Monday, April 30, 2012

Shark Surfing in NZ, Missing the Mark Completely?

We have to admit when we saw the Facebook video coming out of New Zealand featuring beer swilling locals surfing a dead shark our impression of NZ shark conservation dropped another notch.

While global sharkies went to town in a series of cascading outrages, petitions and angry chatter they missed the mark - completely.

How so you might ask?

New Zealand is one of the few Western countries left on the planet that not only allows shark finning, it has set and growing quotas for it. New Zealand is a main purveyor of legal shark fins to the Asian market.


And where is the shark army for that stunning fact? They all know it, and yet NZ seems to inhabit and strange and bizarre bubble of indifference when it comes to outrage against shark fins.

Four years ago we posted, When One Dead Shark Helps a Species, the idea that one dead shark could help turn public opinion. For the hundreds of thousands of dead sharks that get finned each and every year in NZ as part of a draconian quota system, the outrage over this dead shark was hollow, shallow, and completely misguided.

We all want shark finning to end, and yet the lowest hanging fruit of this effort, a western government adding metric tons of shark fin legally to the system remains untouched and unchampioned by the wider shark conservation world while they chase after shadow boats and shark finning in the remotest places on the planet.

Shark conservationists in New Zealand rage at images of dead shark in Japan while the same images, sanitized, legalized, and part of a fisheries profit machine get little to no mention at all.

Because there are no images.These same finned animals, these same quotas, go by the wayside.

New Zealand needs to wake up to shark fin in their own backyard.

The global shark conservation machine needs to wake up to this as well because the outrage over some misguided locals and one shark is a joke, because somewhere in a glass jar at $350 a kilo are the fins of New Zealands legal system. And somewhere in a dusty warehouse are the thousands and thousands of bags of these same fins that say "Fisheries New Zealand" on the side.

We would like to see pictures of those one of these days. It would be a good first start.

More from GrindTV.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Celebrity Sharks Cages in Florida?

 Hell yeah, if the Shark Brothers have anything to do with it, and they do.

Hang on to your hats kids, get ready to be amazed and strap in because the Guy Harvey Catch and Release Shark Tournament is back in town and this time it's bigger than ever.

I know we said that about last years event, but this time it is even bigger than ever.

We remember back to the early days, the raised eyebrows, the not so discreet emails flying about, and hey what about that bunch of sharkies lurking at that picnic table? You guys still around? No?

Glad to see even the most hardened of you out there finally "get" what this grand experiment was all about, and thanks to MOTE Marine Labs for the support as well.

So here's to the third installment, the shark fishing madness, and to a new way of doing business for shark tournaments all over the world.

Oh, and yes we hear tell there will be a Celebrity Shark Cage on site, donated by the friendly shark folks from Shark Diver. Yes we have been fans, supporters and the kind of shark folks that like to see those who take big risks, those who try new things, those who are truly fearless when it comes to helping out shark friends.

You may not think a shark fishing tournament could help, but it does, and it sure beats a bunch of dead sharks on a town dump.

See you in Florida!

Sea of Cortez White Shark Massacre?

Pete Thomas is reporting another massive white shark taken in the Sea of Cortez this week, leaving many within the shark community asking, "what's going on?"

From the looks of things we would estimate this animal to be at least 15 feet long at the time of capture perhaps even larger making this another titan of the region and another great loss to breeding stocks.


Laguna Beach, CA (April 25, 2012) – After returning from a trip to Loreto, Erik Cutter,  Managing Director of EnviroIngenuity, reported gruesome stories about the killing of numerous Great White Sharks off Isla Ildefonso an island located just north of Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Isla Ildefonso is about 40 miles north of Loreto, six miles north of Punta Pulpito and east of Bahia Concepcion at 26°38'N, 111°26'W. It is a steep and barren island and it is known for big fish, large pelagics and untouched dive sites.

