Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Le Monde du Silence!

Yup those would be Tortoises - click for detail.

Remember these posts about Cousteau?

The videos have since been taken down.
Here is the whole movie in original version - til it gets taken down, too!
But before you watch, heed this *WARNING* that by the standards of back then in 1956, the ocean was there for the taking and consequently, those were epic, adventurous and intrepid feats = sensibilities were completely different, meaning that you will likely be shocked by what you see.
*You have been warned!*

Still, methinks that it is worth watching as a historic document.
Should you want to avoid watching the most controversial among many other controversial scenes: dynamite at 22:10ff, baby Sperm Whale at 47:20ff , subsequent OWT massacre at 56:20ff: really despicable stuff - the good news being that we sure have come a long long way since those days!

Anyway - here it is.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday Blues?

Click for detail!

Yup that would be one of our boats.
So what are you waiting for!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Manhandling Tiger Sharks in Fiji - not Sustainable!

This is a difficult one.
I'm pretty sure that it's going to harm us commercially - but it must be done.

So there: this shit really needs to stop.
Big Tiger Sharks are not harmless pets, and the stupid global fad of wanting to push them around is just fucking disrespectful, and a recipe for disaster to boot. And anyway, even the most rudimentary knowledge of basic physics should amply expose the foolishness of trying to physically manhandle and dominate an animal that is several times one's weight - or not?
And how about utilizing some basic protective gear starting with black gloves for the clients so that their pasty white hands sticking out of dark wetsuits don't look like bait; to have your staff wear chainmail; to using poles in order to create separation with the Sharks - and when you have one, don't throw it down but fucking use it, see below!

To wit.
And no, no need to mention names: do your own research.

And how about these beauties.
Close calls anybody?

And how about this eye gouging and slamming into coral.
See what I meant about basic physics = the hopelessness of wanting to successfully steer such a large Shark, especially when swimming where one has no leverage like when one is standing on the ground?

And finally, over to that much-publicized shark bite.
Again, no need for names the more as the whole fiasco has been amply negotiated in the public domain from newspaper articles to scathing reviews to social media to the following two videos. FYI the victim was successfully evacuated and patched up which is hopefully a testimony to there at least being a good evacuation protocol.

First the bite, then how it came to it.
Once again, check out the basic physics - etc. etc. etc.!

No, no need to elaborate.
And before you start wasting your time by speculating about the Sharks' intentions: who knows and ultimately, who cares!

Where I come from, the saying is that A Fish rots from the Head down, meaning that this is essentially a management issue. Guys, formulate sustainable protocols and then train, protect and above all, fucking supervise your staff - and STAHP stoking them by calling them warriors and gladiators! 

And since we're at it.
Protect you clients, and fucking always control your dive - this is commercial Shark diving, not some adventure where you try to wing it and hope for the best!

If you publicly claim that you've created an MPA, and that you are giving money and are providing jobs for the village: bloody train fish wardens and then invest time and money into anti-poaching patrols, preferably at night when the poachers go poaching; and bloody pay the village and employ their youth like you've promised - and if not, stop lying!

And just to be clear.
This is not about making others look bad, let alone about trying to suggest that we are "better" or the like.
We too have had our fair share of cock-ups, scares and bites like everybody else - but contrary to what appears to be happening elsewhere, we try hard to learn from those experiences whereby we continuously adapt and tighten our Shark diving protocols, continuously improve the protection of our clients (see here) and of our staff, and also continuously repeat our emergency response training and continuously optimize our emergency protocols and gear.

But we equally firmly believe that the inherent risks of baited Shark dives can very much be managed. And we also believe that it also actually *IS* being managed, to wit the fact that there are orders of magnitude more pro-rata fatalities in ordinary diving compared to Shark diving - and yes I'm very much repeating myself.
Anyway, think "aviation" and you can see where I'm coming from.

So here's to improvement!

And here endeth the weekend sermon!
Let's go Shark diving - sustainably!

PS: Comments policy: please comment here and not on FB. Also, please be aware that comments are being monitored and that I reserve to delete anything I don't like at my full discretion = my blog my rules!

Friday, July 12, 2019

GWS Tussle - Video!

Likely a bite by another GWS - source. And yes, Bulls are WAY more peaceful - click for detail!

Very cool!
Story here - enjoy!

