Thursday, January 31, 2013

Horrible News from Mozambique!


Get well Mike!

Cristina about removing Hooks from Sharks!

A frequent sight - Bull with hooks contracted when stealing Fish from the artisanal fishermen. 
Pic by Lill - click for detail

Nice post by Cristina!

And here's how it looks when the master does it.
I've posted about it last year and the fact happened probably in 2009-2010.
The Tigers are Scarface and Adi.


Marlin sinks Boat!


Story here!

Tagging Great Hammerheads!

Right now, I'm way too busy for lengthy posts.

In the meantime, check out these awesome pics.
It's the good people from Doc's Shark Lab tagging GHH on the fly, without hooking & hauling them to the boat which is particularly harmful to this specific species.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weather - wet wet wet!

Howly Mackerel!
Talk about the weather up in the North being temperamental - and colorful!

I sure would not enjoy being in Samoa!
Check out the NOAA animation here - now THAT's alot of rain!

The Sharks of the Forgotten Islands!

Great project!
It's by none other than Shark Warrior Mark Thorpe of iDiveSharks and Global Shark Initiative fame. I honestly thought that after the ignominious attack by the sharkanatics, Shark conservation had lost him forever - but he's back with a vengeance, a testimony to his genuine passion for Sharks but also, to his his Djibouti-drilled fighting spirit!

Check out the project outline here.
This is true, epic adventure and exploration on a rather monumental scale, this by one of the world's most accomplished underwater cameramen endowed with a profound knowledge of the region and its people.
Having done a very similar trip ten years ago, I can attest to the fact that this is very much a region in transition, with wide ranging consequences for its culture but also, and alas, for its terrestrial and marine ecosystems where biodiversity is very much under attack - so now is the moment to document what may well soon become nothing but a memory of better times!
And this, believe it or not, via a real, old-fashioned documentary, an art form that is alas in decline, where people will not parachute in for a quick shoot but instead, actually take the time to understand and then, to wait for natural events to unfold in their own time!
Interview here!

And you can get involved!
Mark has set up a dedicated  Facebook page where you can follow the preparations and later, the project's progress. Always the optimist much like David, he is resorting to crowdfunding and offering a variety of perks for different levels of support, even sponsored Tweets
This is not a cheap endeavor and I sure wish him more luck than the first time, the more as this is really an important and timely undertaking.
Plus, the Robinson Crusoe draw is really as cool as it gets!

Yes I know, that's a lot of links!
But it's for a worthy cause - so what are you waiting for!

Of Shark and Man - Interview!

This project deserves all the support it can get.
So thank you Angelo for having provided for a great platform and according global exposure!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Was this Shot the Last the Photographer Ever Snapped?

Click for detail - source.
No it was not - again!

Great pic Ozzie Sam!
And, I'm still waiting for my tooth - there must be heaps right under Andrew's submerged cage, so what are you waiting for! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Le Didier and Galapagos Shark!

Le Didier in Fiji, by Jens Kuhfs - source

At least that's what I think it is - JSD?

This was clearly a very close call - and a BIG Shark!.
But such is Le Didier - I'm not at liberty to tell quite yet: but after those Crocs, he's certainly found himself a new worthy adversary that will make you S your pants once you see the footage!
Ils sont fous ces Gaulois!

Anyway, enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Of Shark and Man - Trailer-Teaser!

David in Fiji - outshining everybody with his dazzling brilliance - yes that would be a link!


This is what we here have all been waiting for.
We've been big fans and supporters of David Diley from the beginning, ever since he posted that op-ed in Dive - and the more we've been observing his progress, the more we've become fans: of his talent, his art but above all, of his mulish determination to succeed come hell or high water. Over the course of the years, our relationship has evolved from mere polite interest to mateship to the point where we're proud to count him among our dear friends.

His evolution has been truly astounding.
Case in point, his film work that you can check out here, where you can follow his progression all the way from a rather rough first promotional over this and this simply brilliant PSAs for the Fiji Shark Sanctuary that never was, to the wonderful low-budget A Ray of Light that resulted in a wonderful conservation success story.

