Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fix those bloody Tags!

About those SPOT tags.
This is gonna be quick&dirty - but I want to quickly follow up on yesterday's comments.

From Neil's paper about satellite tags.
Read it - it is thankfully open resource for which Neil has to be commended.

SPOT tags are usually mounted to shark fins using biocompatible materials.
The attachment process includes punching or drilling holes through the dorsal fin tissue, where after the tag is affixed using bolts or pins, and finally secured with nuts made of a corrodible material.

This design theoretically allows the tag to shed after battery exhaustion.
However, tissue degradation and infection due to a foreign body response may result. To our knowledge, there are no published reports of this condition on the dorsal fins of satellite tagged sharks, however this pattern of fin damage from tagging has been described in other predatory marine animals such as dolphins (Balmer et al., 2010).

Once deployed, the actual satellite tag becomes an extension to the shark's body.
The most obvious behavioral consequence of tagging is a change in swimming efficiency due to hydrodynamic drag incurred by the tag. Transmitters have been linked with abnormal swimming behavior and increased energetic demands in dolphins (e.g. Irvine et al., 1982) and marine birds (e.g. Wilson et al., 1986; Wilson and McMahon, 2006). Various studies have examined possible effects of electronic tags or data loggers on the swimming efficiency of sharks, but results have been variable (Holland et al., 1993; Heithaus et al., 2007; Gleiss et al., 2009).

Another factor rarely considered is satellite tag color and how this may impact shark behavior (Wilson and McMahon, 2006).
It is well documented that white sharks rely on stealth and ambush to successfully capture and subjugate seal prey (Martin et al., 2005; Hammerschlag et al., 2006). A vigilant seal may be cued into the presence of a white shark prior to an imminent attack by detecting a colored satellite tag, resulting in predator avoidance. We have been able to consistently distinguish colored electronic tags on approaching white sharks below the surface, before visualizing the actual shark (Authors, unpublished data).
Brightly colored tags should be avoided due to their potential to alter predator–prey relationships (Hawkins, 2004).

No I'm not gonna repeat myself.
Long story short: those tags suck! Long story: re-read this - and keep in mind that I wrote it before seeing yesterday's shocking pictures! Now that there ARE published reports of this condition on the dorsal fins of satellite tagged sharks, pretending that there isn't a problem will not fly anymore!

To Neil's credit, he is trying his best.
This post documents the extreme care he applies when mounting the tags, clearly in the attempt to minimize those negative effects. Plus, his Hammerhead paper elaborates as follows

To limit bio-fouling of the tag, the transmitter was coated with Propspeed, a non-toxic, nonmetallic, anti-fouling agent comprised of several different types of silicone resins that inhibit attachment of marine growth (Hammerschlag et al. 2010).

The coated SPOT tag was attached to the first dorsal fin of the shark (following Weng et al. 2005) using titanium bolts, neoprene washers, steel washers, and high carbon steel nuts following Hanson (2001).
The attachment metals were selected to ensure that the steel nuts would corrode, resulting not only in tag detachment (Hanson 2001), but also to prevent any metallic corrosion from touching the shark fin (Hammerschlag et al. 2010).

I say bravo, but this may not be good enough anymore!
Now there is new and plausible evidence that those tags may lead to deformities and until this is being dispelled, any further deployment ought to be halted. There are now plenty of Sharks out there lugging around SPOT tags and it is now incumbent on the researchers to make the effort to go and see how those Sharks are faring.
And if they are not faring well - suspend the research and FIX THE GIZMO!

Incidentally, how about this Shark from Lupe.
Apparently, he was equally tagged by Domeier. I already posted the picture here but did not catch on to it til now: does that first dorsal fin look normal to you?

Like lethal sampling, this has now become an ethical, not a technical debate.
David: hint hint!

And yes as announced: this sure aint a contender for a Pulitzer - apologies!


Anonymous said...

The Domeier expedition to tag white sharks via the use of giant 'hollywood set-prop' barbed hooks was huge leap backwards (overboard) for shark research conservation.

This is what happens when the Dept of Commerce (NOAA) permits a cold hearted academic to do a conservation researcher's job; -- never mind the fact that local long term resident researchers have already been successfully generating telemetry data for almost two decades now.

