Saturday, October 12, 2013

Superhero Shark Wrangler?

Ocearch seems to be on a publicity campaign to promote their tagging of great white sharks again. This article on CNN is a bit ridiculous, even by OCEARCH standards.

The headline is calling the captain of the Ocearch vessel, Brett McBride, "Shark wrangler who sleeps with the fishes" The article it goes on to say:"Imagine you're sitting at the bottom of the ocean, amidst 500 sharks in a feeding frenzy.Would you: A.) Swim to the surface as fast as your trembling legs could take you. B.) Find a weapon to arm yourself with. C.) Fall asleep. Brett McBride fell asleep. For a minute. While hundreds of three-meter-long Galapagos sharks swarmed around him during a feeding frenzy off the coast of Costa Rica."

Ocearch lifiting shark out of the water.
That should tell you something about the intelligence of the guy. Falling asleep while scuba diving is an act of heroism, but a great recipee for a disaster. The article states "The 46-year-old shark wrangler doesn't suffer from some kind of severe narcolepsy. Instead, he was merely proving a point -- these fearsome predators aren't going to be interested in you, if you're not interested in them." How is falling asleep while SCUBA diving and risking to drown, proving a point that sharks are not interested in you? It's just another stupid stunt to impress an uninformed public and make him out to be a superhero.

Their definition of a superhero seems to be someone who gets his boats lines tangled in the props, which forces him to dive in order to free them. Wow, who knew that this makes one a superhero. I've performed dives like that myself and never felt particularly heroic doing them. Heros are people like firefighters, paramedics, soldiers etc. who risk their lives for the benefit of others, not publicity seeking idiots. Interestingly, most of those real Heros are a lot more humble than these Ocearch publicity seekers.

Dr. Domeier tagging a shark without lifting it.
Mc Bride goes on to offer other words of "wisdom" "When the shark is taken out of the equation, the squid populations explode. They're voracious eaters so every night they'd eat the baby fish -- swordfish, tuna, marlin. The fish are being wiped out, not by man, but by squid. And that's because man took away their main predator -- sharks," said McBride.  Wow, I wonder where he get's that info from. Is that a scientific or a PIDOOMA (Pulled It Directly Out Of My A..) statement? 

The fact that Ocearch still insists on stressing the sharks by taking them out of the water to tag them, when Dr. Domeier has shown that it is no longer necessary, clearly shows that they are much more interested in what makes for good TV instead of good science.

We at Shark Diver support responsible shark research, but we do not condone sharks being abused in the name of sicence, just to get TV ratings.

Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

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