Wednesday, October 31, 2018

My Fiji Shark - Video!


Behold!

Great job by Natasha and by Dave of Magnum Productions.
Watch in 1080p and enjoy!



And, please, Adopt Your Shark Now - it is for a good cause!

Vinaka!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

My Fiji Shark - Sharks are like Journalists!

Netani accepting a plaque made from ocean plastic from UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Country Director and Head of Pacific Regional Policy and Programme, Bakhodir Burkhanov

Very witty indeed.

Check this out.
Netani Rika is a stalwart of the SoPac's journalism fraternity, and seeing him not only endorse our project, but also publicly walk the talk is a great satisfaction indeed.
So well done, and a big Vinaka Vakalevu.

Oh and... Adopt Your Shark Now! :)

Friday, October 19, 2018

My Fiji Shark - Post by Tom!



Very nice as always!

Read this.
Tom is obviously a good pal and may be a tad biased - but this is really a good thing and if you haven't yet, please go over and explore the awesome website, courtesy of our indefatigable Head of Conservation and Program Coordinator Natasha.

And, please, Adopt Your Shark Now!
Vinaka!

PS - Martin here. Vinaka!

Saturday, October 06, 2018

My Fiji Shark - Info!


Did you check out the website?

Like it? :)
So like promised: this is how our probably rather surprising cooperation with the UNDP's Pacific Office and the SPTO has come about.

We were contacted by the UNDP several months ago.
The backdrop were the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in general and SDG 14 = Life Below Water in particular. 
They told us that they wanted to explore alternative solutions and financing mechanisms by partnering with the private sector as opposed to embarking on the usual NGO route, and that we had come to their attention due to our long track record in conservation and ecotourism.

We gladly agreed to a meeting.
Ever since the historic Fiji-led Ocean Conference (and here), we knew that something big was brewing and have been exploring avenues to lend a helping hand if and when Government would pull the trigger and start with the implementation. At stake are not only Fiji's Shark and Ray commitment but among several others, this specific pledge for delivering improved coastal fisheries management. 

Like I said yesterday, the SoPac is running out of fish, and Fiji is certainly no exception. 
Case in point, as Kerstin has been repeating her ground-breaking interviews, it has become sadly apparent that the situation has since deteriorated considerably whereby as the price of seafood keeps increasing,  overfishing and poaching especially here in Viti Levu have become ubiquitous. In essence, we are witnessing what has already happened elsewhere, i.e. that more and more previously artisanal subsistence fishermen have morphed into small-scale commercial fishermen, with locally devastating consequences - and like already stated, we surely cannot hope to succeed in conserving Shark populations if we continue to obliterate their prey and destroy their environment!

Possible solutions?
Look no further than this old post advocating community involvement and ecotourism, etc, etc - but of course the controversy about who really owns Fiji's traditional fishing grounds, or quoliqoli is far from being resolved and Government resources remain scarce.

Anyway.
Sorry it is so long, and for the many links - but as always in the real world it is complicated!

Back to My Fiji Shark.
We did meet several times and after some lengthy brainstorming, we resolved to focus on two principal projects
  • Assisting Government in implementing and enforcing any upcoming Shark and Ray management and conservation measures. This would involve launching a nifty and innovative campaign and likely cost approx. FJD 20,000.00 in its first year, after which the fines collected would hopefully cover the costs.
  • Developing and funding 3 community-based 5-year pilot projects that would trial some simple yet hopefully effective coastal fisheries management measures, this in view of hopefully upscaling them to national level if successful. This would cost approx. FJD 30,000.00 per year and most certainly require some co-funding by other quarters.
  • Any surplus could then be set aside and used for our long-term goal of establishing a more permanent Shark research presence in Fiji, this possibly including a proper field station but also research internships etc. But that's another story altogether.
And the funding?
Very much in line with the new trend towards mobilizing the private sector to assist in Ocean Finance (read this!), we resolved to create My Fiji Shark as the vehicle for collecting those funds.
Natasha and our marine scientists will run and manage the adoption program, whereas the UNDP and the Sustainable Tourism department of the SPTO will be acting both as facilitators and marketing entities but also ensure the required transparency and accountability =  you can obviously rest assured that this is certainly not aimed at enriching BAD or its staff and directors!

