Thursday, June 30, 2011

White Shark Spotted in Florida at 170' - Confirmed!

Any time you can spend a quality moment in the water with an animal like this is a good day. For a spearfishing diver just hoping to get his limit on Amberjack in the green waters off Sebastian Inlet this weeks encounter with a sizable white shark was nothing but amazing!

NSU’s Guy Harvey Research Institute Receives $100,000 from Guy Harvey

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE Fla. — Guy Harvey, the renowned artist, scientist, and conservationist, recently donated $100,000 to Nova Southeastern University’s Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) to conduct research on fisheries.

The funding will be used to support the ongoing research projects at the GHRI, which is run by NSU Oceanographic Center Professor Mahmood Shivji, Ph.D. The GHRI conducts high quality, solution-oriented basic and applied scientific research needed for effective conservation, biodiversity maintenance, restoration, and understanding of the world's wild fishes.

“This signification donation from Guy Harvey will help advance the important work we do at GHRI to make new discoveries,” Shivji said.

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), created by Guy Harvey, funds inspired scientific research and innovative educational programs to encourage conservation and best management practices for sustainable marine environments. The Guy Harvey Research Institute has received generous support from GHOF over the years.

Growing up in Jamaica, Guy Harvey spent many hours fishing and diving with his father along the Island's south coast. He was obsessed with the creatures of the sea and began drawing pictures of the many different fish he observed. Harvey’s artwork can be found in art exhibits, stores, galleries, restaurants and at fishing tournaments. He makes appearances at store openings as well as public appearances for a variety of environmental causes.

Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer, fiercely devoted to his family and his love of the sea.

Established in 1999, the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) is a collaboration between Harvey, and the Oceanographic Center. The mission of the GHRI is to provide the scientific information necessary to understand, conserve and effectively manage the world's marine fishes and their ecosystems.

The GHRI is one of only a handful of private organizations dedicated exclusively to the science-based conservation of marine fish populations and biodiversity. The research, education and outreach activities of the GHRI are supported by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, AFTCO Inc., extramural research grants, philanthropic donations by private businesses and individuals, and Nova Southeastern University.

The GHRI is conducting a wide variety of research on the ecology, genetics, behavior, physiology, and evolution of fishes with the aim of providing information critically needed for effective conservation efforts worldwide. GHRI research is being conducted both in the laboratory and in field locations around the globe in association with U.S. and international scientists.

As director of the GHRI, Shivji led an international research team in 2007 who showed for the first time that female sharks can reproduce without mating with a male. This is done through a type of asexual reproduction called parthenogenesis. GHRI is dedicated to conducting the research required for conservation and proper management of the world’s wild fishes.

“This discovery completely rewrites the textbook on how sharks can reproduce,” Shivji said.

Shivji has also co-led a research team that discovered a new species of billfish that looks like white marlin. This finding means that many white marlin have been misidentified for decades, casting doubt on previous scientific information about the overfished species. The discovery could have a major impact on commercial fishing, which has reduced white marlin populations.

Using DNA methods, Shivji and his students also traced hammerhead shark fins from the Hong Kong markets, where the fins are prized delicacies used in soup, to their geographic origins in the western Atlantic Ocean, where the sharks are endangered. This discovery will better help conserve and manage the species.

In addition, Shivji, who also directs the OC’s Save Our Seas Shark Center, which is dedicated to shark research and conservation, has invented a DNA test that can determine which species of shark a fin came from in a matter of hours. Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice used his test to successfully prosecute a Florida man who participated in dealing illegal shark fins.

Shivji’s efforts have impressed America’s most famous museum: The Smithsonian Institution. The institution is now displaying his work at The Sant Ocean Hall inside the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

World Conference on Marine Biodiversity 2011 - You Going?

"The oceans provide an irreplaceable resource to humankind which must be protected and managed into the future. The impact of changes in biodiversity as a result of direct and indirect human impact must be fully considered.

Taking place September 26-30, 2011, in Aberdeen, Scotland (UK) the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity has the overall aim of bringing together scientists, practitioners and the public to discuss and advance our understanding of the issues surrounding the importance of biodiversity in the marine environment. The conference will address issues of marine biodiversity across a deliberately wide range of relevant spheres and interacting topics.

More specifically the conference aims to:
-Review our knowledge of marine biodiversity and its role in marine ecosystem functioning
-Assess the most critical threats to marine systems and consider management strategies
-Discuss sustainable development and socio-economic impacts on the marine sector
-Identify future research priorities
-The conference will be aimed at the widest possible groups of participants stakeholders from academics to industry and include elements specifically targeted at the public and school children.

For more information and to be included on the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity Mailing list please email including your name and organisation indicating if you are interested as a delegate or an exhibitor."

Marine Biodiversity 2011 World Conference Website

Save Snapper Ledge - One Click, One Voice

An initiative to protect premier Florida Keys Dive Site, Snapper Ledge, as a Sanctuary Preservation Area, SPA.

This video portrays the incredible beauty of Snapper Ledge and the critical importance of protecting it from hook and line and spearfishing. This video shows a means to sign a petition to protect Snapper Ledge.

Save Snapper Ledge click this link to add your voice today.

A video production by Frazier Nivens, Ocean Imaging.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hideous Shark Monster Pulled from Sea of Cortez?

File this under "Montauk Monster," and we predict that this single image will soon become the summer shark freak-out image of 2011.

Hat Hip to Peter Thomas Outdoors for the find - actually we kinda wished he didn't find it.

What you are looking at is a "one-eyed bull shark fetus," pulled from a pregnant animal somewhere off La Paz Mexico.

The eye is the freaky part and we might have called "Faux Shark" on this one until word that renown shark scientist Dr.Felipe Galvan had seen, studied, and produced an initial paper on this otherworldly animal.

Dr.Galvan in tandem with Dr.Mauricio Hoyos are the lead shark researchers at Isla Guadalupe studying white sharks with CICIMAR.

Toby Fraley is Robot Cool

When it comes to Steam Punk, Robot Cool, and artists that create amazing stuff I am a stone cold sucker for it.

Behold, one of my personal favorites Toby Atticus Fraley an artists who knows his craft.