But of course those were just appetizers.
Ever since returning from his Fiji caper (= fun times - and plenty of STILL unanswered questions!), David has been doggedly chipping away at the editing of his first feature film, Of Shark and Man - and lemme tell 'ya, tackling this monumental and monumentally complex task has been hard and further hampered by chronic lack of funds and until rather recently, by abject loneliness.
But he has persevered - and yes you guessed it: mulishly! :)

So here it is.
Simultaneously with a spanky new website for From the Office to the Ocean, this is the first of a total of three (read it!) trailer-teasers for David's big film. David writes me that later, there will then be two main trailers, which cover everything in the film, very much in the manner you would find in a major cinema release. He is also still looking for a variety of people who may want to get involved, from graphic animators to street teamers - so it's not too late to get involved and show him your support!

So without further ado.
I absolutely LOVE it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Running Bulls!

Click for detail!

From today's dive.
Gates SWP44 Fathom Imaging Wide Angle Port, 119°.

Need I say more.
So, what are you waiting for!

Christine - stellar!


I obviously did not due my due diligence.
When I wrote that I frankly don't quite know what she is currently doing, I should have taken the time to go and check! Turns out that Christine Shepard is very much the person behind Neil's stellar media outreach - and more than that, she has even found the time to describe her work in this brilliant little video!

Once again, this is really as good as it gets.
Not only because of the great images and because it really motivates people to follow, and even participate in those research ventures; but above all, because I discern none of the ego, agendas and primadonna shenanigans I bemoan in so many others - and let there be no doubt that this is WAY more professional and WAY more appealing, too!


Victor - Fiji Bull Shark!

Click for detail!

This is it!

After the chrome version, here comes the real deal!
This is one of Fiji's very own Bulls swimming away right after it has taken a Tuna head - the head is still visible as a lump just before it will be swallowed, or whatever you call it when Sharks do that.
I know that because that's exactly how it looks and because we've traded many e-mails and screen grabs whilst Victor was sculpting it.
More images here.

Like I said - magnifique!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cookiecutter vs GWS!

Very cool.

That sure is a feisty little Shark!
First they brazenly sneak up and molest people - and now we find out that they are even taking on the ultimate badass predator!

Early view paper here!
Story here.

Air and Water - Awesome!

Yes this would be Eco-Terrorism in action!
Roberta Mancino here.


Oslob - Eco-Terrorism?

This is apparently Eco-Terrorism!

How I hate that shit!
No not the fashion shoot - the bloody frothy ramblings of the Shark huggers that are once again risking to sink a brilliant eco-tourism venture that is providing for income to communities who would otherwise remain poor and very likely resort to poaching those very same animals!

It's EXACTLY like when they established Whale swimming in Tonga - when the usual NGO idiots started to uhmm and aaah about not wanting people to interact with the Whales, the Tongans said we either eat them or we swim with them - and that was that, making this one of the preferred destinations of the image hunters and establishing one of the very few viable tourism attractions of the kingdom.

I've posted about the Oslob Whale Shark tourism here - and here is once again Shawn's award-winning video.

Shawn's excellent report is here.
There are also this equally balanced report and this report. And finally, please peruse this report by the local NGO that is against the feeding but is nevertheless using this as an opportunity for data collection - the latter a tad hypocritical if you ask me!
Oh and of course, we've got ourselves the usual frothy PETITIONS and APPEALS!

Long story short?
If Shawn's shoot where like all conservation photographers, he tried to raise awareness, and this via a novel approach, and where no Shark was harassed let alone hurt is ECO-TERRORISM,

what, please, is this!

So let's be perfectly clear about one thing.
THAT, not happy Sharks frolicking in the wilderness, or whatever, is the alternative to Whale Shark tourism - and it's once again simply appalling to witness how all that frothy activism is being totally misdirected instead of being invested into fighting the continued poaching of Whale Sharks and the continued legal slaughtering of Mantas in that very same region!

So, is everything perfect in Oslob?
Certainly not!
Like in so many other Whale Shark and Manta tourism destinations like e.g. Hanifaru or Holbox, the real challenge lays in adequate management - and in the case of Oslob, the latter is still evolving and in no way ideal. But that can be fixed!
In a wider context, this touches upon the Anthropogenic Allele Effect and the Rarity Paradox - and from an industry perspective, it's about multi-user sites where competition and one-upmanship ultimately lead to situations harming the very animals the industry relies upon.

In brief, it's often not so much about WHAT one does but rather, about HOW one does it, meaning that there is a requirement for adequate protocols and in many cases, oversight by the authorities.

I've just finished reading the new Techera and Klein, and here is an illustration of the Australian Whale Shark swimming regulations from that paper.

I find the flash photography ban crap as flashlight is NOTHING compared to the sun - but whatever, overall the protocols probably make sense.