As to why you should adopt.
Needless to say that on top of having very specific and measurable aims, this program is unique insofar as you are not adopting some theoretical animal but real individuals with totally distinct personalities who we intimately know and love and you, too, may have already personally met!

Anyway, the universe of potential adopters is limitless.
In fact, so far, adopters range from parents wanting to give a very special gift to their children to people interested in marine conservation to our clients and volunteers all the way to people who simply find it a cool thing to do - and we're also talking to our first corporate contact, so fingers crossed!

So there you have it - sure hope you like it.

Thank you very much!

Friday, October 05, 2018

My Fiji Shark!



Beautiful huh!
So yes this would be our newest marine conservation initiative that is aimed at funding both Shark conservation and research but also coastal subsistence fisheries management in Fiji. After all, our Sharks will not survive if we continue to obliterate their prey, and fry and pollute their habitat - right?

For now, please go and check out the website.
It should be pretty much self explanatory, but I will give you plenty of additional background information tomorrow.

So, enjoy.
And, please, Adopt Your Shark Now!

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

Coming Soon!


Click for detail! 
 

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

SHARKNADO SHARKDIVING in Japan!

Source - click for detail!

Just saw this today.

Very cool.
Those are Banded Houndsharks - story here.
Enjoy!



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.

Hmmmm.

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!

Source.

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!
Enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Florida Land-Based Shark Fishing - Action Alert!

Yet another majestic GHH killed by a land-based Shark fisherman - source.

Read this and especially the links.

Yes it is crunch time.
As a reminder, this is about those poor Sharks that will die even if they are released, but it is also about public safety = very much case in point.

Please visit those meetings and please, do speak up.
And if you cannot attend or live elsewhere, please do submit your comments here

Thank you.

PS - Kj Smith here - and yes there are further, extremely alarming public safety aspects that need to be exposed. Keep watching this space!

Monday, July 16, 2018

BAD Bull Sharks!


Very nice!

Thank you Olivia.
It is always a great pleasure hosting the Rolex Scholars and their lovely and indefatigable mer-mom Jayne, and this has certainly been no exception.

You can read Olivia's blog post right here.
Enjoy!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Rats and Coral Reefs - Paper!

Click for detail!

Very nice!

There, introduced Coconut trees were shown to reduce seabird abundance by being unsuitable as roosting and  nesting trees; here, this new paper examines the effects of invasive rats killing off seabird colonies in Chagos and shows that as a consequence, the biomass of Coral Reef communities adjacent to rat-infested islands is substantially smaller than next to rat-free islands.
Stories here and here.

Required reading - enjoy!

PS - Good job, poop!
 

Florida Land-Based Shark Fishing - Management Recommendations!



I must really say that I'm pleasantly surprised.
Contrary to my expectations, the staff of the FWC have put together quite a good list of recommendations - but then again, I am not there so should you need guidance, please feel free to address yourselves the good folks at the ASC.
Also, please do read David's paper.

Again, please do attend the meetings and speak up.
The dates and venues are here.

Thank you.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Jess - testing Shark Sanctuaries!


Good one!

Read this.
So Jess is back in the Cooks in order to test what she helped achieve, and I really do applaud her for it.

Really looking forward to her findings.
Contrary to some scathing commentaries by their detractors, the jury is still very much out on whether those Shark Sanctuaries work, or not. Until proven wrong, I continue to believe that they largely do (read the links, too!) and that they are the best available stop-gap, quick-fix solution pending the establishment of proper fisheries management.

But we shall see shall we not.
To be continued no doubt!

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Florida Land-Based Shark Fishing Workshops - the Venues!

Click for detail!

So here you go.

Like I said, please attend and make a difference.
Thank you!
 

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Broadreach - Trip Reports!

Wow.

