Sunday, August 31, 2014

Shark Porn in New Zealand!

Watch the video - nothing has changed! Source.

And I cite.
Discovery's angle seems to hinge on the fear people have of the unknown, and especially the unknown in the water where they swim. Shark Week has been so good at tweaking and magnifying this fear, that generations of viewers who grew up watching the show are afraid to go in the water...

The problem is not only that there is a fatal prejudice against sharks, but that it is not even recognized.
In the case of other animals, such as snakes, everyone knows that there is a deep bias against them, but in the case of sharks, the stark contrast between sharks as they are portrayed, and sharks as they really are is unseen.

The public actually believes that sharks behave the way they are shown on Shark Week.
Indeed, and bravo Ila!
 
Watch what these people do to New Zealand's GWS.
Think that those Sharks are behaving naturally around boats, or have they been amped up intentionally in order to create all that idiotic drama - and how does this disrespectful rubbish adequately illustrate those past 10 years of stellar research by NIWA and DOC?



Yes it's same old same old, pure Shark Porn.

Have you read this comments thread?
Pitchforks and Flaming Brands is obviously an insider, and she knows what she is talking about. Shark Week is not some amorphous entity, it is people - and together with Sorensen's small team who defines the overall direction (= ever more exploitative garbage), those folks she calls out are definitely some of the worst serial perpetrators.
 
And like an old broken record, let me repeat.
Here are my own questions to fellow Shark diving operators and conservationists.
  • Are we gonna continue pretending this aint happening?
  • Are we gonna continue watching that shit?
  • Are we the operators gonna continue enabling it?
  • Are we gonna continue giving our business to operators that do?
  • Are we gonna continue associating with those people?
Is anybody, ever, gonna learn the obvious lessons?

The good news?
From a conservation point of view -and here I differ with Ila- it thankfully matters not!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

IGFA - lame lame lame!

The IGFA keeps defending unethical trophy fishing - not cool!

Remember David's paper about trophy fishing?
As a reminder, here's a nice synopsis, and I cite
“To us, ‘don’t kill IUCN Red List Threatened species for fun’ should be a part of any ethical angling policy, and many IGFA member anglers that we’ve spoken to agree,” Shiffman said. “We can only hope that the IGFA leadership decides to take the simple step that we propose.” 
Well said - totally agree!

And here is the answer by the IGFA.
Well, nobody really expected that they would fully endorse the paper's recommendations - but this?
This is unprofessional demagoguery at its very worst, to the point that one really has to ask the question whether the Conservation Director (no less!) is just simply hopelessly out of his depth? Nobody disputes that the principal cause for those collapsing fish stocks is not the recreational anglers but commercial (and subsistence!) fishing, at least when it comes to the marine species - but this is in no way an excuse for continuing to promote policies that are ethically reprehensible and hopelessly antiquated!

No I'm not gonna dwell.
The proposed solutions are compelling and easy to implement, and they would instantly affirm the IGFA as a responsible and forward looking organization - AND help preserve the Fish stocks the IGFA relies upon for its existence.

Not gonna happen - and fuck the breathy mission statement.
Not impressed!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sustainable Shark Diving - Progress!

Divers and Fiji Bull Sharks by Ozzie Sam - simply amazing! Click for detail!

I've just got some excellent news.

No I can't divulge anything quite yet - but soon! :)
But I can reveal that the global Shark diving industry is about to experience a whole array of excellent initiatives that are all pursuing the aim of creating a more eco-friendly and sustainable product that will positively impact business but above all, the Sharks.
This is a topic I am passionate about (yes that would be a whopping 69 blog posts, and counting!), and I must really say that I am elated to witness the sheer caliber of the people an orgs that have decided to tackle this thorny issue.

This is obviously under construction - but I happen to know the person behind it and have no doubt that the end result will be nothing short of stellar.
Keep watching that space!

This is the results of many years of quiet and extremely difficult behind-the-scenes efforts to reform the Shark diving industry in Playa del Carmen. Saving Our Sharks is the brain child of Chino Loria, the ever busy and ever overworked owner of Phantom Divers and I must say that I am deeply impressed by the progress to-date.
Chino has invested literally thousands of man hours and thousands of his own hard-earned dollars into sponsoring research, advocating Shark conservation, establishing a productive dialogue with the local and national authorities and dealing with the local fishermen - and this (quasi miraculous!) common code of conduct is going to project the local Shark diving industry to the next level and make it sustainable and profitable for many years to come.
Huge congratulations!