And these are the procedures in Oslob.
Click for detail. See - they are even MORE stringent than in Oz!

And the feeding?
This very much reminds me of the controversy surrounding the provisioning of predatory Sharks where when put to the test, all of the reservations have ultimately been discredited as Shark-hugging hogwash - that is, provided that the operators had implemented adequate safety protocols!
Once again, it's not about the WHAT but about the HOW!

Case in point, this anti-feeding "info"-graphic - click for detail.

  • 1. Incorrect - those Whale Sharks only consume a small portion of their caloric needs from hand feeding, meaning they get most of their food from natural foraging behavior 
  • 2. Utter balderdash - Whale Sharks spend the majority of their life at or near the surface and are incidentally often seen feeding vertically in natural feeding situations
  • 3. These are subadults that do not (yet?) migrate. They inhabit the general region and incidentally,  most of them do not reside in Oslob but only visit for a few days before moving on.
  • 4. Speculative - much like the infamous "associating humans and food" meme, this needs to be substantiated by research - and BTW, the onus of proving those assertion lays with those who make them! WS are surface dwellers and naturally curious, meaning that accidental boat strikes are frequent everywhere. Incidentally, the boats feeding the Sharks do not have propellers.
And so it goes - see the Infinite Monkey Theorem!

To quote Shawn himself.
Poaching, fast moving large vessels and drift nets are killing whale sharks and driving them toward extinction. Hand feeding is NOT threatening them in such way. What Oslob offers is the opportunity for poor local communities to earn a living from conserving whale sharks, vs killing them. 
That this challenges some peoples idealistic principles of never feeding wildlife is both naive and narrow minded.

Amen brother!
And this shit - let's just hope that the consultations will lead to a change of mind and that the feeding will be allowed to continue. Provided that robust protocols are put into place!

Alas, I'm not terribly hopeful.
The NOISE by the screechy Sharkitarians appears to be pushing the politicos into engaging in populist activism. And if so, I fully expect the consequences to be devastating - for the region and ultimately for those Sharks! 
And whilst this is going down, the operators in Cendrawasih Bay are laughing all the way to the bank!

To be continued no doubt!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

One World One Ocean and Neil!

No bolts? Interesting tag attachment - Neil?

This would be two of my fave orgs working together!
Doesn't get much better that that!
Join the movement and view more stunning ocean content at One World one Ocean.
Check out how Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and his University Of Miami crew tag sharks in the Berry Islands, Bahamas to study their migration patterns and thus, better protect them. You can learn more about UM's shark conservation program and follow Berry The Tiger Shark here.
Special thanks to Summit Series, University Of Miami, Waitt Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Bamboo Sushi and citizen scientists for making this video possible. Learn more about Summit Series here.
Bamboo Sushi, the country's first sustainably certified sushi restaurant, and Summit Series raised and contributed more than $800,000 to help create the South Berry Island MPA.
Story here.

Fiji - Something is brewing!

Not nice!

As always, it's only a forecast.
But metvuw has proven to be pretty accurate in the past - so let's keep an eye on that sucker!

Friday, January 18, 2013

2012 - The Bad and the Ugly: new Nominations!

And on a completely different note - but then again, maybe not so far off topic!
2. New Nominations

  • Biggest Shark Conservation Fail - Fiji Shark Sanctuary Campaign

    What can I say - literally!
    As a foreigner on a visa - only so much!
    Anyway, the Sanctuary is toast and the Authorities have decided to instead manage Shark fishing via a NPoA Sharks. I've seen one of the many drafts and it talks about having it ratified by Parliament, meaning that any such measures will be implemented, if at all, after the elections in 2014.
    Meanwhile, this is continuing unabated.

    And the reasons for this debacle?
    One is certainly the campaign itself.
    Instead of quietly concentrating on assisting government in drafting the actual legislation, the campaign managers decided to roll out a premature national awareness campaign. The frothy activism and associated NOISE were increasingly been viewed as an irritant by the the powers that be, and the media announcements finally managed to activate the Shark fishing industry that mounted a vigorous opposition, much along the lines of this shit.
    And when Sea Shepherd announced that they were coming to Fiji to kick ass, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back - see below!

    And what about this.
    There must always be a cohesive medium between the various factions and a complete ban on longline fishing (while it would solve all conservation problems) is just not realistic as it wouldn't address the inherently important issues like food and economic security. We must always remember that we are talking about the livelihoods of many Fijians, many Pacific islanders for that matter Joel Evans therefore we must take all the variables into consideration and try to achieve that essential yet elusive balance.