The made for TV hook and haul method is even more shocking for its 'backwards' approach when compared to the non-invasive lure and lance method which generates almost identical and far more natrual behavior data.

That it (hook and haul method) was permitted to happen in an ostensible wildlife sanctuary is also really bad business.

The welll tested and innovative 'Lure and Lance' method places the difficulty and burden of effort upon the researcher, with the Domeier hook and haul method it reverses that consideration to make it easy on the 'scientists' thus fully compromising both the 'wild behavior' and health of the targeted specimen.

It may look spectacular to hoist a huge shark from the water and have it at ones mercy but it's also really harmful to the animal.

Anytime one lands a fish or shark of over 1000lbs (on deck) it is compounding a number of likely injuries.

With hook and line tagged and released tunas there can be a 20% mortality rate which is completely unacceptable for a protected species (California) being targeted in a federal 'sanctuary'.

The public would do well to remember that the only reason that the 'Monterey Bay Aquarium National Marine Sanctuary' established white shark regulations was because it was hit with a law suit from the Santa Cruz Chapter of Surfrider Foundation in mid 1990's.

Shark conservation and research in California's marine sanctuaries has a very very interesting history of litigation, regulation and enforcement efforts.

The establishment plays favorites and have been very manipulative in regards to public notices, meetings and the flow on information and interphase.

White shark filming, permiting and associated management is all about controling public mind share, marketing angles and business arrangements, it has very little to do with protecting the wildlife.

Otters and sharks are big money, and its about the money with these institutions and their 'conservation' efforts...

I think it's time the public actually started being informed about 'public meetings' and decision making events whereby public input is clearly needed.

Support California Assembly Bill 376 --(shut down finning industry/fisheries in CA)!


S.R. Van Sommeran
Pelagic Shark Research Foundation
Santa Cruz California

Andrew Cumming said...

Thank you Sean

from what I understand, the SPOT tags provide for different information and much larger data sets than those sat and acoustic tags that can be attached on the fly - so there may indeed be a scientific and conservation-oriented case for trying to obtain those data.

But not this way, and I fully concur with your other statements!

Long story short: the gizmo needs total re-engineering and the procedures need to be drastically changed!

Tagging with those radically improved SPOT tags (featuring a radically improved attachment!) should only resume once there's absolute certainty that everything imaginable has been undertaken in order not to harm the animals.

This especially in the case of those highly endangered GWs and especially when the research is being conducted in the Farallones that already feature the most stringent rules for any form of shark interactions on the planet!

Anonymous said...

These tags are ' allegedly ' able provide different informations and much larger data sets; --so far they have produced injured sharks and largely redundant data to that gathered via the innovative and artisanal "lure and Lance" method.

With the careful use of a series of lures, and a small portion of natural bait (never presented or fed to the sharks) a researcher can carefully and very safely attach all sorts of devices and/or acquire small tissue/dna strands using a hand held lance; together with photo identification and digital video behavior documentation it's a comprehensive and full spectrum (if primarily surface borne) system that has so far accounted for 38 white sharks being transmitter-tagged by my team just since 2005, no hooks needed.

The type of gear in question can be used on animals up to say 1/2 ton, but with considerable risk to animal welfare; for working with adult white sharks, hooking them and hauling them is completely ludicrous and lifting exhausted white sharks of over 1 ton out of the water is just really gambling and ensures injury that isnt really necessary in the first place.

The lance and lure method may take a bit longer and be a bit more pain staking but what exactly is the rush anyway, or is it just an artifact of competition as well as misplaced priorities.

Why did the expedition have to come to the Farallones at all when there is already a world class study underway at the site?

The program in question, sponsored by National Geographic has also been derided for pretending in one of the episodes to have collected an Architeuthis (giant squid) while tracking sharks (unsuccessfully) offshore, in the episode Domeiers crew pulls aboard a Dosidicus squid (common humboldt squid) and Domeier expertly identifies it as a super rare Architeuthis aka giant squid, interestingly and coincidentally local bay area white shark researchers (the real ones) did collect a giant squid (first ever from Monterey bay, largest yet for California, East Pac) from Monterey Bay that same month. Domeier's reenactment of the event is again suspicious, imitative and unoriginal.

