Friday, July 29, 2011

Contextualize Your Outrage - Well Said, Well Written

As a shark blogger who often delves into conservation issues to offer up opinions, ideas, and yes even conservation strategies, I was blown away this week by Ricks post over at Deep Sea News who tackled the recent expose on illegal shark fishing in Galapagos.

His post echos many I have read over the years and some that I have penned talking about the triumvirate of conservation.

1. Money

2. Strategy

3. Enforcement

His post is a perfect summation of the challenges that face shark conservation and a road map for next generation of shark conservation groups and individuals seeking to help sharks globally.

Yes, the loss of this many sharks in the Galapagos is a blow, it is also a wake up call to the global shark fin trade and the need, moving forward, to start thinking and acting differently.

If your not one for reading long well thought shark conservation summaries here's the crux of Ricks post:

So while we appear to be getting better at establishing legislative protection for sharks, where the rubber hist the road is in the enforcement of that protection. And enforcement takes funding, training, monitoring, consequences, public awareness, and a judicial process prepared to prosecute. Expecting open water to somehow police itself is as realistic as expecting a bank to safeguard its holdings without surveillance, guards, and a prosecutorial system.

Complete post here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How Shredder Got His Name - Guadalupe Island

Known by a few names, Shredder has lived up to the name the crew of gave him at the start of the 2003 shark diving season back in the day when we chummed with real beef blood and divers fished for, but rarely landed, whole tuna.

Our very first white shark encounter in 2003 was with a 12 foot male white shark complete with “shredded” dorsal fin and several deep bite marks on his head.

He came in fast from the left, our first sight was of his mangled dorsal fin slicing through the surface toward our hang baits (tuna), he hit the first one with an unexpected fury, then turned and zeroed in on the second hang bait missing it and disappearing into the blue distance. This was clearly a unique animal and at the end of the day we named him "Shredder," little did we know he would more than own that new name.

Shredder Takes a Bite

I was up in the wheelhouse with our boats captain (Greg) during the last dive of our last day at Isla Guadalupe. It had been an amazing expedition thus far and our shark cages were loaded for the last time with die hard shark divers. At the time three new sharks in the 10-13 foot class were entertaining them. Two divers not in cage rotation, Kevin and Matt, were fishing for “last chance” tuna on the bow of our 88-foot dive boat the Ocean Odyssey when our crew in the wheelhouse heard a large splash. Seconds later a startled voice called up to us, “Umm, hey, a shark just blasted up and severed the anchor cable from our boat,” that was Matt, one look into his face I knew he was speaking the truth.

Our ships captain was not so sure, saying “that’s a rated 20,000 pound poly-pro anchor cable, there’s no way a shark just bit through it.”. One of the ships crew was summoned forward to have a look and sure enough came up with the last 5 feet of cable ending in one very messy shredded fray. A 12 foot great white shark had just leapt up almost 10 feet clear out of the water and bit through our anchor cable, about the size of a mans wrist and designed to hold an 88 foot dive boat in place in even the roughest weather conditions!

We were now adrift with shark cages fully deployed, sharks in the water and one shark the (newly named Shredder) with a new taste for anchor cables. In the history of shark diving I doubt this has ever happened to another dive boat. Crew raced forward and aft, we had our shark divers calmly exit the cages (30 minutes early) pulling them from the water in record time. In exactly 20 minutes we had the ship squared away and ready to get under power. Once we had settled down our divers were thrilled. After all you cannot call it a "shark expedition” until a shark chews through your anchor cable!

That's how Shredder got his name. He's now much bigger in the 14-15 foot class and still an icon of Isla Guadalupe, Mexico. His sat tags have revealed he is a regular visitor to Hawaii's North Shore when he is not thrilling divers at Isla Guadalupe, Mexico.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Toxic Sharks - EU Rapid Alerts 2011

A lot of discussion about heavy metals found in sharks and shark products for human consumption is available on the Internet.

Discovering actual EU Rapid Alerts for toxic sharks is something to pay attention to - what's in your shark meat?

Notification date: 05 July 2011.

Notification from: Italy.

Notification Description: Mercury in frozen blue shark steaks (Prionace glauca).

Origin: Portugal.

Distributed to: Italy.

Amount: 832 kg.

Analytical Result: 3,51 +/- 0,31 mg/kg – ppm

Action taken: official detention.

Notification date: 26 April 2011.

Notification from: Poland.

Notification Description: Cadmium in frozen blue shark steaks.

Origin: Spain.

Distributed to: Poland.

Analytical Result: 0.081 mg/kg – ppm.

Action taken: withdrawal from market.

Notification date: 15 April 2011.

Notification from: Italy.

Notification Description: Mercury in frozen shark slices.

Origin: Thailand.

Distributed to: no distribution ( border rejection ).

Action taken: official detention.

Notification date: 14 April 2011.

Notification from: Spain.

Notification Description: Mercury in ‘white dogfish’.

Origin: Senegal.

Distributed to: no distribution ( border rejection ).

Analytical Result: 2.1 mg/kg – ppm.

Action taken: official detention.

Notification date: 14 April 2011.

Notification from: Spain.

Notification Description: Mercury in ‘white dogfish’.

Origin: Senegal.

Distributed to: no distribution ( border rejection ).

Analytical Result: 1.3 mg/kg – ppm.

Action taken: official detention.

Notification date: 07 March 2011.

Notification from: Italy.

Notification Description: Mercury in frozen slices of blue shark (Prionace glauca).

Origin: Spain.

Distributed to: Italy.

Analytical Result: 1.42 mg/kg – ppm.

Behind the Scenes - Video Diary 1

From Office to Ocean is David Diley's one man band shark film effort that has a lot of industry support. He's started vblogging from Fiji where Da Shark is hosting him and we'll be covering his video blog as time moves forward:

Just a quick blog to say the first video diary is up. As promised, I wanted to let you know the kind of gear we are shooting with out here and it also includes some nice sharky footage at the end which shot a few days ago. It's straight outta the camera so no processing on it but hey, check out all those Bull Sharks!!!

I'm gonna do a blog soon about how this is all affecting me and me feelings at actually being here but today, I'm sick unfortunately so will wait until I'm better to hopefully do it justice.

Incidentally, having missed the dives today due to aforementioned sickness, Mike and Chris, a really nice guy out here on a project called Broadreach, informed me they had one of the Tigers turn up not once, but twice! Damn! However, I am hopeful she'll be back to say hello to me soon.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Florida Manatee Attack!

Ahhh yes, this mornings coffee spilled all over the keyboard thanks to this video from Florida:

Conservation (hic) Drinking for the Sharks

We loves our outta da box shark conservation initiatives.

Especially ones that generate funds for sharks.

Welcome to White Tip Lager Caybrews latest tasty lager in a partnership between the brewery and the Cayman Island Department of Environment.

The Cayman Brewery is also using the White Tip Lager to save marine wildlife.

“The Department of Environment’s Mat Cottam came to us and asked if there was there any chance of us actually partnering with them to use beer as a vehicle to push conservation and awareness in the Cayman Islands,” Mr. Mansfield said.