"Commercial fishing has become so difficult in the Sea of Cortez that several of the few remaining commercial fisherman are so desperate that they are now targeting the ocean’s greatest predator, the Great White Shark," he said. "According to a very reliable source, at least thirteen mature Great Whites between 16 and 22 feet long, some estimated to weigh more than 2, 200 pounds, are being slaughtered for their fins and their jaws."

Cutter is also publisher of Baja Life Magazine and an avid fisherman for over 35 years in Baja California. He learned that the sharks are baited with a large dead fish such as a yellowtail with barrels attached so that the shark eventually drowns. Once they retrieve the shark, some of which are still barely alive, they are beaten to death with a bat, then finned and carved up for their jaws. The jaws reportedly fetch $1,500 each and are being sold by the local fisherman.

“The economic reasons are obvious, but certainly, they don’t justify the indiscriminate and illegal killing of these amazing sharks,” said Cutter. “I am very upset by this because I have worked for many years to educate local fisherman to protect their fishery, one that Jacques Cousteau once called, ‘The Aquarium of the World’."

The Loreto-based non-profit, Eco-Alianza Loreto, also encourages local fisherman and teaches youth to protect what they have left of their critical marine resources. Unfortunately, lack of enforcement by federal officials and the poor economy are driving fisherman to this destructive extreme.

About EnviroIngenuity

EnviroIngenuity was founded in 2009 by Erik Cutter. The company is comprised of forward-thinking professionals, whose goal is to take advantage of the growing demand for more efficient, cost effective sustainable energy solutions, employing solar PV, hi-efficiency LED lighting, green building and hydroponic vertical food production technologies.  EnviroIngenuity’s mission is "advancingreenergy" and reducing waste, thus better utilizing limited natural resources. As we invest in a lower carbon future, the EnviroIngenuity team is focused on helping organizations move forward to deploy sustainable energy solutions using disruptive technologies.                                                                 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bull Shark Behaving Badly? Nope

This is at the mouth of one of the many river systems on the west coast of Cape York Australia. Bull Sharks can be found all over Australia including in fresh water river systems (mothers will travel upstream to have their pups).

However they are particularly prominent in areas such as where this was filmed. During the run off (just after the wet season) large numbers come to feed at the outlets of these river systems. On this trip we counted seven swimming around the boat (lured in by the fish we had been catching). In these situations it is almost impossible to catch a fish as the sharks eat them before you can get them onboard.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

White Shark Cage Diving in Mexico

Martin Graf - Liquid Predation 2011
We are rapidly running out of spaces to offer for our 2012 white shark season at Isla Guadalupe this year.

That's the bad news.

The good news is we added a new date in the prime season, August 12-16.

The additional good news is the M/V Horizon, the original shark diving vessel for Isla Guadalupe, is back from a major overhaul this spring with brand new engines.

We're greener, we're faster, and we're quieter then ever before and now we'll be seeing our toothy friends one week earlier than planned.

When life is good, it's really good, see you on the docks in August!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Great White Sharks and Martin Graf at Isla Guadalupe

Liquid Predation - Martin Graf 2011
For the past decade on the back deck of the M/V Horizon has stood dive operations manager and shark fin-actic, Martin Graf.

Martin is "Isla Guadalupe" and also one of the planets top shark operations managers. You don't get to a decade of day-to-day white shark operations if you're not that good at what you do.

Martin is that good.

This image was shot during the 2011 white shark season at Isla Guadalupe and when we looked for its pedigree we were not surprised to discover that it was one of Martins.

Every once in a while he actually gets some quality cage time in between taking care of divers and gear and the daily grind of 420 round trip miles to the island and back.

When Martin does get cage time magic ensues.

Nice shot mate, we'll see you for season eleven this August!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Titanic White Shark Caught in the Sea of Cortez

Peter Thomas Outdoors is reporting one of the largest white sharks ever caught in Mexican waters this week, an animal estimated to be close to 20 feet long.