The whole thing was a fabrication and TV portrayal of the actual work that has been going on in this part of California and the Farallones for over a decade.

I agree that the SPOT tags are interesting and may be good for some species under some conditions, however hooking adult white sharks and hauling them about until they are exhausted is not a good method for making contact, lifting large sharks over 1/2 ton is likewise an injurious means to attach/bolt an akward device onto a delicate control surface such as a sharks primary dorsal fin seems completely inconsiderate and not well thought out. Of course on paper all this equipment works perfectly ever time... Project that treat their study subjects as if they were robotic things are really irritating. Im glad we concur on the meat of the subject and enjoy a mutual interest in details and intricacies of these matters.

Pelagic Shark Research Foundation
Since 1990

DaShark said...

Sean you're preaching to the converted here!

Search for "Domeier" on this blog and you will discover that I was one of the first to denounce the Nat Geo show and the shenanigans you are alluding to!

Let's see what comes from this - hopefully, some reflection and drastically improved gear and procedures!

And if not... :)

BTW amusing that you and I should be able to converse, as we very much are one of those Shark feeding outfits you so publicly oppose!
But of course it's not all black and white, at least not in this case. There's operators and operators and there's procedures and procedures.

You should once come have a look (are you a diver?), and we should then talk some more!

Anonymous said...

I deal with these issues on a scale, and while shark feeding is not proper wildlife care, it is pretty low on the list of sins. Meanwhile the radar is othewise lit up at all times on this and other matters ranging from finning issues to zoos and aquaria colluding with whale shark poachers.... arrrgh!

Good on you for calling Domeier out for his invasive methods! Thank you.

AS well fire chief and sport diver Chris Hartzell and others have been on this issue looking out for the sharks, and that's awesome.

Keep up the good work, stay safe,
Since 1990

DaShark said...

Thank you, same here!

As for the safety: we feed 'em but trust me, we got no death wish! :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Da Shark,

No worries, thank you for you reassurances.

Just to be clear, I dont so much worry about your elective sports safety so much as I worry about routine sport feeding of sharks and associated wildlife making the animals more vulnerable to humans.

Ordinarily/Naturally, sharks and many marine species are reticent to human proximity and presence, especially with noisy dive gear and strange behaviors etc; however with routine feeding the sharks not only tend to lose their reticence to humans but actually seek out or approach divers (and/or other humans in the water) or boats and this may include spearfisherman, big game trophy hunters, fisherman, poachers, who knows right?

Meanwhile, the sharks are more vulnerable as a result of the routine feeding and habituation toward humans as a food source.

The Pelagic Shark Research Foundations policy regarding shark feeds and feeding wildlife is not at all extreme or out of round with standard wildlife protections around the world. Restrictions and regulations prohibiting the feeding of wildlife (sharks included) are one of the most basic tenets of wildlife care. Dont feed the animals, especially protected species of potentially dangerous and/or endangered species.

This policy is not saying it is dangerous, makes sharks dangerous or anything over specific, per say; it is a very conventional point of view among naturalists and wildlife management professionals worldwide.

Shark diving, cage diving is fine, even the use of carefully deployed bait (never presented or fed) and lures can be used for larger sharks.

Our policy is that sharks should not be fed for sport for exact same reasons that the public should not feed dolphins, turtles, seals etc. It is really basic and we regret any problems that may generate among shark sport diving enthusiasts or their outfitters.

We support sport diving and shark viewing and just do not believe that feeding the sharks is essential to viewing them or diving near them. Just like whale watching etc. It is time that sharks be regarded and respected as are other species of charismatic marine wildlife.

I have always been amazed at the static and conflict of interests that have arisen over the matter.

Thank you very much for considering our actual position on this long standing matter of policy we (PSRF) have been working on (among the many other shark issues, finning etc) since 1990.

Pelagic Shark Research Foundation (PSRF).
Since 1990

DaShark said...

Bula Sean

I hear you and what you say is obviously intuitively plausible.

It is however not supported by data, at least not here in Fiji.
We've been running an extensive data base on the Shark dive for the past 8 years and know that the individual animals only stay 3-4 days and pursue their "normal" lives elsewhere for the vast majority of the time.