    Sorry Art - love you, but this is just idle clap trap!
    We're talking about 130+ METRIC TONS of Shark fins that get exported annually, principally brought in by the Taiwanese long distance fleets (likely now from Tonga, too) that pay no taxes, create no jobs and sail away with the profits whilst a handful of Asian traders are lining their own pockets - and those are merely the OFFICIAL figures! Essentially, Fiji is acting as a turntable for the produce of IUU and very possibly also finning that is being perpetrated by foreign interests on the high seas, and this much to the DETRIMENT of the SoPac that is being stripped of its marine resources!

    And then there's the massive increase in coastal fishing for Sharks that is already effecting the dive sites and impinging on a totally sustainable and non-extractive industry worth approx. FJD 80  millions to the country, and on countless jobs in the tourism industry - and we're not even talking about the ecosystem services that so far remain unquantified!

    This is all about making fast profits and got nothing whatsoever to do with Pacific Islander livelihoods, food security and jobs, the more as the Sanctuary decree had an exemption for Canacana fisheries!

    And the National Plan of Action Sharks?
    Compared to sanctuaries, traditional management measures are complicated and extremely costly to implement. Does Fiji dispose of the necessary resources and if not, who is going to provide them - and with that in mind, what are the chances of this being a successful undertaking?

    None I am at liberty to discuss in public - but clever minds are working on stuff!

  • Shark Conservation Con of the Year - Operation Requiem

    I've said it before, like othersI'm of two minds about Fat Paul.
    He has managed to alert the public to several issues he holds dear - but he's also a total bullshitter and now it turns out, a total coward! And the SSCS - read these posts by Patric who obviously cares much more than I ever could!

    And the track record after those 30+ years of NOISE and simply stupendous expenditures?
    ABSOLUTELY NOTHING - the Canadians continue to bash those Seals to death, the Japanese continue to hunt those Whales, the Faroe Islanders continue to hold their grinds, and the guys in the Cove continue to butcher away and don't give a rat's ass about Hollywood, end even less about the krazy new age shepherdettes!
    Those are the FACTS - but who cares, right?

    A shame really, because the frothy bullshit and NOISE drown out the few remarkable legitimate initiatives, like the Society's involvement in the Galapagos or e.g. what the fiery and irreducible Gary has achieved by relentlessly chipping away at CITES - and buddy, it sure looks like it's gonna be a win for you and zero for me! :(

    And this?
    SPOT ON - re-posted specially for YOU Megalobomb! :)

    Full video here!

    But I'm digressing as always.
    What I really wanted to talk about is Julie Andersen's junket where she, boyfriend Wildman and a couple of sea shepherdettes paid themselves a pleasure cruise throughout the Pacific on donor money.

    This was the bombastic announcement.
    Chances are that after I post it, they will make it private like the version on Vimeo. WTF - I thought they would be PROUD of it and wish a maximum of people to see it???
    Take special note of the usual SSCS bullshit of putting one's lives on the line and being ready to DIE for one's clients - incidentally, just like Fat Paul!

    Just remarkable ain't it.

    The truth?
    This is nothing more than Andersen's narcissistic attempt at finally getting her own television show, specifically some kind of Shark Wars on Animal Planet. Compare the above to this trailer for Seal Wars where Andersen made a cameo appearance and contributed NOTHING as always, and you can discern how this shit was concocted.

    And how about this
    On Andersen's and his webpage, Wildman describes his work in 2012 as follows
    Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - "Operation Requiem" - Underwater and Topside Cinematographer, Producer, Director, Editor - Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati, Vanuatu, 2012.
    Think this is anything but a commercial venture? And, did they obtain the required shooting permits, and state that this was a shoot for Sea Shepherd?
    With Discovery having halted all projects following the defection of Brooke Runette, we can only hope that nothing will come of it - but who knows, the more since Andersen is certainly crafty in the game of smoke and mirrors!

    Should you be interested in details, do peruse their News from the Field - and LO, you will discover a long succession of inane (and I note, poshumously embellished) posts about... NOTHING SUBSTANTIVE!  
    Our South Pacific shark campaign under the direction of Julie Andersen has just completed an awesomely successful campaign in Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati - MY ASS!
    Collaborative relationship with Tonga huh - SHOW ME!

    But that's the SSCS for you!
    It has long morphed into a cult - and if the disheeples want to continue ignoring the evidence and pay for that fraud, too bad for them! My only grievance: that pseudo-conservation hydra is very good at vacuuming up resources that could do so much GOOD if they were donated to legitimate orgs instead!

