Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail-And a Couple of Sharks

We have come to admire Scotty Gray owner/operator and driving force behind Blue Iguana Charters in the Florida Keys.

Scotty was the calm cool captain behind a few of our Tiger shark film shoots last season in the Bahamas. If it's sharky-Scotty will know about it or can take you there.

He recently sent over a dive offer he's calling the "Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail". We asked Scotty if this 3 day live aboard dive adventure was also "sharky" and his answer was-yes. Join him and his crew at a discounted rate of $285 per day and dive the following wrecks and a whole lotta reefs...plus a few sharks in between:

  • USS Spiegel Grove
  • USCGC Duane
  • USCGC Bibb
  • The Eagle
  • The Benwood
  • The City of Washington

Scotty can be found here tell him the Shark Diver Guys sent you to get the special dive rate and good hunting!

Gunther Deichmann.One Camera.One Expose.

Kudo's to photographer Gunther Deichmann for his unflinching expose into the industrial scale of shark fining in Bali.

The story of how he got these images is not as important as what he did with these images. Media is a powerful conservation tool it is not a private club. Nor do you have to have a special talent to acquire main stream media attention. Gunther attracted the attention of the U.K's Daily Mail with a global reach of 18.0 million unique visitors with his images.

All you need are images and a compelling story:

Renowned freelance photographer, Gunther Deichmann, 58, who photographed the shark fin haul, is adamant the world should confront the growing issue of shark fin trading.

'The volume of fins they were unloading was incredible, compared with the loads that the other tuna fishermen were working on,' said Manila-based Gunther. Working freelance on a commercial project, Gunther caught the every day fishing scene just by chance.

'I was doing a shoot for a Balinese restaurant and we were shooting the fresh produce aspect. It was at the harbour that I noticed this fishing haul so I started shooting'.

'This kind of fishing is totally legal in Indonesia so I was not in danger or in anybody's face'.

'The scale of the trawlers that catch the fish, the number of fishermen on site and the number of loads they unpacked from the ships was simply industrial in scale,' Gunther added.

Whale Shark Conservation-Wildlife Trust of India

How do you go from this image to sustainable shark tourism in India?

For many, India is a lost cause, but for a few it's fertile grounds to begin conservation on the street level with local fishermen by re-tasking them in ways that bring them closer to sustainable practices.

Whale sharks have long been know as "instant shark tourism" hopefully this program will lead to the inevitable next steps:

The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in collaboration with the state Forests and Environment Department and the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) of Goa will conduct the five-year research to study whale shark habitat, map their migration, various aspects of their life cycles and genetic patterns.

With the commitment shown by the local fishing community for whale shark conservation in the coastal region of Saurasthra, a group of fishermen will be specially trained for project.The research, which also includes the study of the coral reef along the Gujarat coastline, is being funded by the Jamnagar-based Tata Chemicals Limited.

Marine biodiversity expert from NIO, M Wafar, who is part of the core team of scientists for the project, said, "We will be training the local fishermen to collect samples from underneath the sea. They will also be taught how to click photographs of whale sharks using underwater cameras.