Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Demons of Durban - Part I

From the Team Rebel Fishing Blog.

Today's land based shark fishing is 99% catch, tag, and release.

This was not always the case and this week the TRS blog launched a multi-part expose on land based shark fishing roots.

The Demons of Durban

Early in the twentieth century, in a town which is now known internationally for its history of violent shark attacks, a group of men would fish on the legendary South jetty on the edge of the shipping and whaling lanes for grunters and various other pan fish for table fare. But over the course of the years during the South African whaling season, the anglers would constantly see large numbers of massive sharks that entered the lanes to feast upon the whales scraps that were useless to the whalers, and tossed aside into the harbor's dead end.

Every year between May 1st and September 30th, the jetty would be littered with the anglers of the Durban Shark Club, for the sole fact that this was the time period allotted for hunting the Baleen whales that migrated down the African coast. When the whalers would arrive back to port with their catches in tow, the sharks would be nipping at the heels of the boats and their prize harvest.

Many account have even recorded that up till the moment the entire whale carcass was drug up the whaling chute, that there were Zambezi (Bull) sharks, hanging onto the carcass until the last possible moment to get one last chunk of the rich blubbery flesh before they awaited the return of the next whaler in the fleet.

Complete Post.

Breast Implants and Sharks...and has CSI jumped the shark?

Got an email from David Shiffman over at the Southern Fried Science Blog today taking about the long running television series CSI. A recent episode featured a supposed Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) munching on a hotel raver in a Las Vegas wading pool.

A freshwater pool.

The video lead in featured all 17 varieties of breast implants, a few vacuous looking extras dancing to a terrible techno beat, a shark researcher in a chain mail suit, and oh yeah, an actual shark attack.

If David is asking for industry opinions on television shows that jump the shark, we would suggest that all the elements are in play for this shows jump, actually leap, into the fine world of Fonzie's last stunt to long running series irrelevance.

Watch the video:

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation and The Humane Society of the United States team up with the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative For Historic Campaign

What began as a conservation concept generated by the commercial shark diving industry, in reaction to gravid Tiger sharks being taken in the Bahamas for a few images and a pair of jaws, has, in the hands of a skilled and dedicated team - become a full blown reality.

Welcome to The Shark-Free Marina Initiative.

10.20.2010 — Beginning in October, the Shark-Free Marina Initiative will embark on itʼs largest membership campaign throughout the United States and the Bahamas in order to save sharks. Sharks are disappearing from our oceans at an alarming rate. Therefore, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, and various other organizations have teamed up with the Shark-Free Marina Initiative (SFMI) for a singular, historic purpose: to reduce worldwide shark mortality. SFMI certifies sport fishing and resort marinas as ʻShark-Freeʼ thereby prohibiting any shark from being landed at their dock. The SFMI team is being advised by Dr. Bob Hueter, Director of Shark Research at the Mote Marine Laboratory and John Le Coq, co-founder of Fishpond USA.

“SFMI works directly with the recreational and commercial fishing community to send a clear message,” says Luke Tipple, Managing Director and SFMI founder. “As shark populations are decimated on a global scale we as a species are obligated to pay attention and reduce our wasteful destruction of these incredibly important animals.”

Dr. Guy Harvey, Founder of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, supports SFMI with more than just words.”We put our money where our mouth is,” says Dr. Harvey.”Our Big Game Fishing Marina is completely shark free. No caught sharks can be landed here.” Dr. John Grandy, senior vice president, The Humane Society of the United States, enthusiastically supports the SFMI campaign. According to Dr. Grandy: “Although shark finning and commercial fishing are responsible for the majority of worldwide shark mortality figures, this campaign to encourage hundreds of marinas to
go shark free can save tens of thousands of sharks each year and change perceptions about this much maligned creature.”

Some very important and influential celebrity spokespeople are also teaming up with SFMI. Fashion photographer and Americaʼs Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker feels strongly that we all have to speak out for sharks. “There are many good fishermen out there who respect the oceans and know that in order to preserve their way of life for future generations we all need to be more aware of our actions and the results they may cause.”

Slash, legendary guitarist and founding member of Guns & Roses and Velvet Revolver adds, “It is important to me as a father and concerned human being, that we do all we can to address the wasteful destruction of these amazing and important animals. We must ensure that sharks are around for future generations.”

Shark-Free Marinas has a message that is being heard worldwide. Tipple summarizes “Shark overfishing is a serious problem which threatens the very health of our oceans. Itʼs time to take a stand and set an example of sensible conservation that can be globally respected and repeated. There is a solution, and it starts at our marinas."

About The Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the nationʼs largest animal protection organization – backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the web at

About fishpond:
fishpond is a worldwide brand of products designed and manufactured for fishing and outdoor enthusiasts. fishpond was created with the philosophy that innovation, design and a responsibility towards the environment from which we draw our inspiration is critical to our success.