Toby is to robots what Van Gogh was to paint and madness, blending both with a skill and deft realism that makes me want to become a full time collector.

Unfortunately I will probably have to sell my original, still in the box, puppet to afford a complete set of Toby's Robot Art.

Cool has a new definition with the initials T.A.F.

Patric Douglas CEO

Spinner Shark takes on surfer - Video

The spinner shark (Carcharhinus brevipinna) is a species of requiem shark, family Carcharhinidae, named for the spinning leaps it makes as a part of its feeding strategy. This species occurs in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide, except for in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is found from coastal to offshore habitats to a depth of 100 m (330 ft), though it prefers shallow water. The spinner shark resembles a larger version of the blacktip shark (C. limbatus), with a slender body, long snout, and black-marked fins. This species can be distinguished from the blacktip shark by the first dorsal fin, which has a different shape and is placed further back, and by the black tip on the anal fin (in adults only). It attains a maximum length of 3 m (10 ft).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Predation Carcharodon carcharias or Isurus oxyrinchus?

A long beaked dolphin (Delphinus capensis) missing it's middle section in a "very suspect" semi circular pattern washed ashore in Redondo Beach in March this year (click image).

The wound pattern opened up the question about it's attacker(s) and a running debate is now unfolding between two camps who are championing:

1. Carcharodon carcharias

2. Isurus oxyrinchus

“It’s a predation kill, most likely by a great white shark,” Dave Janiger, a curatorial assistant in the mammalogy department of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.

The main question is timing. Do we even have Carcharodon carcharias off Redondo beach in March large enough to make a successful predation on an animal this big?

Seals in August and September have washed up in the same location without heads in previous years and that's fits with migration profiles.

So, was this the work of an overlarge Isurus oxyrinchus perhaps?

Image by surf photographer Brad Jacobson.

Viva Honduras for the sharks!

Honduran President Porfirio Lobo Sosa will sign the sanctuary bill into law on Friday on a visit to the island of Roatan, the country’s top diving and snorkeling destination, his office said on Thursday.

The move makes permanent a moratorium on commercial fishing for sharks that Honduras announced last year in a joint declaration with the Micronesian island of Palau.

The march for sharks has reached all corners of the planet, and in the shadow of Mexico's recent ban on shark fishing this brings strong leadership to Latin America.

Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation funds University of Miami's R.J. Dunlap Program

MIAMI – June 23, 2011 -- In the past 50 years, approximately 80 percent of all sharks have disappeared – this includes the shark populations off the coast of the Sunshine State.

The University of Miami's R.J. Dunlap (RJD) Marine Conservation Program was awarded a $30,000 grant by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) to conduct research designed to further shark conservation off the Florida coast. The grant has the potential of reaching a total of $120,000 over the next four years.

"The ocean's top predators are under unprecedented pressure from unsustainable fishing practices and changes in the ocean chemistry," said world-renowned marine artist and biologist Dr. Guy Harvey. "This research will give us great insight into how their removal will impact the entire marine ecosystem."

Headed by Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, the RJD Program is investigating the effects on the ecosystem structure due to overfishing top predators. "Models have indicated that a decline in top predators will decrease the number of economically important fishes, and even a loss of important habitats such as coral reefs," according to the proposal.

The team will conduct a series of field and laboratory studies including field surveys, stable isotope analysis, genetic analysis and blood hormone analysis. Taken in marine protected areas and areas subject to fishing throughout the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas, field studies will be used to determine community structure and patterns.

Press release.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chris Fallows - Hats off to amazing!

When the Sardine Run is "on" it is the greatest show on earth and industry veteran Chris Fallows was there to document it this month in a series of stunning images.

Chris and wide Monique are shark diving industry veterans, industry innovators, and all round nice folks.

Word on the street he'll be on this years Shark Week with something special and it's about time too, as we have not seen him work his shark magic for a few years now.

Anyone remember the stunning slow motion white shark footage from a few years back?

For more on Chris and his latest sardine adventure read Pete Thomas Blog.

Tiger Beach Expediciones Tiburón 2011 - Informe CEO de viaje

Como el director general de Diver Tiburón he tenido la suerte en la última década para cumplir con algunos buceadores increíble, trabajar con algunos equipos de gran inmersión, y los tiburones de experiencia en maneras que pocas personas tienen la suerte.

Esta primavera estuve un mes en compañía de los tiburones en Tiger Beach con la Kate M / V. Grabamos un par de proyectos de cine, una serie de entretenidos buzos emocionados de todo el planeta, y básicamente tuvo una temporada de tiburón estelar.

Aquí está un informe de viaje que escribí en abril. He celebrado 43 en compañía de una muy grande, Tiger mujer muy curiosa en el arrecife de Rob, un encuentro espectacular.

2011 Tiger Beach Expediciones

Es la puesta del sol el primer día de nuestra última aventura con Tiger Beach. Con nosotros en el Kate M / V y dos grupos de tres buzos cada una. Matt, Kathryn, y Magnus en un lado y Diana y sus dos hijos increíbles por el otro.

Hablando con estos chicos en el teléfono de los últimos meses, yo sabía que había algunas personas la diversión a bordo. Diana y su pequeña tribu se boomerang desde Tahití y un viaje en yate privado durante los últimos 14 días para unirse a nosotros en Freeport.

El primer día es cuando todos se conozcan entre sí, el sitio de buceo, y los tiburones. Hoy ha sido uno de esos días estándar de oro. Cuando me desperté esta mañana he visto a dos de los barcos de tiburones ya en el lugar, mirando hacia abajo con una taza de Scotty "café cerveza duro" Yo veía a no uno sino tres los Tigres (Galeocerdo cuvier) dando vueltas en aguas cristalinas, se esta Va a ser un gran día, comenzando con nuestros tiburones favorito.

Nuestro primer par de inmersiones nos presentó a un tiburón tigre maravillosas que he dado en llamar Popeye, debido a que tiene una mandíbula mal estado y se parece a la caricatura de la vieja escuela Popeye ahora, probablemente de un enredo con un pescador.

