Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shark Marketing Hits 2 Million

An experiment in commercial shark diving marketing has just hit the 2 million plus mark and launched a career in television for Dive Operations Manager Luke Tipple. A huge Hat Tip to the guys at 689Design Adam and Zander-two L.A based marketing gurus who know what works.

Our main company and brand Shark Diver has recently split into it's Newco Shark Divers offering film and television shark diving support and consulting to the global shark diving industry. After many successful years in commercial shark diving and quite a few consulting and film projects behind us-we put together a great little team to offer a "one stop shop" at Shark Divers.

Don't take our word for it-we'll let these guys introduce us from our last project.

Stinkin' Dead Shark Award August 2008

At the end of this month we would like to present the SDS Award to those within the global community whose abjectly abhorrent behavior towards sharks and sustainable fisheries or shark conservation warrants a big black eye.

Translation-your treatment of sharks sucks!

This months award winner is:

Yahoo! Inc for continued support and investment in Alibaba.com and a one billion dollar shark fin portal that allows fishermen from all over the planet to pillage sharks just for their fins...and then hiding behind a press release that calls this issue a "Cultural Practices Issue".


26th August 2008

No McJaws. Misquoted by The SUN (again).

Hi Shark Diver,

What a surprise!

For those of you who know me and think I have gone crazy, and those who do not and assume I must be some armchair “expert”, can I assure you that much of what I was supposed to have said came purely from the imagination of the journalist concerned. Sun Article. I would not claim to be a shark expert, but have caught a few in the course of fisheries research in the Arabian Gulf and Ecuadorian waters, and have for the last ten years taken an interest in their occurrence, identification and conservation in the North East Atlantic and particularly around Britain.

I was ‘phoned on Friday morning by the said journalist, and from his description immediately said that it sounded like one of the porbeagles that are regularly seen around North Sea oil rigs. They seem to take advantage of the fish that benefit from these effective “no-take zones” and feed on the sessile organisms and other found on these structures. These porbeagles are perfectly harmless and inquisitive, almost friendly, having given many divers a shock when they turn up to inspect them at work.

When the photo concerned was sent through to me, I immediately phoned him back and told him that as expected it was definitely a Porbeagle and went through the identifying features with him. I told him that though related to and similar to a white shark there was no possibility that this was one. I have since found out that this video footage was taken three years ago.

With regard to the possibility of a white shark turning up in British waters I said that they may well have been here in the past and there was absolutely no reason that they could not occur except the great rarity of the species in the North East Atlantic (4 records from Biscay in 19th century, one in 20th and a possible sighting in 21st). Unlike Richard Peirce, I doubt that they have occurred here in the recent past, but ready to consider any evidence, especially since Ramon Bonfil’s studies in the Indian Ocean have shown that they are quite capable of crossing from the North West Atlantic population.

I made no mention about waters around rigs being warmer; is it? And said that they can occur from 5° to 22°C, preferring 14° to 17°C, hence they would have no problem in North Sea waters.

I further pointed out that even if they were present in the North Sea, there was no serious danger as there was a known population in the Mediterranean, but no human fatalities in the last 30 years (unless Sharkman or Alessandro can correct me).

Subsequently on Monday (I was not in as it was a Bank Holiday in England) the Sun contacted my colleague the Curator, Steve Matchett, with regard to a shark tooth found on a beach at Menai Bridge in North Wales. From the photograph he was able to say that it was either a white shark tooth or a very good replica, but since it had a neat hole drilled at the centre of the base since being in a shark it had almost certainly been on a necklace. Article.

I have seriously considered refusing to give interviews to The Sun, as this is the second time they have claimed that I have certified a shark as the “First British Great White”. However, as a major part of my role is to TRY to get the media to cover the marine environment and the life in it in a positive way, and to increase media coverage of marine matters, I feel I must persist with what is the most-read paper in Britain, in the hope that one day they will publish a decent story highlighting the incredible wildlife in British seas and the need to conserve it.

Douglas Herdson
Information Officer
National Marine Aquarium
Rope Walk
Plymouth PL4 0LF

Telephone: (+44)01752 275216/01752 600301
Fax: (+44)01752 275217
Email: Douglas.Herdson@national-aquarium.co.uk
website www.national-aquarium.co.uk
To inspire everyone to enjoy, learn and care about our Oceans through amazing, memorable experiences.

Google Bans Shark Finning Ads

From the guys over at A Couple Dives this mornings blog post and simply stunning news. For search giant Google to take on such a critical issue opens the doors to others within the search industry-namely Yahoo! who have not only allowed fining ads on their sites but have directly invested in shark fining to the tune of a billion dollars via Alibaba.com.

AdWords.jpgGoogle is following suit as the world takes a stand against the brutal practice of shark finning.

Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark's fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea. Finning is illegal in America (and elsewhere) but the ban is difficult to enforce. Every year tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Since the 1970s the populations of several species have been decimated by over 95%. Just a few months ago, the United States fisheries service ruled that fishermen must bring their shark catches to shore with fins still attached.

And now, since July, Google AdWords has taken the next step forward in ending this cruel practice by implementing a new policy regarding endangered or threatened species, including sharks. Google's advertising platform will no longer promote products obtained from endangered or threatened species. This includes, but is not limited to, the sale of products derived from elephants, sharks, tigers, whales, rhinoceroses, or dolphins.

The new policy comes after Coral Cay Conservation and supporter John Nunes from California wrote to Google urging them to change their policy on accepting paid advertising from shark fin product manufacturers.

Yahoo! and Alibaba.com continue to be the worlds largest online source for illegal shark products, who continue to enable the sales of thousands of tons of dried shark fin each and every month.

shark-fin.jpgHopefully this move by Google will force the hand of other companies such as Yahoo! and put an end to this barbaric practice.With a squelching of the demand for such products, fishermen will no longer profit from their sale and this kind of slaughter will be rendered obsolete.

Do you think Google should be doing more to lead the way in ending the cruel practice of shark finning? Should more action be taken against companies such as Yahoo! that condone such acts? Let us know in the comments! And make sure to check out Shark In The Pool!.

Albino Whale Shark-You Bet!

Nature has a way or surprising us and none more so then this unlikely critter a 30 foot albino Whale Shark:

It is one of the rarest sights of the ocean. A 30ft albino whale shark glides through the water with majestic grace.

It was captured by diver and naturalist Antonio Moreano off the coast of Darwin, the northern-most island of the Galapagos.

And this female is thought to be one of a kind.

Nor Cal White Sharks are Baaack!

It's a yearly ritual for our local beach here in Marin-Great Whites who come cruising down from Pt. Reyes looking for seals and end up making a scene at Stinson Beach:

Marin County's Stinson Beach was closed to swimmers and surfers after a great white shark was spotted Sunday night, according to national park officials.

The shark, which was eight to 10 feet long, was seen about 7 p.m. about 125 yards from shore.

"It was by a former lifeguard and fisherman; he knows what he saw, that is why we are confident it was a great white shark," said John Ralph, the lifeguard supervisor at Stinson, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Ralph said he immediately got people out of the water at Stinson on Sunday night, and then went to the adjacent Sea Drift and Bolinas beaches to let surfers there know about the sighting.

Stinson and Bolinas are both popular surfing spots.

Ralph said the beach was open Monday, but the water beyond waist deep was closed.

"I have a lot of kids today, I let them go knee deep and let them play with their boogie boards," Ralph said. The National Park Service posted warnings at Marin County's Upton's Beach, which is adjacent to Stinson.