Professional Fishermen?

Professional my ass!

Just great - holding the tiger by its eyes!
Looks like I was too optimistic and that the infamous saga continues - and no I'm not really surprised.

Oh well.
To be continued no doubt!
H/T Kim, for keeping a watchful eye on things as always!

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Fiji Shark Dive with B.A.D!

Amazing weather - click for detail!

Well well.

No we are definitely not on Beqa (?) nor in the Lagoon.
But this is typical for what our clients can experience - and this very much inclusive of the friendliness and outright exuberance of our unequaled staff!


Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Saving Our Sharks - Video!

Obviously don't fully agree but still, quite good - click for detail. Source.

This is great and important work.
Huge kudos to Chino and Luis, and also to all the other people, dive shops and sponsors of Saving Our Sharks who have contributed to this success.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Florida Land-Based Shark Fishing - here come the new Rules!

Behold = the new rules start on July 1st!
FWC Bulletin here, FWC Shark page here, rules here, compulsory course here, Florida Shark ID guide here, Florida Program for Shark Research including ISAF here.
Now you know!

May this be the end of the infamous saga?
As always we shall see shall we not!

To be continued!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Im Würgegriff von Plastik!

Für unsere Freunde aus der Schweiz!

Viel Spass beim Lesen.
And for you other folks out there - yup she's still up for adoption!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Two Years of Strap - Field Note!

2016-2018 - click for detail!

Remember that poor Shark back then in 2016?

We named her Strap and have kept tabs ever since.
And here comes the according Field Note documenting the initial worsening and then, thankfully, improvement in her situation all the way to the point where the strap did eventually burst and has since mostly fallen off .

My personal take-away?
First and foremost, this once again proves the value of our continuous long term monitoring where our humongous data base is documenting over 15 years of Shark diving and the life history of a whopping 250 individual Sharks!

And boy talk about being tough!
During the course of the whole ordeal, she never appeared to be particularly inconvenienced and  instead maintained her agility and continued to compete successfully during the aerial feeds. In fact I fully expect her to completely heal to the point where she will shortly look similar to Gillette who only upon very close inspection appears to have survived a very similar incident.

Strap is up for adoption, so there - and don't forget to upgrade in order to receive your quarterly updates!

And because I can.
Here is the entire Field Note for your perusal - as always, great job by Juerg and for the first but certainly not last time, by Tashi Blue!
Please click for detail and, Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Essential Waters - Paper!

Intrepid and indefatigable - co-authors Kerstin and Gauthier, and Tom! Source.

All I can say is, at long last!
This has taken three interminable years of braving the weather very much including the historic TC Winston and navigating a myriad of  imponderabilia very much including plenty of the usual indigenous shenanigans and squillions of always famished namus, both of the flying and bipedal kind - not to mention the desperate advances of the infamous desperate expate housewives, let alone the even desperater expat singles!
So first and foremost, a big BRAVO, I'm mighty impressed for having stayed the course in the face of all those never-ending adversities - and I can most certainly leave it at that, the more as I trust that anybody with even the slightest knowledge of life in the SoPac will most definitely understand! :)

So there you have it.
This is the result of three years of mostly incredibly tedious fishing for juvenile Bull Sharks in the Rewa, Navua and Sigatoka. Taken in isolation, it once again confirms that Fiji's rivers harbor juvenile Bull Sharks, and that the likely parturition season coincides with when we observe that our big pregnant Bull Shark mommas leave the SRMR. 
Talking of which: so far the most likely candidates for 2019 are Shark Icon Tip and our usual Shark Superstar Brenda who will never forego the chance of some hanky panky with Whitenose - so what are you waiting for!

But that's just part of the story.
Our Bull Shark research is definitely coming full circle, and as time goes by and more data are being acquired and analyzed, you can expect more revelations about the nurseries but also likely population size, kinship, paternity and eventually, even philopatry - so keep watching this space! 

Great blog post by Kerstin here.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

World Oceans Day - Ocean Championship!

And I cite.
Today is World Oceans Day

At Shark Diver, we receive a lot of inquiries from individuals looking for opportunities to help in the area of shark or ocean conservation. There are so many ways to apply the diverse amount of talents out there that people possess. So this year, we decided to show our support for those who are making a difference toward protecting the oceans we love and their inhabitants, by awarding them with the experience of a lifetime!

