Thursday, September 13, 2018

Florida Land-Based Shark Fishing - Good Enough?

Yes this has happened, again - source.

Watch - story here.

Methinks this is not quite good enough.
But then again, conservation does not happen in a vacuum and will always be some compromise - so let's see how this plays out in detail. 
What I'd personally like to see, is precise rules with no more loopholes stipulating that all protected species must be released at once = zero leeway for dragging them anywhere near beaches and zero leeway for delaying the release because of taking measurements let alone pics etc - and draconian enforcement and prosecution of the transgressors!

And then there's more. 
Like I said, there are further extremely important public safety aspects that need addressing - but it's not my place to start that discussion, so keep watching this place.

Anyway, we will see will we not.
I continue to fear that the staff of the FWC will try to do the very minimum possible - but always happy to be proven wrong!
To be continued no doubt!

Saturday, September 08, 2018


Source - click for detail!

Just saw this today.

Very cool.
Those are Banded Houndsharks - story here.

Friday, September 07, 2018

NZ Cage Diving - the End?

Source - very much worth reading!

Well well well.

Read this.
So the infamous saga of those haphazard cage dives off Stewart Island appears to have come to its very much expected and I may say, very much deserved! ignominious end.
Like I said way back here, there was a need for a social license (yes Austin and Charlie!), and for outreach by the researchers - and both have been appallingly lacking. And yes, a big Thank You to the Shark pornographers - and a big honorable mention to the Ramsey chick whose inconsiderate pronouncements did further inflame the situation and torpedo the research by NIWA!

So, well done folks!
Hoping that yer fucking proud of yerselves - and considering the actors, equally hoping that this is the end of that travesty!

PS - not so fast, sez Peter Scott the enabler of all that demented Shark porn on Discovery.
Oh well then - to be continued...

PPS - ultracrepidarian garbage here - Dunning-Kruger anybody?

From the Battlefield!

For you who have been wondering.

So, I'm back - and yes it has been hard.
Anyway, it was most likely worth it, I'm on the mend and if everything goes well -which it will- I'll be diving again by December - and since in the meantime I'll be certainly bored to death, expect a flurry of new cockamamie Shark conservation projects!

Oh and thanks for all the wishes.
Much appreciated!

To be continued - and that's a promise!

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Pesky GWS - Video!

Great stuff!
Methinks this was both intentional and agonistic (as opposed to predatory) - but that's obviously merely my opinion and we'll never know for sure.

Anyway, enjoy - story here.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Emerging Challenges - Really?

Mentioned in the paper: Guadalupe cage breach.


Take a look at this.
Austin and Charlie are certainly good guys and good researchers, and quite knowledgeable about the Shark diving industry, too; and with that in mind, I can most certainly refrain from delving in the nether regions of stuff like the infamous Kardashian Index (and here - anybody come to mind? Hint: "cites me") let alone level accusations of sesselfurzing or ultracrepidarianism, the more as the paper, albeit being a bit lean, is certainly nothing terrible.
And yet I am once again irritated.

First things first: those issues they mention are valid.
In fact we've continued talking about them (= that would be 120+ posts: enjoy!) ever since that blog post 10 years ago, and at last count we've also enabled 16 peer-reviewed research papers, many of which are investigating the effect we're having on the Sharks but also their environment. And finally, we're also a founding member of an association of operators who  practice and promote safe and sane, sustainable Shark diving and are clearly the best in the industry.
So yes, granted, there are challenges.
But we as an industry are on top of them and are continuously evolving and improving - and the only thing that is emerging here, is that terminally irritating fad whereby there appears to be grant money for all those people = mostly scientific lightweights, to come sticking their noses into our business unbidden!

So at the risk of repeating myself.
A. We are not the problem.
Commercial and recreational overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and habitat destruction are.
Instead, we are certainly a part of the solution - even the worst ones among us! But yes we always need to learn, evolve and improve - and this ideally via self regulation. And if not, then regulation is certainly both opportune and necessary!

B. When it comes to the whole fucking never-ending controversy about provisioning.
People who feed and condition Sharks are called fishermen - not a few dive operators: so please do focus on them and not us! And anyway, this is one of the safest underwater activities by far = with one single fatality during thousands upon thousands of baited dives, it is orders of magnitude safer than ordinary SCUBA!
Yes there are effects on the animals, the principal one being conditioning - but they are largely short-term, localized and sublethal, and in no way comparable to the threats Sharks face otherwise! But yes there too we need to minimize our impact - and guess what, most of us largely do!

C. And finally, to those researchers and NGOs.
We did not ask for this - and all this incessant nagging and lecturing by people who ultimately have no clue about, and zero investment into our industry is frankly becoming terminally irksome. There is now a whole cabal of  researchers whose academic niche (and thus career and thus income) is predicated upon being considered ecotourism experts, or whatever, and who appear to be operating with questionable agendas and also appear to desperately want to meddle instead of waiting to be asked.
So, thank you gents - I know you mean well.
But now, if I may: could you please refocus your attention and notoriously scarce time on more pressing issues than whether Shark provisioning may also, gasp, condition and feed some Fishes!, and revert to doing research that actually helps us save some Sharks?

Thank you.

Hammerhead vs Eagle Ray!


Probably a GHH, probably Guam.
Source - enjoy!

H/T: MarineCSI!

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Florida Land-Based Shark Fishing - Workshops and Comments!

This has happened yesterday.
Once again, this total waste has likely been perpetrated by a land-based fisherman.

Should you want to be part of the solution, 
a) either please attend and speak up at the following workshops - background info and talking points here. This time, the land-based fishermen are mobilizing, so your presence, support and voice will be absolutely crucial!
Click for detail.

b) or submit written comments here -  more talking points by the ASC below. 
Click for detail.

Or both.
Thank you very much.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fear Me not!

Very nice - watch.

I say, Vinaka Vakalevu - much appreciated, and glad that you've enjoyed the experience!

PS - Shawn on the PADI blog right here!