Time sure flies!
Broadreach are once again in town with their incomparable sharky High Scool and College summer programs - and having checked, it very much looks like this may well be year 11 in a row!
Just amazing - and still as rewarding!



And like always, there are trip reports!
College here - and here are the High School reports inclusive of the awesome news that after a three-year hiatus, our incomparable friend Lindsay is gracing our shores for the fifth time, undoubtedly in order to check on her beautiful and sweet yet always feisty and badass namesake!

Enjoy the great reports!
 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Five-Meter GWS?

Mako vs GWS - awesome pic by Ozzie Sam. Notice how wide the caudal keel is!   
Source - click for detail

Watch.



Hmmmmm.
For what it is worth, methinks that that Shark does not move with the gravitas of a 5-meter animal but rather, like a much smaller individual; and the very pointy snout and very wide caudal keel appear more indicative of a Shortfin Mako, at least to me.

But who am I to say.
Both species inhabit the Med, with the Mako being far more common, albeit locally threatened like all Sharks there. And do re-read this post about the rather fascinating theory about the Australian origins of the Mediterranean GWS population - paper here!
But my call remains that this is a sprightly Mako of 2-2.5m.

Original FB post here, story here.

PS - Bingo: Michael Domeier here!
PPS - compare to this clip of a Mako @ approx 0:20ff!



PPPS -  and now we got ourselves some experts...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

700 Requins dans la Nuit - awesome!

Source - click for detail! 

Behold!



Yeah that would once again be Laurent in Tetamanu.
All I can say is, epic - and there is also this ridiculously awesome photo essay and also, this book with his best pictures that I can only highly recommend.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Bull Shark vs hooked Shark!

Yes Bull Sharks got big sharp teeth - great pic by Sasha! Click for detail!

Behold!



Story here.
Not at all sure about the first Shark - but the big one is unmistakably a Bull = a species that will most definitely prey on other Sharks.

Enjoy!
 

Sharks in the Ba Estuary - Paper!

Love love love this pic - source!


Nice job by Tom et al.
From what I gather, whereas the field research has been challenging, the paper has been a rather traumatic experience - and no, no need to elaborate, the more as the good news is that this finally completes Tom's master thesis and that consequently, he can now fully concentrate on his already impressive career as a conservation photographer and filmmaker
So big congrats Tom - in every sense!

And the Ba estuary?
Our own ongoing research suggests that it may well be more than a mere aggregation and parturition site, and confirms that it is certainly a place of great interest warranting protection - but  these things are complicated and take a lot of time, and bycatch mitigation and enforcement will always be a huge challenge, meaning that at present, I'm alas not terribly hopeful for the short term.  
But hope springs eternal, and we're certainly going to stay on it.

In the meantime, enjoy Tom's paper.
To be continued no doubt!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sharkbanz - yes it's a total Scam!

Source.

Bingo.

Remember this post?
What followed were a Shark bite and then a devastating impromptu test - and yet the Garrisons and even more problematically, Craig O'Connell of questionable Shark Week fame have continued to defend the indefensible and conned the public (scroll down) into believing that the gizmos had been tested scientifically and proven to be effective, which they clearly never had.

But now those independent tests have been performed.
Bravo to Charlie, and big kudos to Andrew who continues to make GSD proud.

This is a great illustration of the test setup.


And this is the reaction of GWS' to the Shark Shield ( Ocean Guardian ) Freedom+ Surf which is actually the only repellent that worked, albeit only a measly 60% of the time which IMO just ain't quite good enough - or is it?



And the Banz?
And I cite,
Neither the SharkBanz bracelet nor leash affected the behaviour of white sharks or reduced the percentage of baits taken.
These products rely on permanent magnets (Grade C8 barium ferrite), which have previously been used to overwhelm the electromagnetic sense of sharks .....