    But Fiji is of course unforgivable.
    I was frankly astonished to find a pretty accurate description of what happened here - and no I don't know who that blogger is.
    The perpetrators who weaseled in posing as Shark Angels: squeaky SSCS Director of Shark Campaigns Andersen, boyfriend and illegal commercial shooter Wildman and rabid shepherdette Basset who then had the audacity to publicly sport a SSCS shirt in a Fijian village! All aided and abetted by, inter alia, Sarah Fisk, another shepherdette and PHD on a visitor's visa - talk about a total lack of RESPECT for the wishes of her host country!
    You can see them clowning around in Fiji here - whilst pretending to be somehow involved in a conservation success they had NOTHING to do with, ZERO!

    So, were those disrespectful fools the principal cause for the Sanctuary's demise?
    NO they were NOT - but having personally been at the Fisheries offices when it all went down, I can attest first-hand that it is THEM, and the idiots helping them, who have tipped it over the edge!
    And this after Andersen and Fisk were told by both Coral and Pew not to come!

    All to satisfy the sick personal ambitions of one person - not to mention the pecuniary agenda! And from what I hear, it may not even be over as they are STILL trying to weasel in!

  • Shark Troll of the Year: Sean Van Sommeran

    Check out the word's definition here.
    Then compare it to SVS's Hyena wails here - merely one example of literally hundreds of similar ones he finds the time to post each year!
    Like I said during the Junior controversy, I have a grudging admiration for the man as he is passionate and DOES things - but boy-oh-boy, talk about a dude with a paranoiac hatred of what he appears to consider the conspiracy by the authorities and the academic establishment!
    And then, there are his rants against Shark provisioning - as legendary as they are completely misguided!
    And this? Still in no way resolved - or is it?

  • Shark Fruitcake of the Year: still and unequivocally Erik Brush!

    But this year, we got ourselves an runner-up!

    Behold the self promoting Scott Cassell (52 miles non-stop huh - THAT ALONE would be fodder for another post...) who has single-handedly revolutionized everything we know about the GWS in the Northeast Pacific by claiming that he befriended a female named Spots in the Farallones only to later be reunited with her in Lupe, a migration hundreds of tags have been unsuccessful in documenting!
    Having then discovered images of her de-finned and de-jawed carcass from Baja and wanting to bring Spots' fins home, he then took a junket to Asia on sponsor money where he proceeded to EDUCATE the masses about the risk of an imminent invasion of Humbold Squid - yes, in ASIA!
    And, on his off days, he travels to Tiger Beach, again on sponsor money, to play fetch with Emma! AND, he teaches us that when you eat sharks and tunas, you are responsible for grizzly bears attacking people in Alaska! Ring a bell? It's all about Collier's dreaded DOMINO EFFECT and got certainly nothing to do with this!

    Red flags anybody?
    Whatever - right? It's all FOR THE SHARKS ergo totally legit!
    Simply too weird to be true? If you DARE because it's painful (WARNING!), watch THIS !

  • Idiotic Shark Conservation Meme of the Year: The Oxygen Myth

    No, not THAT ONE!
    After last year's treatment, only a total fruitcake would dare spout those idiocies in public - oh, and of course JESSICA, now freshly re-named!
    Case in point - now it's about Global Warming, too!

    No I'm talking about the following!

    And I cite.
    Studies show that over 70% of the planet’s oxygen is generated from the ocean. Plankton are at the greatest risk of ocean acidification, and it is the plankton that creates that oxygen - which is being fully seconded by the OCEAN GODDESS herself who teaches us that Our living ocean generates 70% of the oxygen in our atmosphere and sequesters carbon emissions that have risen over the last century.

    Or to quote Chris Hartzell the pompous bloviating fireman.
    The debate over whether the ocean or the forests has been strong.In the 80's scientists who studied the ocean and the forests doing field work discovered approximately 60% of oxygen came from diatoms in the ocean (plankton) and 20% from the forests. However, today scientists say it is almost 50/50. However, it should be noted that the scientists in the 80's did actual field work for 100% of their sampling while today's scientists attribute their results to roughly 50% field data and 50% computer modeling. Either way, if diatoms were to take a big hit in the ocean, the global oxygen supply would be catastrophically hit and it is estimated that between 1/3rd to half of the human population would die off.
    Wow! Truly the man is a CORNUCOPIA of erudition - and not only about Sharks!