If true, this animal might represent what many have long suspected in the Sea of Cortez, a smaller distinct white shark population in these waters that may well be on it's way to complete extinction.

Or...this is just another dead shark in a population of known sharks that are pupping in this region (ya happy now DS?).

Time will tell or maybe it won't, as the numbers of big whites caught in nets seems to be on the increase.

From Peter Thomas Outdoors:

"We were amazed and immediately realized that we had a huge, dead, great white shark, and then we thought what are we going to do?," Guadalupe said in an interview with Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing, which is located in the resort city of Cabo San Lucas.

The shark was nearly as long as their 22-foot panga, or skiff. They had to tow the behemoth to the beach, where about 50 people helped drag it onto dry sand.

"Guadalupe and Baltazar swore they had never seen a fish this big before in their lives," the Pisces blog stated. "Even though on March 13 of this year, some of their fellow fishermen had also caught a great white, which had weighed 990 pounds."

The irony that one of the fishermen that caught this shark was named Guadalupe has not escaped us.

Not Entirely Sure We Like This...

All hail our new Robot Overlords, courtesy of DARPA. We're glad to see our expansive 2011 tax returns are being used to develop bots with the capability to run up stairs.

Not entirely sure we like this development. Then again we're not entirely sure we like what the folks at CERN are doing either. Call us Luddites, but is it O.K to not want to recreate the Big Bang on earth when we really don't know what we're doing? 

Just the human version of a bunch of monkeys hammering away at the detonator of a cosmic nuke?

Ahh science, you gotta love it, and to think just 100 years ago yesterday the Titanic sunk:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Guadalupe Island Cage Diving 2012 - New Dates Added!

Shark Diver is adding dates to our 2012 white shark diving season at Isla Guadalupe.

We're experiencing record bookings interest again this year and selling our the prime season dates from Aug-October as fast as they go up.

It could be that a decade later Guadalupe is now understood as the premier white shark encounter site on the planet.

Or it could be the rave reports we get back from our divers every single season thanks in most part to the amazing US dive crew and vessel the M/V Horizon:

James Woodhead from the UK

Jack Mears in 2011

Or it could just be that folks want to go see a shark and scratch that Bucket List, either way we're here to help with the announcement of Aug 12-16 now open for business.

Early August dates feature the most males up in the north bay. These are scrappy animals. Bruce, Shredder, Mau, all vie these waters for dominance. Think of it like an Elk Rutting Season when the males gather to establish who's the biggest and baddest animal on site, because in a few short week the breeding aged females arrive in October looking for a "migration buddy."

After a decade of operations here we are still in awe of these animals, still like the early days out there, we're here to learn, here to admire and here to explore.

Join us, and let's go shark diving!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Say It Ain't So Matt Rand!

What started as a rumor last week has been confirmed. Matt Rand is leaving PEW.

As a driver behind PEWS shark conservation program Matt has been a genuine force for good, in fact he's been more of a Tour de Force.

Name one successful shark campaign over the past few years and somewhere in that mix was the long hand of PEW lead by Matt and his team. Great stuff.

Matt is off  on "other adventures" and PEW has lost one of the finest examples of their organizations conservation leadership. Here was a guy who was more than a policy wonk, a front line conservationist who strove for conservation metrics vs conservation hysteria in his programs.

The kind of conservation programs that can be put in place today, ones that can measure success on a year to year basis vs emotional programs that look good to the media, but ultimately fail to translate in a meaningful way to the animals we all care about.

It's a real conservation distinction and one that Matt during his short tenure at PEW championed.

Matt and his team managed in a very short time to leave the world a better place.

The conservation community wishes Matt the very best, waiting in anticipation for Matt Rand 2.0

Good hunting on your next adventures sir, wherever they may lead you!

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at

Friday, April 13, 2012

Filming Sharks? Yeah It's Fun!

One look at this image has industry folks asking, "so what's with the suit of armor?"

This was part of our 2009 production with the Mythbusters at Tiger Beach, Bahamas for Shark Week.

