Monday, October 6, 2008

Ask a Shark Guy

It's nice to get asked sharky questions and we answer about 20 of these a week. The short answer to this weeks question is "jump in the waters fine".

In the 100 year history of the SF Bay there has never been a recorded shark attack:

Dear Shark Divers,

I saw your blog while I was searching for information regarding San Francisco Bay, and I would appreciate if you could advise me.

I live in the UK and a friend of mine also from the UK, has been trying to persuade me to do a swim in 2009 from Alcatraz to San Francisco Bay. She has done it with a team last year and would like me to get involved.

Although I am interested in this idea and I see it as a great challenge, I am a bit afraid as I worry about the sharks in the bay. Do you get white sharks around Alcatraz towards the San Francisco Bay? Is it really dangerous to do a swim of this kind? What should I be wary of?

I would really appreciate your advice. It will help me to reach a final decision.

Thank you in advance and all the best!

Great White Hunters Wins Award!?

We covered these guys a few weeks ago, as a fluff piece. As in "Check out the Noobs who are catching white sharks for sport-complete with a beer holder-mounted to a roof-mounted to a fishing chair...on a truck".

Today thanks to Chum Slick we found out this film, and we use that term in a lightest refrain, has won an actual award. Which leads us to our Sex in the City-esq question of the week.

How is it that idiots who essentially do really bad things with sharks are rewarded for their efforts?

Could be the stubby holder, must be the stubby holder.

"In my day he'd get a big boot up the arse.''

Sorry, we just could not help ourselves. Seems the old adage "Boys will be boys" went a little too far last week as a seven year old miscreant in Australia systematically fed other zoo critters to a 12 foot resident saltwater croc.

We happen to like the curators response to this horrific event and hope they opt for that solution- The Big Boot:

He also bludgeoned three lizards to death in their pens. Police cannot charge the boy because of his age the NT News reports. Security camera video footage clearly shows every move of the youngster's 35-minute rampage.

One CCTV image shows him with a big smile on his face as he watches the saltie splash around its pool as it attacks a northern blue tongue lizard.

The malicious foray happened at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre in broad daylight between about 8am and 8.30am on Wednesday. Centre director Rex Neindorf said the behaviour was "disgusting''.

"The fact a seven-year-old can wreak so much havoc in such a short time, let alone even think of doing something like this, is unbelievable. "If it was back in my day he'd get a big boot up the arse.''

Shark washes up in Oregon with unknown parasites

Now, this is disturbing. For the past 3 years we have been watching an increase in the numbers of Salmon Sharks (Lamna ditropis) that have been washing up on the shorelines of California and Oregon.

Until recently their migration patterns were unknown. We now know they migrate many miles south from Alaska and back each year.

The latest parasite development is always cause for concern:

SEASIDE, Ore. -- A shark that washed up on an Oregon beach was covered with unknown parasites.

Seaside Aquarium officials say the 4-foot salmon shark that washed up in the Cannon Beach area Wednesday was covered with a dense layer of parasites in an unusual way. Aquarium manager Keith Chandler said staff members could not identify the type of parasite and have begun seeking opinions from other marine experts around the Northwest.

It was the fourth salmon shark found by the Seaside Aquarium in the last six weeks. They have been showing up in the fall and late summer months in recent years, with increasing frequency.

Gulper Sharks in Tasmania

It's been a banner year for shark discoveries, from recent new shark species discoveries in the South Pacific to this Gulper Shark (Centrophorus granulosus), In Tasmamia last week.

Thought to be almost extinct in these waters researchers were surprised to find this one.

Dogfish have been hunted relentlessly over the past decade for their livers which hold squalene used as a moisturizer. Ironically, some commercial shark diving operations in South Africa also use shark livers to attract white sharks for paying tourists.

While the rest of the planet fights against shark finning-deep water sharks like the Gulper Shark are loosing the battle as well. Unfortunately for the deep water species we know almost nothing about their reproductive habits.