“Beer’s more interesting than a brochure usually,” said Mr. Cottam, manager of the Terrestrial Ecology Unit at the department, “and they were completely for it, they thought it was a great idea.”

The White Tip label was designed to promote awareness about dwindling shark populations worldwide and the environmental significance of this misunderstood predator.

The beer can is covered in snippets of information, as well as a 2D barcode that smart phone users can scan to be directed to the Department of Environment’s web page of shark information.

In addition to being a drinkable source of information, beer sales will also contribute to the department’s shark conservation efforts monetarily: Five cents from each can sold will go towards shark research, awareness and conservation programmes.

Story here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chris Fallows on Shark Week 2011

We have been fans of Chris Fallows for quite a while now. As an industry innovator, film and television personality, and a member of the shark diving community he's been hitting on all cylinders for quite a few years now.

This month Chris will once again (this makes 7 times) be featured on the long running series Shark Week seen last year by 35 million viewers.

His latest adventures with sharks takes him from South Africa to Isla Guadalupe. The paddle board video released this week is pretty neat stuff:

SA Great White Shark lands in Research Boat

Mossel Bay, 18 July, 2011: Mossel Bay — The Oceans Research team, a marine research organisation working in Mossel Bay, got the surprise of a lifetime today when a 3 meter great white shark breached into their research vessel, shocking a field specialist and her crew

Activity around the boat had ceased for about five minutes and all was pretty quiet at the stern. Schroder describes the incident; “Next thing I know I hear a splash, and see a white shark breach out of the water from side of the boat hovering, literally, over the crewmember who was chumming on the boats portside.” Schroder automatically sprang into action and pulled the crewmember quickly away towards the stern of the boat’s platform into safety.

The crewmembers all jumped towards the stern of the boat as the 3m, 500kg, shark landed on the top of the fuel and bait storage containers. The shark had landed with only half of its body onto the boat and Schroder and her team hoped that as it thrashed it would make its way back into the water. But instead the panicked shark worked itself into the boat getting stuck in between the 1.5x2m area behind the container and boats stern. The shark began thrashing around, destroying equipment and cutting the fuel lines as it twisted and turned on the boats deck.

Complete story.

Monday, July 18, 2011

White Shark Cage Diving Guadalupe 2011

With just a few weeks until our 2011 white shark season at Isla Guadalupe celebrating a decade of successful operations on site we're pulling some old and not so old trip reports written by our divers so you can start getting excited.

T-minus 15 days and counting:

For our divers 2010 has been the Trip of a Lifetime so far. Celebrated with email blasts to friends and Facebook posts to the world.

These lucky divers have met the most charismatic, studied, and filmed white sharks on the planet.

For newly minted Shark Diver Craig Reynolds, nothing but his own Great White Blog to recount his adventures this year would do:

Day 4 – TWO BLACK EYES- Knowing that sharks are active feeders at dawn – due to the favourable light conditions it provides for hunting – my cage team volunteers for early morning “shark lookout.” Really, it just sounds like an extra hour for keeners so we’ll take it, thanks. And one hour quickly turns into two.

The sharks are slow to venture up from the bottom for the first while. Their grey topside blends in almost perfectly with the abyss below our feet. The white tips of their flanks appear to be nothing more than small fish from far away. And as your mind starts to play tricks on you, the small fish start to look like White Sharks.

But by the second day, we’ve grown more accustomed to our steel confines.

Gradually, you start to find ways of hooking your feet around the ladder and pivoting your body like a climber, hanging on to a bar with a couple of fingers while the others hold the camera, and leaning with the current instead of against it. Your movements become more efficient as does your breathing that bordered on hyperventilation the previous day. I can only imagine how fast your heart would race if you were outside of the cage...

Complete series posts.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Inglorious End of iDive Sharks?

One of the smartest communication platforms for the global shark diving community resides at iDive Sharks.

The creator, Mark Thorpe, has spent the last few years in development and launch phase of this unique community and now needs your help.

It would appear that only a few companies and individuals have "stepped up" with the paltry asking fees to keep iDive alive.

Yes, Shark Diver was one of those supporters.

Why you ask?

Folks, it just does not get any better than this, and we don't think there will ever be another broad based Internet platform for shark divers worldwide to rise again if this one goes dark.

iDive represents an evolution away from an industry of tribal affiliations and small time regional recognition to something bigger, grander, and more inclusive.

So what's the hold up? A dollar a month? To keep Internet servers alive?

Let's not see this unique and inspired industry development go to waste, out of 1200 members, we can do better than the 35 who have answered the call and who see the vision.

Join and support iDive today because our industry needs to grow up, and sometimes having your own clubhouse to share visions, images, experiences, and industry developments is where it starts to happen.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dog Bites Shark

Only in Australia, seriously, only in Australia:

Isla Guadalupe White Shark Cage Diving 2011

With just a few weeks until our 2011 white shark season at Isla Guadalupe celebrating a decade of successful operations on site we're pulling some old and not so old trip reports written by our divers so you can start getting excited.

T-minus 18 days and counting:

Guadalupe Island - Diving With Great White Sharks 2010

When Drew Grgich called us many months ago to book a shark diving adventure we knew we had a budding Shark Diver on the line.

His enthusiasm for sharks you could "feel" all the way from Arizona.

He was also a non certified diver, one of the many we "train" to become Shark Divers each and every season.

Today Drew can call himself an Official Shark Diver having encountered the top shark species at the best site for them on the entire planet.

Day One (and a half)

We came from all over - - Michigan, New Jersey, Nebraska, the Bay Area, Vancouver, Maryland, and Arizona - - and all of us had one goal in mind … swimming with Great Whites. Mind you, none of us had death wishes so our goal was to do this swimming carefully ensconced in a steel cage. Nonetheless, we would be in the water with them and thus, they would be in the water with us! Our journey began in San Diego out of H&M Landing. Our vessel was the MW Horizon, an 88-ft. dive boat.

We boarded at about 10:30pm and were underway just after midnight. The first night was spent in fitful sleep while trying to detect whether or not the queasy feeling in our stomachs was the beginning of seasickness or just nerves. We arrived in Ensenada the next morning at around 9am. A quick check with Mexican customs officials sent us on our way to Isla Guadalupe, the fall home of some 100+ Great White sharks. The trip was uneventful if long - - 18 hours long to be exact. We were told that the ride was among the smoothest our captain had experienced. A few of us succumbed to seasickness but for the most part, all was well. We saw some remarkable sights - a blue whale, a thin whale, pods of fast moving and high jumping dolphins.

What I remember most about that day is how excited I was.

Few people in life are blessed with the sure knowledge of knowing exactly what they want most in life and even fewer get to experience that desire. For me, my most fervent wish was going to happen in a matter of hours. That's pretty heady stuff!

Day Two

At around 3am, the engine shut off when we arrived at our destination. I went up top a couple of hours later and was not surprised to see other early risers. We attempted to wrestle our cameras into taking decent photos - - not an easy feat at 5am before the sun had even made a token appearance - - and imagined that the murky waters surrounding us were teeming with sharks, each hungry for the first shift of divers.

The shift happened to include me!

