Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gulf of the Farallones White Shark Disaster Redux

The following images are as shocking as they are hard to comprehend. The damage to this shark is simply stunning.

They are purported to be "before and after" images of a protected white shark that was mauled at the Farallone islands in 2009.

A shark by the name of Junior.

The shark was badly hooked by a hybrid shark research/film crew in the fall of 2009. The hook was set so badly in the animal that a pair of industrial bolt cutters had to be pushed through the gills of the shark to cut the hook.

Two thirds of the hook was left inside the animal.

If this is in fact the same animal and these images can be verified, it is clear evidence that this brand of hybrid film and television shark research should be banned from the Sanctuary.


Maria Brown, Farallones Sanctuary Manager, gave the following assessment in 2009 of this kind of research:

"I equated it to, it felt like what it's like when I go to the dentist; when you go in, you get a cavity filled, it's something that maybe you don't want to go do, but you do it, it's quick, it's over, it's done."

This blog will be following up on the series of recent images we have uncovered featuring an emaciated white shark with what looks like a tumor on the side of it's mouth and will be reporting the details as they can be verified.

Stay tuned.

Update Gulf of the Farallones White Shark Policy - Stunningly Poor Management Decisions?

Update Gulf of the Farallones White Shark "Junior" - It's Official, Now What?

Guadalupe White Shark Cage Diving Dates 2012

Shark Diver is proud to announce our 2012 shark diving dates for Isla Guadalupe, Mexico with the M/V Horizon.

Yes, we're booking for 2012 in 2011!

We're 80% sold out on all our 2011 expedition dates, thanks to the many divers and groups who will be joining us again this year.

If you cannot make it this season join us in 2012. Same great dive operations, same pricing as 2009, 2010, 2011 and yes, we will be departing directly from San Diego again next year with no buses into Mexico.

Peak shark season dates are August-September when weather and numbers of sharks are at their absolute peak. Divers seeking the really big females should join us in October. We are accepting $500 fully refundable deposits to secure your next shark diving adventure.

Let's go shark diving!

Playa Bagdad Back in the News 50,000 Sharks?

Back in 2009 we posted a story about a small fishing camp called Playa Bagdad in Mexico, a place where shark fishing was rampant and perhaps a suitable candidate for a shark tourism conversion, similar to what we have seen in places like Isla Holbox.

This week Playa Bagdad made the news again, this time with biologists warning that 50,000 sharks a year are taken from this one small camp to fuel the shark fin trade, a trade which is now spilling illegally over into U.S.waters.

The Washington Post has an in depth look into this issue.

“Those guys are north of the line,” said Petty Officer Andrew Watzek, squinting at the 25-foot Mexican skiff and then at a radar screen, where the border is a bold line extending off the coast. “They’re definitely in American waters.”

Complete story here.

Great White Shark Research Internship 2011

Interns will be joining dedicated scientists who are conducting accredited research projects in some of the world’s most challenging, beautiful and remote environments.

The projects demand significant scientific and practical responsibilities from participants, however, the demands are well within the capabilities of most students, and whilst being challenging, are enjoyable and exciting. As part of this program, interns can expect to be important members of a focused and dedicated research institute and partake in ground breaking research. It is an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to exciting marine research, as well as experience the frustrations, the highs and the lows, and the achievements associated with ambitious and challenging marine research in Africa.

Oceans Research has established a strategic network of two research stations situated within the unique marine biomes of southern Africa, namely, Skeleton Coast Marine Lab and Mossel Bay Marine Lab. At each laboratory, researchers are conducting ambitious ecological, physiological and biological studies on resident marine top predators and their associated ecosystems.

Mossel Bay Marine Lab is the flagship and most established research laboratory within the Oceans Research network. It is also home to the institute’s central office and management. The research laboratory is situated along the southern coast of Africa in a warm temperate marine biome that attracts numerous temperate water fish species. At the top of the food chain is the Cape fur seal that resides on Seal Island, the Great white shark that frequents the bay to hunt fur seals, numerous fish species and a semi resident population of bottlenose dolphins.

Interested interns can also get involved with our educational program, where we educate mostly underprivileged schools regarding the importance of ocean conservation and the vital role sharks play in both the marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

Skeleton Coast Marine Lab is situated along the desert coast of Namibia at Walvis Bay, a worldwide mecca of dolphin watching and desert tourism. The Benguela current is the driving force behind one of the world’s most abundant marine environments and attracts dense populations of marine mammals such as the Heaviside’s dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Cape fur seal and humpback whale. The Namibian coast line is considered one of the most undeveloped, beautiful places in the world. The Namib is the oldest desert in the world and is characterised by the conjunction of large fields of sand dunes meeting one of the world’s richest marine environments, the cold currents of the Benguela ecosystem.

The internship program is aimed at assisting in the development of students training in the area of biological science. However, we willingly invite applications from all students and enthusiasts who have a passion for the oceans and want to extend their knowledge through real life experience.

Further information is available on the Oceans Research website.