Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pete Thomas Outdoors - Brazil Shark Fin Bust

If you have not yet become a fan of the Pete Thomas Outdoors blog you should do so soon.

Investigative journalism is what this blog is all about. And it's no surprise because Pete is a reporter with a free reign to cover just about anything. Fortunately one of the things he cares about are our oceans, and more specifically sharks.

Pete covered a recent shark fin bust from Brazil that no one is talking about yet. One ton of fins destined for Japan with a $29,000 fine.

"The owner of the export company in Brazil was fined $29,700 and crews of the fishing boats also are expected to be penalized for illegally slaughtering sharks."

Good to have Pete on our side.

Complete story.

Fly Fishing's Mount Everest - Hydrocynus goliath

Angler biologist Jeremy Wade has a hit show on Discovery Networks travelling around the world to catch and release some of the planets more extreme underwater critters.

It's a great job if you can get it.

The critter he is holding is fly fishing's Mount Everest, it is Hydrocynus goliath and to date few have actually caught one and lived to tell the tale.

For obvious reasons this critter is hard to catch (namely teeth) and the fact you'll find it in the Congo River Basin an area not known for friendly gastronomic flora, insects, rival militaristic rebel groups or even ease of travel.

Still, as far as freshwater predators go, this one is at the top of the list. Nice catch, great show.

Still interested?

As rare as "Unobtanium" - Shark attack Guadalupe?

What are the chances that you will have your vessel attacked at Isla Guadalupe by a white shark?

If you are running commercial operations at this pristine and unique island the chances are close to 0% percent. In fact in the many years we have been to this site it has never happened. These animals are curious, but just not that aggressive towards small floating vessels.

If you are running research operations at this pristine and unique island the chances are, once again, close to 0%.

If you are Discovery Networks and stuntman Charles Ingram who are only at this dive site for 72 hours to film a white shark special, the chances that a white shark will attack your floating dinghy with your show host inside are closer to 100%.

Is this real television, stunt work, staged animal filming, or just plain "good luck" for the production company?

"Trieste" by any other name

While the rest of the planet went about its daily business last week a small but dedicated group of explorers joined together in celebration in Washington.

There were gathered to celebrate mans first descent to 35,800 feet and Don Walsh who is the only surviving member of that stunning dive. A groundbreaking exploration he accomplished with dive partner Jacques Piccard...50 years ago.

Luminaries from James Cameron to Sylvia Earl were on hand to congratulate the man, the submarine, and the achievement. They were also on hand to ruminate about the possibilities of going back.

50 years ago deep water technology did not include composite materials, lightweight carbon, and newer composite viewing windows.

As the Washington Post wrote last week, Don Walshes descent almost ended before it began:

At 31,000 feet, they echo-sounded for the bottom. There was no return. At 32,400 feet, a thick window cracked with a bang. Farther down they went. Into the bleak hadal zone, named for Hades, the ancient Greek underworld. Finally, at 35,800 feet, then-Navy Lt. Don Walsh, 28, phoned the surface: "This is Trieste. We are on the bottom of Challenger Deep. . . . Over."

Complete story and video.

Rep Jon Riki Karamatsu - Conservationist!


What a difference a few days can make. As it turns out Hawaii's historic vote on a complete ban on shark fins was unanimous and the critical vote of Rep.Jon Riki Karamatsu went for the bill instead of against it...

...and then in a stunning display of flip-floppery Riki Karamatsu turned against the bill he just voted for and tried to kill it.

For one brief moment we had thought that Riki Karamatsu had demonstrated real conservation leadership in Hawaii. We dreamed that Riki might be the kind of leader who would listen to all sides of an issue but when it comes to issues about the environment, animal cruelty, and unsustainable practices Mr.Karamatsu understands and acts.

Sadly he's just a hack politico who will waver and waffle when important bills are in play pandering to whoever he can to get a vote or two.

DO NOT VOTE for this man and is race for the Lieutenant Governors seat in Hawaii.When the chips are down, Karamatsu is a poor choice for the oceans, the environment and Hawaii.

Complete story here.