The crew from Shark Diver was tapped to take Jamie and Adam, two of the nicest guys in television right now, down to The Beach to interact with sharks.

Part of that multi day production involved suiting up Adam for the shows intro segments. We thought it would be one of those unique production images that really captured the imagination - and it did.

The Mythbusters 2009 Shark Week appearance set new records for the Shark Week franchise and we were happy to be a big part of that shoot.

Since then we have set the standard for innovation underwater with sharks on a commercial level shooting groundbreaking productions that employed all manner of objects and sets underwater with sharks.

When it comes to sharks, why shoot in a sterile environment?

Of course safety is always our highest priority and we are happy to note that 12 years later we are proud of our 100% safety record with sharks and talent in the water.

2012 will see another series of productions around the world with sharks, so stay tuned if you happen to like sharks, we have some unique excitement coming your way.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Absolutely brilliant. We like smart people doing smart things.

When can we get this button in Times Square?

Killing Sharks For Fins in New Zealand?

When it comes to sharks, some folks still don't get it.
While the rest of the shark diving and shark conservation community works tirelessly to stop shark from being finned, there are some who make a living from it - legally.

When talking about New Zealand the numbers are not pretty. Metric tons of shark fin are exported from New Zealand every year, and no one seems to mind.

Except this guy.

Sam Judd, shark attack survivor, and New Zealand native has penned an op-ed this week about the legal shark fin trade in NZ and it's about as good as it gets.

It's high time for the NGO community and the commercial shark diving industry to put some pressure on New Zealand to stop this trade. Legal or not, it should be banned, and everyone knows it.

Let's see if anyone has the stones to push for it and see it done.

The Sharks and Cancer Video

For some reason we found this amusing, as in Snakes on a Plane amusing.

Skip to 1.04:

"Of course sharks don't get cancer...but man does!"

Hearts in the right place. Not sure about the messaging. Never sure about the messaging.

USA. Guy Harvey promotes conservation with All-Release Fishing Tournaments

In his mission to inspire scientific research and education while encouraging conservation and best management practices for sustainable marine environments, Dr. Guy Harvey continues to work closely with fishing tournament organizers to support and effect long lasting cultural changes.

As a result, creators of the upcoming Guy Harvey Ultimate Shark Challenge (USC) Tournament and Festival and organizers of the World¹s Richest Tarpon Tournament (WRTT) have announced plans to strengthen and share their commitment to conservation by cross-promoting their common messages. The Ultimate Shark Challenge Tournament and Festival takes place in Punta Gorda¹s downtown waterfront at Laishley Park May 4th ­ 6th followed by the World¹s Richest Tarpon Tournament in Boca Grande May 17th and 18th and the Downtown Tarpon Festival May 19th and 20th.

Both all-release tournaments feature exciting and innovative high-stakes competitions that also place an emphasis on best practices when it comes to the post-release welfare of their respective target species‹sharks and tarpon.

The main attractions at both events are the fishing tournaments, but each will also host festivals that are free to the public and offer family-friendly fun, excitement, entertainment and education.
While their marquis species are indeed very different, event organizers are quick to point out that, "Sharks and tarpon have been coexisting here for millions of years and that their symbiotic relationship is a matter of mutual benefit to a healthy marine and coastal environment.  In many ways, that relationship is a great metaphor for why we¹re collaborating with our events."

 "Our All-Release, No-Weigh, No-Kill tournaments are an alternative whose time has come," said Lew Hastings, executive director of the Boca Grande Area Chamber of Commerce and Tournament Director of WRTT. "Bringing families together in sport and education strengthens not only our estuaries and fisheries, but enriches our community as a whole."

USC Creators, Sean & Brooks Paxton add that, "We're extremely fortunate to have this uniquely diverse environmental playground right here in our backyard. The area offers so many choices for not only boaters and recreational anglers, but also anyone interested in an endless list of eco and adventure-based activities on land and sea."

