Tuesday, August 3, 2010

All we can say is...Wow!

We rarely get tired of those rare moments where dead whales and sharks mix.

Port Douglas Queensland Australia. Local Line Burner fishing magazine writer 'Sharky' Shane Down swam with a dozen Tiger sharks and Bull sharks which were feeding on a sperm whale carcass which drifted in from the Pacific Ocean and landed on one of our local outer reef systems on the Great Barrier Reef. 'Sharky' can be seen riding the sharks and gets within inches as they gorge themselves on the carcass. It is totally amazing footage and shows sharks feeding in their natural environment. You will see a compressed 2.5 minute version but there is more footage and even additional footage of Shane interacting with Tiger sharks which has never been seen. Contact us if you believe you can use the footage for Television/Production purposes at info@fishingportdouglas.com.au

Industry News - Commercial Shark Diving Study

Scientists and South Australian cage-diving operators are collaborating in a world-first project to ensure the State’s eco-tourism activities take good care of Australia’s protected white sharks.

The research, led by Flinders University and SARDI shark ecologist, Dr Charlie Huveneers, will provide important information to help the State Government manage the growing industry which relies on the survival of the threatened species. Its outcomes will also help inform similar cage diving operations around the world in places such as New Zealand, South Africa and Mexico.

Dr Huveneers’ team and cage operators are working together over the next year to tag ten white sharks which inhabit the area around Australia’s main cage-diving operations off the remote Neptune Islands, 75 kilometres from Port Lincoln. Two 3.5 metre white sharks have been tagged to date.

“Berleying activities at the Neptune Islands have recently been increasing. However, the impacts of such activities are still poorly understood, and there is a need to investigate how berleying might affect white shark behaviour and movements” Dr Huveneers said.

“Previous studies in South Africa indicated that white sharks became ‘habituated’ to berleying rather than ‘conditioned’. As a result, sharks might become less attracted to berley,” he said.

“The white shark cage-diving industry at the Neptune Islands attracts a large amount of tourism to South Australia and Port Lincoln. It is important to ensure that this industry is sustainable and that it does not negatively impact on the white shark population frequenting the Neptune Islands.

“Sharks also play an important role in the ecosystem with the removal of top predators having shown to cause cascading effects down the food web.”

“Our research will hopefully provide crucial data which will help the Department for Environment and Heritage and PIRSA Fisheries to assess if the current level of berleying undertaken by the white shark cage-diving industry around the Neptune Islands is impacting on shark behaviour.”

Dr Huveneers says the team is using fine-scale positioning technology accurate to within one metre to track the sharks. Sharks are tagged with an acoustic tag as they swim past the boat allowing researchers to record their positions in relation to the cage-diving boats for a period of up to 45 days.

Serendipity - Two Shark Crises Media Reports

Two news reports on sharks and the ongoing shark crises today that made front page news worldwide.

CNN covers Matt Rand from PEW explaining how the crises is unfolding:

"At one time, shark fin soup was considered a delicacy for the elite. But as Asia grows in population and wealth, the demand for shark fins has gone through the roof. According to the United Nations, shark fin imports to Hong Kong and Taiwan alone rose 214 percent from 1985 to 1998. This has had a disastrous impact on shark populations globally."

The Sydney Morning Hearld covers a company accused of illegally killing 280,000 sharks:

"A conservation watchdog accused a Brazilian company of illegally fishing 280,000 sharks which were killed to feed Asia's appetite for sharkfin.The Environmental Justice Institute, a Brazilian group, on Monday lodged a suit against seafood exporter Sigel do Brasil Comercio demanding $US800 million ($A883 million) in environmental damages."

Premature Weapons Discharge - Florida

When guns and sharks do not mix. Kudos to Dorsal Fin Blog for the video find and Oceanic Dreams for the re post.

First With Giant Squids? - Not So Fast Brady Barr

Brady Barr, show host extraordinaire, National Geographics resident Herpetologist, winner of the Wild Animal Show Host Hall of Fame Bite Moment (see video, no really see it).

You'll also remember Brady from last year with what looked to be a dead Tiger shark, and an image touted to be Brady swimming with the animal. Except the animal was tied by the tail hanging nose down in the water and Brady's bubbles were heading towards the surface.

These days Brady and National Geographic are claiming to be the first ever team to place a camera on a Giant Humboldt Squid in the Sea of Cortez, unfortunately this whopper of a claim like so many of Brady Barrs animal stunts is 100% false.

Brady Barr and his team are, simply put, liars.

The actual first ever camera on a squid moment goes to Scott Cassell who was also the first to work with these incredible animals several years ago, and who is the go to source for most of the squid productions in the region. He and his team were the first to develop cameras on squids and the first to document deep water squid behaviour in the region.

Just setting the record straight for anyone in production who cares to know. Now on to Brady and another magical moment with wild animals.