Popeye era un animal muy suave, al igual que los siguientes caracteres en el sitio extremo de la aleta, otra mujer con una pieza faltante de la cola, y Smashmouth una mujer mucho más grande que se parece a ella comía una granada. Esa es una herida que tiene. Todos tratamos muy duro para estar más cerca de Smashmouth para ver lo que hizo que la herida, pero su timidez le impedía tímidamente lejos de nuestras cámaras. Realmente triste ver a un animal como ese en un estado tal, como una reina de la fiesta con una cicatriz fea inkvine en su rostro, su belleza interior, aunque todavía brilla y mañana las cámaras estarán en su primer y más importante. Nuestra última inmersión introducido todos nosotros Shredder dos, una mujer con una aleta dorsal en mal estado y una actitud.

Mientras que todos los otros tigres eran tímidos y dos suave Shredder se presentó como un matón del patio trasero de dinero para el almuerzo martes, empujando a un lado los tiburones limón y anunciando su llegada con gran tamaño y volumen, se trataba de un gordo y feliz 13 depredadores de pie y mientras la veía más de una hora que no podía dejar de pensar en lo afortunada que era de estar aquí de buceo con ella.

Para un primer día de buceo que tendría que decir que las Bahamas entrega de nuevo. Mañana más de lo mismo, esperemos que la claridad del agua recibe una sombra más, que estaba muy bien hoy, pero no primos - y nos gusta principal.

Segundo día

Jacked en Tiger Beach esta mañana. Hemos tenido olas durante los últimos dos días, pero esta mañana, las cosas son desordenados en la playa. Capt Scotty nos dice que hay una tormenta en movimiento nuestro camino estrecho por lo que tenemos una inmersión y corremos a la calma de la clave de arena a esperar que pase la tormenta. Nuestra buceo es un clásico, las aguas claras ginebra en la marea de la mañana y cubierto de tiburones limón gigante (Orcaella Negaprion), y son cada vez más grande aquí no me importa lo que digan. Capitán Rob tipo de cebo y tuvimos un buen rato con las jaulas bentónicas y alrededor de 20 limones romperse. Sólo inyecciones regulares de los tiburones son frescos, pero nada con la boca abierta y la oportunidad de ver en la dentadura de un tiburón siempre es un placer de multitudes. Con el buceo de la mañana en que es hora de la carrera y dos horas más tarde estamos metidos en la clave de la misma manera que son atacados con dos olas sucesivas de los sistemas de alta energía de la tormenta. Vamos a quedarse esta noche bebiendo cerveza y viendo Kalik Master and Commander, porque mañana hay que volver a los tiburones y las condiciones de tranquilidad para el resto de la semana.

Ese es el buceo en la orilla para que, a veces hay que dejar que la naturaleza no es nada.

Por cierto una nota sobre la cerveza Kalik, mejores cosas en el planeta sin excepción, y no hay cerveza después de tiburón mejor celebración, justo antes de estallar la parte superior de la primera vuelta se me cayó todo nuestro cubos amigo a un lado ... por si acaso ... en las Bahamas nunca se sabe y mañana es siempre un día mejor.

Tercer día

Como se prometió volver a la playa y los animales no defrauda. Por 10 a.m. tenemos 20 más tiburones limón y algunos tigres dando vueltas. Flotamos una de las jaulas de nuestra superficie de algunos imagry tiburones depredadores graves. Lo bueno de ver a los tiburones sean "Sharky" desde la seguridad de una jaula es la apreciación que usted tiene de poder depredador de cerca. Usted no puede conseguir que desde fuera de la jaula en una situación muy cebadas con cualquier grado real de seguridad y nuestros buzos están encantados.

También tenemos un cebo secreto que nuestros tiburones considerar "Ambrosia", sí son conocedores de los tiburones.

Después del almuerzo nos mojamos, esta vez en la parte inferior y se tratan con la llegada de no uno, sino seis los Tigres. Atrás se Shredder dos con su mal estado de la aleta dorsal y la aleta de la cola con punta, un tiburón de nuevo que se llama cuerda de cola, se ve como la cola de alguien con la cuerda a esta chica la compresión de su carne en la base de la cola, Popeye está de vuelta, y un bebé pequeño 3 mujeres pie -4 es nuevo para nosotros y muy curioso también. Los otros animales son indistintos, afortunadamente, no tener marcas importantes. El día finalizó grandes tiburones y más tiburones. Hemos tenido un día completamente feliz y plena de buceo con tiburones, las condiciones claras, y mucha luz.

Cuarto día

Estamos cruzando esta mañana y fuera de naufragio de azúcar, un sitio increíble buceo superficial. Incluso el núcleo más duro sharkies necesita un descanso y ofrece una ruina azucarera. La claridad del agua es mejor que la ginebra y la profusión de vida marina, todo el mundo se asombra de su inmersión en el aquí y nuestros fotógrafos cambiar a todos los macro para las próximas horas. Después del almuerzo nos vamos al Monte Olimpo un sitio increíble buceo de profundidad y el hogar de algunos tigres seriamente grande. No había ni siquiera se mojó cuando el titán apareció por primera vez detrás de un Cobia 40 libras, la tripulación comenzó a salivar, que era un sabroso pescado, pero también fue el buen amigo de arrastre de un tigre de 14 pies de las mujeres, así que lo dejen en paz.

Nuestro Titán se quedó con nosotros toda la inmersión, y el monte de O es una de las mejores inmersiones de arrecife en la zona vimos un montón de tiburones de arrecife (Carcharhinus perezi), mero, pargo, una profusión de vida y una gran serie de inmersiones.

De cinco días

Decidimos fianza sobre la base de los delfines de hoy, los buceadores se sharky y tienes que dárselo a ellos. Por ahora somos una familia poco pequeña. Magnus es el más divertido chicos que he conocido, su amigo Matt en el Reino Unido lo mantiene y Kathryn de entrar en el modo de hermano / hermana, ella se recogió en piedad, pero es un soldado y se ha convertido en un buzo tipo de tiburón por primera vez en este viaje como así.

