalupe Island.

You can have your own encounter with these awesome creatures this fall. (Minus the touching of the shark part) All of our divers are staying inside the cage at all times. Shark Diver is proud to only conduct "safe and sane" shark dives and we respect the animals by not touching them. You'll never forget the first time you see them swim by and look you straight into the eyes. It is truly an experience of a lifetime.

We do have a few open spaces for this year and are already booking for next year. Call us at 855.987.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com for more info, or to book.

video

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.