And let me add this.
Whilst all those pathetic self promoters and media whores post breathy announcements and celebrate their non-achievements in the social media, the people that really do the heavy lifting do nothing of the kind. They're not in it for the glory or for the money, they do it because they care deeply about the animals and simply want to do what is right - and if you happen to know about some of them, it is inevitably only because others have praised them, as it should be!

Think about it please.
And please, stop admiring and giving your money to those self promoting impostors.

Hunting Hammerhead in Destin!

A Southern Stingray with Great Hammerhead shark bites. Source

This is way cool.

Talk about not in the slightest caring about those people!
Enjoy!



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Feeding Lionfish to Bull Sharks?

Source.

Watch this.



So Cassell is back.
Which immediately begs the question, with or without Spot's fins?

But I'm obviously digressing.
The uncontrolled feeding of Lionfish to Sharks is a bad bad bad idea - the more as contrary to Playa where they encounter female Bull Sharks that are indeed conditioned and rather mellow, the Bulls in Cancun are feisty males that have already bitten people. With that in mind, does anybody think that the authorities are gonna be as delighted as Cassell appears to suggest?

Having inquired with a friend, his answer is
Hola Mike. I tried to feed lion fish to the bulls and they spit them out. Nobody is feeding in Cancun because it is a marine park and it is not permitted. Actually i don't think these guys have a permit to do what they want.
And why am I not surprised - caveat emptor!
To be continued no doubt!

PS! - less than a day after posting this, the video has been made private...
As I said, caveat emptor!
PPS - as per the comment below, the video has been re-edited and re-posted!
PPPS - and now the video has been retracted. Wow.
 

Here comes Taryn!

 

Behold!

This is she.
This tiny subadult female Bull Shark has been around for a while, but I've only now managed to get a somewhat decent picture today. She's a tad shy yet inquisitive, and generally very sweet. We've named her after Taryn Naggs, the lady who made that amazing donation to the AABS fundraiser - and this not because of the fundraiser but because everybody here at BAD likes her very much!
Case in point, the nomination comes from none other than Rusi - and lemme tell 'ya, that man is neither easily befriended nor impressed!

May they, the shark and the human, grace us with their presence for many years to come!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Best fishing Video!


Great find by Allen!

Yes I do fish.
Many I release, some I eat - and as long as they are fast growing and plentiful species like e.g. Mahi Mahi, there's nothing wrong with that. Provided that they are managed/fished sustainably, Fish are a renewable resource - and extreme positions like this one do NOTHING in helping to address the very real issue of overfishing.
Not impressed!

Anyway.
Great video - enjoy!



Manta Ray in California!

What species is this?

Wow wow wow!

Have you seen this post?
Now, I know nothing about kelp diving and what to expect there - but it looks like the Niño is driving all kinds of tropical Fishes north, so having a Manta migrate north from, say, their known range in Baja/Socorro doesn't seem like such a big deal.
But watch the video.



See what I mean?
That's not one of the Pelagic Mantas that are ubiquitous on the tropical West coast of the Americas - that's a Reef Manta! Mantas have been shown to change color, but that apparently does not apply to the ventral side - and if you look at the comparative pictures, that Manta is definitely not featuring an uninterrupted dark terminal band but is instead featuring coloration that is diagnostic for Manta alfredi!
Correct?

Check out the distribution of the Reef Manta.
See? No records for the Eastern Pacific, meaning that this is either a massive range extension, or that this is a straggler that must have swum over from either French Polynesia or more likely, the Hawaiian Islands - and this in a species that is generally believed to be highly coast-oriented!

Amazing!

Monday, August 25, 2014

México Pelágico - it's done!

Smooth Hammerhead, a rarely documented species. Source.

Very nice!



The movie is finally ready.
Premiere will be on August 27, to a full house - after that, it will be initially shown in select locations throughout Mexico.

Congratulations!

PS - Pelagic Life wants to create alternative livelihoods for local fishermen by trying to stablish an ecotourism venture in Baja California. As part of their market research, they would appreciate your input here.
Thank you!

Angel Shark in Lanzarote!

Source.

Rafa Herrero Massieu never disappoints.

This is one of the planet's rarest Elasmobranchs.
Critically endangered, the Angel Shark has been extirpated from most of its historical range, but a population appears to be faring much better in the Canary Islands. This footage is part of a larger project aiming at portraying the marine life of Macaronesia.

Enjoy!



Big fat GWS in California!