Diana y sus hijos Josh y Sam no son más que logrado. Josh y Sam llegan con algunos de los mejores equipos de fotografía submarina va en una serie interminable enorme casos pelícano. Cuando te encuentras con gente como esta usted sabe que tiene tiradores graves en la mano. Ver a estos dos tipos de trabajo bajo el agua era una alegría. Algunos fotógrafos se incorpore al ambiente de los animales y no resolver del todo. Tanto Josh y Sam "trabajar con" los animales de una manera me parece absolutamente fascinante, hay un momento veo a uno de ellos literalmente "de baile con un pez león," el animal es capturado en video en la extensión de la columna completa, la luz increíble, y en 360. Es el tipo de imágenes que se espera de un tirador de nivel superior, y esto es tan bueno como se pone.

Tampoco hizo mención de que estos dos chicos son menores de 20 años.

Estamos de vuelta en Tiger Beach, más tiburones, tigres, limones y hasta un pequeño tiburón enfermera poco que vagaban en busca de un refrigerio gratuito. Me encanta tiburones nodriza, que se completa tirar de espaldas a las formas anteriores del tiburón cuando se combina con la gracia y el poder de un tigre, pero no la diversión menos.

Consejo fin está aquí, Smashmouth, Popeye y hasta bebés, hacen su aparición y jugar con los animales hasta el atardecer. Puedo ver a estos animales en el temor, cada vez que yo les encuentro, es un honor estar en compañía de estos depredadores magnifico.

De los Seis Días

La decisión fue tomada ayer por la noche para salir de viaje a Arrecifes de Rob, necesitamos un poco de fondo para disparar los tiburones y quieren un poco de variedad en la actualidad. También es mi cumpleaños. 42 años de edad. Cuando miro hacia atrás en la última década que me asombra. Mucho ha cambiado en la industria, por lo que muchas caras nuevas, caras viejas, los avances de la industria, la reunión de la conservación y la industria. Eso para mí es algo que he visto desarrollarse con la felicidad. En el año 2002 cuando comencé a hablar sobre el trabajo con los investigadores y apoyo a la conservación de gran parte nadie en la industria estaba interesado. Hoy en día, es parte de la cultura, y como me lancé hacia el lado para otro encuentro con los tiburones que estaba pensando en el futuro de la industria cuando se interrumpió.

De vez en cuando tengo un sexto sentido en el agua. Por lo general, me doy la vuelta y no hay algo realmente interesante detrás de mí. En Socorro hace unos años era un enorme ballena jorobada y su cría que me atacó. En Honduras, que era lo que parecía tiburones de arrecife de apareamiento, en Guadalupe ha sido de todo tipo de comportamiento de los tiburones blancos como una violación integral del agua que sólo tuve la suerte de ver por la mañana, justo al nivel de los ojos.

Hoy, en mi cumpleaños número 43 fue uno de los mayores Tigres que he visto, que había navegado en la zona una vez que había sentido los tiburones de arrecife mantenerse activo. Hemos comenzado con arpón pez león invasoras en los arrecifes, en un intento de frenar la invasión, se ha puesto tan mal en las Bahamas que la búsqueda de 20 a 30 de estos bichos no es infrecuente. Los tiburones han desarrollado un gusto por ellas, recién alanceado, y que reunió en esta gran Tiger mamá que sé que me encontré cara a cara con.

El tiempo del gasto privado con su propio personal tiburones tigre es tan divertido como usted puede tener y esta mujer enorme era elegante, suave, y muy curioso de una manera relajada. Pasamos unos diez minutos junto con su crucero a mi alrededor buscando con sus grandes ojos negro, mientras que el resto de los nuestros buzos estaban abajo en el fondo del arrecife.

De vez en cuando tenemos nuestros propios encuentros especiales con los tiburones, que acaba de reestructurar y reafirmar lo que estamos haciendo aquí. Después de una década en este juego algunos se preguntan si alguna vez me canso de hacerlo. La respuesta es no, siempre hay otro arrecife a la vuelta de la esquina, siempre tiburón otro, y siempre desafiar a otro. Ha sido un viaje asombroso.

El resto de esa semana fue más de lo mismo que había buen clima y un gran número de tiburones, y cuando llegamos a puerto era una lucha para conseguir nuestra próxima tripulación a bordo. Este año hemos organizado dos equipos de rodaje con tareas difíciles. Usted lo ve en la televisión muy pronto, para este proyecto de traer al habitual de la lista A del equipo de buzos y hombres de seguridad y para que decir, una vez más, hemos entregado lo imposible.

Gracias a Diana, Josh y Sam, y Kathryn, Matt y Magnus para la gran empresa, los buenos tiempos y la botella de tequila cumpleaños (Diana, sabes que tu bebida).

Un agradecimiento especial a Rob capitán, el capitán Scotty y toda la tripulación de la Kate M / V incluyendo Pasha. Volvemos al año Kate tras año, porque es uno de los mejores barcos de tiburón Bahamas va en este momento y ella lo tiene en cuenta.

No hay operaciones de buceo que no puede manejar y no hay ningún proyecto de cine y televisión que no se puede hacer - ha sido una gran alianza en curso.

Patric Douglas CEO

The 30-Mile Dive with Scott Cassell - Support Today!

I want to produce a 3-D documentary chronicling my world record attempt this Fall as I swim from Catalina Island to Los Angeles Harbor UNDERWATER in a non-stop 24 hour SCUBA Dive using state-of-the-art systems to explore this frontier of inner space. During the dive I will attempt to gather important scientific information including a search for the last of the sharks in the area.

Topside, we will follow the ups and downs of making such a dream a reality. This includes; the physical demands, developing our own technical innovations, the explorer's mind set, and the final outcome with discoveries/insights.

Underwater, state-of-the-art 3D technology allows the viewer to experience firsthand the personal side of this journey.

The 30-Mile Dive is a celebration of what we can achieve when working in harmony with our surroundings while pushing the limits of what we think is possible.

All donations are tax deductible through our non-profit Undersea Voyager Project. Funds raised will be used in the building, purchase or rental of all necessary equipment,the support of the team during filming, pre-dive training and travel, all editing and creation of the documentary and copies, public relations outreach before, during and after the dive, all insurance, promotional products for sale or reward use, and all other costs associated with the attempt.

All findings from the 30 Mile Dive will be freely given to the public via YouTube, the Undersea Voyager Project website, media releases and through public speaking.

Support the project here.

RTSea on TOPP's - Brilliant Research

The RTSea Blog has full coverage on TOPP (Tagging of Pacific Predators) findings this morning.