Our divemaster, Martin Graf, took me into the cage and had me try a regulator for the first time. I did okay with the regulator but before Martin would declare me dive-worthy, I had to flood my mask and clear it through my nose. I gave it a good effort but sadly, I panicked when my first attempt resulted in a nose full of salt water. I shot to the surface and for a brief moment, wondered if I was going to be able to succeed. Martin was extremely patient and knew exactly how much space to give me in to get over my fears. My second attempt was successful. The secret was to get a steady rhythm breathing through my mouth to gain confidence, close my eyes, and exhale through my nose while tipping the mask.

We didn't have to wait long. The first Great White appeared within a few minutes, circling the cage a few feet below us in its graceful way. That shark was followed by another shortly behind. Both sharks hovered below and made lazy trips around the cages and all too soon, our first hour's rotation was over. All of us were fortunate on this trip. Two people had to cancel so this meant we had 10 divers instead of 12. The cages fit four people each. This meant that we could effectively have as much dive time as we wanted.

I took an extra shift that first day so I had five hours in the cages. We saw seven different sharks the first day. Most kept a respectable distance from the cage but some ventured close enough to touch if we were really inclined to do so. No one was. :) We knew that they were different sharks as the patterns of markings around their gills and fins serve as a sort of fingerprint. These sharks are in turn named by the people who first see them. Scientists do this so that they can identify populations and measure data points such as the number of years that they have been coming to the island, how much the sharks are growing, and how many sharks are seasonal residents.

Some come every year while some visit more irregularly. For the record, the sharks we saw on Day One were Jacques, Bite Face, the Russian, Johnny, Cris Cross, and a new unnamed male. We don't know who gets to name that shark . . . the suspense is delicious. :) The highlight of Day One -- aside from the fact that I was diving with Great Whites! -- was a rotation where Jacques circled the cage for the entire hour. I was able to shoot forty minutes of video going from one side of the cage to the other. Some passes were within inches of my video camera - - I got some great shots!

Day Three

The next morning, I took the first rotation of the day along with two other brave souls. We saw some sharks but they were far below. We tried a variety of tricks to attract the shark's attention - - stomping our feet, hitting the cage ladder with some of our lead weights, singing show tunes - - but nothing enticed the sharks closer that first shift.

Following shifts were much more productive. I spent the first three hours of the day in the cages and shot more video. I grabbed another three shifts after lunch for a total of six hours in the cages. There were two highlights on day two. The first was that I happened to be looking in the exact direction necessary to witness a full breach. This is when the shark completely propels itself out of the water while in pursuit of prey. The prey happened to be a seagull and it got out of the way just in time to escape the leaping shark. I was one of two people onboard who saw the breach and it was truly a magnificent sight.

It was a smaller shark - - maybe 6-8 feet - - but it was a full breach!! The second highlight was more ignominious. We saw a new shark -- Gunther -- who was kind enough to - - - well, poop - - - directly in front of the cage next to us. It was amusing to see and pleased the 10-year old children inside my cage mate and I . . . until the current pulled us directly into it. I can thus say that I was blessed enough to be pooped on by a Great White.

Day Four

I only took half of the sharkwatch shift. It was okay - - nothing really when compared to the first couple of days. I took two more shifts for the day before we had to leave. We did get a great couple of close passes by Bite Face and Jacques. This was especially memorable for me as Bite Face was a featured shark on Expedition Great White, a show about scientists tagging Great Whites at Isla Guadalupe. It was fun to see the satellite tags that they had attached to Bite Face to track him. It is also cool to know that if they show his progress in a future show, one of the lines will cross where I saw him. :)

We left for home following the morning drives and have a rough patch of choppy water to look forward to. I'm writing this as we make our slow way north across the Pacific. I can honestly say that there are four events in my life that top my list. The first would be my wedding with really, a tied two and three being the births of my kids. Close behind would be this trip. I was a little worried that I'd be petrified of going into the water with the sharks but I didn't have even a lick of fear. The sharks are obviously curious about we monkey folks in the cage - why would they stick around if they weren't?

They certainly did not make any attempts to harm us and I didn't hesitate to hang my arms out of the cage to hold my camera for a better picture. That said, I wasn't stupid - - - no dangling legs over the side of the cage, for example.

Final Tally on how many hours I dove - - 15.5 hours!

My favorite Martin Graf quote - Sharks are like babies. There are only two types of items to a shark -- things that fit in their mouth and things that might.

Lionfish Invasive Species Solutions? You Bet!

As the Caribbean reels from an onslaught of invasive Lionfish, we took a great idea from Scotty Grey owner of the M/V Kate and Blue Iguana Charters based in Florida and had some fun with it.

Welcome to LionErects TM.

The basic concept behind any successful invasive species culling effort is to create a marketplace for the species. It's not a new idea, and it's one that's been floating around for a while now.

Watching the reaction to our post on Facebook and within the dive industry was telling. Overwhelmingly folks got it, unfortunately LionErects TM is just an idea.

Which gets us to an earlier post about shark conservations need for funding, and the idea of generating funds not seeking funds.

We can do this.

Tapping into established markets is an easy proposition and one that allows entities to enjoy long running revenue bases to work from.

In a perfect world the profits from one conservation effort fuels another.

LionErects TM is the perfect idea and business model to tackle a fish species that is devastating entire reef systems throughout the Caribbean. The other option is for some NGO to seek funds so they can pay fishermen to harvest lionfish with no real or lasting market incentive to do so.

Which model do you think will ultimately be successful in culling the lionfish invasion?

It's not magic folks. It's just business. Conservation needs to become engaged in the business world soon, or forever be on the back burner. We can only get so far with the programs in play today.

Tomorrow's answer to conservation will look a lot different.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lionfish - Natural Sexual Male Enhancement

LionErects TM The All New Male Enhancement!

Our progressive team of doctors, biochemists, and marine biologists have joined together to formulate the ultimate all natural sexual supplement.

We draw from the well known male enhancement properties of the oceans Lionfish (Pterois radiata) used throughout the South Pacific for generations by pacific islanders to achieve and maintain erections.

We have created a non prescription supplement from the natural oils of the Lionfish (Pterois radiata) where male enhancement long chain proteins reside to create and maintain lasting erections.

LionErects TM will enable you to achieve and maintain an erect penis without side effects.

LionErects TM will cure erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. It will bring you long lasting erections and multiple orgasms. LionErects TM does not just increase blood flow to the male member like the prescription drugs do. It is formulated to increase your natural sex drive and libido. Feel the sexual arousal and sexual urges you desire. Maintain a firm erection throughout intercourse.

Simply take 2 capsules of LionErects TM with water and within 30 minutes you will have a powerful hard and sensitive erection. Your notice an increase in size, length and girth!

During intercourse you will maintain a fully erect and highly sensitive penis and you will be in control of your ejaculatory response. You can last for as long as you want and ejaculate when you decide or when your partner wishes you to. You can time your ejaculation to achieve synchronous multiple orgasms with your partner.

LionErects TM is the most powerful sexual aid that doesn’t require a prescription. You won’t experience the “blue vision” or nausea that is associated with other medications to treat erectile dysfunction.

We are so confident in this product that we offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

Harness the power and strength of the oceans Lionfish with LionErectsTM today!

