Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mortal Enemies!


That would be us Divers - and Sharks!
On 2:55!

It started out like this, on a small beach in the French Riviera.
The year is 1942.



And then came 1956 and the epic "Le monde du Silence" that won both the Palme d'Or in Cannes and an Academy Award,

One unforgettable episode features an accident (was it?) with a whale calf and a subsequent encounter with Oceanic Whitetips. I found it on YouTube but unfortunately, the embedding has been disabled and you will have to watch it here.
Chances are that you will not like what you see.

"Avenge the Whale"??? That was rammed, speared and shot?
And a research vessel with a harpoon on board?
Indeed: French accent and all, it's the Calypso of Jacques-Yves Cousteau!

But that was 1956 and things have thankfully changed.
Or have they?

3 comments:

Shark Diver said...

Back in the day when the oceans seemingly "unlimited bounty" could weather running over a sperm whale calf and the slaughter of 20-30 sharks in just one afternoon.

Man have we ever come a long way.

From mortal enemies - to charismatic megafauna worthy of protection in less than 50 years.

What will the playing field look like in 50 more?

DaShark said...

I for one won't be there to see it - and you will be some rakish 90-something old! Probably studded with replacement parts - very cyborg!

The way we're going, I'm not at all optimistic about oceanic Sharks. Having said this, can you point out a single marine Fish extinction so far?
There you have it: there may be hope!

Felix Leander said...

There is hope! In those days I do not think many people had the word ecology in their vocabulary...it is also fascinating to see how some people who started diving in the 50s have completely changed their attitudes towards the oceans. In those times the majority that was diving were drawn to the the sea to hunt...now they are hunting with cameras ;)