We also know that they do not approach anybody when we are not feeding.
We routinely dive Shark Reef on non-baited reef dives and the Sharks do not come in - we've even replicated the exact same Shark dives, but without food, and the result has been the same.

The comments section is once again too small for an informed debate - but you may want to read this or this or this with links to other posts.

Finally, there's the question of whether we subtract Sharks from other locations where they fail to perform their "natural" functions.
We don't believe we do, see above, and also read the only paper dealing with the issue so far

Granted, it's complicated.
But from the evidence, we see no signs that we are endangering the animals. We're a Shark conservation project that runs a dive shop, not the other way round, and you can rest assured that procedures would change should that evidence change.

Anonymous said...

Open and Free Socratic Debate:

~!to the fray!~

I dont think it is complicated at all.

A. One can dive and see sharks, and/or conduct shark tours without feeding the sharks.

B. Baiting can easily be conducted without feeding the sharks, there are also acoustic and visual attractants that can be used to draw the wildlife close enough to view.

C. What is needed is data to support this new notion that unlike virtually all other forms of protected wildlife, it is somehow beneficial to feed sharks; whereas one of the most well established tenets of wildlife care is and has been 'Dont feed the animals'...

D. The assertion that the burden of scientific proof be placed on those who abide by basic wildlife care protocols in terms of "Dont Feed the Animals" is really kind of hollow really.

Why not then feed dolphins, turtles and whales?

The arguments you offer seem like shadow boxing more than actual sparring, its like you've gone through some rehearsed moves that dont really correspond with my remarks or salient points.

One can bait/attract the sharks in to view without feeding them... of course then it may ruin your death defying chain mail suit routine or whatever it is you do that makes you think that the sharks are friggin invisible unless they are being fed....?



~ Feeding sharks and riding sharks, is lame. Im sorry. It's unoriginal and Im bored with tourist shots that feature (countless) sport divers riding or placing them selves in 'apparent' danger, and/or posing in gay (South Park sense of the wor...d) photos whereby the tourist and shark look like they are frolicking lovers or playmates is - just- stupid!!!! there I said... The sharks -- are neither your friend, or enemy. They are neutral... I personally (hate magnet) think that shark diving (opertors, tourists should abide by the same wildlife respect that dolphins, turtles, seals, whales whatever get. It is not wise or beneficial at all to the shark (wildlife) to be fed, or humped or whatever by tourists and sundry 'sharkmasters' and wanglers, wranglers or whatever... shark viewing can be accomplished without feeding or fondling the wildlife. And that is the basic bottom line. AND for the 'professionals' who are feeding the sharks and exhibiting such disrespect I think it lends a bad example... pretty much all the tourons left unchecked want to 'graduate' up from the innocent tourist ranking to 'professional shark wrangler' and it's the path to doosh-baggery and accidents. Feeding sharks is safe and the sharks love you, right up until someone gets bitten, then it was an accident!!! and the bitten shark master baiter changes to subject to finning or anything else other than the fact that feeding sharks defies the most basic tenet of wildlife care-- Dont Feed the Animals... and then the bitten operator will change stance, and drop into a crouch and ask for :"Thientific Datta" (lisp inserted) which of course is there last step before retreating into legalese and making off the record death threats and other dirty tricks to squelch the debate on whether or not sharks- should be regarded, respected and treated by tourists and their outfitters like all other (non-extractable protected) wildlife is supposed to treated like. Show me some data about how feeding the sharks (which isnt even essential to viewing sharks anyway) is good wildlife care and we can start a discussion that will explain why sharks should not be respected as are whales, turtles, seals, dolphins etc?

Dont feel too bad, the gill netters,finners and big game trophy hunters hate me too. lol

So does Dr Doom Domeier,
Since 1990

Bring it, bring it all... bring it all at once, and call for back up; you're gonna need it...


DaShark said...

Glad u got that off yer chest buddy - pretty eloquent for something u define as being pretty low on the list of sins! :)

As I said, I really don't wanna go there - but then, I'm the one who started teasing, so there.
For the sake of the argument

A. depending on location & species. I would not advocate feeding the Hammerheads in Cocos or the Threshers in Malapasqua.