This is what happened (sic).
Too Close for Comfort. 
A Great Wonderful Summer (GWS) experience.

2 years ago, a group of divers from LA area (LAUE: Los Angeles Underwater Explorer) started the project Infidel clean up. The goal was to remove all the nets which covers the wreck and regularly trap marine life (seals, sea lions, even birds). The wreck seats under 150ft of water, which makes the cleaning work challenging and requires lots of caution. Strong dive teams and very rigorous process.
After many dives, the wreck start to look much better now, and new marine life is elected it as new home: lobsters, nudibranchs, wolf eel, and so on.

On Aug 23rd, 2014, new missions were set to both continue removing the nets (and a lot was removed again), but also document the new life. Unfortunately, the visibility wasn't very good for still picture, even video. But on the way back, we had a chance to have the company of a Great White Shark. Probably 16 to 20ft long. She check us out very closely and tag along for 4 minutes. Few minutes of excitement and of course a bit of chill, knowing that we had a long time to get to the surface.
Awesome - and scary, too!
Enjoy!



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Kaimana - new Whale Shark Hotspot?


Watch.



Very much like in Cenderawasih Bay, isn't it.
For those of you who may be worried that this will result in yet another incidence of eco-terrorism, worry not: a team of researchers and conservationists are looking into the issue and have already developed a code of conduct.
Like in the case of Oslob, I'm all for it.

Story here.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pregnant GWS in New Zealand - shocking Footage!


This is repugnant.

It breaks my heart, and I'm really at a loss for words.
This was in 1991 and I can only hope that nowadays, ordinary people would behave differently - but who knows.
Paper here.



Friday, August 22, 2014

The Jackass!

I can't believe that shit is still on!

Anyway, here he is.
Behold the self-professed channeler, or whatever, of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey - with fitting introduction by Mr. Shark Porn himself!



Right.
So this is the message.
This disjointed new age clap trap by some retro hippie stoner adventurer, or whatever, is gonna make us finally understand and save the Sharks. This would be the visionary intellectual justification for illegal out-of-cage dives in Guadalupe, and for putting those credulous young people in harm's way.
Like I said, makes me wanna puke!

And the great pornographer?
Trust the man to never, ever disappoint!
Very much as anticipated, his recent incursion into NZ has fucked over the very people that have helped him go there in the first place. GWS diving in NZ is highly controversial, and his public boasting of illegal out-of-cage excursions, and the depiction of those GWS as particularly dangerous man eaters have further inflamed that conflict. 
Learning curve anybody?

And so it goes!

Cristina - great Outreach!

Source.

Brava!

Once again, this is as good as it gets.
Really nice to see her evolving from prominent dive instructor doing tricks with Sharks to respected international Shark conservation advocate.

And I find this.
In the water, Zenato does a combination of petting and stroking the sharks to place them in a state of physical and mental repose, which she said is wrongly termed as tonic immobility

“I call it the relaxed state,” she said. “The difference between what I do and real tonic immobility is that you can force tonic immobility onto every shark of every size, gender or species. It’s done in aquariums and in the open ocean by forcefully turning the shark upside down

“People say, ‘Oh, we’ve been doing tonic immobility for 30 years! You’re not doing something new,’” Zenato said, rolling her eyes. “Well, I am, actually. I use minimal touch and never force. I just give them a gentle rub, and if the shark doesn’t want to be rubbed, they’ll swim away. Not everyone can put a shark to sleep. It has to be the right person, the right shark, at the right time. The shark has to want it.” 
Indeed - re-read this!
Could those people out there who continue to publicly blather about the subject finally take note that this is NOT what has been shown to harm the Sharks, and that it is NOT harassment let alone animal cruelty. And like him or not, this also applies to what Eli does with the Tigers and Lemons in TB.

But I'm digressing as always.
Brava Cristina, job well done!

Roomba Shark!

Remember? Source.

Finally!
This is what we've all been waiting for.

Enjoy!



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bloody Shipping Hazard!


And they threaten vintage cars, too! Source.

Told you so!
You know who you are!



CUFF 2014 - two Days to go!

That's Gape, likely back in 2013, showing signs of pregnancy!

Remember?



Are you going?
And more importantly - have you made a submission to the competition?

If so, wishing you the best of luck!
 

Towcam - awesome!

What is that Mako towing? Click for detail.

100% more exciting and factual than SW.
Enjoy!



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ultimate Shark Quiz!


Beat that! :)

And whilst yer at it.
Do take the time to explore Sharks4Kids, by far the best resource for aspiring Shark conservation advocates.