The USC tournament‹created as a model for catch and release only shark tournament formats‹drew some 3,000 competitors and spectators last year and paid out over $15,000 in cash and prizes. This year¹s event will feature an outdoor showing of "This Is Your Ocean: Sharks", a documentary created by Dr. Harvey, fellow marine artist Wyland and shark dive operator Jim Abernethy, about sharks in the Bahamas.

"We applaud the tournament founders and directors for their increased commitment to promote the catch and release of sharks and tarpon in this summer¹s tournaments," said Dr. Harvey. "Our goal is to minimize shark and tarpon mortalities and maximize educational outreach about conservation."

Following an extremely successful launch of Guy Harvey's new Armed Forces Collection, a portion of the proceeds from this year¹s USC will benefit charitable organizations dedicated to supporting America¹s military and their families. There will also be two teams of veterans fishing in this event.

Dr. Harvey, founder of the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University and the internationally regarded Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF), in recent years has joined the growing ranks of individuals and organizations calling for strict regulations to ban the commercial fishing of sharks in the quest to supply the world¹s insatiable taste for shark fin soup, an expensive delicacy.

Scientists with the International Union for Conservation of Nature have estimated that 30 percent of shark and ray species around the world are threatened or near threatened with extinction.  The loss of these animals could cause irreversible damage to the ocean¹s ecosystem and result in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in the tourist trade.

Last July, Dr. Harvey, who holds a PhD in fisheries science and biology, helped lead an international effort spearheaded by the Bahamas National Trust to convince the Government of the Bahamas to prohibit all commercial shark fishing in its more than 240,000 square miles of territorial waters.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Drudown - Smartest Chap in the Industry

An artists recent rendering of "Drudown"
From time to time we enjoy watching battles unfold over industry videos and images that depict less than credible things done with sharks on a commercial level.

The battle lines tend to run predictably with online quotes by industry types, photographers, and one sparkling industry source, "Drudown."

Who Drudown is remains a mystery, and we guess that's for a reason. But if you happen to be a fan of reason, and we are, his words resonate against a backdrop of weekend sharkies who have done a few sharks trips and have seen Shark Week and therefore are experts on sharks.

They may even have a few images of sharks wrapping knife edged teeth around expensive housings making them the most dangerous of commentators - the shark fanatic.

We only preface this by placing Drudowns latest post as prima facie evidence of smart, intelligent thinking about human interactions with sharks. Sans the moronic sound bytes of the shark fanatics who more often than not get sidelined with the small minded "falling coconuts and lightning strike" analogies of the shark/human interaction space.

Here's Drudown on a recent video making the rounds:

I find it humorous that the person claiming to divine from the video that "tiger sharks can be friendly, seeking out interaction with humans because they enjoy the touch that stimulates their ampullae of lorenzini and induces a trance-like state" would allege human/predator data (i.e., re food rewards) observed from Animal Planet is somehow unscientific, i.e., the data is the data, regardless of the medium it is relayed. In contrast, the video on this thread does not provide data to support your claims. First, sharks are only put in a trance-like state when turned upside down. Second, Tiger sharks have no cognitive or emotional ability to be "friends" with any creature and have been known to eat their own young. The feelings of "connection" that spring from Kin Selection are inapplicable to pelagic sharks. That is undisputed science.

With regards to your speculative theory that Tiger sharks "enjoy" the interaction, it is likewise as unscientific as "mistaken identity" theory. I'm a lawyer too, and- aside from speculative shark theory not being subject to the scientific method- I find it very telling that the "justification" or "explanations" proffered are inadmissible in a court of law. Namely, just as the Dog Whisperer (Cesar Millan) cannot take an oath and testify as to "why" a Pit Bull attacked a person, so too, is xxx unable to testify as to what a Tiger or Bull shark thinks when it attacked Sergei Zaloukaev or any of the hundred Haitian victims devoured when their sailboat sank on May 4, 2007 in the Florida Straits (not too far from the Bahamas)... nor accurately control "risk" of an attack when one arrives for a free handout at his commercial tours. 