Great reading and first rate research.

If you were curious about Pacific white shark movement data here it is.

In California, many people involved in ocean conservation are familiar with the ground-breaking work of Dr. Barbara Block and the program she started, TOPP (Tagging of Pacific Predators). Using various types of telemetry and satellite tags, the TOPP crew has tagged a variety of ocean animals, from sharks to tuna, to turtles and more. Doing so has enabled them to determine many of the key migration routes these predators take - quite often of a seasonal nature, traveling great distances back and forth between key locations year after year.

After 10 years of tracking using over 4,000 tags and accumulating data from over 23 different species, TOPP has released a final report of its findings in conjunction with the Census for Marine Life, published online in Nature. The report shows that migration patterns play a very crucial role in the lives of many ocean predators. Writing in the Washington Post, Julie Eilperin repeated TOPP's description of the eastern Pacific Ocean as being akin to Africa’s Serengeti, teeming with wildlife and crisscrossed by migration corridors used by sharks and seabirds. Two currents play a key role in the migrations: the California Current - which stretches from western Canada all the way south to Mexico - and the North Pacific Transition Zone - which travels east and west between the sub-arctic and subtropical water.

Complete post here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Killing Sharks Needlessly 1000lb Mako Florida

This is a re-post from a 2009 look at when sharks are needlessly killed.

In light of a recent 1000lb breeding aged Mako shark off the coast of Florida this week, we thought this post deserved a second look:

You see it all the time. A large shark swimming on the other side of a public aquariums enclosure, an "ambassador shark." For those in the shark conservation world we have come to realize the positive effects of these solo animals on the public perception of sharks in general.

But what about dead sharks?

They too serve a purpose.

Perhaps it is the sheer numbers of sharks that get taken for fins each year (25-75 million) that become the conservation movements hardest challenge.
How do you generate understanding and public sympathy for a number?

A single dead shark can generate understanding, sympathy and action.

It was a single pregnant female Tiger taken in the Bahamas back in 2007 that spawned the
Shark Free Marinas Initiative. The public, no matter how jaded towards sharks, will respond to a single animal taken and killed for no obvious reason, and that is the heart of the shark conservation movement.

One shark, an ambassador for the entire species.

For a prime example of this look no further than a recent take in Ireland of an 18 foot Six Gill shark. This
sport take of a single animal has managed to raise the ire and media bandwidth of many around the world including Ireland. This single animals death prompted a wave of conservation discussion - a feat that all the long liners off Ireland's coast could not.

covered it too as it was quickly evident that this single shark was going to become the ambassador animal for the regions conservation news. Conservation change starts with the public understanding of sharks and "Sympathy for the Devil."

We can get there with these few unfortunate animals.

Patric Douglas CEO

1000lb Mako Shark Taken in Florida?

Hat Tip - Peter Thomas

"Wound Up" 1000lb. Mako Shark June 18, 2011 - WSVN Channel 7 Miami

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dr Guy Harvey and Shark Free Marinas - Kudos!

The Shark-Free Marinas Initiative is a voyage, not a destination, and that was aptly demonstrated this month when a shark was mistakenly brought back to a newly adopted Shark-Free Marina in Bimini.

The handling of this fishing gaffe was first rate, using the misunderstanding by a few to educate many more as to the program and it's overall mandate.

As of today many more fishermen in the U.S and beyond are now aware of what the Shark-Free Marinas are.

The Shark-Free Marinas effort is a multi pronged program of education and and deterrence, and like the Marlin program that preceded it many years ago, it is a long term effort.

At stake are the hearts and minds of an entire generation of fishermen who still believe that sharks have no value, a fish unworthy of the status of a Marlin, or Swordfish.

That perception is changing, and the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative is there to help with the transition.

Will other marinas find themselves in similar situations?

Probably so in the short term, and that's where leadership like Guy Harvey's comes in. This weeks press release serves as a template for the industry, and re affirmation that we must change the perception of sharks within the fishing community.

Without a doubt few have managed to tap into the fishing community like Guy, and with his leadership we can slowly begin the long process of getting fishermen to treat sharks with the same protocols and respect as they do with billfish.

It's a voyage, not a destination.

Kudos to Guy Harvey and his team this week.

Patric Douglas CEO

Marc Montocchio - Underwater Photography Greats!

Not being a underwater photographer has allowed me to enjoy those who have taken the craft in new directions.

I am a fan of innovation.

One of these trail blazers is Marc Montocchio, thanks to Da Shark for the blog introduction this week.

"Born in Durban, South Africa, Marc developed an early love for the sea, swimming in the warm, blue waters of the Indian Ocean. He inherited a passion for fishing from his grandfather, Edouard Montocchio, an avid big game fisherman born in 1906 to a French colonial family on the island of Mauritius."

Marcs work is innovative to say the least and almost impossible to get watch this video. Kudos!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Conservation Authority Guy Harvey Reiterates Shark Free Marina Policies

Guy Harvey, Chairman of Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, underscores need for clear policy prohibiting the landing of sharks at a Shark Free Marina.

Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) June 16, 2011

Conservation and marine science authority Dr. Guy Harvey, Chairman of Guy Harvey Outpost LTD., announced today that a photographic image of a Mako shark, taken at the weigh in station of the Bimini Big Game Club and circulating on the internet, was authentic. “It is extremely disappointing that this occurred and is a clear violation of my shark conservation principles and efforts”, said Dr. Harvey, an recognized marine conservation authority and acclaimed artist. The Big Game Club operates under license from Guy Harvey Outpost, a company he co-founded to promote sustainable tourism and marine conservation among water sport enthusiasts and the legions of Guy Harvey followers worldwide.

He confirmed the shark was caught by a visitor to the Big Game Club while vacationing in Bimini over the Memorial Day weekend and the resort's dock staff assisted in hanging the shark up for photographs. The boat's captain, Chase Camacho, confirmed his charter angler fought the shark for over two hours after hooking it while deep drop fishing off the Bimini coast. "It's important to have a black and white policy with no grey areas when it comes to operating as a Shark Free Marina, particularly when my name is on the door”, Guy said in addressing the event.