    And guess what: it HAS taken a big hit!!
    Look no further than this paper by Boyce et al  that comes to the conclusion that we have lost 40% of the Phytoplankton since 1950 - which is being fully confirmed by our very own rocket scientist, Tony Marr!

    And the consequences?
    Let my try and illustrate this with one of Jessica's sillygisms that goes thusly
    Major premise: 70% of the atmosphere's oxygen is generated by the Phytoplankton in our living ocean
    Minor premise: 40% of that Phytoplankton is toast
    ERGO: we've just lost ourselves 28% of the planet's oxygen!

    Bingo - and it's all SCIENCE ergo TRUE!
    We haven't caught on to it quite yet - but we're ACTUALLY all writhing on the ground gasping for air, just like the truly unequaled Chris has announced!

    Wow - again!
    But wait a minute: how come when I calibrated my O2 analyzer before yesterday's dive, it did not show 15.12% but 21% as usual? Read this drivel and you will discover that the ocean's oxygen production trope is at best a misconception and at worst, bunk science and disinformation.
    Tu quoque Sylvia?!?

    And then, read this - seriously, DO!
    Straight from the frothy Piranha tank, it documents how the Phytoplankton paper was the result of sloppy research coupled with a sloppy peer review process coupled with a sloppy journal that failed its due diligence as it wanted to stand out by publishing a BIG story. It is bad science, published prematurely - in brief, TOTAL BS!
    Tu quoque Boris?!?

    Back to the Sillygism!
    Major premise: not so fast!
    Minor Premise: HELL, no!
    ERGO: Phewww!

  • Least impressive Shark Conservation Initiative - Listing the NE Pacific Great White Sharks under CESA and ESA

    Short story here.

    First, to the easy part.
    This matters because, as apex predators, sharks protect other fish populations by keeping seal and sea lion populations in balance. Sharks also play a crucial role in protecting barrier reefs. In short, if we lose our sharks, we lose our ocean's nurseries.

    Our Pacific coast needs great whites.
    As some of the oceans' top predators, they keep the food web in balance.
    As much as we may fear them for their bad rap, we need great white sharks to keep our oceans healthy. Just as wolves keep deer populations under control, great white sharks play a critical top-down role in structuring the marine ecosystem by keeping prey populations in check, such as sea lions and elephant seals, benefiting our fisheries and abundant wildlife.

    Sharks and barrier reefs huh.
    Apart from attributing to GWS faculties that apply, if at all, to completely different species, these statements suggest that apex predators are automatically keystone species. The FACT is that GWS are clearly NOT - and this especially if the postulated number of 350 were correct!
    Seriously, to suggest that a few hundred Sharks could control the Pinniped populations (estimates here) from the tip of Baja all the way to Alaska and over to Hawaii is just simply LUDICROUS - especially considering that GWS do not prey on Pinnipeds until they are large sub-adults, and even then only during a very short season before moving offshore!
    And the hint that the exploding Pinniped populations may endanger fisheries - may we be painting the specter of predator overpopulation, and this at the expense of species that have barely recuperated from decades of human exploitation?

    But that's just the usual stupid hyperbole.
    Same-same for this stupidity (yes there are TWO petitions!) - upon reading that for example, on the eastern seaboard of the United States, a decrease in Great White Sharks resulted in higher populations of mesopredators like the cownose ray and decreased populations of bivalves like scallops (Myers et al. 2007 at 1849) I've simply stopped bothering!
    FYI Myers et al. 2007 at 1849 states that The remaining four elasmobranch-consuming great sharks were caught too rarely to detect trends from this survey. Two of those, great white (Carcharodon carcharias) and sand tiger (Carcharias taurus) sharks, were each caught only once and early in the UNC survey (in 1974 and 1978, respectively).
    Graph here - see any GWS?

    The REAL problem here is that the 350 number is just bullshit!
    Yes it may be the best available science but then again, does a deeply flawed population estimate even qualify as such? Expect vigorous rebuttal from the jugular-slicing ninjas shortly - and if so, will that then become the best available science and thus completely invalidate the petition?

    And the petition proper?
    Certainly voluminous and erudite - but once again, fraught with obvious shortcomings, the principal other being that there is no evidence whatsoever that the population is declining, let alone that the US West Coast population is at serious risk of extinction!
    In fact, there is evidence that the population may be INCREASING which would also account for the increase of incidental bycatch of juveniles!