Well done!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Color Changes in Mantas - Paper!

These are birostris, but the same is being described for alfredi and cf birostris. Click for detail!

Who would have thought!

Turns out that Mantas can change their color.
And this not gradually over a long period of time but instead, within minutes! According to this paper, coloration may indicate their mood but perhaps also be linked to communication - whilst making visual species ID just a tad more difficult!

Fascinating - and great observation by Csilla Ari!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Michelle!


Well, NOW we're talking!

This is as good as it gets.
We've been big fans of Michelle ever since noticing her gleeful deconstructing of the dipshits with an opinion and a keyboard, and I can only commend the Gills Club for having added her to the lineup of Shark Heroes.

Well done!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

TGIF - Croc and Tourist!

Crocs only want to hug - sez Higher Learning!

Story here and here!



And here comes Kara!


Well well - what can I say.

From this lab.
Who are doing this (= milking the Shark cull?) and especially, who are lending academic gravitas to this shit - but having said that, so is Ryan Kempster for whom I have a lot of respect!

Tricky tricky!
So far, undecided!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Boat Followers!


This is crazy cool video!

"Story" here.
Apparently filmed in the Gulf of Carpentaria - and if so, would those be limbatus or tilstoni?
JSD?

Enjoy!



And this is number five!


Again, good choice.
Here she is, explaining the Great Eggcase Hunt.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ali - Shark Hero number four!


This is a real good choice.

The Shark Trust is one of the very best Shark NGOs.
They do great work on the ground, and this is an real important initiative. Especially all European Shark conservationists should consider lending a helping hand.

Well done!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Melanie - number three!


Surprise surprise!

We've just met!
And I can attest to the fact that she's one cool lady!
If I understand it correctly, she is principally concerned with supplying the science for the implementation of sustainable fisheries - but then I find her among the co-authors of Yannis' epic Tiger Sharks migration paper, and world on the street has her conducting Reef Shark research in remote Hawaiian atolls!

Anyway, once again, great job by Ed & Co of EDNA!

SW - all that Outrage is backfiring!

Guess what - it totally matters not! Source.

And I cite.
This Shark Week, we’re seeing a massive spike in interest around their less-than-factual productions.
And
David Shiffman (has) made it his personal mission to publicize the television event’s misinformation.
And
You might wonder why we bother doing this. It’s certainly not for the glory or the thrill of moderating thousands of hateful comments or the actual violent threats. It’s because, believe it or not, we love Discovery Communications...
So as long as Discovery is spitting out garbage, we’ll be right here shoving it back in their faces.
And they are loving you right back!
Let me try and re-formulate this so that maybe, just maybe it permeates all those layers of outrage, righteousness and self importance. Because really, it's so obvious to be painful: you are being played.

And the evidence is right there for everybody to see.
But you got to look in the right places, like here. Or here
And especially, here and here!

That's the only metric that counts - the numbers!
Sorry for having to break the news: it matters not at all what you write, it matters not whether your countless tweets, FB posts, articles, open letters and op-eds etc are positive or negative - the only thing that matters is that you write and especially, that you mention those search words! Which translates into numbers. Which translates into ratings. Which translates into advertisements. Which translates into money for DC!
That simple.

And this.
Those guys are pros. Why do you think they have doubled down on the mockumentaries despite last year's outrage - because they didn't hear you? No, it's because it has become glaringly obvious that the worse the shows and the more outrageously stupid the assertions, the more you will tweet and write! Correct?
Case in point: accurate deduction (YES they do troll you, actively!), wrong reaction!

Get it?
And trust me, I'm not being disingenuous here. 
They are really that calculating and callous.

So, Think!
You may want to consider toning it down several notches and reserving your ammo for one single scathing review at the end. Or, you can choose to continue doing what you are doing - and next year we'll be graced not with two but with three mockumentaries.

And that's a promise!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Shark Hero number two!

Source.

Behold!
And as so often, I stand corrected!
She obviously masters the unsurpassed conservation skill of taking selfies!

IGFA Records - great Paper!

Dead Goliath Groupers in 1957 - source.

Bravo!

Great to see a paper looking into this.
Those all-tackle weight records have been a personal gripe of mine for years (and here and here). In brief, the IGFA is sanctioning and certifying the deliberate targeting of the biggest individuals = inevitably, the oldest and possibly pregnant females that are the most prolific breeders and thus the most valuable individuals. This is especially true for Sharks where their life history compounds the problem - but in general terms, this generally applies to all Fishes.