B. yes, but not regularly & predictably. If you did (only) tease the animals on a regular basis, you would actually achieve negative reinforcement whereby they would not be attracted but instead repelled

C. I'm sure we can agree without having to resort to peer reviewed research that providing free meals is beneficial to who gets them. But of course your "tenet" claims that feeding the wildlife is harmful to the animals and possibly, to people. That has been shown to be true to some mammals and birds etc. It has not been shown to be true for Sharks.

D. the burden of proof is placed on who asserts. That's the basic tenet of scientific discourse.

Anyway, let's agree to disagree.
Let's also please agree to remain open to new evidence.
That, too, is a basic tenet of scientific discourse.

On a more serious note, however, your vocal advocacy is leading you to be associated with some surprising bedfellows indeed.
Take the case of HI where you have decided to align yourself with the game fishermen (who target & torture Sharks), the spearos and the "indigenous" con artists against two utterly harmless and perfectly safe Shark viewing operations.

I hope that I don't need to tell you who, if at all, is attracting those big predatory sharks to the coast - right?
Is that really the people you want to be associated with?

Anyway, you get one more riposte & then let's close this thread, OK?

PS You really need to come to Fiji, it's only one direct flight away - and if yer not a diver, I'll throw in a free dive course, how about that.
As I said, it's not all black and white!

PPS on those Sharks being abused as underwater scooters: totally agree! U really need to read the links I posted in my previous comment & you will see that I very much bemoan the same shenanigans you do!

Anonymous said...

I have not aligned myself with any fisherman in Hawaii.

Many big game sport anglers are resentful of my successful campaigning for sport catch limits and for being an original sponsor of California Assembly bill 522 and Senate Bill 177 which elevated white sharks to a protected (no take) species in California and subsequently it's National Marine Sanctuaries. We are also a leading advocate for California Assembly Bill 376 which will make the shark fin trade illegal in California.

Please dont try and distort the scenario with assertions like that, it isnt true.

Meanwhile, feeding wildlife IS NOT good wildlife care, it is how wild animals are made vulnerable; that is why it's increasingly a restricted practice.

Your answer to point D. isnt very convincing.

Best of luck to you,
Since 1990

fight fair, fight clean, protect yourself at all times...

DaShark said...

Bula Sean, that was a poor choice of words on my part, apologies.

But, by your advocacy, that's the camp you've ended up supporting in HI.
I'm off diving - but let me go rummage and post some evidence as to why I believe that to be the case when I come back.

Aloha, Mike

Anonymous said...


DaShark said...

Anon: all good, that's just what sometimes can happen when people go spear fishing.

Good also to see that the media are treating this evenly and that they are giving good advice to the spear fishermen!

DaShark said...

OK Sean
Back from a great dive where we fed some Bull Sharks :)

1. You say "feeding wildlife IS NOT good wildlife care" and you apply that to Sharks. That is a testable hypothesis. You know the game (as in: the scientific method): now it is incumbent on you to test that hypothesis, ie to come up with proof (not mere conjecture) as to why that is the case. Contrary to religion, mere repetition does not count! :)

2. In Hawaii, you have aligned yourself with You are correct, there are no fishermen there. That movement purports that feeding sharks makes Hawaiian waters less safe (hence the name) and blames two small shark viewing operations for causing Shark attacks. There is no evidence for that and on the contrary, there is peer reviewed science that postulates that this is fallacious, see

There is however PLENTY of evidence (see the above link and eg and and - and yes, please read those links!) that spear fishermen and fishermen feed Sharks and draw them to the coast - but for "some" reason, these people are not being targeted by SWFH.
There have now been three arson attacks on the boats of those operators, and those circles are rejoicing, see

Again my question - are your Hawaiian bedfellows really representing what you believe in?

Sean I bear you no ill will.
I believe that you are deeply convinced that you are doing the right thing. I am however equally convinced that after so many years, you have become dogmatic and are not anymore open to evidence, as you should always remain as a researcher.

That's a shame - lighten up, broaden your horizon, become less dogmatic: it is not all black or white!

Anonymous said...

Well, that's just cheap...

Cant you stop making allegations, insinuations and innuendos?

I dont have any alignment with spearfisherman anymore than you have an alignment with Japanese whalers.

