Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shark-Free Marinas Initiative, Bahamas

In the spring of 2008, Shark Diver was alerted to a female Tiger shark that was taken off Freeport, Bahamas.

Shark Diver is a commercial shark diving company which runs shark charters in the Bahamas and worldwide.

The animal was caught by a sport fisherman and displayed at a local marina where it was cut open to reveal several half-dead pups inside, some of which were dropped into the marina and struggled to survive for a few days.

We have decided act with the creation of the Shark Free Marinas Initiative.

The Government of the Bahamas allows sport fishing for sharks and we fully support sustainable catch and release fisheries. However, the taking of gravid female sharks for a one-time photo op and a set of jaws is a senseless waste of a valuable resource.

The Shark Free Marinas Initiative is a way to work with existing resort marinas in the Bahamas and worldwide that cater to sport fishing vessels, seeking their cooperation in asking them not to allow sharks to be taken and displayed at their marinas. This initiative, in turn, encourages the use of catch and release programs and promotes sustainable regional fisheries.

Each marina and resort that supports this initiative will receive both, a metal sign and logo we have created to post in their marina office, and the following information for posting on their marina websites:

(Name of resort and marina) supports the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative in the Bahamas region. The Bahamas is home to many shark species and the healthy reef systems that support these sharks. We feel the one-time harvesting of sharks for photo images or souvenir jaws is not in the best interests of the Bahamian people or Bahamian tourism.

Worldwide, sharks are being decimated for fins and jaws at a completely unsustainable rate. An estimated 60 million sharks per year are taken in this manner. By asking vessels not to arrive at our facilities with sharks, we hope to encourage responsible sport fishing, thereby ensuring a lasting and healthy population of sharks in Bahamian waters for future generations and contributing to the overall health of the Caribbean.

Please practice catch-and-release with all sharks and enjoy our facilities.

Welcome to the Bahamas.

Editors Note: This initiative is not only limited to the Bahamas and the several marinas who have expressed an interest in joining it (press release to follow). As a concept we will allow and help promote any organization or group to use this logo to enact their own regional Shark-Free Marinas. In places like Florida and the East coast this could conceivably help redirect shark kills and weigh ins. It offers the opportunity for marinas to claim the "Green Card" while at the same time redirecting fishermen into sustainable fisheries.

Special thanks to Richard Theiss RTSea Productions for video PSA's.

Shark conservation. One blog, one website, one person at a time.

Zombi Two 1979's Reel Shark Horror

The following video clip has been "sitting in our craw" for a number of months now. The details- where it was filmed and when-have been a mystery, until today when we decided to look in Wikipedia. Now the story can be told:

Memorable Scenes

The film became infamous for two scenes in particular, aided by special effects. One features a zombie (Ramon Bravo) fighting a shark underwater. The actor scheduled to fight the shark was unable to perform the day the sequence was to be shot, so the shark's trainer was used instead.

Editors Note: Sharks trainer?! You mean "Fisherman and killer of Tigers", trainer we think not. Thankfully this was in 1979 so there's a better than 99% chance we'll never see a shark horror film like this one ever again.

Man Bites Shark-Saves Dog

....or something to that effect went down in Florida this week as dog owner Greg LeNoir jumped into "shark infested waters" to save his Rat Terrier from a shark that was happily munching on it:
Greg LeNoir watched in horror as a shark's mouth opened wide Friday, chomping a large set of teeth on his beloved 14-pound dog, Jake.

''Noooooo,'' LeNoir shrieked, fearing the worst.

But the case of the rat terrier versus shark has a happy ending.

Editors Note: The dog featured in this post is none other than our sharky mascot Sierra-a slightly overweight and completely fearless Rottweiler. Knowing that dogs should be able to fend off sharks and other predatory critters we chose a slightly more "robust companion" with Sierra. Hat Tip: Squid Force Media news bite.