More about LionErects Tm here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nigel Barker nominated for VH1 Do-Something Award

Nigel Barker, supporter and spokesperson for Shark-Free Marinas, is being nominated for a VH1 Do-Something award for his work on our recent PSA and non-profit advocacy. If he wins he'll have a chance to talk about wildlife and shark issues on VH1 National Television. Please help help him out and cast your vote.


From Nigel Barkers Blog

NIgel BarkerSo I need your vote!!!! Last year I was nominated for the first time for a Do Something award in the Style category and I lost to my dear friend and fellow judge Tyra…… BUT I have been nominated again for my work as a United Nation’s Foundation Ambassador for Girl Up and for my work with the Humane Society Of The United States, specifically for my work on the Protect Shark campaign ( Last year it was Protect Seal campaign) You need to go to the Do Something Awards page and vote (for me..!) for your winner in the STYLE category and check out the other categories while your there. The Do Something organization are truly marvelous and I have been an admirer of their work for several years. I actually shot an ad campaign for them a couple of years back too. Their mantra is simple – don’t just talk about it but DO SOMETHING! They actively seek out and support young people the world over who are changing not only their lives but their communities and sometimes the world at large. Now is your time to do something…. for me…wait did I just say that? Most importantly cast you vote for the Do Something nominees who are out their motivating us all to make a difference

More info about the awards and the event click here

Thursday, August 18, 2011 @ 9/8c Location: Los Angeles, California and VH1 have once again partnered to present The Do Something Awards to honor young people’s commitment to social change. The Do Something Awards will be taped at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles and premiere Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 9/8c on VH1. Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jane Lynch will return to host the star-studded Do Something Awards telecast for a second year.

Additional announcements regarding celebrity attendees and contest finalists will be forthcoming. Taping on August 14th, 2011, this year’s VH1 Do Something Awards are executive produced by Michael Dempsey and Lee Rolontz for VH1. Nancy Lublin and Naomi Hirabayashi oversee the awards show for

The final five nominees and grant recipients were announced Monday, May 23, 2011 during a star-studded event at B.B King Blues Club in New York City. Each nominee was honored for his or her commitment to social action with a community grant of $10,000. Of these five nominees, Do Something, Inc. with the help of your votes will select a grand prize winner which will receive a $100,000 grant for his or her cause during the live VH1 broadcast of the ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium.

Since 1996, has honored the nation’s best world-changers, ages 25 and under. The Do Something Award is the premiere national award for social action. Nominees and winners represent the pivotal “do-ers” in their field, cause, or issue. is one of the largest organizations in the US that helps youth rock causes they care about. A driving force in creating a culture of volunteerism, is on track to get two million young people involved by 2011. By utilizing the web, television, mobile, and pop culture, inspires, empowers and celebrates a generation of doers: young people who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and take action. Plug in at

The official hashtag for the Do Something Awards is: #DSAwards

Click here to cast your vote

Monday, July 11, 2011 Behind the Scenes Gillette Commercial

In 2011 Shark Diver and our film and television team at Shark Divers was asked to tackle a technically challenging commercial shark production by one of the largest ad agencies in the world BBDO.

Over the years we have come to be known within the film and television community as the company that successfully pulls off challenging and unique productions with sharks. From Mythbusters to "walking on water with sharks," our teams always look at shark environment in new and truly unique ways to keep audiences interested and engaged.

That's not to say we take the animals we are fortunate enough to work with for granted, or treat sharks as just props. In fact the animals welfare, and the entire production design, starts and ends with the sharks.

We have turned down countless productions that fail to meet or exceed our policies towards sharks in this game there is only one way to do shark productions. Safely.

We are one of the few shark production companies that have designed a shark production protocol that has been approved and adopted by the American Humane Association.

In this behind the scenes look from Gillette you can see the entire team in action. There's no room for error and everyone works in tandem with professional speed and direction.

This recent commercial is now on nation wide television, seen in every market in the U.S and was featured at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Discovery Channel with the Shark Conservation Wrap

Discovery Networks has the wrap on shark conservation efforts worldwide this week.

2011 is the Year of the Shark, can it get any better?

Hat Tip: The Dorsal Fin for the video find.

United Conservationists - Impressive

Every once in a while along comes a stand out conservation idea, group, website and this week was no exception.

Welcome to United Conservationists.

What, another shark conservation group?

This one seem different, and it also involves Rob Stewart. His film Sharkwater was the first of what became many shark conservation films, and dare we say it proposed a white hot idea. That all of us had the power to make a difference and as we well know ideas are dangerous things.

The past three years since Sharkwater has seen a profusion of shark conservation groups and one shark conservation victory after another.

Congratulations Rob and Co, we'll be watching your space for good things to come.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Value of a Live Shark - Bahamas Productions

Over the years Shark Divers has worked with a number of outstanding film and television productions on shark shows that have ranged from Discovery Channel to Ushia Natural History.

We have also turned down many shark productions like Endemol's "Killer Shark Live" at Isla Guadalupe for reasons that ran the gamut from poor production value to the actual name of the show.

This year we have been busy once again on a series of shark productions in the Bahamas, most notably a Gillette commercial that involved a huge crew and a boatload of dignitaries from the Bahamas Film Commission. Getting to meet the "Queen of Productions," Donna Mackey in person and wrangling sharks together on the back deck was one of the many highlights of this amazing shoot.

When we got the call months ago with a "kernel of a commercial idea," it intrigued me.

How do you produce a main stream commercial that involves live sharks that is scientifically accurate, and commercially valid at the same time, without going over the edge into territory reserved for the moniker Shark Porn?

This was the challenge, additionally we wanted this high value production to benefit a local community as well, so we chose the Bahamas as the target site for shooting. In the end this production bought out 3/4 of a local resort to stage from, and involved many levels of the Bahamian government who had never seen a shark production in action and who were also very interested in the value of a live shark. They joined us on our last day of production to see how a production with sharks was done in the Bahamas.

The commercial value of a shark to ongoing conservation has been talked about a lot recently with several first rate studies coming out on the subject. The Bahamas just recently recognized this and declared all of the Bahamas a Shark Sanctuary a stunning development, but when presented with industry figures of a valuation of $80 million a year for live sharks you can see why.

Often left out of this discussion are film and television productions that drop many millions of dollars into local communities, keeping local business alive, and none more than the Bahamas West End on Grand Bahama, which has seen tough times as of late.

The Production

We always work with the same small production group and we tend to tackle projects that are technically challenging and at the same time exciting to work on. The premise for the Gillette commercial is absolutely "tongue in cheek," it's in the same vein as a recent commercials featuring white sharks and Snickers bars, or white sharks and Nicorette gum. The answer to the question of Shark Porn is to produce a commercial that is based in humor. The outrageous notion of two guys shaving in shark cages with one of them cutting themselves, is so far out there you discount it, until you see the actual sharks. That's the hook.

We were gearing up to do a live shoot and as the old saying goes, "never work with children or animals." You have to rely on the animals to be at the right place at the right time with the right conditions to make it happen. Sometimes it does not, and we know this first hand.

You can watch the Behind the Scenes Reel from this shoot and see the dedication and seriousness we all put into this production. It was always "go time" on the back deck while we were out there.

