Saturday, September 3, 2011

Guadalupe Shark Alert - Shredder Back for Season Nine!

With his distinctive dorsal fin and well known cage diver curiosity Shredder has thrilled divers from around the world for the past nine years.

We named this iconic shark Shredder back in 2003 in an incident that defined this remarkably animal in more ways than one.

See How Shredder Got His Name.

The good news is that our beloved shark is back this week once again thrilling divers after his 2000 mile migration into the deep Pacific and back to Isla Guadalupe.

We are always on the look out for this special and endearing animal and each season when we do not see him in the first pulse of sharks with characters like Bruce we wait with growing concern.

For our divers who have been asking about Shredder this year, he's back and bigger than ever, great news!

Let's go shark diving!

Isla Guadalupe Shark Cage Diving - 2011 Trip Reports

Guadalupe Island is once again in full bloom with another season of record shark numbers and as always the "unexpected."

Newly minted Shark Diver James Woodhead joined us last week at Guadalupe not sure what to expect - but ready for anything.

It was that mindset that helped James when the "unexpected" happened, it's also the reason why Shark Diver builds and maintains the best shark cages in the business.

Here's James after action report:

Turning 40 this year finally lit a fire under me to fulfil a childhood ambition - diving with Great Whites. Luckily, my web research led me to Shark Diver's website, and I'm so glad it did.

After a long sea journey to Guadalupe we finally got to suit up and get going. Being non-certified, Dive Master Martin showed me the ropes of breathing with the regulator and clearing my mask underwater, and thankfully I didn't have any problems.

On the first day, amongst some 'regular' Guadalupe sharks returning to say hello to the cages, a notable encounter was with a very shy young male White Shark who was very wary of the cages. Martin said we should keep a special eye out for him over the next few days. Again on day two, our young shark turned up and kept his distance. We also saw Jaques, a Guadalupe regular who is now over 16-foot, and a female regular too.

Both sharks got very close to the cages.

On our last day, the regulars turned up again. Our mystery male also arrived, and this time headed straight for my cage. I took a lovely photo of him very close to the cage, which I have attached, and thought "He's not stopping". The next second he'd rammed our cage with his snout - just out of curiosity - and shot off at very high speed.

It might have been the shock of his life, but it was a huge thrill for myself and my cagemates.

I would like to thank Patric for his excellent customer service, and our crew; Captains Spencer and Kyle, Galley Crew Mark and Alyssa, Dive Master Martin, and crewmen Mark, Nick and Kyle, who were always friendly, informative, funny and professional, (and in the case of Mark and Alyssa, damned good cooks!).

I'd also like to thank my shipmates, who to a man (and woman) were excellent company.

They all helped to make the dreams of a 5-year old English kid an unforgettable experience for a 40-year old English guy!


James Woodhead UK

What some call Undersea Adventure we call Shark Diving!

Tiger Beach, Bahamas. When it's this good it's just shark diving heaven. Join us in the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012, the sharks are waiting.

Shot by Fraizer Nivens in RED with the M/V Kate.

Tiger Beach, Bahamas 2011 from Frazier Nivens on Vimeo.

Sustainable fishing for Sharks - Heresy? - You Bet

Mike aka Da Shark is one of the industries deepest thinkers. He can also produce an industry rant that can peel the paint off buildings across the street from any device with Internet access.

His latest post is one that landed with little fanfare and as I suspect, left more than a handful of Shark Messiahs frothing at the mouth.

Yes, Mike is asking questions about "Sustainable Shark Fishing" which is for many within the shark conservation world an anathema.

But go here we must, because the idea of global bans on shark fishing is not comprehensive or even real world and in the end doomed to failure. In fact the entire shark conservation track thus far is setting up a world in which the price for some species of shark is higher than ever, with fishermen moving into set aside areas of abundance to harvest sharks because of little enforcement and high dollar prices.

So the "fishing idea" needs to be explored, vetted, and discussed by conservationists now before we get to the point where illegal fishing of our own design takes hold in areas we once thought protected.

It is easier to monitor existing fisheries than to patrol against illegal fisheries, just ask Sea Shepherd.

Here's Mike post again. It's filled with links, ideas, and some big words. So if you're not into big words or deep thoughts, go back to painting your protest sign with that day glo crayon of yours and happy protesting.

For the rest, read this because it's as good as it gets and about 5 years ahead of the current curve for shark conservation thought and strategy.