Monday, October 30, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
It's nearing that time again. The world's biggest professional dive show, DEMA will be held in Orlando from the 8-11th November, 2006.
This year the show is at the Orlando Convention Center and Beqa Adventure Divers are pleased to be returning once again. We will be showcasing some incredible shark images and letting everyone know what's going on for the coming year. If you are going to DEMA, be sure to stop by booth #790 and check in with us.
DEMA is going to be a great time to catch up with good friends and hopefully meet some new ones, so stay tuned for live updates and photos from the DEMA show...
Le World Challenge de BBC World 2006 est organisé par BBC World et le magazine généraliste américain (Usa) Newsweek, en partenariat avec la société Shell, dont les objectifs sont de trouver des individus ou des groupes dans le monde qui ont développé des projets innovants dans le domaine.
Voter vous permet de soutenir un des douze projets qualifiés (voir ci-dessous). La cloture des votes aura lieu à 17h00 GMT le 19 novembre 2006.
Le gagnant recevra de la compagnie Shell un premier prix de 20 000 dollars US pour développer son projet.
Les deux prix suivants seront de 10 000 dollars US. Un représentant de chacun des trois projets finalistes sera envoyé à la Haye, aux Pays-Bas pour assister à la cérémonie de remise des prix.
With the law of supply and demand at its cornerstone, Bite-Back works together with restaurants, fishmongers and retailers to remove shark products from menus and fish counters, effectively lowering the trade in this threatened species.
Since its launch, Bite-Back's ongoing success has seen the organisation take on more mainstream marine conservation issues including campaigns to significantly reduce the trade in other threatened species; lowering levels of oceanic pollution and; protecting fragile coral reefs. Each campaign has been developed to empower the public to become more resolute in its commitment to conserving the oceans, at a local level, through awareness, education, motivation and inspiration.
Read more about this UK conservation body here...
Welcome to SHARKMAN’S WORLD
Sharkman: In 95% of all Shark related material, your names can be found. How long have you been Interested in Sharks?
Ron: I have been interested in sharks ever since I can remember because I heard stories of people being attacked by sharks along our coastline and my parents used to take me swimming in the ocean when I was very young
Read more of the interview with Ron & Valerie...
And just to give you a little taster of what you can expect...:
From The Shark Trust Website
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
For British divers, Fiji represents the ultimate escape: it lies some 2,000 miles northeast of Australia and 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. That's about as far from Britain as it is possible to be, but the journey is not as punishing as you may believe - two sets of ten-hour flights via California or the Far East, and you're there. The question is… where are you going to stay? The most important thing is to choose a resort or boat where the diving programme suits you. Simon Rogerson reports on some of the establishments available to visiting divers, each with its own distinctive character.
Located on the southern side of the main island of Viti Levu, divers are drawn to two specific attractions - soft coral and extremely big sharks. Just a ten-minute ride offshore by fast catamaran is Shark Reef Marine Reserve, a multi-tiered site where several types of shark are baited up from deep water. On a single dive, it is possible to see bull, lemon, nurse, black-tip, silver-tip grey reef and even tiger sharks.
Salmon sharks spend much of their lives in ice-cold waters in the North Pacific. How do they stand it?
New research points to a special protein that may help them survive the frigid conditions.
Researchers attached satellite tags to 48 female salmon sharks in Prince William Sound, Alaska, to track their movements over three years. They also examined the sharks’ physiology to uncover how they endure winter waters dipping to 36 degrees Fahrenheit.
Salmon sharks maintain a 70-degree body temperature through high metabolic rates and internal heat exchanges. This study, by researchers at Stanford University, shows that salmon sharks also have an enhanced set of proteins that help their hearts contract at cold temperatures.
But even with these mechanisms in place, many of the sharks still bask in warmer surface waters during the winter, and others leave the region all together.
While most of the tagged salmon sharks spent their summers around North Pacific coast, half of them migrated south to California and the subtropics once cold winter temperatures set in. Some even went to Hawaii.
The researchers suggest that this previously unknown behavior is influenced by the two major driving forces of shark’s life: food and sex.
Prince William Sound is full of salmon and herring during the summer, but only herring in the winter, so these sharks may have left to look for food. Or they may be seeking warmer waters in which to give birth.
The findings will help ecologists improve ecosystem models for Prince William Sound. This type of satellite tracking, researchers say, could be used to create a map of shark habitats worldwide, a task that may prove critical to their protection.
This study is reported in the Oct. 7 issue of the journal Science.
Read more about what Michael thinks on his website here...
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Here are a couple of good photos on two different accounts of The Shark Dive on Flickr, Yahoo!'s photo site from one of our happy divers.
CSIRO scientists placed a satellite tracking device on the shark in waters near Port Lincoln.
Recent data showed the female great white, known as Columba, was about 100 kilometres north-west of Exmouth, at a depth of about 600 metres.
CSIRO research scientist Barry Bruce says the information is important for two reasons.
"We're trying to understand what draws sharks to certain areas at certain times, what pathways they use to move between these certain areas and use that information to minimise the risk that we pose to sharks," he said.
"But also see if we can use that information to minimise the risk that sharks pose to us."
Mr Bruce says it is the first time such a long journey has been successfully tracked by satellite.
"They must be making these journeys for particular reasons, so it's exciting for us to be able to plot its course as it goes up the coast and it's found this area," he said.
"Now it's been up there for the last two-and-a-half weeks and we're currently in the process of contacting various colleagues that work in the area just to see what on earth would attract a white shark to deep water off this particular area."