You also have to have the right crew in place, because there's no way a shoot like this involving as many folks mixing it up with large, wild, sharks has any room for "mistakes," and we take shark diving seriously.

After a decade in this game we remain "shark accident" free and it's one of the reasons productions seek us out time and again. I must say our DP was also one of the best in the field. Johnny Friday is based in La Paz, Mexico and shoots RED, and he's simply amazing. With the time we had on site he utilized every second and got every shot, he also one of the nicest commercial guys I have had the pleasure to work with.

We also had Luke Tipple on site as overall production manager and as one of the talent for this shoot. Luke is a marine biologist, and has been the driving force behind the Shark-Free Marinas Initiative, a conservation effort for sharks supported by the Humane Society, the Guy Harvey Institute, Slash from Guns n Roses and a host of fine folks from all over the shark conservation spectrum.

Day one saw as many as nine Tigers on site, and no Lemon sharks. This, as turned out, was too much of a good thing. By pure coincidence another shark boat three miles away was shooting a Spanish speaking documentary, we knew this after Johnny came up with his underwater comm gear and said, " I hear some guy talking about sharks in Spanish." It became evident that we had his Tigers and he had our Lemon sharks and both groups were in a mini shark purgatory.

Frankly, I am o.k with nine well behaved Tiger sharks on a shark production, but for this one, we needed Lemon sharks and lot's of them. As I like to tell folks on shark trips, "tomorrow is another day."

It was.

Day two was everything we had hoped it would be, thanks to Scotty and crew on the M/V Kate who kept our animals interested overnight, we acquired some 20 Lemon sharks the next day and that, with the Tigers, gave us the limited window we needed for the shoot. But time was running out as a boatload of Bahamian dignitaries was going to arrive that afternoon with the Vice President of BBDO, one of the largest advertising agencies on the planet who was paying for this.

We had to get busy and all we needed were sharks interested in cages.

It took time for the animals to "season up" to the two cages we had dropped the previous day, and as far as chumming we ended up using 20% of the total allotment we had on site. The idea was to appear as natural as this impossible scene could, and that meant limited chum. In fact we had submitted a complete shark site protocol written by Luke Tipple to the American Humane Association which they signed off on. No sharks were to be harmed in any way on this shoot, that meant animals getting into cages, caught on rigging, or any manner of production abuse to the wildlife.

We stand by that at Shark Diver, we're here for the animals first and foremost and it has always been the case.

It was the afternoon when the pure magic happened. For whatever reason, the current, the animals, our team pulled off the extraordinary and we got into a amazing rhythm of animals approaching myself on the back deck and then peeling off to investigate the crew on the seafloor with the cages. This fantastic production scene went on for two hours delivering everything we needed, just in time for Donna Mackey's arrival and her boatload of Bahamians who watched with some fascination at the scene unfolding in front of them.

I have wanted to spend some quality time with Donna on a professional level for several years, ever since we met her briefly in 2006 on a shoot. Donna is Bahamas Film, if you need anything to make your shoot work she is your go-to gal, and the reason why the Bahamas works so well for film productions involving sharks.

She and I ended up wrangling a few sharks on the back deck while we chatted about productions with sharks in the Bahamas and how, one day, the Bahamas might in fact become a Shark Sanctuary, that day has come, and it is thanks in part to the value of live sharks to the Bahamian community.

The final shark commercial is now on national television and we like it. It's a fine line that you tread when you get involved in shark productions. But over the years we have managed to tread that line well, and often, and this commercial is one in a series of shark productions you'll be seeing from us as time moves forward.

As for the crew, I have to say once again guys, from Scotty and the M/V Kate with Blue Iguana Charters, to Luke, Moondog, Johhny, and the L.A based production staff who were top notch, it's been an amazing few years doing magic with you, let's do it all again.

Fiji Sharks - Cause for Celebration!

Fiji is set to put in place a landmark fisheries policy to ban all shark finning in the country and address the alarming decline of sharks.

Department of Fisheries and Forests permanent secretary Commander Viliame Naupoto says the ban would be similar to laws that currently protect turtles.

The proposed new law would ban the trade of all shark fins and other products derived from any type of shark that is captured in Fiji waters.

The ban only affects trade and does not stop villagers from consuming shark meat.

However shark meat is not a regular diet for Fijians in villagers – although it is available in Fish and Chips shops in urban centres.

Sharks are also held sacred as the totem animals or Vu of the people of Cakaudrove and other islands.

Commander Naupoto says sharks play a critical role within the marine ecosystem by controlling the population of certain marine species.

He adds the emerging market in shark tourism has huge potential as an economic exchange earner and as employment for locals – and sharks are more valuable alive than dead.

Beqa Adventure Divers director and shark conservationist Mike Neumann highlighted that Beqa Adventure Divers generated about $3million in direct and indirect revenue that were all invested in Fiji.

Fiji will be the first Melanesian country to approve such a law.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bahamas Sharks - Cause for Celebration!

Sharks in The Bahamas can breathe more easily after the nation’s government announced today that all commercial shark fishing in the approximately 630,000 square kilometers (243,244 square miles) of the country’s waters is now prohibited.

“2011 is fast becoming the year of the shark,” said Jill Hepp, manager of global shark conservation for the Pew Environment Group. “Today’s announcement permanently protects more than 40 shark species in Bahamian waters. We applaud the people and government of The Bahamas for being bold leaders in marine conservation.”

The island nation joins Palau, the Maldives and Honduras in prohibiting the commercial fishing of sharks. Together, this adds up to almost 2.4 million square kilometers (926,645 square miles) of ocean, where these animals can now swim safely. The Bahamian sanctuary was created by adding an amendment to the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act (Chapter 244) to prohibit commercial shark fishing along with the sale, importation and export of shark products.

“The Bahamas’ prohibition on longline fishing gear 20 years ago protected the marine resources of The Bahamas and ensured that our shark populations would remain healthy,” said Eric Carey, executive director of The Bahamas National Trust (BNT). “But there were no specific laws in The Bahamas for sharks, the crown jewels of ocean health. The new regulations signed this morning by Minister Cartwright, ensure that that sharks can continue to thrive for generations in our waters, one of the world’s best places to see sharks.”

The new sanctuary is the result of a partnership between the Pew Environment Group and BNT, which began just as a major Bahamian seafood company announced its intention to catch sharks and export their fins. Globally, commercial fisheries kill up to 73 million sharks annually (threatening the future existence of many species)—mainly for their fins. The collaboration between the Pew Environment Group and BNT produced popular public service announcements and a supportive petition signed by more than 5,000 Bahamians. Staff also coordinated outreach trips to support shark protections by Pierre-Yves Cousteau (son of Jacques Cousteau), scientist and artist Guy Harvey, and Sherman’s Lagoon cartoonist Jim Toomey.

“We congratulate the Right Honorable Hubert Ingraham, the Bahamian Prime Minister, and Lawrence S. Cartwright, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, for acting to save sharks, the ocean’s apex predator,” said Hepp.

Press release here.

New paper on the economic value of sicklefin lemon sharks in Moorea

Business partner or simple catch? The economic value of the sicklefin lemon shark in French Polynesia by Clua, E, N. Buray, P. Legendre, J. Mourier & S. Planes (2011).