However, the distance from which sharks reacted to magnets in those studies was small, typically less than 0.5 m  and the effectiveness of the magnets decreased with increasing shark motivation.
Barium-ferrite permanent magnets generate a flux that decreases at the inverse cube in relation to the distance from the magnet, from near 1000 G at the source to an amount comparable to the Earth’s magnetic field (0.25 – 0.65 G) at distances of 0.30 – 0.50 m, showing how rapidly the magnetic field decreases. Sharks would therefore need to be at less than 0.30 m for such magnets to act as real deterrents.
This suggests that magnets are unlikely to be effective at deterring sharks because they will only protect close to the magnet, limiting their applicability as personal deterrents...
Exactly what I said back then!
Incidentally, same same for the ludicrous Chillax wax!
Those of you who remember the episode of Mythbusters where Lemon Sharks were completely unfazed after ingesting balloons filled with mashed habaneros may remember that lacking that necessity, Sharks have simply not developed receptors for capsicain - so a concoction of eucalyptus, chilli, cloves, cayenne pepper, neem, tea tree oil, citronella, coconut, and beeswax was always gonna be a stretch. And it sure was.
Disappointed reaction here - and no, it just doesn't bloody work and sure ain't commonsense, either!

You can read the paper here, and here is a great synopsis by Corey.
Once again (re-read it!), this is not principally about the perpetrators that can (and should!) be taken to court. It's about the public as those things may actually lead to MORE Shark strikes because as Corey states
if a particular type of commercially available shark deterrent happens to be less effective (or completely ineffective) as advertised, it can give users a false sense of security, potentially encouraging some to put themselves at greater risk than is necessary. For example, some surfers and spearfishers probably ignore other mitigation measures, such as beach closures, because they ‘feel safe’ when wearing these products.
Exactly - so be careful people!
If it looks too good to be true, it usually is - so forget those gizmos and best use your common sense, and you should just be fine.

In diesem Sinne - enjoy the ocean!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Florida Land-Based Shark Fishing - Meetings!

This needs to stop: completely exhausted and moribund GHH - source.

The infamous saga continues.

Please note down the following dates and locations.
The FWC is  scheduling public workshops for land based  shark fishing regulation in Florida. But contrary to the commissioners, the FWC staff are most certainly not eager to issue regulations and will try and defer, delay, stonewall and minimize any intervention whenever possible. It is also highly likely that the land-based Shark fishermen will mobilize, meaning that this won't be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination.
With that in mind, there is a strong need for support and informed speakers.

Specific venues will be finalized later.
All workshops will start at 6:00 PM
  • July 18: Bradenton 

  • July19: Ft. Myers 

  • August 6: Panama City 

  • August 7: Pensacola 

  • August 20: Daytona Beach 

  • August 21: Jacksonville 

  • August 27: Melbourne Beach 

  • August 28: West Palm Beach 

  • August 29: Miami 

  • August 30: Key Colony Beach
This is your chance to make a meaningful contribution.
Thank you for your support.
 

You Are What You Eat - Paper!

Our Whitetip Reefies - happy, well fed and healthy!

And I cite,
The suite of studies available for this site is likely the most comprehensive body of work to date comparing the impacts of tourism on a predator species' behaviour and fitness with conservation and economic benefits.
The various studies address a range of potential issues (e.g. residency, habitat use, consumption of bait, energetic value of bait and diet) and provide a good example of how site-specific information, obtained from multiple methods, can contribute for an effective, evidence- based, management of the predator tourism industry.

Similar multi-methods approaches can be applied to other aquatic and terrestrial wildlife tourism species/operations, to move beyond our current understanding of tourism-driven behavioural and ecological changes, and provide a more holistic understanding of the effects of provisioning on the health and fitness of the target species.
Indeed - and we're mighty proud! :)
And here comes the latest, but by no means last paper investigating the effects of what we do!

I must say that I'm really happy.
This time, we've looked at the consequences of feeding non-resident Sharks, i.e. our Bull Sharks vs feeding much more resident ones, i.e. our Whitetip Reefies.
As a backdrop, keep in mind that we don't merely tease our Sharks like the GWS people do: our Sharks have been fed approx 1 ton of Tuna heads per week (!) for more than 20 years, meaning that they may well be the most, and I may add, best fed tourism Sharks on the planet - and not only that: our research has also shown that far from being junk, those Tuna heads are also highly nutritious!

