Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blue Sharks Beat the Odds?

This is one of those classic East coast/West coast stories about sharks that fail to address the overall look at the health of a species.

According to Discovery Blue sharks are not as bad off as once thought:

Although many sharks are experiencing population declines of up to 90 percent now, a new study on western North Atlantic blue sharks has found that numbers of the colorful species there are currently down, but not out.

Other reports had concluded that the region's blue sharks were declining by around 60 percent, but the new analysis reduced the estimate by half, finding that populations of the 12.5-foot-long sharks have dropped by only 30 percent since the mid 1950s, when large-scale fishing practices began in that part of the Atlantic.

Editors Note: The main problem with this story is that "localized good news" from a major new source like Discovery gets transmitted to a huge audience. The facts on the ground point to a worldwide Blue shark population that is in serious decline. Especially hard hit off the West coast where these animals have been tracked migrating to Japan and back...mostly migrating to Japan, fewer and fewer animals ever make it back leading to a virtual collapse of the adult population off our shores.

Sushi for Great Whites

Isla Guadalupe as you know, is simply "infested" with great white sharks. This is the last place on the planet you want to be taking a morning swim.

Which makes fishing for Yellowfin tuna here nearly impossible. What you are looking at is an 80lb tuna caught a few seasons ago who was having a really, really bad day.

The single shark bite from this tuna took almost 40lbs of prime grade sushi away (click image). The shark in question was about 14 feet long. Not huge by Guadalupe standards but an impressive critter none the less.

The U.S Marines Are Coming to Isla Guadalupe

We got a call a few months ago from Diane. She was looking for an adventure for her "Marines".

Turns out Diane is the hub for a group of hard core city rumblers stationed in Iraq and they wanted to go meet some great white sharks when they came back.

Diane had been searching the Internet, spoken with a few "other" shark diving companies and decided after speaking with us-we were just the thing for her boys.

We could not agree more.

Fast forward to last week. We sent a pile of Shark Diver T-shirts, hats and DVD's over to Iraq for these guys and this morning a series of very cool images showed up (click on image and check out the belt-fed grenade launcher on top of that Hummer).

Here's part of the email we got this morning:

"If I told you the trip came up everyday, I'd be lying because it comes up at just about every meal, or after every patrol. Right now we are all kind of working our through the last few miles klicks of this deployment with that vacation in our sites, and of course the layover on the way back to Chicago in Vegas...but mostly the Sharks. Thanks again!"

There's something about Shark Diver gear and weps. We cannot wait to meet these guys, Semper Fi!