Monday, March 21, 2011

Bruce/Zapata - Evidence please!

Please click for detail.

I've done some digging.
Lawrence's Blog always features stellar pictures of GWs and that's where I found the picture of Zapata I posted yesterday. I also found this about another Shark.

However Jacque apparently had the misfortune of encountering the "Expedition Great White" (EGW) (that would be again Domeier) crew last winter and is now sporting a heavy SPOT tag on his dorsal fin.
Poor Jacque already has had multiple PAT tags over the years and has a great deal of marine growth on the leaders left behind from those tags. I think that is a crime to put these incredible animals through this time and time again in the name of research. How many times do these same animals need to be tagged??? We also noticed that Jacque has suffered an injury to his left eye. I can't help but suspect that it most probably occurred when he was Hooked, towed for miles, and "After His Will was Broken" lifted out of the water by the EGW crew and 4 holes drilled and had the SPOT tag bolted on.
WTF!! Poor Jacque......

So true!
The Gws of Guadalupe are very likely as much under threat as those in California and if this excellent post by Patric is correct, and I very much fear it is, the population is not only not increasing but may even be in decline. This is once again a marine reserve and what has happened there, see above, is equally reprehensible.

Turns out that Zapata is also called Bruce.
This is a page about several of Guadalupe's GWs and if you click on the links for Bruce, you can see the distinctive diagnostic markings he features on his left and right hand sides. Lawrence has posted some great hi-res pictures of this Shark here and I've taken the liberty to crop one and post it on top.

Does that look like a normal first dorsal fin to you?
Compare it to the shocking pictures of Junior: may we be seeing the same pattern of deformation and if so, may this yet again be evidence of the fact that those SPOT tags need fixing? I'm frankly not sure but at least in theory, finding the answer will be easy as all we would have to do is compare it to similar pictures of this Shark before it was tagged, i.e. taken during the 2007, 2008 and/or 2009 seasons.

Here's where you come in!
With Lupe being the global hotspot for GW photography, does anybody have a picture of this specific Shark from those years, ideally showing the shape of its first dorsal fin?
Should you dispose of any such evidence, please e-mail it to the shop, ie Yes I know, finding that picture may be tedious - but it would be for a good cause and if it confirms my suspicions, it will hopefully help prevent more such injuries to these endangered animals. And if does not confirm them, we can all be relieved that this is not a systemic problem.

Thank you!


Anonymous said...

I couldn't find any photos of a spot tagged white shark's dorsal fin at Guadalupe, but I came across this ridiculous image while searching the web for information on this tagging project.

And the "research" team claims to not be into it for the media. They don't even have an image of a shark in the poster. Looks like a mug shot, "guilty as charged". Go figure!


DaShark said...

Very funny!

What I'm however looking for are NOT pics of GWs with spot tags - I'm looking for pics of Bruce/Zapata BEFORE they did drill on the bling!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there is footage you could use in the shark men series. There was close up shots of the dorsal in most episodes.

Draven said...

I have video footage of Zappata from 2009 with PAT and SPOT tags on him. I don't know if he and Bruce are the same shark or not.
I also am interested in shots of these sharks before the SPOT tags.
Having returned to Guadalupe this 2013 season I was pleased to see a lack of SPOT tags on the sharks. The difference in the footage is considerable to me when you view the image of one of these beautiful animals gliding by your camera frame in perfect form vs. footage of one with some sort of foreign, ugly, and growth covered structure on them. Research pros and cons aside, these tags are a sad sight and for those who know these sharks well (see them every year) it must be even more sad to see this happen to them.