And with that in mind, the results are simply spectacular.
Stable isotope analysis reveals that there is no evidence of bait incorporation by Bull Sharks; and even for some of the much more resident Whitetip Reefies, the results suggest a mere 8–22% importance of bait, this based on individual preferences - or as the paper states,
Results from the present study, particularly when combined with information from previous studies at this feeding site (Brunnschweiler et al., 2010, 2014;Brunnschweiler and Baensch, 2011; Brunnschweiler and Barnett, 2013;Brunnschweiler et al., 2017), suggest that current levels of provisioning lead to no detrimental long-term impacts on the behaviour or diet (and probably health) of sharks at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve site.
Bingo.
In brief, our feeding does certainly not harm our Bulls - and it equally does not harm the environment as they continue to fulfill their ecological role by quasi exclusively relying on their normal prey.
And when it comes to the Whitetip Reefies, we are actually presently investigating whether instead of feeding them too much, we may actually be feeding too little like what has been shown at Osprey Reef!
 
And not only that!
This is a strong indications that all other global Shark feeds that feed less, less frequently and have done so for a shorter period of time are likely to be unproblematic, too!

Long story short?
Time after time after time again all the evidence points to the fact that the reservations against Shark tourism in general and Shark feeding in particular are largely unfounded and that in the big scheme of things, far from posing a problem, we are one of the safest and most responsible ecotourism activities and as such, very much a part of the solution!

So well done team - this is just awesome!
My particular gratitude goes to Kátya for being so proficient and rigorous in her analysis, and for never losing her faith and her charm despite of the challenges of essentially working pro bono whilst raising a family, and of having to weather a grueling peer review process.
Thank you!

And our detractors?
Ultimately, they cannot be reformed and will surely continue to come up with ever new unsubstantiated hypotheses, and criticize and nitpick whenever they can.
But at this stage in the game and in view of all the unequivocal evidence, it is for them to finally come up with some fucking evidence, see Juerg's comments here - and failing that, they really need to shut the fuck up!

Anyway.
Enjoy Kátya's paper - this is an author's link so make sure you preserve the text as it may well disappear behind a paywall in the future!

Let's go Shark diving!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Impact of GWS Cage Diving - Paper!


Bingo, and I cite,
"Best practice" among cage diving operations apparently consists in just teasing, but never actually handing any bait to the Sharks.
Were I a Shark hugger, I would immediately object that letting the Sharks waste precious energy on fruitless "hunts" is to be rejected as it is likely harmful to the animals.
Yup that would be yours truly a whopping ten years ago!
And now Charlie has concluded his investigation and comes to the following conclusion (emphasis is mine)
Although sharks are enticed to the cage-diving vessels with baits, industry regulations do not allow operators to feed white sharks and strict limits on the amount of bait and berley are now in place in South Australia and at other white shark cage-diving locations (Bruce, 2015).
Energy burden from the increased activity is, therefore, not rewarded by regular bait provisioning.

Some baits can, however, be consumed when sharks approach the baits using high speed or stealth (Huveneers et al., 2015).
The baits used in SA are composed of gills and stomach lining of southern bluefin tuna and are not as energy-rich as white shark’s natural prey while at these sites (e.g. pinnipeds). Whether the infrequent consumption of these baits provide sufficient energy to compensate for the increased energy expenditure associated with sharks interacting with the operators would depend on the calorific value of these baits and the frequency of white sharks successfully feeding on the baits, both of which are currently unknown (Brunnschweiler et al., 2017).
Spending time interacting with cage-diving operators might also distract sharks from normal behaviours such as foraging on natural, energy-rich prey like pinnipeds.
Combined, these suggest that the increased energy expenditure associated with cage-diving interactions might not be compensated for by either bait or natural prey consumption.

