Monday, January 26, 2009

Anti-Shark Diving Efforts? Still There

Over the years the commercial shark diving industry has done a magnificent job with the media. Aside from a few recent stunning set backs for our industry, for the most part, shark tourism is still viewed in a positive light.

That is until the anti-shark diving folks start playing the media game as well:

Stupid Shark Feeders in S. Africa

Video Post: Stupid people in South Africa sell the chance to jump into a cage for a cheap thrill while they tease sharks from the safety of a boat. These idiots take tourist to ’shark alley’ and tease these majestic animals. Sharks are the top of the food chain, and the operator is a jerk to tease them. If this is somehow appealing to your ego I’d like to knock your lunch on the floor; see how you like it.


What happens to the next diver doesn’t feed the sharks? Now sharks expect man to show up with fast food which might be a human life. I’ll bet these jerks taste like fish.
Take a look at what happens in this video. I can only hope the government of South Africa takes immediate action against the exploitation of Nature’s most magnificent predator before the next attack happens to kill out of total frustration. Not if, but when that days comes you will see how the media vilifies the shark… again. Who is really to blame for that death? It’s coming, just a mater of time. Sharks are patient unlike man.

Dateline NBC had the perfect opportunity to condemn these money grubbing jerks, but not a word about how stupid this is, no out cry for antagonizing the animals, nothing about the exploitation, nothing about what losers these so-call dive boat operators are. Once again MSNBC and Ann Curry drop the ball. Grow a pair Ann or go back to soft news where you belong.

Close call? Not for the shark, it was just bad luck on that day. Maybe next time luck will change hands, after all that is what it will take to stop this madness. One more example of how selfish stupid people think; they somehow have the right to do whatever gets them excited, no mater what logic tells us. Who gives them the right to profit this way? This is wrong, nearly dead-wrong for these adrenaline junkies and I hope you will make your voice heard. Please use social bookmarks to spread the word.

Sharks Bahamas-Waiting on a Prop Jet

The story of last Novembers shark expedition to the Bahamas can now be told.

As you know Shark Diver does commercial shark diving adventures. As well as being strong industry advocates, we also work with an exclusive client list who own some of the top yachts worldwide. We have been working with this select group since 2003.

In November I got a call to create a one day Tiger shark expedition to the Bahamas...oh, and could we have the entire team assembled, cages in place, and two crew members at the airstrip in Freeport in one week?

Naturally the answer was "yes". In a flash I had Luke Tipple our Dive Operations Manager and Richard Theiss on the phone and in 72 hours we had approved the yacht, pulled our benthic cage system out of storage in Florida, and started to Fed Ex full face mask communications gear (Ocean Reef) to our vessel.

The client was going to use a 120' charter yacht, fly in for one day, hit Tiger Beach and jet out again by nightfall. It's a tall order, but if the weather gods align just right and you know what you are doing, this site delivers.

Two round trip tickets to Miami from L.A for the crew (Richard dropped another project for us and agreed to shoot for the client), a few last minute deliveries of gear and voila, there was our Shark Diver Crew at the airport at 6.00am waiting for a private prop jet to arrive with the client.

That's when things...went south. Not everything in the shark world works out perfectly, and best laid plans, including moving a complete vessel assist shark diving service 300 miles down the coast and over 3000lbs of gear, sometimes don't work.

Our crew sat on the tarmac from 6.00am to 7.00 to 8.00 and then a call to Luke Tipple and myself, "The client reports they had an accident last night in Miami and will not be able to make it".

Right about now you start running the numbers for what this expedition cost and you start to feel very bad for the client. After all we're here to show people sharks not sit on the tarmac in Freeport. So, in the end, our boys enjoyed a round trip cruise aboard a very nice yacht from Miami to Freeport and back, got to take in the airport scenery, and spent the next 10 hours on the way back dumping many hundreds of pounds of dead and rotting fish off the stern (chum).

To our Shark Diver private clients-next time, you know we'll be ready!

Cheers,
Patric Douglas CEO
www.sharkdiver.com
www.sharkdivers.com
www.sharkdivers.blogspot.com
www.guadalupefund.org
www.islandofthegreatwhiteshark.com
415.235.9410

International Year of the Shark - Fiji

From the guys over at the BAD Blog. Kudos for taking a conservation idea and making it regional. It only takes "One":

Actually, they were two, Alex and Ila, and thanks to their wonderful initiative, 2009 has been declared the International Year of the Shark.

Ever since having become a Member, we've been working on a concept enabling us to create a positive buzz for Sharks all across Fiji. We are lucky insofar that Shark Conservation ties in beautifully with Fijian Culture as for many indigenous Fijians, Sharks are sacred and killing them is Taboo. As an example, many of our feeders hail from Beqa Island and are thus protected by the Shark God Dakuwaqa.

Complete Post

ACD Blog-Shark Conservation Act Closes Loopholes

From the guys over at A Couple Dives this week. Having the loophole closed on the sharks fin trade in US waters is a victory. Commercial fishing vessel hold space is filled quickly with the worthless shark carcass causing vessels to spend more time in port, burn fuel, pay for crews and source markets for shark meat which do not exist at this time-this is the win:

Earlier this month, the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International issued a statement thanking Congresswoman Madeleine Bardallo (Guam) for introducing legislation that would close a loophole on shark finning. Bordallo re-introduced the Shark Conservation Act (HR 81) that closes a loophole that was supposed to be taken care of by last year's HR 5741 which stalled in the Senate until their session expired. The act now requires that all sharks taken in U.S. waters must have the fins naturally attached. The new legislation alters previous legislation that currently permits a vessel to transport fins that were obtained illegally as long as the sharks were not finned aboard that vessel. Patricia Forkan, president of Humane Society International, applauded Bordallo's actions.

"Each year, tens of millions of sharks worldwide have their fins cruelly cut off at sea and are then thrown back overboard to die a lingering, painful death."

"Shark finning threatens the survival of essential marine species, and we commend Congresswoman Bordallo for addressing this cruel and wasteful practice."

Shark finning was banned in the U.S. by the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000, but enforcement is complex and the loophole allows circumvention of the law. The Shark Conservation Act must still make its way through the halls of Congress and on to the Senate for final passage and implementation. To motivate your congressperson, you can make your voice heard through Oceana.org's Wavemakers web page which will forward your personal email to your elected representative.