    These majestic predators are vital for the health and balance of our ocean ecosystems,” said David McGuire, Director of SharkStewards. “Even the removal of one sexually mature individual from a population this small can have serious impacts on the population as a whole. They need stronger protection immediately.”
    Yeah, right David - whatever!

    Leaves the consequences of the listings.
    Probably overly harsh - especially at the federal level where an ESA listing would imply sweeping management measures throughout their immense habitat that would likely unnecessarily impact even the remotest commercial fisheries regardless of their actual GWS bycatch statistics - and thus likely lead to both unnecessary loss of income and unnecessary investment of resources for monitoring and enforcement. That can't be good can it.
    Considering what we know about the philopatry of this specific GWS population, wouldn't it have been much more credible and thus less controversial, and also more efficient (= cheaper) to concentrate on the known hot spots (= essentially, the nurseries) and regulate the specific fisheries that lead to the bycatch - this always assuming that the associated mortality is really impinging on the recovery of the population, something that is very much debatable?

    This being CALIFORNIA, chances are that CESA listing will be granted regardless of the shortcomings - and if so, like the fin ban, it will be nice but certainly not good!

    Like I said here
    This is never happening in a vacuum - this is being used to advocate legislation that will deprive fishermen of income and quite possibly, of their livelihoods. With that in mind, we owe it to them, but also, to ourselves not to cheat and to use misleading perceived "marketing", or whatever, but to be truthful and fact based instead.

    And we got ourselves a runner-up!
    This is actually really good - so why the misleading Petition?
    The problem for Sharks is OVERFISHING and specifically in the Gulf, the problem is POACHING - not finning which as far as I understand it is illegal in all US state and federal waters anyway! And the tens of millions - we simply do not know whether they are being killed for their fins alone!
    The depletion rates? That would be Baum and Myers 2004 that is however controversial - and since then, there has been Baum and Blanchard 2010 that comes to different conclusions, albeit for a different time frame and a larger area. So what is the best available science, the more as from the first document, I learn that Texas has enacted vigorous management measures that may well have led to improvements?
    Is the hyperbole really necessary and above all, does it add to the credibility of this project?

  • Irritant of the Year - Shark Wunderkinder

    I must confess, after the disappointment with Madi Pip I may be a wee touchy.
    But then again, check this out.

    I am DISGUSTED with our kind! THE OCEAN IS THEIR HOME! Our home is on land! WHEN YOU ENTER THE OCEANS, YOU ARE A GUEST ENTERING THEIR HOME! YOU (WE) ARE THE ONES INVADING THEIR HOME!! OUR HOME IS LAND! THEIRS IS THE OCEAN!!! THEY WERE THERE BEFORE US!! IT'S THEIR RESIDENCE. IF YOU ENTER THE OCEAN, IT'S A RISK YOU ARE TAKING AS THE INVADER!!! Are we seriously going to start a cull to kill sharks so people can safely swim in the waters!?! Are you crazy!?!? That's not going to work. Sharks are going to continue coming around. Sharks are going to end up being killed off. Many species are critically endangered, now including the Great White Sharks....

    This particular specimen is Shark Girl Hannah, a Floridian like the whispering BooBoo that is equally somehow associated with Shark Savers. They are but two of a long list of young Shark advocates that come across as being very ENTHUSED! Can't quite put my finger on it - but to me, it's all a bit LOUD and a bit MUCH!
    But then again, maybe it's an age thing - theirs and mine!

    As always, we shall see!

And here endeth the ominous list - believe it or not!
All FOR THE SHARKS - what else!

PS: Check out Part One, Part Two and Part Three!

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Maybe a tad harsh?
But - at least there's a happy end!

Steve Cutts here.
Enjoy - well, sort of! :)

Nukulau - no Killer Dolphins!


The experts have spoken!

And this concludes the Nukulau saga!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012 - The Bad and the Ugly: Track back!

So there - here comes the juicy part!


You have been warned!

1. Track back

Last year's list is here!

  • Shark Research Institute.

    The Jersey Girl, the remarkable prez (Film maker, German TV star and one of the top 26 Shark experts on the planet no less!) and the other featured names, or whatever, continue to shine through... wait for it.... NOTHING!
    Did they once again mooch off other peoples' achievements? Who knows and frankly, who cares! And this? Q.e.d, see above under Shark Con! So don't be a sucker - and should you want to donate to a REAL Shark research institute, choose one that actually DOES engage in research and send your money to Doc's Shark Lab!

