Saturday, March 29, 2014

So what is really going on at Guadalupe?

You don't need to go outside a cage to be close to the sharks!
Yesterday I wrote a blog, talking about those idiot who dove outside the cages at Guadalupe Island. I used a couple of pictures that are posted on flickr, showing the incident. In response to the blog, I got a message from the photographer, asking me to remove the pictures from the web and also asking me to remove my comments. I removed the pictures from the blog, (I couldn't remove them from the web, since he posted them there) and posted his message here.

Just to refresh your memory, here is what the photographer had to say!

"Hello Martin, I am the owner of those images and I was very surprised to see them on the blog article you posted. I would like to ask you to immediatly remove them from the web as well as the comments that concerns them- which dont correspond to the reality in that specific situation. The person who is facing the shark had to push the shark away as it was a very intrusive personality and he touched it as little as he could and the dive was aborted immediatly. I don't want the images to be used in a provocative way when they don't reflect the reality of what happened. And I especially don't condone or encourage physical contacts with sharks, but in this specific instance, it could not be avoided by the diver- as I said, he got out of the water right away after the occurence. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon, Thank you, Jean-Marie Ghislain"

I posted Jean-Marie's explanation in good faith. I disagreed with his description of the incident, portraying the shark as being "too intrusive", but didn't come out and call his story a lie.

Now I found some additional pictures of this incident. Since I don't own them, I'll just put the links here.

So Jean-Marie, you say that my comments didn't correspond to the reality of that specific situation and that the shark was very "intrusive" Do you mean like in this picture? I can see that the shark is just intruding on the divers hand. How rude of him!

Or maybe this picture? The poor diver, just couldn't get away from the shark. Is this what you call "the diver touched him as little as he could!"

You say that when the shark got "too intrusive" you immediately left the water. Then how do you explain all these pictures? They show this diver with 2 different sharks, harassing them by holding on to their dorsal fin, touching and riding them. Is that what you call "the shark was being too intrusive?" This all leads up to the shark "Valentine" coming at the diver with an open mouth. Isn't that exactly what I was saying? Stunts like these will eventually lead to someone getting hurt or killed? How exactly did my comments not reflect the reality of this specific situation? You documented the "situation well"! You know how they say, I picture is worth a thousand words? Too bad that your own pictures contradict what you are saying.

So what's really going on at Guadalupe is this. Some idiots are illegally diving outside of the cages, touching, riding and harassing the sharks and then posting pictures on the internet to show everyone, just how cool they are. When someone calls them out on it, they all of a sudden claim that the shark was "intrusive" and try to portray this all as just a misunderstanding. 

Jean Marie, I call bullshit on your explanation. It's just a bold faced lie! You guys illegally dove outside of the cages and were seeking out contact with the sharks. It was you guys who intruded on the shark and not the other way round. Then to top it off, you actually blame the shark for being intrusive. I can only imagine what you would say if something actually happened to the diver. You'd probably call it a shark attack. Your actions did not just endanger yourselves, but all the boats that do shark diving at Guadalupe. If something were to happen, we would all bear the consequences. 

Jean-Marie, I removed the pictures like you asked me to. As for your demand to remove my comments concerning the pictures, my answer is not only no, but hell no! I stand by what I said in my previous blog  if you want to do the stupid things we are talking about here, go somewhere else! Actually, I take that back, I would prefer you'd stay out of the ocean!

Martin Graf
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


Anonymous said...

Well said!!!

Unknown said...

Nice one. The shark looks pissed before coming at him with an open mouth. If someone does that shit to a whale and there is a huge outcry. They are not puppies. Even puppies get the shits when harassed. It could've ended so much worse & I bet the before photos wouldn't have surfaced then. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

well said mate . would love to go diving with these awesome creatures one day but in a cage . hopefully if people like these idiots don't ruin it for everyone else .

Unknown said...

Here here

Unknown said...

Dove is a bird it is dived. What is the problem the sharks don't look that upset. I have dived outside cages before with whites and other sharks if the divers get bitten it is their own fault.

Shark Diver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shark Diver said...

Alan Milton,
2 things, since you want to be the grammar police, here is the definition of dove

The past tense dove is found chiefly in North American English, where it is used alongside the regular (and earlier) dived, with regional variations; in British English dived is the standard past tense, dove existing only in some dialects. As a past participle, dove is relatively rare. (Compare Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary; The American Heritage Dictionary; The Cambridge Guide to English Usage)

But more importantly, since this is not a blog about grammar, but about diving and specifically diving with sharks, I want to respond to the second thing you say.

It is attitudes like yours that we are talking about here. I wish it was only the diver that gets hurt that would be affected by a shark biting them. Unfortunately, if you dive outside a cage at Guadalupe, you are endangering the livelihood of all the people offering the shark dives there, since all would get shut down, if something serious were to happen.

So if you want to dive with whites outside the cages, stay away from Guadalupe!

Unknown said...

Well said. ..and I agree the explanation is totally bullshit...

Anonymous said...

Martin, you can post a copy of those photos on your blog if you are critiquing the photographs or what is taking place in the photos -- that would fall under 'fair use' and is protected. So go ahead and post copies of those photos on your blog, so that they are preserved for posterity in case the photographer realizes how stupid he is to post them and pulls them off Flickr.

Shark Diver said...

Just click on the links and you can save the pictures. They are also on Mikes blog that I linked to.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to remove his pictures, you can imbed them right into your blog post. You're using them in commentary on an incident, not for profit or commercial gain. It's fair use protection. The photographer has absolutely no legal ground to stand on, so I say include the pictures, lest they suddenly "disappear."

Unknown said...

I went on a shark dive to Guadalupe 10/2013 with Martin, and really hope these assholes don't piss off the Mexican Government and fuck it up for all of us! Thank you Martin for your blog.

Unknown said...

Hopefully these assholes don't ruin Shark diving for all of us. I did a Shark Dive 10/2013 with Martin. Thank you for your blog Martin