Most arguments invoked so far by the scientific community in favour of shark conservation rely on the ecological importance of sharks, and have little impact on management policies. During a 57-month study, we were able to individually recognise 39 sicklefin lemon sharks that support a shark-feeding ecotourism activity in Moorea Island, French Polynesia.

We calculated the direct global revenue generated by the provisioning site, based on the expenses of local and international divers. The total yearly revenue was around USD5.4 million and the 13 sharks most often observed at the site had an average contribution each of around USD316 699. Any one of these sharks represents a potential contribution of USD2.64 million during its life span.

We argue that publicising economic values per individual will be more effective than general declarations about their ecological importance for convincing policy makers and fishers that a live shark is more valuable than a dead shark for the local economy. Studies monitoring the potential negative ecological effects of long-term feeding of sharks should, however, be conducted to ensure these are also considered. Besides declarations about the non-consumptive direct-use value of sharks, as promoted by ecotourism, the calculation of their other economic values should also benefit shark conservation.

Complete paper here.

Sharkatag 2011 - Tope numbers down - no sign of cuckoo, blonde or spotted rays.

Press Release 2011

Are Scottish tope shark stocks in decline and will we ever see any rays again?

These are two of the questions facing sea anglers and Scottish fisheries managers following last weeks Sharkatag, as, for the third year in a row, the numbers of tope caught declined and no rays, other than thornbacks, were caught.

Sharkatag, held annually in South West Scotland, is the premier shark tagging event run by the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme (SSTP - . Last weekend, it once again received terrific support with anglers coming from all over the UK and fishing from over 50 boats and over 20 kayaks. As ususal, whilst there were many tagging stalwarts at the Event, a good number of newcomers to the sport and Sharkatag were also welcomed.

According to Willie Kennedy of the Events Organising Team :

"On Friday expectation was high, the weather was reasonable, the tides were right but in terms of the number of fish caught, it was quite disappointing; Saturday was equally difficult with the boats fishing off Ardwell having the most success, sadly the strong southerlies on Sunday made the day a washout - the first blown off day in the history of Sharkatag !

But whatever the conditions, it doesn't seem to dampen the spirits as feedback from one of this year's newcomers, Alasdair Fyfe, shows :

"We had a fantastic time at Sharkatag 3, it was truly a remarkable time. I have to say a big thank you to everyone for all their help and advice during the 3 day event. Weather was not too brilliant but the atmosphere made up for the conditions. We are all looking forward to getting back out next year. Just cant wait. Thanks to you all."

Following an initial analysis of the data, Ian Burrett, the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network's (SSACN - Project Director highlighted a major concern :

"Evidence from this and previous years Sharkatags seems to confirm the anecdotal evidence that tope numbers are continuing to fall on an annual basis. We cannot be sure whether this is down to overfishing on their wintering grounds or a change in their Northern migration route due to some factor or another.

"Equally concerning is the data shows thornback ray stocks seem to be improving slightly, but not one cuckoo, blonde or spotted ray has been caught. Twenty years ago these species were abundant in the region - we need more research to find out why these fish are disappearing, but of course, funding is a major problem."

In a recent press release by Cabinet Secretary Lochhead said :

"Protecting vulnerable marine species is crucially important. Some shark, skate and ray populations are critically endangered and already protected from commercial fishing. However, these species need additional protection and so Scotland intends to introduce a new protection order to help stock recovery."

However, thanks to all the volunteers who have put so much effort into tagging over the last 20 years or so, the findings of the Radford economic study and a substantial educational programme, the SSTP has been able to show that the recreational 'shark' fishery contributes around £60 million/yr to the Scottish economy and that anglers can fish for those species without impacting stocks.

Consequently, recreational sea anglers will be able to continue to fish for the various species on a 'catch and release basis'.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Patently Perfidious Panderings on Penny Palfrey

Like a pack of wild dogs slavering for a quick kill members of the shark conservation community descended on long distance swimmer Penny Palfrey last week over a report that members of her team had killed sharks during her latest record settings swim.

As it turned out this report was patently false.

The attacks were public, ruthless, and set at such a fever pitch that almost everyone in the long distance swimming community was left asking "who are these people?"

Who indeed.

Folks, these attacks were poorly organized, misinformed, and did a great disservice to the word "conservation." In fact what happened last week was not conservation at all but old fashioned group hysteria - circa 1848.

Frankly, the shark conservation world is peppered with a few very vocal, highly visible, hysterical doom screamers who litter the conservation mailbox on a daily basis with inane conservation clips from the shark world. All of which start with a breathless supposition "have you seen this!?"

A small dead shark washed up on a beach in Florida?

It is the end of the world and fishermen are to blame!

Dead sharks in bottles?

Let's hang the bastards!

Sustainable shark for sale in the local supermarket?


Has anyone thought for a moment where all this nonsense is getting us as a community? After alienating the long distance swim community last week it is a question the hysterical "theater of the absurd/actors for shark conservation" should be asking themselves this week.

The Good News

Without a doubt the march for sharks has, over the past three years, made some great strides and there are some truly dedicated and smart folks working on long term solutions for sharks.

Kudos to them.

There are also some complete and utter conservation idiots who are raising revolutionary flags for sharks on issues that have little to no import on the long game for conservation such as Penny Palfrey when all the facts were not in.

Let's reign in the dog of war for sharks and start working on each and every project as a long term effort, not a quick and rusty knife to the back. It may look good on a Facebook page but at the end of the day it diminishes the entire effort in ways we have yet to understand.

Folks like Penny deserve much better and many apologies are in order.

You know who you are - so get busy. You can start with the same public zeal displayed in taking her down last week.

Sightings - The Shark Diver Sticker

There are as many as 10,000 of these Shark Diver stickers gracing bumpers across America.

Since 2002 we have been giving away stickers to divers, adventure seekers, new and soon to be new Shark Divers.

This one was spotted in California on the back of the CEO of car.

Rumor has it that divers from Google, Facebook, and a host of high tech firms in Silicone Valley are also sporting these classic stickers celebrating a decade in the shark diving industry in 2011.

With the 2011 white shark season just a few months away and the return of the fall tiger shark season in the Bahamas we're excited to be getting back in the water with your toothy friends.

Let's go shark diving!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guadalupe Insel Shark Cage Diving

Anmerkung des Herausgebers: Megan Murray wurde fast ein Shark Diver im Jahr 2008. Leider musste sie ihre Reise mit uns kündigen im letzten Moment.

Der Vorteil ist, trat sie uns in diesem Jahr, und wie sie sagen, "das zweite Mal ist der Reiz":

Wo die Dinge beginnen

Neulich war ich teilen die Einzelheiten meiner Reise nach Isla Guadalupe mit einem Freund. Ich begann mit der Geschichte des Treffens alle auf der H & M Landing am Morgen des 17. August. Ich fing an, Leute mit Koffern und keine Angelruten sehen und fing an Gestalt dieser kann Mitreisenden für die Horizon gebunden zu sein. Ich glaube, es war Jeff, der rief die erste Zeit. "Wer ist hier, um Hai-Tauchen?" Eis gebrochen.