In other words, if a very hungry Tiger shark arrived on the scene after a long migration, the operator is attracting a dangerous predator. Like I have said previously, people are free to assume whatever risks they want. But citing to the statistical infrequency of shark attacks is somewhat misleading insofar that our oceans fish stocks are being depleted at an alarming rate. Climate change works and is. Coupled with attracting large and aggressive sharks to compete over a paltry amount of food, I think people grossly underestimate the actual distribution of risks and are very misleading about why sharks are dangerous. They are generalist feeders. They are unpredictable. They are known to prey on people in the same geographical area, albeit typically under different conditions such as a maritime disaster. Nevertheless, all that is science. 

How's this. If someone (as they probably do) were to organize tours in Tanzania to see the Chimpanzees, the same analysis would be necessary and proper. Like Tiger/Bull/White sharks, Chimpanzees are potentially DANGEROUS towards humans and it is because they eat meat- including ours. I don't care if Jane Goodall is your tour guide, she can't protect you from ravenous Chimpanzees any more than xxx can protect people from sharks without the benefit of a cage. 

Res ipsa loquitur.

All we have to say is...God Bless you sir, whoever you are.

Dead Tiger Pups from the Philippines for Sale?

Dead Tiger pup anyone?
Ya gotta love Florida. If you're looking for beach related items you'll find them for sale at almost every corner shop in the entire state.

Beach towels? Yup, they got that.

Sunglasses? Yup, they got that too.

Seashells? By the bucket load.

Dead Tiger shark pups? WTF?

Apparently there's a company called Atlantic Coral Enterprise that takes dead Tiger pups from the Philippines and mounts them. Complete with  a set of novelty googly eyes they sell these shark horrors for the princely sum of $49.99.

Of course we're not impressed at all.

In our world Tiger pups don't look like deflated tubes of dried leather. In our world Tiger pups look like this. Take your pick, which world do you want to live in?

Video by Fraizer Nivens, Tiger Beach, Bahamas 2011.

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tiger Sharks Ripping, Tearing, and Feasting!

 In all the years we have been working at Tiger Beach, Bahamas we have not yet been fortunate enough to encounter something as amazing as this. Every once in a while along comes a movable feast our toothy friends find so tasty they just cannot resist.



About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at

James Dylan Shooting Sharks and Shredder!

Shredder at Isla Guadalupe 2011 (click on image)
In 2011 James D joined us at Isla Guadalupe and nailed some amazing white shark shots including this one of the island most photographed animal - Shredder.

We named Shredder in 2003 after he tore apart our anchor cable in a sneak attack that left the crew and our divers adrift in the sharkiest waters on the planet.

Fortunately it was the last rotation of the last day at the island (thanks buddy) and we headed home with a boatload of happy divers to order up several hundred feet of new ground tackle.

This image captures the electric water ripples across his broad back and damaged dorsal fin that reminds us every day out there who is the site boss.

If there was a way to express our love for this unique and endearing animal it would be through first rate images like these taken by our divers who have traveled all over the planet to meet these amazing animals.

Well done Dylan!

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dear Google, Why?

Like many out there I light a scented candle and lay down some fresh SEO Fruit at the altar of Google each and every day. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember as a businessman who relies on Google for my daily traffic.

Google has become part of my routine and part of my family.

Like any beloved family member if you see them going off the rails you want to help. So Google I am here to help in regards to the announcement of Project Glass.

Some Tough Intervention Love

First of all Google you are not Apple. This made painfully evident by the fact you have released a version 0.1 of a product that has no hope in hell of making it into the wider tech sphere let alone the public commercial space.

What you have created with Project Glass is a bio-human catastrophic media machine waiting to happen. A futuristic toy that flies in the face that America ranks 16th in broadband and every single supplier of 3G, 4G and presumably 5G are currently throttling down bandwidth as fast as they can.