ABC News Online
Monday, October 23, 2006
Michael Herrmann of Shark Defense, has won the WWF 2006 Smart Gear competition for an innovation that addresses the problem of shark by-catch.
Knowing that sharks can detect magnetic fields, Herrmann found that placing strong magnets just above the hooks on longline fishing nets can repel certain shark species.
Researchers looked at trade in shark fins, and used genetic identification to estimate by species the number of globally traded shark fins.
The results are the first fishery-independent estimate of the scale of shark catches worldwide. If the estimates are correct for one of the most commonly traded species, the blue shark, then the nubers being caught are very close to the maximum sustainable levels.
Increasing awareness of the vulnerability of shark species to exploitation and a proliferation of finning (i.e. removal of fins and discarding of the carcass at sea) have contributed to growing concerns that the fin trade may be driving shark catches to unsustainable levels.
The research was led by Shelley Clarke of Imperial College London who has lived in Asia for over 12 years.
Hong Kong is world's largest shark fin market with at least half of the global trade.
Ecology Letters, Volume 9, Number 10, October 2006, pp. 1115-1126(12)
Conservation Biology Volume 20, No. 1, 201–211
Sunday, October 22, 2006
"Dive Site: Shark Reef
Location: Between Pacific Harbour and the island
of Beqa on the northern tip of Beqa Lagoon, Fiji
Depth: 16 - 30 metres (52 - 100 feet)
Visibility: 15 - 30 metres
(50 - 100 feet)
Shark Reef is a marine reserve recognised by the Ministry of Fisheries and monitored by Beqa Adventure Divers who feed nine
(yes nine!) species of shark four times weekly.
The dive is promoted as The
Big Fish Encounter and from the moment the handing out of 300 plus kilos of chum
And another one on same website:
Thursday, October 12, 2006
BEQA Adventure Divers is one of the 12 finalists from 900 entries in the BBC World's World Challenge Award 2006.
Pacific Harbour Tourism Association chairman Jim Sherlock said the association was extremely proud that one of its members had been selected as finalist for this international award.
Based at Pacific Harbour, Beqa Adventure Divers (BAD) is the only Oceania finalist in the running for the prestigious award. The other finalists are from Africa, Asia and Europe.
Mr Sherlock said Beqa Adventure Divers had been selected as a finalist for its efforts in creating a marine reserve on "Shark Reef" in order to protect sharks that are becoming an endangered species because of the long-line fishing industry.
He said with the current debate over the Qoliqoli Bill it is interesting to note that BAD negotiated with two landowning units that both claimed ownership over Shark Reef. They have contracts with both Galoa and Wainiyabia villages and pay them both $5 per day per diver in compensation for allowing nobody to fish within the boundaries of the marine reserve.
Fiji Times Article, Thursday, October 12, 2006
World Challenge 2006 is all about global involvement, casting a net for ideas from individuals or groups deserving recognition....more
To all of our customers, past, present and future, from the team at Beqa Adventure Divers, all involved with Shark Reef Marine Reserve and The Bull Shark Tagging Programme; we would like to say a huge thank you for helping to support the work that is happening here in Fiji.
If you feel that Shark Reef Marine Reserve and The Fiji Shark Project are worthy causes, please take a moment and register your vote in The World Challenge 2006 and help raise the awareness of the sharks struggle for survival.
The World Challenge 2006 starts airing on BBC World from the 8th October. The Shark Park documentary airs on the 28th October at 0930 & 1630 GMT and again on the 29th October at 0330, 1330 & 2130 GMT. The coverage in Newsweek begins in issue 16 October with The Shark Park featured in the 06 November edition (on sale from 30th October).
September has been and gone and what a month it was. BAD was privileged to play host to Juerg Brunschweiller and his research team, Gary & Brenda Adkison and Ron & Valerie Taylor. Last month also saw the return of some familiar faces, Mike & Jo and the arrival of some new faces, Matt & Klaus.
In 2004, Juerg used state of the art pop-up satellite tags on 11 mature female bull sharks to learn more about their annual migration routes. This year was all about localised movements; with the use of listening stations and radio transmitters, Juerg is hoping to uncover the secrets to the bulls? daily movement patterns within the waters of Beqa Lagoon. Mother nature did not make it easy for us.
Torrential rain caused the Qaraniqio River to burst it?s banks, canceling a couple of day?s diving and ultimately creating some sub-optimal visibility. However, after the 2 weeks all the listening stations were positioned and ?Granma?, one of the larger female bulls, is now the proud host to a radio transmitter.
Hopefully we shall get some interesting data from her movements during the time before she headed off on her annual mating/birthing migration.The bull sharks have now departed from Shark Reef Marine Reserve; this now means that we are having more sightings of Silvertips. With all 3 of our named individuals, Madonna, Lady & Joker, already regulars at the site and 3 unnamed individuals already witnessed, it looks to be a good summer in SRMR. Ratu Rua, the resident Queensland Grouper is a common fixture as is Hamilton the Napolean Wrasse.Prior to the freak rains, we were experiencing 20-30m viz out on our soft coral sites in Beqa Lagoon. Some interesting finds this month were Frogfish and Stonefish on Rusi?s Pinnacle and Hawksbill Turtles at Carpet Cove.
A big congratulations goes out to Seema, Claire and Alan on completing their PADI Open Water Diver Course, may you have many years of happy diving ahead of you.
Finally to all those who came diving with us, the team at BAD say Vinaka Vakalevu and we hope to see again soon.
Andrew and the crew