One could, therefore, argue that white sharks should be able to feed on some bait to compensate for the energetic losses resulting from interacting with cage-diving operators.
Bioenergetic models (e.g. Barnett et al., 2016) would, however, be necessary to accurately assess the likely effect of cage-diving on white shark energy balance and whether such compensation is necessary or beneficial. Beyond the potential for short-term energy intake, other aspects of food provisioning (e.g. quality of food, potential for changes in foraging behaviour) would also need to be considered.
Good one - and obviously, totally not surprised!
This is now the second paper (re-read this!) stating that NOT feeding is probably not a good idea - and whereas I concur that further investigation into the precise energy balance, etc may be beneficial, we should really not caught up in minutiae and finally do the right thing.

So what's it gonna be?  
Now that the evidence is in, will the regulators in Australia and elsewhere do the right thing and allow for proper feeding of those Sharks - or are they going to continue cow-towing to those in the populace who will contend that it would lead to more Shark attacks, and the like?
Remember that when it comes to feeding and conditioning Sharks, 99.999% is being perpetrated by the fishermen and not us - so assuming that it really is a big problem (spoiler = it aint: these are the real problems, with overfishing being the principal threat to Shark populations) let's maybe first look there! !
Anybody taking bets?

Anyway, enjoy Charlie's paper!
To be continued no doubt!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Guadalupe - more Shenanigans?

Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words - click for detail! Source.

Watch.



Sigh.
Forget all that idiotic clap trap -  and no, no amount of soul searching and overcoming of personal phobias, or whatever, can detract from the simple fact that this is reckless and 100% illegal pure and simple.

And this shit?
That would be this dude, clearly a repeat offender along with his illustrious shark team, all of which are already planning their next trip for this fall, undoubtedly for the Sharks.
And the research permit for this? Questions questions!

And how about this last glorious feat.



Yes, that cretin is really brandishing a piece of Shark bait!
I mean - seriously!

Just great aint it.
And yet and despite of all the unequivocal evidence, CONANP appears once again either incapable and/or unwilling and/or too cowardly and/or, gasp, too corrupt to enforce its own rules and keep those people, and their serial enabler off the island!

Anyway.
To be continued no doubt!
 

Saturday, June 02, 2018

SOFA - quod erat demonstrandum!

The SOFA: a humongous area in the NE Pacific where GWS disperse to forage.

Behold - and yes it is long!



Synopsis here - and yes this is impressive as hell.
And here's a nice, and short video about the technology - again, very impressive in terms of scope but also cost!



And now, re-read this.
See what I mean?
  • The GWS are by no means "aggregating" but instead, they are actually dispersing in a huge area after having aggregated at the coast! I mean, seriously: watch the first video at 42.12: does that look like congregating to you?

  • In the SOFA (which is the much better name than Café) they very much appear to be foraging and not mating: case in point, just listen to what Barb's got to say at 1:21ff of the first video where she explains how the data illustrate that those Sharks engaging in ROD are most likely targeting prey like Bigeye Tuna.

  • Which obviously means that the GWS are mating in the known coastal aggregation spots like Domeier had postulated all along!

  • And those infamous, and totally cockamamie hypotheses by Jorgensen and Chapple, respectively, that they may be lekking or, gasp, sniffing for female pheromones?
    Right...

  • And oh yes that would very much be a q.e.d - just saying!
    And no this time I'm gonna be magnanimous and refrain from mentioning sniffing glue and the like! :)
But I'm digressing as usual.
Keep watching this website and also, keep watching this space.

To be continued no doubt!

Friday, June 01, 2018

Thanks for all the Fish!



I must say, this is really nice.
Firstly, because it doesn't do the usual touchy-feely treehugging thing but is instead very personal albeit a tad overly dramatic - the more as Juliette has been diving with us before and was by no means frozen in fear but did instead thoroughly enjoy the experience; and secondly, because this is the very first article about us that mentions the all-important toilet etiquette - and yes please do not pee in our rental wetsuits!

So, a big vinaka vakalevu from all of us.
Enjoy!