Please read this paper.
Doesn't get much clearer than that - but should you still have any open questions, here are more answers by David.
Well done!

And the IGFA?
Why do they continue to hang on to those hopelessly archaic and unethical practices?
Hearsay has it that there was a movement from within the IGFA to gradually switch from weight- to length records that would not have automatically implied killing the Fish. Apparently, some Southern Hemisphere chapters threatened that if so, they would leave and thus break up the Association, at which the proposal was quietly shelved.
Dunno if 100% accurate - but certainly plausible.

And incidentally. 
I just realized that I never followed up on the trailer posted in one of the above links. This is the finished product - not 100% directly related but certainly worth watching.



Lindsay - first Shark Hero!

What's that on the wrist of the Shark Hero - would that be, gasp, an ORCA? Click for detail!
Brilliant cartoon by EDNA Interactive!

Nice!
Certainly a million percent better than that week-long orgy of fraud and mental midgetry I'm trying my best to ignore!
And of course we here love love love Lindsay!

But I must say, I'm frankly disappointed.
I've now spent the better part of the last hour going over the Gills Club's website, blog and FB page and the result ha been zilch, nada de nada: not a single measly video of any of those gals swimming loops around, let alone hugging and riding (!) a perplexed Elasmobranch - and above all and most disappointingly, zero bikinis!

And don't get me started about those pictures!
No makeup and hair stylist, no avant-garde logowear, accessoires and technical gizmos, once again zero bikinis - nothing!
Plus - ever heard of selfie, shaka sign, black duck wings?
Now THAT's what I call REAL conservation!

I mean, seriously!
Ladies - how will you ever be able to Make a Difference if you're so glaringly unwilling to dispel the myth of those misunderstood animals that only want a hug!

With that science shit?
Really?

Anyway.
Like I said, nice - but you can and must do better!

Monday, August 11, 2014

BRUVS' in Beqa Lagoon - cool!

Baby Silvertips are the cutest Sharks, ever - iconic pic by Mark!

El Diego has posted another one!

After the teenage Tiger on steroids, now this.
Last week did yield one big Tiger overhead, one small nosy one, one whopping Lemon, a beautiful Zebra and the cutest tiny Silvertip, ever! All of course part of Projects Abroad's stellar Fiji Shark program.

Enjoy!



Saturday, August 09, 2014

Friday, August 08, 2014

Accolades for DaMary!

DaMary in Fiji - everything the bikini bimbettes are not!

Finally!

Yes I know, I've totally missed it when it happened - but now that I know, I really must congratulate Oris for having chosen the very best possible candidate. DaMary is of course my Most impressive individual Shark Conservation Advocate for both 2012 and 2013, and this public acknowledgment of her tremendous contribution to conservation could not have been more deserved.

Attagirl - I'm proud of 'ya!

Finned Sharks leaking Ammonia?

Most coastal sharks are landed, not finned - source.

And talking about crowdfunding scams.

So far, Collier has managed to rope in 25 suckers.
The thousand bucks will go a long way to fund his stellar Shark Conservation and Education Seminars where the enthralled public will be treated to such pearls of erudition as, and I cite when the discarded bodies of finned sharks are thrown overboard, they sink to the bottom where ammonia leaking from their ravaged bodies destroys coral communities.
And here. And here.

Wowza!
And since we're at it - let's also get rid of all those ammonia-excreting Fishes! Obviously, it is they that are the main perpetrators of the ammonia onslaught, not the small proportion of the caught coral-dwelling Sharks are that are actually being finned. Oh, and then there would be the ammonia pollution by the Corals themselves (!) - damn!

Detail detail!
But who cares about the pseudoscientific BS - as long as it's for the Sharks, right?

Anyway.
Save the Corals!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

New Shark Repellent Scams!


Have you seen this?

Right.
After a decade of scientific research (see any mention of the specific research undertaken by NoBite Technologies?), no less, and a swim in California, surrounded by hundreds of sea lions engaged in a feeding frenzy, in an area known to be frequented by great white, tiger (!!!), and mako sharks, those guys are so confident in the technology that they are giving a $1,000,000 No Bite Guarantee!

Wow!
But they don't have the 175,000 to finish producing the gizmo?

