Friday, April 29, 2011

USVI Shark Bite Charters - It Gets Worse

Thanks to Dan Holstein on Facebook who uncovered the true horror of local dive shop/shark hunter Shark Bite Charters out of St.Johns USVI.

It would seem the gregarious local owner has discovered the mother load of regional Tiger sharks off the shores of the USVI and is now in the process of killing as many as he can get his hands on, then proudly posting videos of his conquests online.

In the many years I was diving in the USVI we never saw a Tiger shark, if this is a newer phenomenon or not, either way it is shocking.

While the rest of the planet moves in lockstep to try and save dwindling shark populations with the Bahamas serving as a prime example of first rate shark management and tourism opportunities with sharks, the discovery of an operation like this is both disheartening and tragic.

Let's see if there's some local dive shops who can do something about this ongoing slaughter.

Update: Don't try posting anything on their Facebook page, to date over 300 posters have made their opinions known, Shark Bite Charters is deleting any post that is critical of their operation.

USVI Tiger Kill - Rare and Sad

Having lived in and been diving the USVI (US Virgin Islands) and BVI for many years I can attest that sharks are just not part of the eco system in this Lesser Antilles chain as elsewhere in the world.

Finding a juvenile Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) in these waters is an exceptional and very rare event. Which makes the following video so sad to watch.

As a commercial shark diving operator I am frankly stunned at the treatment of this animal and the 1970's approach to filming and documenting sharks underwater. The death of this animal was unnecessary, ignorant, and a stark waste of a magnificent resource.

Ironically on exactly the same day this animal was being killed I was in the Bahamas with a Brazilian film crew (without cages) documenting the Tigers of Tiger Beach for an upcoming documentary about these wonderful animals.

We still have a long way to go to change minds and attitudes towards sharks: