Monday, July 6, 2009

Death of a Titan - Puerto Nuevo, Mexico

At one of the longest running shark lists on the planet, the Shark-l, one poster Helmut Nickel comes up with unique shark media finds. This week his discovery of a dead white shark at a fishing camp in Mexico highlights the needs for stronger protections for these magnificent animals.

We blogged about sport take sharks last month in "One Shark".


Sharky said...

What is the story behind this. Was this an "on purpose" kill, was it a net entanglement, or what? Is this the Puerto Nuevo right next to Rosorito where they have all those cheesy lobster joints?

Sharkin John said...

The Teeth are probably going to the two Ebay sellers in China selling illegally obtained Great White Shark Teeth that I have been trying to get banned for the last year and a half.

Shark Diver said...

Hi S.J,

We may never know the story but I sent the video around to CICIMAR and Imanya to see if they knew anything.

From the looks of it I would say entanglement as there's no hook marks on the sharks face or gaff marks around the head. Plus those guys do not have the heavy duty gear to take down a shark that size.

The shark probably ended in Ensenada marked as Swordfish. We have been documenting white sharks sold there for many years now.

Keep up your work with the teeth it is needed.

Sharkin John said...

Thanks for sharing the video! Yeah looks like entanglement to me too. Still leaves the question of intentional entanglement open. I still have one of the photos you put out a couple years ago of a Great White section on ice with a Swordfish tag on it. I thought Mexico had adopted laws to prohibit Great White Shark killing and trade or did it not pass? Or just not regulated maybe.

Shark Diver said...

Mexico as you know is a complicated place. We interviewed the local fishermen in Ensenada who regularly catch white shark YOY and have been for generations.

For them they are "just fishing". What is caught is sold and eaten.

Conservation is in the eye of the beholder.

While I would like them to stop killing baby great whites, what do I have to offer in return and by proxy what does the Mexican gov have to offer?

It could also be sustainable we do not have enough data yet from tags to fully understand population densities or migrations.

We do know they travel past Ensenada on their way to the Sea of Cortez where they are getting whacked and sold.

Yes, it is illegal to catch and sell whites in Mexico as far as I understand.

Q: How do you selective fish with a long line?

Sharkin John said...

True points. Kinda like when I have been to Haiti and seen the damage done to the marine ecosystem there from overfishing, corrupt governments, etc...but trying to help with any conservation efforts would not work unless the fishermen had an alternative income source. Tilapia farming was one thing we discussed, but it had issues as well. Understandable the difficulty it is to get people to look at the long term condition of their underwater world when they have families to care for now. Could be any of us!

Shark Diver said...

That's the heart of regional conservation efforts.

How do rich, well heeled westerners, tell poor fishermen in leaky boats with questionable engines and no radios who go 150 miles off the coast to stop laying out long line?

That's the million dollar question and one I have few answers for.

Education works so much, but frankly if it means a new sat dish on their house for these guys vs no fishing the sat dish wins every time.