Today, on World Oceans Day, we officially begin the Ocean Championship, a competition for conservationists of all ages who are working to preserve anything and everything ocean related.
Your focus could be saving sharks, saving dolphins, protecting coral reefs, cleaning the beaches, or bettering the ocean in general. What is your passion? Social media awareness is nice, but it doesn’t always get the job done. We are looking for enthusiastic, motivated, and driven individuals who are working hard to make a direct impact. Are you working with legislators to enact protection laws? Are you working with businesses to reduce or eliminate plastic usage? Are you planting mangroves? Have you started a major ocean/beach cleanup effort? The sky is the limit. We want to know how you are making a difference. Do you know what you’d like to do, but just haven’t put your idea to work yet? What are you waiting for? Get going! We want to hear from you.

Here’s one example of conservation efforts at work: Beqa Adventure Divers created a national marine park called the Shark Reef Marine Reserve through their bull shark diving operation in Fiji. Regular surveys and fish counts are conducted in an effort to help in the long-term survival of endangered species. Their findings led to the expansion of a vitally protected area now called the Fiji Shark Corridor which runs approximately 30 nautical miles along the southern coastline of Fiji’s beautiful main island of Viti Levu.

Yes, some efforts take a lot of time. 
And yes, some efforts take a lot of money. But many major efforts begin with just one thing. Love. If you love the ocean and its incredible inhabitants, let’s see what you can do or are doing, so that generations to follow will be able to love it too.

This competition will yield two big winners!

Winner number 1, picked by Shark Diver, will receive a 5-day inclusive Great White Shark Diving Adventure at Guadalupe Island, Mexico where you will cage-dive with great white sharks! No SCUBA certification is necessary. Spend 5 days with Shark Diver’s owner learning about the magnificent great white shark, which finds the volcanic island of Guadalupe a mating ground and plentiful food location.

Winner number 2, selected by our sponsor Beqa Adventure Divers, will win a shark adoption through their My Fiji Shark shark adoption initiative, plus a full week of diving at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve in Fiji to ‘meet’ their shark. (SCUBA certification required)

Both are unique and unforgettable experiences!

Get inspired! Do something! Stop talking about it and take action… be an Ocean Champion!

Shark Diver hopes to make this an annual event. Good luck!


Ocean Championship is open to any individual to enter.
All submissions must be sent to oceanchampionship@gmail.com.
Entries are subject to being published on SharkDiver.com and FijiSharkDive.com and/or all participating sponsor’s social media pages or websites. Finalists will be asked for verification of all documents submitted and may be asked for references for contact. Airfare to and from San Diego/Fiji is not included.

Enter by May 1st, 2020.
Winner will be announced on World Oceans Day, June 8th, 2020.
So there.
When Martin contacted us with his stellar initiative, we were more than happy to contribute. As detailed above, the winner of our prize will be selected by us and receive
  • A free adoption of one of our Shark Stars through our My Fiji Shark initiative, and

  • One week of diving with us.
    This usually comprises 5 days of two-tank diving in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve and two days of two-tank coral and/or wreck dives. Diving is FOC but exclusive of the daily Marine Park Levy of FJD 25.00 and the cost of any rental gear or other extras like Nitrox fills, etc.
Having said that, there is a high probability that as time progresses, we will announce further perks and prizes - so keep watching this space!
As to what we like and want to reward
  • Obviously, Shark conservation!
    But please, something tangible on the ground and not merely the dreaded raising awareness by posing for selfies and posting dreadful home videos, or misguided petitions for finning bans and the like! And no, contrary to what some quarters would have you believe, petting, riding and otherwise molesting Sharks is not Shark conservation - especially not in bikini!
    What we are looking for are initiatives that actually reduce Shark mortality to below sustainable levels - e.g. read this!

  • And because the Sharks cannot survive if we fish away their prey and obliterate their habitat, we'd also like to see more holistic projects like implementing effective sustainable fisheries management or the establishment of well-enforced MPAs, etc - but please, spare us the fashionable but misguided fads!

  • And please, show us the track record even if what you do is still work in progress and there is only partial success - but mere breathy announcements do not count!
There you have it.
Wishing you the very best of success - and hopefully, see you next year in Fiji's first National Marine Park!