If you had been Apple, you would have released a finished and fully vetted product to waiting hoards produced at Gulag style tech sweatshops across China. Accompanied by some underweight and slightly anemic looking Norwegian singer with a catchy, simply irresistible, yet undefined techno beat.

That's how you do tech.

Not to mention the wails of discontent, the gnashing of teeth, as your early adopters are bedeviled by a product that is so high tech and fragile it fails daily life spectacularly. Imagine the horrors that await Project Glass in the marketplace.

In case you have not yet conceived of such real world tech horrors we have listed a few:

1. Moisture.

2. Children under five with sticky fingers.

3. Burning Man.

4. Looking down into the dark depths of a port-o-potty whilst in the middle of a Susan G Koman 'Run For The Cure' race in New York, watching your now branded 'Google DG Glasses' slide into the dark depths forever.

5. Re-watching, over and over, the video of your $500 'Google DG Glasses' on You Tube slide into the dark depths from an altogether unholy first tech perspective.

We're just trying to help Google so please reconsider this tech disaster and return to your roots.

I will be adding some more SEO Fruit to the Google altar today in your honor.

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shark Cages for Alligator Infested Productions?

The Paxtons and crew at Myakka River Deep Hole
Who do you turn to when your production needs top of the line shark cages to explore a really deep hole in Florida?

Oh, and did we mention said deep hole is absolutely infested with very big American Alligators?

If you're the Paxton Brothers you turn to Shark Diver in Florida because when it comes to shark cages for exploration and productions we're pretty much Florida's only source for big shark cage systems.

The cage system we sent over has been used by the Mythbusters, featured in several shark commercials, and most recently in the Bahamas at Tiger Beach.

For the Myakka River Deep Hole Expedition they needed the best and they got it and we were proud to help in the small way we did.

Kudos to the entire team for a first class discovery, cannot wait to see the final product.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RTSea Status on U.S. Shark Conservation

Channel RTSea Shark conservation media
If you're in the mood for first rate analysis on the complex issue of shark conservation, management, media, the place to go is the RTSea Blog.

We feature unique blogs like RTSea for a reason - great thought.

This week Richard wrapped up Washington Posts environmental writer Juliet Eilperin's take on the current status of shark conservation.

It was a good piece, and Richards thoughts on the article go deeper into the issue from a writer, filmmaker, and conservationist who has always seen all sides of complex issues and is able to distill these down to terrific blog posts.

"Commercial fishermen are pressuring politicians to interject loopholes into proposed legislation. And one common proposal is allowing the landing of whole sharks. Once thought of as a way to dissuade fishermen from taking sharks because of the value difference per pound between a whole shark and just its fins, I am now concerned that, with several species, even the taking of whole sharks may prove to be one shark too many. The populations of some sharks is that perilous."

RTSea complete post here.

Commercial Shark Divings Worst Moment?

Surfing on a tied up whale shark?
Not by far but this one ranks up there.

This story is more about a net caught shark at a local beach within a whale shark tourism zone.

Unfortunately the animal was badly treated and other images have surfaced of a regional commercial whale shark program in dire need of an overhaul.

We've have been talking about commercial shark diving since 2008, and this story making the rounds is just another another in a long stream of the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly for our industry.

Make no bones about it we have been fiercely pro-commercial shark diving since our inception 12 years ago. Fundamentally, done right, shark diving's net benefits far outstrip any arguments against it.

But as we were reminded just a few weeks ago when another stunningly bad video surfaced from Tiger Beach, Bahamas all of this, the entire commercial shark diving industry remains an ongoing 20 year experiment.

That's right.

Unless you factor in some real mavericks like Ron and Val Taylor, who showed us the way but never got down on a commercial level and a few from S.A and AU. Commercial shark diving as we know it today, is very new. What was once an extremely niche tourism marketplace has gone mainstream.