But the video is great!
A pal writes.
  • Sound bytes grabbed from quasi shark alliance bumper stickers - check 
  • Scared looking surfers - check 
  • Technology derived from sketchy research - check 
  • Footage of a bunch of reefies looking bored - check 
  • Let's do this shi... Now, strap it on and be vewy vewy quiet. Avoid splashing and sudden movements ... 
  • Disclaimer: not a guaranteed or proven shark deterrent. Do not immerse for longer than a few seconds. May not work on sharks trying to hug you. Practice aloha and dolphin noises.
And this shit?
Yes they want your money, too - and plenty of it! But fear not, this must obviously be totally legit because they got none other than Collier and Ritter (!!!) as consultants - need I say more!  :)
Through extensive testing, the signal for the SharkStopper' “Personal Shark Repellent” (PSR) has been proven to repel sharks up to 60 feet away, with a minimum protection of approximately 20 feet. 
Really? Show me the fucking data!

I say, these are once again nothing but brazen scams.
To be convinced otherwise, I would have to be presented with evidence = as in a peer-reviewed paper about the testing of, as a bare minimum, a) the success of the gizmo emitting specific Orca sounds in repelling a variety of Sharks, vs a control b) habituation effects c) the effects of hundreds of aquatic recreationists beeping away simultaneously in the ocean. Or failing that - how about producing a suitably verified test protocol!
Yeah I know - never gonna happen!

Incidentally, the bible states.
Crucially, most sounds can elicit withdrawal if they start suddenly and/or rapidly increase in loudness, including medium-frequency pure tones and even low frequency pulsed sounds that would otherwise attract sharks.
...
It is important to note that sharks quickly habituate to both attractive and repulsive sounds (Myrberg et al. 1969; Myrberg et al. 1978), which would mean that for any auditory-based shark repellent to remain effective it would have to be deployed only for short durations rather than being left on permanently. 
And in related news.
Check out the pic at the top - there it is, doing what it does best: attracting GWS!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Bad News for the Vaquita.

Fish bladders - driving the Vaquita into extinction.

Read this.

Poor Vaquita.
Since that post 4 years ago, the situation has become all-but hopeless - not because of targeted persecution but as collateral damage of the hugely lucrative and criminal trade in yet another, now critically endangered species favored by the Chinese cuisine and medicine.

And the SSCS, self proclaimed saviors of Cetaceans?
Still nowhere in sight - there is no blood and gore = television ratings to be had here, so why would they bother. Instead, they continue to waste time and scarce donor money in Taiji - and yet, not a single one of those Dolphins is threatened with extinction.

Predictable GWS?

Great pic by Ozzie Sam - source.

From a recent message by a friend.
He runs caged commercial dives with GWS.
Had a very large super female at about 5.5m.
She was an absolute animal and every single dive we did she basically wanted to eat the occupants of the cage. A very very very dangerous animal. Pretty much the only shots I have of her are directly down her maw.
And how about this video.


Story here.
“In what are most likely predatory attacks, sharks take advantage of the clear water to lurk in the darkness below the vehicle, then swim up suddenly and bite it on the tail or mid-section,” researchers explained. 
Indeed.
Most GWS attack survivors report that they never saw the animal, meaning that totally unsurprisingly, those Sharks are wily and know exactly how to surprise their prey. Think that in those situations, those puny pokey sticks are gonna be of any help whatsoever?

So don't be stupid.
The season at Guadalupe is about to open, and the usual gang of suspects are going to be promoting those illegal out-of-cage expeditions to the adrenaline junkies and the naive Shark huggers alike. Hopefully, this year, the authorities are going to step up their supervision and finally get rid of the transgressors - but Mexico being Mexico, this is far from being a certainty.

Should you be on the fence about joining - Think!
I correspond with numerous people who run commercial dives with GWS - and the above message is but one of many similar ones. If there is one thing everybody agrees upon, is that those Shark are nothing like those people would want you to believe. Yes "they" are not out to get us - but they differ substantially on an individual basis, and some of them are very dangerous and will certainly try to exploit a perceived opportunity.

Going cageless is a fool's bet - and the fool would be you.
Nuff said.

PS - Martin about the same topic here.
       Safety over $$$ - that's why I respect the man.
This video shows, what I've been telling our divers all along. "It's not the shark you see, that will get you, it's the one you don't see". Anyone going outside a cage to ride or hug a shark, to show you that they love us, is either a fool or just interested in self promotion. If you claim to love the Great White Shark, you have to respect them for what they are. Awesome predators that are neither out to get us, nor are they harmless pets. Any promoter or operator telling you that you can safely dive outside of cages at Guadalupe either doesn't know what he's talking about, or just wants your money.