Nach zwei Jahren den Leuten zu sagen über meine Reise zu planen und immer "oh my god! Sind Sie verrückt! "Als Antwort, es war großartig, von Leuten, die sich für sie waren umgeben sein. Nicht nur für sie, sondern begeistert, gehen Sie raus und einige Weiße Haie aus nächster Nähe. Vielleicht ist es meine eigenen Vorurteile, was sharking dreht sich alles um, aber ich hatte nicht erwartet, eine Menge von anderen Frauen auf der Reise zu sehen. Ich hatte diese Geschichte, die ich durch harte Jungs würden umgeben sein. Alle zertifizierten, allwissend, und dass ich die seltsame Frau durchgeführt werden. Nicht so Freunde. Ich teilte die Erfahrung mit vier anderen Frauen, und die Hälfte unserer Gruppe wurde nicht zertifiziert. Wir waren von überall her, mit allen Arten von Geschichten darüber, warum wir dort waren. Meeting jeden war ein großer Teil der Reise für mich, dass ich kaum in meiner Aufregung als einige Haie zu sehen. Die Leute waren einfach fantastisch und ich bin begeistert zu sagen, ich bin immer noch mit ihnen verbunden.

Nach der Geschichte Intro, sagte mein Freund "Es ist wie Fantasy Island ist!" Hmm ... so ähnlich. Es ist nur, dass Martin nicht so bissig wie eine Kommode Mr. Rourke. (Fast buddy! Ich schwöre!)

Die Mannschaft war einfach fantastisch. Wir waren gut ernährt, gepflegt und sogar unterhalten. Und ich glaube nicht unbedingt, dass Jeff die Tendenz zu Lied zu brechen oder zeigen Sie ihm bewegt. Markus Koch war genial. Ich begann zu denken, er könnte Mast uns für etwas ... hmmm werden. Es ist eine ziemlich tolle Sache, um ein paar tolle Jungs beachtend alle Ihre Bedürfnisse während hängen in der Nähe einer abgelegenen Insel im Pazifik haben. C'mon Damen. Wie oft kommt das für Sie passieren?

The Crossing

Wenn Sie Ihre prep Paket erhalten, und es sagt, für Seekrankheit, Plan für die Seekrankheit zu planen. Ich war frech mit meinem Patches, Dramamine, und Ingwer. Ja was auch immer, modernen und antiken Methoden der Seekrankheit Linderung, wird die Pacific gewinnen! Als mein erstes offenes Wasser Kreuzung dieser Größenordnung, war ich so ziemlich zum Scheitern verurteilt. In aller Wirklichkeit, haben die Drogen einen guten Job. Es ist nur wichtig, einen Plan für die Überfahrt haben

(Beyond Geeking darauf hin, dass ich in der Tat war auf dem Weg, habe ich nicht). Gönnen Sie sich Dinge zu tun.

Also, was ist für 22 Stunden zu tun? Wie wäre es mit Ihren anderen Tauchern, erhalten Sie Ihren "das ist, was das Boot aussieht" Bilder, zu sehen einen der vielen Onboard-DVDs oder lesen? Es gibt eine Vielzahl von Haien und Tauchen Lesestoff an Bord für die Reise. Inklusive einem schönen Bildband von identifizierten IG Haie und die Unterschiede in ihrer Kennzeichnung. Lassen Sie mich zunächst die Lobby für die Veröffentlichung dieses Buches bitte! Vielleicht ein IG Shark des Monats Kalender ... oh yeesh, das ist eine ganz andere Art von Hai-Pornos. Der Erlös geht an die Erhaltung Aufwand vielleicht? Lassen Sie einige Ihrer besseren Fotografen Gäste dazu beitragen, die Ursache, indem sie einen großen pic für die Haie? Nur Wolke Zerschlagung hier Jungs.

Zurück zur Kreuzung ... Insgesamt tragen viele von Sonnenschutzmitteln unabhängig vom Wetter, und nicht nur auf die Welt rocken nach oben und unten schauen. Nicht, wenn Sie rockten wie ein krankes Baby schlafen wollen, fühlen oder einem ständigen Zustand der fast übel. Oh die Dinge, die Sie kennen lernen werden. Der beste Teil der Überfahrt ist aufzuwachen, um ein Boot, das nicht rockt mit gusto und Realisierung warten. Ich bin hier.

Isla Guadalupe

Als ich aufwachte, am ersten Tauchtag Ich kroch aus meinem Bett und stieg die Wendeltreppe zu den wichtigsten Lounge, wo ich das Frühstück konnte riechen und sehen der Morgensonne. Am oberen Ende der Treppe konnte ich sehen aus dem Fenster auf die wunderschön gestreiften Felsen und glitzernde tiefblauen Wasser der Insel. Es war allen Bildern und Video, das ich je gesehen habe zum Leben erweckt. Es war atemberaubend und surreal. Wir konnten sehen, Wolken Kochen über die Wipfel der Insel. Der Ton der Morgen war Ehrfurcht. Wir alle ruhig, sagte unsere guten Morgen und packte etwas zu essen. Wir hörten die Winde, die Käfige in Position gehoben, während wir unser Frühstück kaute. Ich konnte sehen, was ich auf allen Gesichtern zu spüren.

Aufregung, Bewunderung, Vorfreude ... wir hatten es all.Let 's richtig zu machen, um es. Der erste Tag war surreal.Rise & shine, erhalten Sie Ihre Informationen, Squeeze in einen Neoprenanzug und Sie sind in. "OK, der nächste ist?" Ich denke, Martin ist unbedingtes Vertrauen über das, was zu geschehen hat es wirklich einfach, einfach in sich einem Käfig ohne darüber nachzudenken, keine negativen Ergebnis. Wir hatten alle die Sicherheit Dos und Don'ts abgedeckt. Wir hatten unsere Atmung und unsere Masken unter Kontrolle. Jetzt ist es nur Sie, ein paar neue Freunde, ein Käfig, Ihre aufmerksame Crew, eine ganze Menge "ein Wasser, Stöcker, Makrele, und die Fische, die Sie kamen, um zu sehen. Jetzt wait.Your Geist auf andere Dinge ... Test einige Kamera settings.Get Ihre Atmung unter Kontrolle, so dass Sie bleiben können, ohne sich daran zu arbeiten. Versuchen Sie nicht, sich in Ihrem Luftleitung gesponnen zu bekommen.

Alles schmilzt der zweiten erhalten Sie Ihren ersten Schatten der großen Bewegung. Wie Rauch in eine vertraute Form, gerade weit genug entfernt, dass Sie fragen, ob du nichts gesehen. Sie wissen, dass sie hier sind. Es war zu diesem Zeitpunkt bemerkte ich meinen Käfig Kumpels und ich waren alle mit Blick auf verschiedene Richtungen und auf Patrouille. Wir haben gerade rutschte hinein. Dies ist, wo es richtig gut wird.

