Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Shark Whisperer: Terrifying Pictures!

This is a Great Hammerhead.
Depicted here by the incomparable Wolfgang Leander, it is majestic, enigmatic and unbelievably elegant, a true marvel, joy and privilege to behold.

It is also threatened with extinction.
Endangered is the second-worst category of the IUCN and I invite you to read about the many plights affecting this particular species, from the widespread deliberate targeting for the Shark fin trade to its devastating mortality when caught as bycatch to its continued persecution by trophy-hunting anglers right here on the IUCN Red List. 
Thankfully, the Hammerheads are now starting to be protected locally and internationally - but the effects of that protection are so far unknown and may well be severely curtailed by its extremely high post-release mortality, and international Shark conservationists remain gravely concerned.
Very shy and now also rare, it can only be reliably encountered in a very few select locations like e.g. Rangiroa where they aggregate during the Eagle Ray mating season.

And then, there is Bimini.
So far, nobody appears to know why the Hammers aggregate there in spring, but Doc's Sharklab is, respectfully, working on finding answers. And of course, as of late, the Sharks have been a boon for the local Shark diving industry that is desperately trying to preserve its precious asset, and the integrity of local Shark diving, by politely asking that visitors adhere to a set of common-sense rules.

And now have a look at this pathetic shit.
So this is Bill and Joe's take on Shark conservation messaging - and I'm revolted. 
I ask, could anything be more disrespectful than this repugnant sequence of grotesquely distorted toothy caricatures and depictions of human dominance - and stupid, exploitative, narcissistic and hypocritical to boot?

But worry not - I'm not gonna dwell. Tho I could!
Whereas responsible Shark diving operators are trying to elevate the industry to more sustainable levels, a subset of adrenaline seeking self-promoting yahoos are pushing Shark encounters to ever new lows. I call it Troglodyte Shark Diving, and its requirement for ever bigger and more inane thrills is progressively thrashing Shark diving sites from Florida to the Bahamas to Guadalupe and recently even Fiji. Despite of all the bullshit about wanting to change perceptions, yada yada, it is zero about conservation and all about some macho wannabee heroes wanting to flaunt their cojones, or whatever, by taking stupid risks, or manhandling and dominating the animals.

Or as my wise friend once stated, way back then.
It stopped actually being "about sharks" a long time ago. 
It's about the individual and what the sharks as a vehicle to notoriety can do for them.
And this rant?
It will achieve nothing except for establishing yet another pathetic feud. But I'm happy that I've finally got it off my chest because I've been watching those folks and biting my tongue for way too long!


Great guys, met them in a bathroom in Mimai said...

Joe R and Bill F are a couple of has been dipshits who would skull fuck a dried and desiccated shark on a beach "if" it meant they might get a few lines in a dive mag, or another expose (20 FOOT Hammerhead!!) in a British tabloid.

Fuck those two miscreants and their so called shark careers.

It is obvious that Bill cannot read English, or chooses to ignore best practices set by his betters in the community, as for Joe...poor sad Joe, always chasing after the production leftovers from ABC$, always one step behind the rest, always a shark production bridegroom NEVER the bride.

THIS is what you get when Facebook collides with talent-less hacks who beg for rides on boats so they can dust off out of date gear to fuck with sharks...for money.

Unknown said...

I thought Ocean Ramsay was the Shark Whisperer? Or that Ritter bloke?

I get confused. I think it's all the whispering.

That would explain all the voices in my head.

jsd said...

Eli must be pissed.

Note the comments by a certain 'Sharkdoc' beneath the newspaper's execrable shark porn piece:

sharkdoc2013, miami, United States, 3 days ago:

Hello: I take umbrage with the article and photos as presented. The text suggests that Mr. Romero is some sort of ¿shark wisperer¿ and is able to make them ¿putty in his hands.¿ The fact is that Romero was handed this windfall by scientists who had trained these predators over the past 13 winters to feed at a particular site off Bimini Bahamas lThis method is called ¿provisioning training¿ in technical journals . The training was first established by the Bimini Biological Field Station 2002 as a demonstration for their university courses but about three years ago the word got out and it has been a kind-of underwater circus since then with dozens to dive operations putting thousands of pounds of bait at the provisioning site (all benefiting our hammerhead research however). While Bill Fisher¿s words ring true, make no mistake, these particular hammerheads are highly trained. The so-called shark whisperer might find it a bit tricky to do this with a wild hammerhead.

DaShark said...

Sharkdoc huh.