It's a standard dodge, deflect focus from cogent matters to personal gossips.

Sharks learn, they can learn to recognize boat motors as well as speargun trigger or sling ring or drag ratchet...

As with all wildlife, sharks can learn to associate humans in the water with being fed, especially after repetitive hand feeding.

This has in the past resulted in numerous injuries, accidents and even fatalities; my main concern (and that of PSRF) is that it makes the sharks themselves more vulnerable in terms of them loosing their natural reticence and avoidance to humans... this is something you concur with, without baiting (you also feed) the sharks dont come as close as you prefer.

Again, one can bait and attract sharks without feeding them and that should be our primary conflict of interest and point counter-point... I would appreciate it if you could not make vague assertions about my being involved with spearfishing interests. We actually have a policy (not well received) that holds sharks as non-suitable/non-legitimate target for spearfisherman, it's too easy. Especially sharks that have learned to drop their guard around humans due to human feeding. Moreover there is the possibility that a shark may press its efforts in regards to stealing fish from spearfisherman, or even biting them.

It is not good animal care to feed sharks, that is why it is increasingly being restricted as marine wildlife initiative catch up with terrestrial policy.

There have been numerous experiments that argue against your assertions that feeding sharks (other wildlife) is of no increased risk.

Also, I find it significant that you have not yet addressed the fact that sharks can be attracted without actually being fed...

Also, specifically-- can you fend off the logic applied within the fact that sharks (especially large sharks) should not be fed for EXACT same reasons that dolphins, seals, turtles should not be fed?

Please dont allege I have finning or spearfishing or whatever interests or alignments; I dont --

Otherwise be specific, so I can knock down.

I here to discuss and debate (if need be) personal insults arent needed for me to conduct me end of the conversation, so please; do not again assert I have alignments that arent cogent to the discussion or facts of the matter.

You can do better than that,

S.R. Van Sommeran
Executive Director
Pelagic Shark Research Foundation
Santa Cruz California
Since 1990

DaShark said...

Bula Sean

you really need to re-read my comment(s).

1. HI. you are part of Safe Waters for Hawaii. Those folks claim that the Shark feeding operations offshore endanger public safety by precipitating Shark attacks on the coast. Scientific research claims otherwise, but there is evidence that fishermen and spearos both condition and feed the animals on the coast - and yet, SWFH completely disregards that evidence & continues to focus on the Shark operators. I was just wondering why you have decided to be part of that as it does not appear to reflect what you postulate here. That's all and it is a side comment, not an answer to your "wildlife" tenet.

2. I've addressed the teasing vs feeding issue above in point B. Teasing only is negative reinforcement and will eventually deter the animals. It also leads the animals to waste unnecessary resources on unsuccessful "hunts". It is successful as a "one-off" strategy for research, fishing etc but it is counter productive when done on a regular basis.

We have evidence of that here as some species that rank below the Bull Sharks and never get a bite in (=never get rewarded) because the Bulls muscle them aside have all but ceased to turn up, this despite of plenty of stimuli.

You also postulate that feeding Sharks makes them loose their natural inhibition of humans and makes them vulnerable. We have ample evidence to the contrary as after 12 years of feeding, the Sharks will NOT approach divers who do not carry food but keep well away instead, this even on the feeding site itself.

I do not allege that feeding sharks is not dangerous to the feeders. It is, as witnessed by many accidents (see regarding Sharks biting people).

But there is not one shred of evidence for
- sharks that are being fed being particularly vulnerable
- shark feeding operations being causal for shark attacks in that vicinity, with the CAVEAT that this is a highly plausible hypothesis and that operators must choose locations that are well removed from population centers. I would vehemently oppose feeding GWs just off the most popular surf breaks, etc.

3. What is the "logic" of not feeding Dolphins, Seals and Turtles???

Best, Mike

Anonymous said...

Blooger 'Mike' wrote:

1. HI. you are part of Safe Waters for Hawaii. Those folks claim that the Shark feeding operations offshore endanger public safety by precipitating Shark attacks on the coast.

Mike, Safe Waters for Hawaii is a huge coalition with many supporters with many perspectives. Our involvement is focused on 'shark safety' and it so happens that restrictions against feeding wildlife is one of the most basic tenets of wildlife care. Safe Waters for Hawaii invests intself in many issue ranging from surf contests to yacht racing as well as the 'shark sport feeding' issue.

