Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SharkWeek 2008-Shark Diver, Ocean Reef & Bathys Hawaii celebrate

Luke TippleLuke Tipple, Marine Biologist and Adventurer, is developing his own Science based show with GRB Entertainment of Los Angeles. While the show is coming together Luke continues to offer his technical and scientific knowledge to top research and entertainment teams worldwide. This year Luke was asked to be the dive safety officer and shark behavior specialist on Discovery Shark Week's premier show MythBusters.

Since this is Luke's first time on Discovery, and since he is working very hard on a show of his own at the moment Luke's sponsors got together to celebrate by giving away some cool gear.

To win just watch MythBusters on Shark Week during July 28th through August 3rd, 2008, go to our contest page and answer a simple question related to the show (HINT: check out the dive gear… we are his dive sponsors after all!).

You could win the prizes above, a great dive watch, an amazing dive mask, or a chance to get face to face with a great white shark.


On behalf of all of Luke's sponsors, we look forward to seeing him in many more great shows in the future and thank all of his fans for watching, it has been our pleasure to believe in and support Luke's efforts in both entertainment and educating people about sharks and science. Please tune in and sign up to win some great gifts as a token of our appreciation for your support.

Island of the Great White Shark-Can't Wait for Shark Week 2008?

The most anticipated white shark documentary of the past decade is Island of the Great White Shark.

Shown to early rave reviews at select Aquariums nationwide this film is now available to the public, just in time for Shark Week.

The film is visually stunning with a deep and personal look at both the sharks and the research efforts to study them at the far flung and remote island of Isla Guadalupe, Mexico:

"There are so many films about great white sharks that show the animal being aggressive and attacking its prey. As a shark enthusiast, I am tired of this type of portrayal. I want to see movies that show the great white in its natural behavior. I want to actually learn about the shark. This DVD does exactly that... it teaches me... about the shark, about the science being conducted, and about what it's like to actually be in the water with these magnificent creatures. Kudos to the filmmaker for taking a risk and making a movie about real research".

"This is a very good film on the reality of the Great White. It gives the other side of the story. The one the media forgets to tell".

Ensenada Fish Market, Mexico Y.O.Y

We have been keeping track of the Ensenada Fish Market for the past three years.

The issue here is the sale of white shark pups as "swordfish". We have been documenting each and every trip we take down to this market with images of the animals we find on site.

Typically we are seeing a minimum of up to 3 animals for sale at any given time. We also enjoy the local Baja Fish Tacos (non white shark) while we're here...if you have not yet had a Baja Fish Taco in Ensenada, go here first.

Over the years we have uncovered one family who are the prime shark fishery here. These are hard working folks who know where to find sharks and how to fish them. For them it's a tough livelihood-they barely make a living.

Where some people see a travesty, we see an opportunity. Very little is known about young of the year in Mexican waters. Monterey Bay Aquarium is leading the charge along with TOPP's and a small group from Mexico working the Sea of Cortez.

One of the primary goals for this fish market should be DNA sampling of these sharks. As a ready made sampling site this fish market is more than the final destination for white sharks, it could also be useful to research.

Shark Week 2008-Shark Trust Wines

We got the following email from the folks over at Shark Trust Wines. As huge supporters of this plucky shark brand we're more than happy to pass on the offer to our shark fans.

As far as we know this is the only shark branded wine on the planet...this is why we serve it proudly on all our shark vessels:


It's here...our favorite week of the year...SHARK WEEK! Stock up on Shark Trust Wines this week and get ready for 7 full days of shark programming on the Discovery Channel. With every case of wine purchased this week at sharktrustwines.com, we will include a shark topper. No need for special codes online. We will automatically send the topper.

Melanie CEO
Shark Trust Wines

Georgia Aquarium P.R Backlash

We have been updating you on the Georgia Aquarium's efforts to bring the public to their captive Whale Sharks in a new and some say...yes we say-ridiculous manner, with the addition of paying "thrill divers".

Those in world of commercial aquariums dance a fine line between captive animal ambassadors and commercial exploitation.

Monterey Bay Aquarium has managed that fine line with their ground breaking white shark program. If there was ever a road map to follow this program would be it. Unfortunately the folks over at the Georgia AQ have not seen this map.

Meanwhile the rest of the research and whale shark community remains unimpressed and in some cases in open rebellion:

Georgia Aquarium invitation riles some conservationists

Isla Holbox, Mexico — Georgia Aquarium officials want to hold the next international whale shark conference in Atlanta, but some conservationists bristle at the idea because the world's largest indoor aquarium exhibits the huge polka-dotted fish.

Full story.

Editors Note: One look at the Georgia AQ website and the Monterey Bay AQ website shows how P.R is won and lost by pushing the envelope from
captive animal ambassadors to commercial exploitation. Georgia AQ needs to make a decision fast. Either break with traditional aquaria completly and become a full fledged commercial operation, or cease allowing "thrill divers" into captive whale shark enclosures. Clearly there's little room for a hybrid operation that seeks to maintain credibility within the research and traditional aquarium communities.

Croc vs Leopard...Now THAT'S Interesting!

Our shark fans need us like their "morning latte" because of unbelievable stories like this one and you know we cannot pass on a story like this.

Yes, it's a bit far away from the world of sharks, but heck we covered a similar story Croc vs Shark a few months ago.

No, this is not the same croc and no, this did not happen in Australia...land of dangerous wildlife and the crazy people who live with them.

Shark Fishing Vessel Ho Tsai Fa No. 18

We blogged about this mystery illegal shark fishing vessel off the coast of Bali last week.

At the time rumors of a dead and or missing captain and a murderous crew were part of the ongoing story. Now that story is beginning to firm up and the details are amazing. Which leads us to the simple conclusion "shark fining is bad business".

Dark oil and darker rumours seep from Bali beach's ghost ship

ATTEMPTS to refloat a Taiwanese "ghost ship" that ran aground on Bali's best surf break have foundered, prompting fears of an environmental disaster.

Police have described the vessel as a crime scene, confirming its captain may have been murdered. Taiwanese investigators have arrived in Bali to carry out their own inquiry.

The Ho Tsai Fa No. 18 has a chequered history. It was apprehended off Costa Rica in 2003 with 60,000 kilograms of illegally caught shark fin. Early this year, Greenpeace activists intercepted the ship fishing illegally in the Pacific.

We're Baaaack-Now 30% Sharky-er

It's tough having a job that takes you away to the US Virgin Islands for a "site inspection", but that's where we have been for the past 7 days. Our email is filled with a heap o' shark stories we need to cover.

Let's begin in South Africa:

Startling Great White discoveries

Scientists now know exactly how much time each shark spends waiting for takeaways at Seal Island.

Long considered a mysterious monster from the deep, the great white shark is actually from the shallow — and no longer all that mysterious.

That’s according to a group of pioneering researchers who, using sophisticated electronic tracking equipment, have compiled the first-ever detailed swim-maps of several great white sharks in Mossel Bay.

So far this year five sharks — Zulu, Kiddo, Pasella, Roxanne and Sampla — have been fitted with electronic tags that show not only the shark’s position, but also its depth and the surrounding water temperature.