To be continued!

Saturday, June 01, 2019

White Shark Nutrition and Cage Diving - Paper!

Well well.

Remember Kátya's stellar paper?
As a reminder, it showed that despite of being fed one ton of  highly nutritious Tuna heads every week, our Sharks showed only negligible nutritional impacts, i.e. a) no evidence of bait incorporation by our non-resident Bull Sharks, whereas b) for some of our much more resident Whitetip Reefies, the Tuna incorporation was a mere 8–22%.
Consequently, we surmised that both species are not being harmed but instead continue to fulfill their ecological role practically unchanged.

I'm obviously totally not surprised.
All global cage diving regulations stipulate that the Sharks can only be teased but not fed, which far from being "good" let alone "eco", actually appears to harm them as they incur a metabolic loss as a consequence - and if our highly fed Bulls show no bait incorporation, there was never any way that the tiny amount of Tuna pilfered by those GWS would have any effect at all!

And then there is this, and I cite,
The provisioning attracts a number of animals, including birds, teleosts and other chondrichthyans, some of which are potential white shark prey items (e.g. yellowtail kingfish Seriola lalandi, bronze whalers Carcharhinus brachyurus, and rays). However, the shark's unaltered diet negates concerns that large groups of teleosts, encouraged by the presence of bait and chum, create additional feeding opportunities around the cage-diving operators....

Additionally, dive operators and scientists have yet to witness attempted predation on any of the species attracted by the bait and chum, despite close proximity and apparent ease of capture (pers. com. A. Fox and A. Wright). This combination of observation and dietary biomarkers negates the hypotheses that provisioning creates additional or unnatural foraging opportunities for white sharks around cage-diving operations.
Bingo - this is totally our observation, too! 
Those prey items obviously know that the Sharks are there and remain highly vigilant - and having lost the element of surprise, those Sharks don't even bother trying.

And there you have it.
Well done Lauren and Charlie for having added another piece to the puzzle - and I may add, for once again exposing all those irritating unsubstantiated reservations by our detractors as being just that, and pretty much rubbish to boot! 

Let's go Shark diving - sustainably!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Shark Bites - Dark Little Secret!

And talking of shit happening.

Michael has unearthed a great post by Eli.
Yes indeed, Shark feeders get bitten all the time - not because those Sharks want to eat them but principally due to errors by feeders and Sharks alike; and much more rarely, because the Sharks do it intentionally, this mainly due to agonism = when they are frightened and/or frustrated and/or cranky and/or aggressive - to wit.

I've heard about this first hand.
This is the old Shark feed in Avatoru, Rangiroa, and the dude had it certainly coming for his inane habit of provoking the Silvertips by literally sitting on the bait and poking them with a metal pointer whenever they would approach - until one day, one of the Sharks decided to show him who is boss!

But I'm digressing as usual.
The fact is that in the vast majority of times, the feeders get away completely unscathed, this mainly because the smart ones are suitably protected - and if not, or should the protection fail, some good hemostatic dressing, a good emergency tourniquet, well-trained emergency responders (!) and a good emergency and evacuation protocol (!) will most likely avert the worst.
And if not, not - so let's not be stupid!

Let's go Shark diving - responsibly!

Enjoy Eli's post!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Haitourismus und Wissenschaft!

Für undere deutschsprachigen Freunde!

Danke Tom!
Dieses ist mal wieder saubere Arbeit: interessant, informativ, schön bebildert und vor allem wissenschaflich korrekt! 

Viel Spass beim lesen!



In case you've missed it - amazing!
Story here - enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Hawaii - Shark Feeding and Shark Bites?

Yes this stupidity will eventually get you bitten - click for detail. Source.

Here we go again...
Have you seen, and above all, watched this?

Yes those Sharks are definitely conditioned.
And like Michael, I am 100% certain that they are being fed, be it via suspended bait crates and/or by feeding surreptitiously off the bow like described here, and/or by chumming secretly via the bilge pump like I've been told on the qt.  But whilst I concur with most of what Michael has posted, there are still aspects where I strongly differ.

So there.

