Sunday, April 25, 2010

Guadalupe Island - New Conservation Video

Only Oceans Aloft could bring you aerial shots of Isla Guadalupe like these and their latest conservation video covers shark conservation at Isla Guadalupe from both historical and political perspectives.

Featuring show host host Natasha Stenbock, CICIMAR's Dr Mauricio Hoyos, conservation NGO Wildcoast, and some great underwater footage shot with Horizon Charters and Shark Diver in 2009.

This conservation video tackles "Conservation Shark Diving" head on and the viewer comes away with a richer understanding of what Isla Guadalupe means to the many thousands of shark divers who have been coming to this unique and pristine island since 2002.

Great industry quotes from Horizon vessel Captain Spencer and dive operations manager Martin Graf as well. Shark finning video courtesy of Sharkwater Productions.

Oil Spill in the Gulf - Whale Shark Impact?

For the past two years we have been covering whale shark aggregations off the coast of Morgan City, Louisiana.

Upwards of 40-100 animals at a time have been sighted here year after year and have become both industry and major media news.

Scientist Eric Hoffmayer has been studying these groups as far out as 100 miles from shore and that's where this weeks news from the Gulf takes a decidedly nasty turn.

The Swiss-based Transocean Ltd's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sunk last week leaving many in the region to worry about ongoing oil seeping from the wellhead at 5000 feet. The worst case scenario has happened and now experts agree close to 1000 barrels a day are leaking to the surface or close to 42,000 gallons of oil.

Oil clean up crews have dumped over a million gallons of chemical oil dispersant into the region and more is sure to come in an effort to break up the oil on the surface. As whale sharks feed on the surface this oil and chemical dispersant does not bode well for these peaceful giants of the Gulf.

More from RTSEa Blog.

California Shark Research - Nuclear Options

Question: How do you age validate sharks?

Unlike trees or even mammals sharks are cartilaginous, they do not have bones or tree rings to look over after they die.

Bones and tree rings can give you the age of your target research specimen pretty quickly. With most shark species that's a much harder proposition.

Enter some smart folks at the Pacific Shark Research Center in California who are doing age validation of sharks and rays using radiocarbon isotopes.

As it turns out above ground testing of nukes in the 50's and 60's dropped these isotopes (14C) all over the planet and for a time every living thing on the planet had higher levels in their bodies. By tracking these higher levels in cartilage researchers can get a pretty accurate look at the age of long lived sharks like the white shark.

For more information go here.

Palau Shark Sanctuary - Video Interview

We follow a number of blogs one of which is The Palau Shark Sanctuary Blog Shark Talk.

For those that do not know the inspiring story of Dermot Keane there's a new video interview out that makes for fascinating watching:

When Irishman Dermot Keane visited Palau for the first time, he wasn’t aware of the disruptive fishing techniques, or the shocking shark finning that was going on around the island. But once he did, he decided to do something about this.

Big time!