“The boat's captain believed the shark was stressed to the point of dying, and thought it proper to bring it back to the dock so it could be given to the church for distribution to needy locals,” clarified Dr. Harvey, who holds a PhD in Marine Biology and directs shark research worldwide with the efforts of his scientific staff at the Guy Harvey Research Institute. Underscoring a common misunderstanding among anglers on the resilience of sharks, Guy noted “a nearly dead shark has a much better chance of surviving in the water than on the dock. Sharks are very tough animals.”

Professor Mahmood Shivji, Director of the “Save our Seas Shark Center” at Nova Southeastern University echoed Guy's sentiment. “It's a food cycle issue. We are dealing with a marine ecosystem such that a dead or dying fish provides food resource to the entire marine ecosystem and its best to let the ecosystem operate without intervention, however well intentioned.” Dr. Harvey characterized the event “an unfortunate learning moment for all anglers.” He went on to acknowledge the angler and captain erred with good intentions, and the shark was donated to the local community as intended but noted “in today's world there's nothing to celebrate in bringing any shark to the dock for a photo opportunity”.

With a Guy Harvey designed logo to identify member marinas worldwide, 'Shark-Free' marinas participate in a voluntary program to prohibit sharks from being landed at their facility. “Shark Free marina policies were designed to foster catch and release fishing methods by discouraging any thought of landing a shark for any reason”, Harvey went on to say. “Our Outpost team took immediate action to investigate this when first brought to my attention. Staff has been reminded of their role in helping promote shark conservation awareness by enforcing the policies of a 'Shark Free' marina." The Shark-Free Marina Initiative is a project of The Humane Society of the United States and supported in part by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, an organization Dr. Harvey chairs to foster marine research and conservation.

The Shark Free Marina Institute's web site indicates that as many as 100 million sharks are killed annually, posing a serious threat to the oceans health. The stated purpose of a Shark-Free Marinas is to help reduce the take of sharks and encourage responsible use of the oceans. “With my worldwide efforts to promote shark conservation, particularly in the Bahamas, and my name on the front door of the Big Game Club, I've reminded staff that our marina will adhere to the Shark Free Marina Initiative policies, no exceptions” added Dr. Harvey. “We all have to play a part in protecting these magnificent animals.”

Nudity and Delphinapterus leucas - Ugly backstory?

The U.K Daily Mail has a story and images this week of Natalia Avseenko, 36, who went diving naked with Beluga Whales in the Arctic - for science.

Apparently Natalia is an actual whale researcher and her hypothesis that "Belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits", was tested by her dropping in sans le suit.

On the surface this is another Daily Mail hit, it's got all the angles, nudity, great images, a backstory, but one name popped out at me almost immediately and if you do not know it you should.

The Utrish Dophinarium.

I became aware of this outfit back in 2005 and they have quite a track record, as a high percentage of captive Arctic species found in zoos and aquariums worldwide come from this operation. Including Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas).

So, as it turns out, the real story here is not so much about half baked science as Natalia Avseenko could have just removed her gloves, but of a staged moment for the cameras, using captive Beluga whales on their way to a new home somewhere in the world as a backdrop for a series of inane shots, under the guise of science and conservation.

While I have to hand it to Natalia Avseenko and her crew for going to the extremes they did for this shot, I am also not surprised that the Utrish Dophinarium is somehow involved or enabling of this stunt under the thin veneer of science and research.

We can do a lot better with wild animals, and I think it's high time we stopped stunt work with animals calling it science or conservation, because fundamentally both science and conservation does not look like this.

Or does it?

Patric Douglas CEO

Conservación de gran tiburón blanco en Isla Guadalupe

El gran tiburón blanco es el depredador más famoso de los océanos del mundo, y también uno de los más incomprendidos. Para muchas personas, el miedo y el odio han llenado el vacío dejado por la falta de información precisa acerca de estas increíbles criaturas. Su número se ha reducido debido a la campaña de pesca como resultado de la persecución y la pesca de trofeos a lo largo de las décadas, dejando a su especie (y de los ecosistemas marinos que habitan) que cuelga en un equilibrio precario. Isla de Guadalupe en la costa occidental de México se ha convertido en un lugar importante para la protección de los tiburones blancos, así como un lugar para que los investigadores a reunir más información sobre ellos que pueden educar al público y ayudar en la conservación del tiburón blanco.

Isla Guadalupe se encuentra a 150 kilómetros al oeste de la costa de Baja California - formada por dos volcanes en escudo y rodeado de aguas profundas. La isla en sí es el continuo enfoque de muchos esfuerzos de conservación gubernamentales y científicas, en un intento por revertir el daño masivo realizado por los gatos salvajes y cabras a la izquierda por los cazadores / pescadores que utilizaban la isla como lugar de parada. Es un sitio de congregación para los grandes blancos, sobre todo en los meses de otoño e invierno. La visibilidad promedio de 100 pies de agua hace que sea un lugar ideal para la investigación submarina. Muchos grupos y organismos involucrados en el estudio y protección de los tiburones blancos en Isla Guadalupe.

El gobierno mexicano ha hecho la Isla de Guadalupe (y las zonas marinas circundantes) una "Reserva de la Biosfera", con lo que el dinero y mano de obra nacional se puede ahorrar para proteger la isla y su fauna. Esto se suma a la protección internacional que otorgan los grandes blancos de la Convención sobre el Comercio Internacional de Especies Amenazadas (CITES). CONANP, el acrónimo de la traducción al español de la Comisión Nacional de Áreas Protegidas, es un grupo nacional dedicado a "la conservación del patrimonio natural de México." Con respecto a la Isla Guadalupe, CONANP monitores isla de datos, regula la actividad de la isla, y se coordina con los observadores y los investigadores para recoger información sobre el estado / la biología de la isla de la vida silvestre (como el tiburón blanco en las aguas circundantes).

Los grupos de investigación que acuden a este lugar de primera gran tiburón blanco suelen ser de las instituciones educativas o científicas en México y / o California. Investigadores de la Marine Conservation Science Institute han estado examinando activamente los tiburones aquí desde 1999. Utilizan una gran variedad de técnicas para rastrear el comportamiento de los tiburones y las poblaciones, tales como el etiquetado de satélite, una identificación con foto / catalogación, toma de muestras de ADN, y la observación visual de las jaulas de protección del tiburón bajo el agua. Los estudiantes de posgrado y profesores de CICIMAR (Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas) y CICESE (Centro de Investigación Científica y Educación Superior de Ensenada) son con frecuencia la realización de la investigación y la observación de los tiburones y otras criaturas marinas cerca de la isla.