First things first: shit happens.
Baited Shark dives are risky and despite of even the most stringent protocols, bites do happen - yes, even to us! But as long as one carries the adequate first aid equipment and as long as the staff are adequately trained (in client relations, too!), those situations can most certainly be managed. In fact and in general terms, Shark dives remain orders of magnitude safer than SCUBA, and regulation is really the very last resort - so let's not get carried away, the more as attributing causality is always gonna be more than a stretch!
And anyway, let's never forget that the folks who generally feed and condition Sharks are not the few Shark diving operators but the thousands of fishermen and spearos - with the known consequences e.g. here and here among many, many such examples!

And in this particular case?
The above matters little as Shark provisioning in Hawaii is illegal both in state waters and according to Domeier, in federal waters, too - tho in view of little Marco's recent and ultimately aborted legislative attempt, I find the latter rather surprising? Be it as it may, it is shit legislation and back then I've been opposing it vigorously - but that was in favor of Stefanie's Hawaii Shark Encounters who keep their clients in total safety inside of a floating cage.

Nowadays I see things quite a bit differently.
Partly for these reasons - but I must also confess, very much also because of Ramsey and her retinue of self promoting Shark molesters!
I'm the first one to grant that her heart is probably in the right place - but for me to ever respect, let alone endorse them, the whole exercise is just too slick and vain and profit-driven, and there are just too many inconsistencies and outright falsehoods, starting with her own name, to her claimed academic credentials, to her claimed research, to her claimed conservation achievements (no they did not "introduce" that legislation, some senators did), and the list gets longer every time I bother to look.
But apart from all that misleading BS, the principal problem remains that those disrespectful media $tunt$ are making a whole generation of young people want to jump into the water and hug sharks - and that those folks continue to spawn and endorse copycat commercial undertakings, see e.g. the Florida troglodytes, or this stupidity featuring this absolute genius in French Polynesia, or the persistent illegal shenanigans in Guadalupe, or little Riley who still just doesn't get it.
And whereas I just personally despise all that gratuitous Shark molesting, I also personally believe that throwing unprotected snorkelers into open ocean is not long term sustainable tourism - especially not in baited conditions where they immediately become part of the food chain!

Which brings me straight to that Shark bite.
The victim has since outed herself in a highly scripted statement and all I can say is, q.e.d. - may she learn the obvious lessons, stop following pied pipers and above all, stop molesting Sharks!

Let's go Shark diving - respectfully!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Face-to-Face with Dakuwaqa!

It is definitely always Shark O'Clock on Shark Reef - click for detail!

Great stuff!

Behold Joanna's post about her visit with us.
Joanna is the current Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Australasian Rolex Scholar, and we are proud that she continues in the hallowed tradition of making Fiji the first destination in her year-long itinerary. Should you be interested, you can follow her adventures on Facebook, Instagram and on her blog.

Vinaka Joanna.
From the team, we wish you fair winds and following seas - and above all, heaps of adventure, inspiration and fun! And to our dear friend, the indefatigable and adorable Jayne who had to sit this one out: get well, and see you real soon!

Enjoy Joanna's post!

Friday, May 17, 2019

What Shark is this??

Notice the caudal peduncle - click for detail!


This is from the second 15m dive at Shark Reef a few days ago. 
For once I was not diving, and the footage is courtesy of Martin who is here for his yearly Bull Shark fix. I'm being told that the Shark was curious and circled above - but with a gaggle of Bulls dominating the feed, she remained wary and never tried to join the mêlée. 

At a reported 3 meters in length, this is a big Shark.
When they first told me, they stated that she was an emaciated, sickly Bull Shark - but from the video I can instead discern that despite of the tumor and the buckled first dorsal, she is in rather good shape. I also notice the elegant sinuous way she moves, and the keel-like bulge on her caudal peduncle, both of which are not at all diagnostic of Bull Sharks, sickly or otherwise.

So what is this?
Years ago there was another mystery Shark with a similar shape of the caudal peduncle. Back then, somebody stated that it was a Dusky - but that's a Shark living off continental shelves and we are obviously on an island, so today I'm rather skeptical.

I got my thoughts but would love to hear yours.
Opinions welcome - here on the blog and not on Facebook please!

Thank you!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Beqa Adventure Divers presents!

Thank you Tom.

As always he is delivering in spades.
Behold his awesome little promo video, and blog post about our latest conservation initiative, My Fiji Shark that illustrate perfectly his rapid progression from researcher to professional conservation photographer and scientific journalist to now also filmmaker and editor. 

