Monday, January 7, 2008

When Angel Sharks Attack!

O.K people, how many times do we have to tell you?

They may look all "cuddly" and live most of their lives on the ocean floor, but pound for pound Angel Sharks are just plain vicious, vicious we tells ya!

This was what a team of crack divers discovered when one of the team got a little too close to natures Wild Child of the deep.

Underwater Thrills Lesson #2 here, if you're going to mess with an Angel Shark, ensure that you're not the guy off camera who gets nailed:


First comprehensive documentary to explore great white sharks and critical shark research at remote Isla Guadalupe, Baja

A precarious population of great
white sharks and the ongoing scientific research intended to secure their survival is the subject of "Island of the Great White Shark", a just completed documentary film by RTSea Productions. The high definition video production will receive an exclusive V.I.P. premiere on January 22nd at the Aquarium of the Pacific, located in Long Beach, California.

The event highlights a three-year effort by filmmaker Richard Theiss to provide the first comprehensive look at the great white sharks found at the remote Mexican island of Isla Guadalupe, Baja. The film explores many of the issues surrounding these highly misunderstood animals, the efforts of dedicated shark researchers to study and protect them, and the unique cooperative relationship that exists between the researchers and eco-tourism operations.

“These are absolutely magnificent creatures living on a razor’s edge of possible extinction. And there are some very dedicated people working tirelessly to prevent that. This is a story that needed to be told,” says Richard Theiss, RTSea Productions, executive producer and cinematographer.

Theiss came to see Isla Guadalupe's great white sharks three years ago as a passenger aboard a shark diving expedition lead by, a leading eco-tourism operator that charters boats from San Diego, California to make the 210 mile journey south to Isla Guadalupe. What started out as an exciting adventure turned into a passion to document the work of Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, a young Mexican shark researcher, working under the supervision of leading shark experts in the United States and Mexico and aided by the support of eco-tourism operators, like, that frequent the island in the fall months when migrating great white sharks arrive to feed on seals and tuna that inhabit the island’s waters.

The film also illustrates the destructive and inhumane practices imposed upon sharks by the commercial shark fishing industry. Estimates run from 40 million to as high as 100 million sharks being killed each year either for their fins or as accidental by-catch.

“Sharks populations are being decimated-all for a bowl of soup or a
supposed homeopathic cure. For great whites, like those at Isla Guadalupe, you have to add the threat of poachers seeking souvenir jaws and teeth from one of nature’s top predators. It’s insanity and emblematic of what’s wrong with our environmental priorities,” says Theiss.

The invitation-only premiere, hosted by the Aquarium of the Pacific, will feature a screening of the film, followed by a question and answer session with Richard Theiss and some of the on-screen participants in the film.

Richard Theiss, Executive Producer
RTSea Productions
Digital Images/B-Roll Available On Request

Shark Shooting 101-Kiwi Style

Question: If you're on a small boat with an underwater camera and a 13 foot Great White shark shows up, what is the best was to capture the moment?

A. Jump on the back of the shark
B. Dip the camera in the water and snap away
C. Hang your buddy over the side upside down and by the ankles until he gets the shot

Well, naturally the answer is C. How else could you get an amazing shot like this one by just carefully dipping a camera anywhere?

Here's the story:

"When Gary Porter, a builder from New Zealand, spotted the 13 foot (4m) shark just metres from the small diving vessel he was in, he wasted no time in getting his friends to hold him by the ankles as he dangled upside-down in the sea to take close-up pictures of the predator. Suspended overboard, Mr Porter dunked his upper body in the water to snap underwater pictures with his digital camera."

Something about this entire story does not seem right. Perhaps it is the fact that we the readers are completely sober at the moment. Time and a few beers will tell if this actually happened.

Story link is here, check your stupidity at the door please.

Tiger Sharks-Crunch Time Photoshoot

What do you do when an 11 foot Tiger Shark takes a keen interest in your dive gear?


A. Fight the Tiger for your gear
B. Let the Tiger have your gear

The answer to this question by the looks of things was B. Karin Brussaard went Tiger Diver at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas recently to write a tech review of the Nikon D80. She got more than she bargained for when this Tiger decided to make off with her gear. In her own words:

"At a given moment one of the sharks gets in too close to one of the divers and Jim intervenes. He gives the shark a push with the camera. The tiger shark is not impressed. He grabs hold of the camera and swims aggressively away with it. I am feeling uncomfortable and go through my oxygen quickly. Luckily the shark eventually lets go of the camera and swims away."

We now know that Nikons are "Tiger Proof". Score one for engineering!

The full story is here