La conciencia y el atractivo de los grandes blancos en la isla de Guadalupe han ido más allá de los de las comunidades científicas y de preservación ecológica. En los últimos años, muchos "regular" la gente ha viajado a Isla Guadalupe por la oportunidad de ir a bucear en una jaula con tiburones blancos. No sólo son capaces de ver a los tiburones, pero muchos de ellos también son testigos de la preservación de isla en curso y los esfuerzos de investigación.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PADI Project AWARE - Shark Free Marinas Fiji

Shark-Free Marinas, Fiji

Fiji’s marinas and resorts are taking the lead on shark conservation. A Project AWARE grant supported the International Shark-Free Marina Initiative by working with marinas, boaters and fishermen to develop local shark protection policy that prohibits the landing of sharks.

Fishermen are not permitted to bring shark catches into any participating marina.

Under the leadership of Stuart Gow, Matava- Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort, 13 marinas and fishing charters on Fiji's tropical islands have signed their commitment. Job well done Stuart!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Oil Well Ownership Game - Environment Loses

Over at Sky Truth another well in the Gulf has sprung a leak, this time near Venice with enough oil to make the mainstream press.

Although the mainstream press does not seem to know where this "mysterious slick" has come from Sky Truth with the help of Gulf Restoration Network have pinpointed the slick to an exact well and uncovered the sad wells history.

As it turns out since this wells sidelining it has changed hands multiple times, with entities going bankrupt, filing for chapter 11, or sold to other entities.

In short a shell game of biblical permutations and one has to wonder, is this by chance, or by design?

With some 15 thousand early orphaned wells in the Gulf that do not produce major quantities of oil and gas but are still "active" and getting older, who owns a well when it starts leaking?

For the wildlife that interacted with this latest slick, they are the ultimate losers.

Keep following Sky Truth for the complete story and the Gulf Restoration Network for the great work with oil spills. If you want the facts of the Gulf and Gulf oil spills, these are your prime sources.

Images by Southwings.

"Holy crap, I've been nominated for an Emmy!"

That's the great news coming from iDive Sharks and Mark Thorpe who indeed has been nominated for an Emmy for his underwater work this month.

"Contracted by an independent production entity and along with a great team of other guys we set up camp for ten days living on a limestone rock in the western Pacific to film the daily Migration of the non stinging Jellyfish that call the lake home, all 16 million of them! The resulting footage when edited became the focal piece for the recent Great Migrations series aired on National Geographic, it is for this work on this project that I have recently found out that, along with the rest of the team, I've been nominated for an Emmy award, result!"

Kudos Mark, this nomination could not have happened to a better guy!

Tiger Beach Shark Expeditions 2011 - CEO Trip Report

As the CEO of Shark Diver I have been fortunate enough over the past decade to meet some amazing divers, work with some great dive crews, and experience sharks in ways that few people are fortunate enough to.

This spring I spent a month in the company of sharks at Tiger Beach with the M/V Kate. We shot a couple of film projects, entertained a host of excited divers from all over the planet, and basically had a stellar shark season.

Here's a trip report I wrote in April. I celebrated 43 in the company of a very large, very curious female Tiger on Rob's Reef, a spectacular encounter.

2011 Tiger Beach Expeditions

It’s sunset on day one of our latest adventures to Tiger Beach. With us on the M/V Kate and are two groups of three divers each. Matt, Kathryn, and Magnus on one side and Diana and her two amazing sons on the other.

Speaking with these guys on the phone for the past few months I knew we had some fun people on board. Diana and her small tribe were boomeranging in from Tahiti and a private yacht trip for the past 14 days to join us in Freeport.

Day one is when everyone gets to know each other, the dive site, and the sharks. Today was one of those gold standard days. When I woke up this morning I saw two of the other shark boats already on site, looking down with a cup of Scotty's "hard brew coffee" I watched not one but three Tigers (Galeocerdo cuvier) milling about in crystal clear waters, this was going to be a great day, starting with our favorite sharks.

Our first couple of dives introduced us to a wonderful Tiger shark I have taken to calling Popeye, on account she has a messed up jaw and looks like the old school cartoon Popeye now, probably from a tangle with a fisherman.

Popeye was a really gentle animal, as were the next characters on site, Tip fin, another female with a missing piece from her tail, and Smashmouth a much larger female who looks like she ate a grenade. That’s some wound she has. We all tried really hard to get closer to Smashmouth to see what caused that wound but her shyness kept her coyly away from our cameras. Really sad to see an animal like that in such a state, like a prom queen with an ugly inkvine scar on her face, her inner beauty still shines though and tomorrow our cameras will be on her first and foremost. Our last dive introduced all of us to Shredder Two, a female with a messed up dorsal fin and an attitude.

While all the other Tigers were shy and gentle Shredder Two showed up like a backyard bully on lunch money Tuesday, shoving aside Lemon sharks and announcing her arrival with sheer size and bulk, this was a fat and happy 13 foot predator and as I watched her for over an hour I could not help thinking how lucky I was to be here diving with her.

For a first day of diving I would have to say the Bahamas delivered again. Tomorrow more of the same, hopefully the water clarity gets a shade better, it was fine today but not prime - and we like prime.

Day Two

Jacked up on Tiger Beach this morning. We have had waves for the past two days but this morning things are messy on The Beach. Capt Scotty tells us there’s a tight storm moving our way so we get one dive and then we run for the calm of Sandy Key to wait out the storm. Our dive is classic, gin clear waters on the morning tide and covered in gigantic Lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris), and they are getting bigger here I don’t care what anyone says. Capt Rob was bait guy and we had some fun with the benthic cages and about 20 snapping Lemons. Just regular shots of sharks are cool but anything with the mouth open and a chance to look at the dentition of a shark always is a crowd pleaser. With the morning dive over it’s time for the run and two hours later we are tucked into the Key just as we get hammered with two successive waves of high energy storm systems. We’ll stay put for tonight drinking Kalik beer and watching Master and Commander because tomorrow it’s back to the sharks and calm conditions for the rest of the week.