As a quick reminder.
This is all about assisting Government in the implementation of two key commitments it has made at the 2017 Ocean Conference: Fiji-wide Shark and Ray conservation and management where stuff is happening behind the scenes; and improved coastal fisheries management where we have already embarked on an aggressive schedule of anti-poaching patrols together with the Ministry of Fisheries.

Big kudos to the project team.
Our stalwart Peni and Mans are looking back on close to a decade of scientific and awareness work for BAD, and it certainly shows both here but also in our publications and in the reviews where their passionate surface interval talks are consistently being praised by our customers.
Guys, Vinaka Vakalevu for your commitment, dedication and loyalty.

And then there is Tashi Blue.
Our indefatigable Conservation Director has hit the ground running, and My Fiji Shark is entirely her very own, very personal initiative from initial concept to weeks upon weeks of preparations to final implementation.
In fact she has, and continues to personally curate every single aspect from the stellar logo to having personally built the entire website including every single description of the Sharks, every single element of the Adoption Pack and every single Upgrade. And now that everything is up and running, she personally writes every single post on Facebook and Instagram and every single report, personally shoots and edits every single video, personally sources every single garment and bespoke jewelry and personally manages every aspect of outreach and marketing, like she will then personally oversee all disbursement and related conservation initiatives once they will finally eventuate. Talk about unbridled passion, meticulous attention to detail, utmost professionalism and total commitment!
Thank You. I'm proud of you. And I love you.

Enjoy Tom's video!

Please, Adopt Your Shark Now!
Thank you!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Goodbye, Doc.

Doc and his lovely family. Source.

What a tragedy.
I had been away, and had missed the horrible news of Doc's passing.

No, no eulogy here - others knew him so much better.
We did meet a few times and did like each other, and have corresponded frequently, sometimes also for this blog. My recollection of him can be summarized in "larger than life": brilliantly intelligent; utterly fearless; eminently entertaining and charming, and ludicrously witty; opinionated, authoritative and passionate; zero tolerance for mediocrity, bullshit, posers and charlatans; lived life to the fullest. Mensch.
And he was such a brilliant scientist and mentor who has given us so much and above all, touched so many lives.

And then, there are Jeremy's book, and his synopsis. And of course, the eulogy by the Sharklab, and the many loving testimonials.
And this.

Such a lovely man - I will miss him greatly.
My heart goes out to Marie and the family.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

15 Years of BAD Videos - Coming of Age!

And here we are!
Needless to say that we're mighty proud - and after much trial-and error, it also looks like we might be finally doing something right! :)
Anyway, notable more recent clips include:

Howard and Michele!

Fiji's first National Marine Park!

Happy, and very funny clients - and the FOOTAGE IS 100% REAL! :)



Juerg and Kerstin!

16:55ff: Tashi Blue and My Fiji Shark!

Lemme tell'ya, it has been quite the adventure!
And although the job is by no means done, we're certainly getting there, baby step by baby step, with BIG NEWS looming in the not-too-distant future!

To be continued!
And THAT's a promise!

Monday, April 15, 2019

15 Years of BAD Videos - Getting There!

Happy days.

And the saga continues.
Among many, many short and long film productions:

Behold the Fiji Shark Sanctuary that wasn't.
And lest anyone forgets: thank you Julie Andersen and her disastrous Operation Requiem for sabotaging years of hard work!

Shark Free Marinas in Fiji!

My favorite trailer for David's Of Shark and Man, filmed in 2011.

Hello Projects Abroad!

Jero and Ana of Pelagic Life in Fiji!

Shark Reef video!

Goodbye my friend and hero, Ron Taylor.

RIP my friend and buddy, Rusi.

To be continued!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Mystery Wedgefish?

The CITES CoP18 will be held in Colombo in May. 
Among the species proposed for listing are the Wedgefishes and Giant Guitarfishes that are both being persecuted mercilessly for their fins, and ever more threatened with extinction as a consequence.
Above is a Wedgefish from Fiji - click for detail.
The pics are from the FB page of the Waidroka Bay Resort, i.e. from just around the corner. Our local Wedgefishes are a bit of a mystery and consistently being misidentified, mostly as Rhynchobatus djiddensis which this one is clearly not - so which one is it?

Brand-new ID guide right here.