Sharks should not be fed for same reasons that dolphins, turtles, seals etc should not be fed by the public; the scientific documentation is so solid and hard founded that your ignorance of the concept seems laughable. The insistence that there be special or sundry extra research to prove sharks are like all the rest of the wildlife in regards to behavior is a joke. I dont think that feeding sharks makes them dangerous so much as it makes them vulnerable; and sharks have bitten people on many occasions so lets not pretend that such concerns are rivilous.

FYI, my involvement with Safe Waters for Hawaii has nothing to do with supporting spearfishing; in fact PSRF policy holds sharks as 'not suited' to spear-gun/sling sport fishing; that was a cheap shot on your part. Weak sauce too.

Blogger 'Mike' wrote:
2. I've addressed the teasing vs feeding issue above in point B. Teasing only is negative reinforcement and will eventually deter the animals. It also leads the animals to waste unnecessary resources on unsuccessful "hunts". It is successful as a "one-off" strategy for research, fishing etc but it is counter productive when done on a regular basis.

That is bogus, Ive been studying sharks in the wild for over 20 years without feeding them.

One can use enclosed bait containers that draw the sharks close, they cannot feed but will orbit about in full view of the wildlife enthusiast who has paid you to take them to see sharks-- the rest is your own self indulgent shark show and shark feeding wrangler act... its totally un-needed to have the sharks fed or otherwise 'dog and pony showed'. AS in whale watching it should be enough that your wildlife respecting shark dive enthusiasts see sharks-- period... the insistence on feeding them, fondling them, riding them and all the rest is about humans... not about the sharks.

Im sorry but I think shark dives should involve the public going out and observing sharks in the wild... period... feeding them, getting 'dangerously' close etc is totally un-needed. However many operators cling to the notion that the sharks must be fed... It isnt true. I have worked with sharks for over 20 years, one does not have to feed sharks in order to see them.

Blogger 'Mike' wrote:
'I do not allege that feeding sharks is not dangerous to the feeders. It is, as witnessed by many accidents (see regarding Sharks biting people).

Whatever, your saying its dangerous but its not dangerous... that's just dumb.

Blogger 'Mike' wrote:
3. 'What is the "logic" of not feeding Dolphins, Seals and Turtles???'

Duhhhhhhhh!?!? are you serious...?

Pelagic Shark Research Foundation
~Now on facebook~
Since 1990
Since 1990

Anonymous said...

Hawaiian Coalition for Enforcement of Shark Protections:

(Sharks can be viewed by tourists without self indulgent tour guides feeding the sharks and offering canned wildlife experiences)

Shark viewing can be accomplished without feeding the wildlife.

In Hawaii, numerous ocean lovers, community organizations, canoe clubs, surf organizations, boating clubs, individuals and elected officials are working together toward creating statewide legislation to ban shark viewing tours in our shared Hawaiian waters.

Commercializing sharks for profit by feeding, or other ways to attract or entice them needs to be banned. This includes all types of shark tours in viewing cages or outside of cages.

We do not want shark tours in Kaua’i, O’ahu, Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Hawai’i island and Papahanaumokuakea.

The man made congregation of sharks for profit in Hawaiian waters compromises community safety in our ocean.

This is not pono for Hawaiian waters. For those of us who are Hawaiian, shark tours show a lack of sensitivity and respect toward our 'aumakua.

No shark feeding at all (a.k.a. chumming or palu, baiting) is allowed in State or Federal Waters to 200 nautical miles out from shore. This is against the law.

