We were speaking with writer Thayer Walker this morning when he gave us the heads up on a new article he just completed for this months Outside Magazine called "Ready, Aim, Sushi".
The article takes an inside look at spearfishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and an unfortunate Tiger shark kill while he was reporting the story:
"Underwater filmmaker Ryan McInnis of InSea.TV accompanied spearfishermen Craig Clasen and Cameron Kirkconnell on recent hunts for tuna in the Gulf of Mexico. During the course of one dive, a Tiger shark charged McInnis. The following short (see website) includes the ensuing back and forth between the divers and the shark."
This morning we called Ryan McInnis to get his take. Our conversation with him revealed a level headed and consummate waterman with a long history in water with sharks. This was a conversation with a diver who was absolutely distraught about killing a Tiger shark.
Here's a quote from our conversation:
"I have been diving my whole life and this was unlike any shark experience I have ever had, or wish to have. All I had was my camera and no spear gun when the animal charged in, fins down, with eyes rolled back, it scared me to death. My buddies came over and saw the animal in an aggressive stance, our vessel was 100 meters away. It closed distance on all three of us and it quickly became evident that we were going to have to defend ourselves. Once the decision was made and the first shot was fired the true horror was now we had to kill it, you never leave a shark just wounded. I have seriously conflicted emotions now, the death of such a beautiful fish made me totally reevaluate spear fishing. This entire event was terribly unfortunate. I think this animal had never encountered humans because of the aggressive manner in which it charged in. We have seen resident sharks become acclimated to us, this animals was not acclimated, it was not going to back down. We postured at the shark trying to look bigger, we swam at the animal, and the last ditch effort was the shot.If getting out of the water was an option we would have taken it, we're not out here to kill sharks".
In the final summation killing any Tiger shark is a tragedy, will this article enrage some? Undoubtedly. Kudos to Ryan for his take on this and willingness to discuss the back story to the story. What we discovered is a man who's equally disturbed by what he saw as a "no win" for both him and the shark.
Photo DJ Struntz