PS: indeed R. australiae or laevis - or yet another undescribed Wedgefish from that species complex. That said, Kerstin has already identified australiae by DNA barcoding back in 2015!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

15 Years of BAD Videos - Growing up!

Our Viking BAD girl Lill dove with us for most of 2009 and provided us with a steady stream of great pictures - this is Chopper.

Welcome back! :)

So here are some videos from our middle years.
I had just come back from a rather traumatic multi-year hiatus in Tonga, things were challenging with first a coup d'état and then a constitutional crisis in Fiji, and a recession globally; and then to top it off our land lord went bust and we were temporarily shut down - and thank you Frank for personally saving our ass with a strategically placed phone call!
And yet we did progress in leaps and bounds, did really crank up the scientific work and also greatly refined our protocols.

And then there was the International Year of the Shark!
We coordinated the only nation-wide roll-out of this initiative and produced Fiji's first Shark PSA, to wit.

This is a nice little program we did with local Mai TV.

The following two productions are incidentally both by Basque visitors.

And finally, more goodies by Mai TV, this time about our early work in the river nurseries.

To be continued!

Friday, April 12, 2019

15 Years of BAD Videos - the Beginning!

Oh my - how time flies!

Behold a small selection of videos from the very early days.
These are from approx 2003-2007 when we did a lot of experimenting and frankly also crazy shit, to wit the selection of bloopers and close calls in the "Naughty File".
Featuring Rusi and "Papa" Manasa but also David and Mini!

And this is our very first, very cheesy marketing video! :)

And talking about crazy shit.
How about Rusi a) removing a hook from, and then at the end b) mouth-feeeding Scarface!

And here's the famous BBC clip from 2006!

To be continued! :)

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Sharkbait Ooh Ha Ha!

Source - click for detail!

To wit,

That said, enjoy Hannah Logan's Shark diving report!

Will Smith's Bucket List - Shark Diving!

I've finally found the embed code so there - watch.

Like it?
Frankly, I rather do - because I like pro-Shark media, because I like Will Smith and because owing to him, there's an endearing levity to it all.

But of course there has to be a big BUT - right? :)
No worry not: I'm not gonna personally unleash on little PdG who has been punished enough and is obviously just trying to cope and make a living.

But I still got to ask,
Has this production gotten any better by portraying him as a Shark expert which he is clearly not, letting him stoke the fear of Sharks by reminding everybody that they can be deadly, and then having him sell his old and terminally tired fear-facing snake oil?
Wouldn't it have been amply enough to have Will experience and simply ENJOY the dive at Tiger Beach sans all that repetitive gratuitous and totally fabricated death-defying drama - remember the stellar program with Craig Ferguson back then?
And talking of clap trap: did Nietzsche really state what Joe claims?

It could have clearly been better - but Will had a great time and that's all that ultimately counts. And it will of course make no difference whatsoever, one way or the other.

So all is good.
Let's go Shark diving!

Friday, April 05, 2019

15 Years of BAD - Pictures!

Rusi the man with the yellow hood and Whitenose, the first Shark we've ever named - click for detail!

I really got nothing to add to what I said here and here.
Only, that there obviously has been more progress, foremost of which the designation of the SRMR as Fiji's first National Marine Park; quite a few more research papers, with several more already in the pipeline; and last but not least, our newest conservation initiative, My Fiji Shark.

So in lieu of yet another boring self-congratulatory tribute.
Behold 15 years of BADness - and should this or that picture intrigue you, you can click on it for detail, and also click on the dates for the relevant blog posts!

The unforgotten Scarface - this pic is from 2003!

Two icons: Rusi and Scarface, 2005

October, 2006

Rusi and Doris, June10,2007
June 17, 2008

June 27, 2008

September 15, 2008


August 28, 2009
December 22, 2009

April 21, 2010

June 25, 2011
August 14, 2012

August 28, 2012

March 21, 2012

May 21, 2012

May 29, 2013 

July 26, 2013 

 August 13, 2013
February 14, 2014
April 4, 2014 

January 29, 2015
March 28, 2015 

September 9, 2015

February 28, 2016 

September 27, 2016

March 25, 2017

May 3, 2018 

May 15, 2018

January 1, 2019

February 2, 2019 

And finally, here we are!

To be continued - and that's a promise!