State Law:

Federal Law:

See Sec. 119 and 317

Ka Iwi Coalition

Save our Surf

Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation

Na Wahine O Ke Kai, Womens Moloka’i to O’ahu Canoe Race Commission

Livable Hawai’i Kai Hui

Hawai`i State Bodysurfing Association

Hui O He’e Nalu, Da Hui, North Shore

Malama Maunalua

Hawai’i Kai Boating Club

Halau No'eau Kahelemauna

Kulana Huli Honua

Betty Kanuha Foundation, Hawai’i

Waikiki Swim Club

Maui Sierra Club

Halau Hula O Na Lei Mokihana

North Shore Canoe Club

Manu o ke Kai Canoe Club North Shore

Hawaiian Canoe Club, Maui

Kihei Canoe Club, Maui

Anuenue Canoe Club

Waikiki Beach Boys Canoe Club

Hui Nalu Canoe Club

Kamehameha Canoe Club

Kumulokahi Canoe Club

Koa Kai Canoe Club

Waimanalo Canoe Club

Windward Canoe Club

Kailua Canoe Club

Kawaikini Canoe Club, Kaua’i

North Shore Renegades Canoe Club, Maui

Halau Hula Namakahonuakapiliwale

Hawai'i Military Surfing Organization

Surfrider Foundation, O'ahu Chapter

Hawai’i Kai Neighborhood Board

Kuli'ou'ou Kalani-Iki Neighborhood Board

The Waimanalo Neighborhood Board

Windward Ahupua’a Alliance

The Waimanalo Construction Coalition

‘O Hina I Ka Malama Hawaiian Immersion Moloka’i High School

Kuhai Halau O Kahealani Pa Olapa Kahiko

Makana Aloha Group, California

Oswald Stender, Trustee Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Walter Heen, Trustee Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Dr. Carlos Andrade, Director Center for Hawaiian Studies UH Manoa

Ben Cayetano, Former Governor of the State of Hawai’i(in 2002 Governor Cayetano signed the law prohibiting feeding sharks in State Waters)

Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, Santa Cruz, California

The Humane Society of the United States


S.R. Van Sommeran
Executive Director
Pelagic Shark Research Foundation
~Now of facebook~
Since 1990

DaShark said...

Ciao Sean

OK one last comment from my side, and then this topic is closed - and no, I won't let you answer, this in exchange for having allowed you to post all that Hawaiian pseudo-native gibberish.

My blog my rules! :)

"Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim"

SWFH claims that it wants to protect the public from shark attacks. That's the aim - the rest is fluff.

1. I never said that you condone spearfishing FOR SHARKS. I say that fishing and spearfishing feed & condition sharks and draw them closer to the shoreline. That's a FACT and yet SWFH does NOTHING to stop it.

2. The connection btw shark viewing offshore and shark attacks has been refuted by peer reviewed science - and yet you insist on this topic alone. I say that is bizarre considering your scientific background.

3. The political arm of SWFH is Gene Ward's office. His hound dog Makani Christensen:

4. Aumaku'a and other native shenanigans. Now this is serious. Read
Uncle Charlie the Great Zampano of the aumaku'a gets money from the Maui aquarium for blessing sharks that are caught, caged, fed and displayed for money. Wow.
This would just be one of the many rather innocuous indigenous scams, were it not for the fact that these con men avail themselves of highly inflammatory rhetoric and create a legion of angry unemployed uneducated brown kids who hate the haoles. This is the backdrop for the recent arson attacks.
Seriously Sean, this is dangerous stuff. You know what I'm talking about and you should not be part of it.

5. Shark feeding.
Look we will never convince each other of anything here. Yes you've worked for 20y with GWs (only?) from the surface and know much about that topic.
It is equally glaringly apparent that you know NOTHING about diving with sharks and shark feeding. E.g. everybody but you knows that bait crates only work because in the end the crates get opened and the sharks get rewarded etc etc etc. You also completely disregard the evidence I have referenced in this thread and in turn provide no evidence whatsoever for you mantra of "wildlife care".

Whatever - right? :)

As I said, I'm closing this thread.
But I DO appreciate your insightful contributions to the tagging debate - provided that they remain CONSTRUCTIVE!

Anonymous said...

blogger 'DaShark' wrote:
'Whatever - right? :)

As I said, I'm closing this thread.
But I DO appreciate your insightful contributions to the tagging debate - provided that they remain CONSTRUCTIVE!'

--Constructive? You mean controlled and scripted right? You seem to be blowing bubbles from both ends. And so it goes.


S.R. Van Sommeran
Executive Director
Pelagic Shark Research Foundation
~Now of facebook~
Since 1990

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth. Domeier attached a tag to a shark that already had a deformed dorsal fin when it was landed. I don't know, but it could be the same shark.