That's diving on the bank for you, sometimes you have to let nature do it's thing.

By the way a note on Kalik Beer, best stuff on the planet bar none, and no better post shark celebration beer, just before we popped the tops on the first round I dropped all our chum buckets over the side…just in case…in the Bahamas you never know and tomorrow is always a better day.

Day Three

As promised back to The Beach and the animals do not disappoint. By 10.00am we have 20 plus Lemon sharks and a few Tigers milling around. We float one of our surface cages for some serious predatory shark imagry. What’s nice about seeing sharks be “sharky” from the safety of a cage is the appreciation you get of predatory power up close. You cannot get that from outside the cage in a strongly baited situation with any real degree of safety and our divers are thrilled.

We also have a secret bait that our sharks consider “ambrosia”, yes sharks are connoisseurs.

After lunch we get wet again this time on the bottom and are treated with the arrival of not one but six Tigers. Back are Shredder Two with her messed up dorsal fin and tipped tail fin, a new shark we called tail rope, it looks like someone tail roped this girl compressing her flesh at the base of the tail, Popeye is back, and Baby a tiny 3-4 foot female is new to us and very curious as well. The other animals are indistinct fortunately having no major markings. The day finished big sharks and more sharks. We had a completely full and happy day of shark diving, clear conditions, and great light.

Day Four

We’re cruising this morning and off to Sugar Wreck, an amazing shallow dive site. Even the most hard core sharkies need a break and Sugar Wreck delivers. The water clarity is better than gin and the profusion of sea life astounds everyone gets their dive on here and our photographers all switch to macro for the next several hours. After lunch we’re off to Mount Olympus an amazing deep dive site and home to some seriously big Tigers. We had not even got wet when the first titan showed up trailing a 40lb Cobia, the crew started salivating, that was one tasty fish, but it was also the good trolling buddy of a 14 foot female Tiger so we left it alone.

Our Titan stayed with us the whole dive, and Mount O is one of the finest reef dives in the area we saw lots of Reef sharks (Carcharhinus perezi), grouper, snappers, a profusion of life and a great series of dives.

Day Five

We decided to bail on the dolphin grounds today, our divers are sharky and you gotta hand it to them. By now we're small little family. Magnus is the funniest guys I have met, his buddy Matt from the U.K keeps him and Kathryn from getting into the brother/sister mode, she gets picked on mercilessly, but she's a trooper and has become a first rate shark diver on this trip as well.

Diana and her sons Josh and Sam are nothing but accomplished. Josh and Sam arrive with some of the best underwater photography gear going in a never ending series huge pelican cases. When you meet folks like this you know you have serious shooters on hand. Watching these two guys work underwater was a joy. Some photographers enter into the environment of the animals and never quite settle. Both Josh and Sam "work with" the animals in a way I find absolutely enthralling, there's a moment I watch one of them literally "dance with a Lionfish," the animal is caught on video in full spine extension, amazing light, and in 360. It's the kind of imagery that you expect from a top tier shooter, and this is as good as it gets.

I also didn't mention that both these guys are under 20.

We’re back to Tiger Beach, more sharks, Tigers, Lemons and even a small little Nurse shark who wandered in looking for a free snack. I love Nurse sharks, they are complete throw backs to earlier shark forms when matched with the grace and power of a Tiger but fun none the less.

Tip fin is here, Smashmouth, Popeye and even Baby all make an appearance and we play with animals until sunset. I watch these animals in awe, every single time I encounter them, it's an honor to be in the company of these magnificent predators.

Day Six

The decision was made last night to jet off to Rob's Reef, we need some background to shoot sharks and want some variety today. It is also my birthday. 42 years old. When I look back on the past decade it astounds me. So much has changed in the industry, so many new faces, old faces, industry advancements, the meeting of conservation and industry. That for me is something that I have watched unfold with happiness. Back in 2002 when I started talking about working with researchers, and supporting conservation for most part no one in the industry was interested. Today, it's part of the culture, and as I dove off the side for another encounter with sharks I was thinking about the future of the industry when I was interrupted.

Every once in a while I get a sixth sense in the water. Usually I turn around and there's a something truly interesting right behind me. In Socorro a few years back it was a huge Humpback Whale and calf who snuck up on me. In Honduras it was what looked like mating reef sharks, at Guadalupe it's been all manner of white shark behavior including a full water breach that only I was fortunate to see early in the morning, right at eye level.

Today on my 43rd birthday it was one of the largest Tigers I have ever seen, she had cruised into the area once she had sensed the Reef sharks getting active. We have started spearing invasive Lionfish on the reefs in an attempt to slow down the invasion, it has gotten so bad in the Bahamas that finding 20-30 of these critters is not uncommon. The Reef sharks have developed a taste for them, freshly speared, and that brought in this big momma Tiger who I know found myself face to face with.

Spending private time with your own personal Tiger sharks is about as much fun as you can have and this huge female was graceful, gentle, and very curious in a laid back way. We spent about ten minutes together with her cruising around me looking with huge black eyes while the rest of the our divers were down on the bottom of the reef.

Once in a while we get our own special encounters with sharks that just realign and reaffirm what we are doing out here. After a decade in this game some wonder if it ever gets old for me. The answer to that is no, there's always another reef just around the corner, always another shark, and always another challenge. It's been an amazing journey.

The rest of that week was more of the same we had great weather and huge numbers of sharks, and when we got back to port it was a scramble to get our next crew on board. This year we hosted two film crews with tough assignments. You'll see it on television soon enough, for this project I brought in the usual A-list team of divers and safety guys and needless to say, once again, we delivered the impossible.

Thanks to Diana, Josh and Sam, and Kathryn, Matt and Magnus for the great company, the good times and the bottle of Birthday Tequila (Diana, you know your beverage).

Special thanks to Capt Rob, Captain Scotty and the entire crew of the M/V Kate including Pasha. We return to the Kate year after year because she's one of the best Bahamas shark boats going right now and she has it where it counts.

There's no dive operations that she cannot handle and no film and television project that cannot be done - it's been a great ongoing partnership.

Patric Douglas CEO