Guadalupe Island is just over a decade old, ten short years, and unfortunately there's still no "Shark Diving for Dummies" hand guide out there.

So operators learn by doing, failing, and hopefully growing. Some are better at this than others, some are in it for the associated fame and a few back slaps at DEMA, others have become self professed Professional Shark Divers (I know, right?), while still others have carefully blended long term shark conservation with operations seeking the Holy Grail of wild animal tourism - sustainability.

The fact is this is still an experiment and in many ways an ongoing one.

There's always room for improvement but as Da Shark points out, these improvements need to be grounded in set animal protocols. 20 years later we have learned much, yet new operations make basic fundamental mistakes every year.
Right now much of the shark diving world is still a wild west affair. We all know it.

So enough said. You can scream all you want about this image, write petitions, chatter, but at the end of the day it comes down to respecting the animals and what we as an industry consider respect for a wild animal.

It's an ongoing debate that will only get louder as the industry matures and grows and the experimentation with sharks finally reaches it's natural conclusion.

We're getting there but not without a few bumps along the way and in this hyper connected media world we live in what happens on the other side of the planet impacts us all in ways we have yet to realize.

Food for thought.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Eating Wicked Tuna - Great Stuff

Bluefin programming debate? What debate?
Over at Deep Sea News more in depth discussion on Nat Geo's new show Wicked Tuna.

One of the reasons we feature this outstanding blog is the constant stream of independent and critical thought that emanates from it like the raw unrestricted energy from a Pulsar.

Read this post today, it's as good as it gets.

"When I wrote about Wicked Tuna, the National Geographic channel’s Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing reality show (first aired Sunday night), I thought it would be pretty straightforward. Every rating system  – Seafood Watch, Sea Choice, Blue Ocean Institute – lists Atlantic bluefin as an “Avoid.” A look through the scientific literature – though I am not a tuna or fisheries expert – showed a vast gap between the fisheries literature, which focuses on bluefin population structure , and the conservation literature, which is trying to sound the alarm about bluefin’s decline. Frankly, I didn’t think it would be terribly controversial to argue that a purportedly conservation-focused organization like National Geographic shouldn’t encourage consumption of Atlantic bluefin tuna."

Complete post here.

Shark catches in the Marshall Islands Tuna Fishery

Identification of factors influencing shark catch and mortality in the Marshall Islands tuna longline fishery and management implications


Bromhead, D., Clarke, S., Hoyle, S., Muller, B., Sharples, P. and Harley, S.


Recent average annual catches of sharks by tuna longline vessels fishing in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) are estimated to be between 1583 and 2274 t. Although 22 shark species have been recorded by the observer programme for this fishery, 80% of the annual catch comprises only five species: blue shark Prionace glauca, silky shark Carcharhinus falciformis, bigeye thresher shark Alopias superciliosus, pelagic thresher shark Alopias pelagicus and oceanic whitetip shark Carcharhinus longimanus. Wire leaders (i.e. branch lines or traces) were also used by nearly all observed vessels. Generalized additive model (GAM)-based analyses of catch rates indicated that P. glauca and A. superciliosus are caught in higher numbers when vessels fish in relatively cooler waters, at night, close to the full moon, when the 27° C thermocline is close to the surface and during El NiƱo conditions. In contrast, C. falciformis, A. pelagicus and C. longimanus are caught in higher numbers when shark lines are used (all three species) or hooks are set at a shallow depth (A. pelagicus and C. longimanus and, also, P. glauca). These findings are generally consistent with current knowledge of these species’ habitat preferences, movement and distribution. The results of these analyses were combined with information pertaining to shark condition and fate upon capture to compare the likely effectiveness of a range of potential measures for reducing shark mortality in the longline fishery. Of the options considered, the most effective would be to combine measures that reduce the catch rate (e.g. restrictions on the use of wire leaders, shark baits and shark lines) with measures that increase survival rates after post-capture release (e.g. finning bans).

Journal of Fish Biology. Early View Version. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2012.03238.x