Die Makrele trennten und wir sahen den ersten Great White Gleiten in der Ferne. Ich hielt den Atem an und überlegte, ob er bemerkt hatte. Es war ein Ur-Moment. Ich fühlte mich, nur für eine Sekunde, wie eine Gazelle an einem Wasserloch. Ich packte den Käfig fest und erinnerte mich an all die Systeme, die in Ort, um mich zu schützen waren. Die Angst fiel weg. Es war vor mir diese schönste Tier, mehr fliegen als Schwimmen. Ich hatte prepping diese alle in nehmen seit zwei Jahren und hier war es. In diesem Moment allein war es wert den Eintrittspreis. The White Sharks bei der IG sind genau wie in der Werbung; große, schöne und reiche.

Wir haben nicht lange auf sich warten, dass ersten Augenblick an. In dem ersten Tag würden wir treffen drei Haie. Ich war wie weggeblasen. Wir haben 1 Stunde Umdrehungen, bis die Sonne kam zu niedrig in den Himmel, um sicher zu sehen, was los war. Es dauerte Stunden, und es fühlte sich wie keiner Zeit an allen. Wir waren gepumpt. Die Erfahrung der ersten Zeit die Nähe zu diesen Tieren ist überwältigend. Es ist schwer, es ohne sich ausführlich und schmalzig (zumindest für dieses Drehbuch) erklären. Es ist außer für den Klang Ihrer eigenen Blasen und die Atmung still. Diese riesige, und ich meine große ist Tier langsam auf dich Flüssigkeit in Flüssigkeit, unglaublich konservativ in ihrer Bewegung wie. Es gibt keinen Grund zur Eile. Er ist der Schlangenbeschwörer und du bist der Schlange. Dann eine leichte Entendaunen und er hat recht unter dem Käfig Segelfliegen. Sie bekommen einen guten langsamen Blick auf alle Details. Der graue Oberseite ihres Körpers schauen, wie sie sein würde weich wie Samt unter Wasser. Mehr von dem Schlangenbeschwörer stuff ... wir kennen die Zähnchen können Blutentnahme. Einer meiner schönsten Momente war das erste Mal, dass ich ausgecheckt wurde. Ich oder jemand in den Käfig, genug um bemerkt zu werden verschoben. Ein Hai gleitet vorbei an der Vorderseite des Käfigs verschoben den Kopf und hatte eine visuelle Sperre für uns in einer Nanosekunde, nicht anders als ein Hund. Snap ... Ich bin dir in die Augen. Wir konnten sehen, sein Auge auf und ab bewegt den Käfig Dimensionierung jeder von uns auf. Wahrscheinlich mehr, "warum sind die Dummen bald Affen in den Käfig wieder?" Als "du siehst aus wie das Abendessen." Ich erkannte, dass ihre Augen weit von solid black Kugeln sind. Es ist ein grünlich, clearish Farbe, um sie, und Sie können eine deutliche Iris (glaube ich) sehen in dort. Es ist fast verleiht ihnen Ausdruck. Ich war nicht darauf vorbereitet. Meine Lieblings-Expression wurde Bruce. Martin bemerkte, dass Bruce eine Art Grinsen hat, wenn man ihn auf dem Kopf sehen, und ich stimme. Er ist fast niedlichen weißen Marshmallows Wangen, die das Aussehen akzentuieren bekam.

Ich erinnere mich an eine Zeit, als ich so irrational war von Haien Angst. Ehrlich Leute, wir reden in Pools Angst. Diese Zeit ist längst vorbei. Diese Tiere haben eine Persönlichkeit, und List, und die Schönheit und Wildheit, und sie will dich nicht, sie sind hartnäckig neugierig. Neugierig genug, um wirklich gefährlich, wenn Sie nicht wissen, in ihrem Hoheitsgebiet, und verstehen nicht, ihre Gewohnheiten. Bruce auf der anderen Seite ist down-Recht niedlich. Für einen Great White Shark, was ist. Bruce nimmt den niedlichen Ansatz zur Schlange charmant.

Es ist wie das Shark Week Ich wünsche Entdeckung ausgestrahlt würde. Eines der coolsten Teile der Reise traf Mauricio Hoyos, ein Forscher, der seine Heimat macht auf der Insel für vier Monate des Jahres. Sie können sehen, seine Forschungen Komplex (gelesen: Bude) auf Google Earth. Sobald Sie haben es gesehen werden Sie verstehen, was ein Engagement dieser Kerl hat die IG Ökosystem gemacht. Mauricio zu uns zum Abendessen eine Nacht und bot uns einen fantastischen Präsentation über die IG Haie. Das war ein wirklich wichtiger Teil der Reise für mich. Um zu sehen, wobei die Arbeit, die Leidenschaft um ihn herum, und zu lernen, während des gesamten Prozesses war unbezahlbar für mich. Dies ist, was Ökotourismus sollte.

Denken Sie daran, was ich über Sonnenschutzmittel gesagt?

Aufgrund der großen bisschen Dummheit und wesentlich rockin 'Sonnenbrand, habe ich nicht bekommen, um die Vorteile von jeder Drehung an den beiden letzten Tagen, sondern bestand darauf, in und sagen hallo mindestens einmal pro Tag. Ich war noch nie enttäuscht. Es gab Haie jeder Zeit. Es fiel mir, dass sie jeden Tag ein wenig mehr Komfort, ein wenig mehr neugierig war, und ein ganzes Stück näher. Es war nonstop. Auch wenn ich nicht in das Wasser, sondern auf mein Steak-out im Schatten saß, bekam ich super Aufnahmen von Rückenflossen im Wasser-und Video geringfügige Verstöße und tolle Farbe Kommentar von meinem Boot mates. "Two White Sharks! Ah ah ah! "... Der Graf macht mich immer noch lachen. Das Wasser in der IG ist so unglaublich klar, dass man zehn Meter Tiefe gerade stehen Oberseite zu sehen. Einige unserer Haie waren in der Gewohnheit breit, Boot-großen Kreisen, wo sie die Käfige mit dem Abbau von der Hafenbahn würde Ansatz. Ich konnte zu Fuß die Seite des Bootes sah ihnen Scheibe durch das Wasser. Einfach schön. Diese Reise machte den Deal. Ich bin total von diesen Kreaturen hypnotisiert. Hier ist, was du tun musst.

Ich bete meinen Planeten so ausrichten, ich kann zurück zu IG im nächsten Jahr. Nicht nur, dass ich die Schönheit der IG, und die großen Leute von Shark Diver sehen, aber ich habe nun Freunde, die "OMG" Reaktion der bedeutet, dass sie wollen, auch kommen. Wenn Sie ein Fan dieses Blogs sind ich mich flehe Sie an dieser Reise zu nehmen. Treffen Sie diese Kreaturen von Angesicht zu Angesicht und lernen Sie so viel Sie können. Wenn Sie nicht die Reise, die Unterstützung der Erhaltung Bemühungen in keiner Weise möglich. Seien Sie ein Befürworter. Unterstützung pro Hai Gesetze und Forschung. Sprechen Sie mit Ihren Freunden über die Realität der Haie und ihrer Notlage. Spread the word über den Schutz dieser atemberaubenden Kreaturen und glaube nicht, dass der Hai Pornos als medienpädagogische verkleidet. Es ist viel gefährlicher und schädlicher als jeder Hai ich getroffen habe.

Ich kann nicht warten, bis die Spirale Treppen steigen und sehen, dass Insel wieder.

Megan Murray