    But THIS is scary!
    Remember the Doha fiasco?
    Has there been a moment of accountability and reflection, and have the lessons be learned?

    The question then and now is
    Have the Shark conservationists met, are they coordinating their efforts and pooling their resources, and are they going to be sending their best, most seasoned negotiators to represent the whole Shark conservation movement - or are we going to see yet again the same convention tourism by yet again the same motley uncoordinated naïve and clueless group of amateurs who will pay themselves a trip to Bangkok in order to protest, pontificate and vociferate?
    And in the case of the SRI, I hear: hobnob, small talk and sippy champagny?

    Take a wild guess!
    I've talked to a lot of people who have attended Doha and their assessment of the SRI delegation has been nothing short of DEVASTATING - and now those folks want to do it again!
    I mean, seriously, just go and check out Jupp's Facebook page that is all about the SSCS and zero about the SRI (= because there's NOTHING to report - q.e.d. again!), and look at the righteous platitudes, populist hogwash and Watson-esque poetry he chooses to propagate - from the PRESIDENT of a Shark RESEARCH Institute?!? Seriously!!!

    And THOSE are the people that are asking for your money to go and represent YOU?

  • Shark Angels.

    Turns out that I was wrong in lumping them all together!
    There are valiant members who shine through brilliant advocacy at the grassroots level, and the Franco-Belgian chapter is actually quite impressive - so kudos to them.
    South Africa? Meh - it's one year later and STILL zero results!

    And then there's the Californian outlayer consisting of Andersen and her claque of sycophantic half-sized bimbos sporting black-dyed chicken feathers (seriously!) and rabid vegan sea shepherdettes that are frankly a bloody disgrace - see Part Four under Operation Requiem!

    The question being: is that even Shark Angels - and do the other legit members want to be associated with that whacky shit?
    And if not: maybe one should get rid of the narcissism and the KRAZY and boot her out, just like Shark Savers have done a long time ago, only to emerge much improved and way more credible in the process?

  • United Conservationists

    What if conservation became easier than rallies, protests, radical groups and letter writing? What if the ability to save ecosystems, species and ultimately humanity was put into your hands and was as easy as the click of the mouse? What if the power returned to the people? What if we united and started a revolution to save the planet, and ultimately ourselves?

    Yeah, right - WHAT IF!
    Long story short: NOBODY GIVES A SHIT - thankfully!
    There's now, I hear, a movie nobody apart from daddy's paid journalists has watched; a book nobody apart from daddy's paid journalists has read; a campaign that is unraveling (and here); a REVOLUTION that ain't happening; a non-for-profit (maybe!) without a board now that mummy and daddy have stepped away; and a guru-esque salesman who has fallen victim to his own marketing - which also covers what I've written under Personality Cults one year ago!
    Hell, it is so bad that even Andersen has fled the sinking ship!
    Time to shut this down and go get an honest job, how about that!

  • The California Shark Fin Ban is holding.

    For now!
    The way I read it, an injunction has been rejected pending the case proper - or was this the final judgement? If so, phewww; if not, good luck - and I mean it!

    And this being CALIFORNIA, the Sharktivists have already embarked on the next flawed Shark conservation initiative - see the next section!

  • Erik the Mad Hatter of Sharkitarianism.

    My research into sharks lead me to a ground breaking and shocking scientific discovery and I spent years of research with scientists and experts around the world to get all of the data down for my book, "The Sixth Extinction". What I have written is by far the most powerful conservation book and in fact the most important book that anyone will ever read.

    Excerpt below!

  • ABC4

    I must say, he really IS a great shooter - watch this.

    I will never like the riding and am really disappointed that GoPro promotes that shit to their thousands upon thousands of customers.

    But overall, excellent stuff!
    And, people tell me that this year, he has not partaken in any outright Shark porn!

    And still, I just don't like or trust the man - which I'm sure causes him countless sleepless nights :)
    E.g., does one really have to pander to the loons and trolls in order to belong, or whatever?

  • Discovery Channel

    I once signed the boycott petition and don't watch that shit unless somebody tells me I have to - and nobody has. I hear that things are slowly improving, which is good news indeed.

  • Erich Ritter

    He's still at it!
    After more than a decade of spouting pseudoscience, we're STILL waiting for the GROSSE WURF, the rolling out of his seminal peer-reviewed paper on his visionary THEORY OF EVERYTHING on Shark-human interaction!

    Instead, he has written a BOOK - ANOTHER one! Yay!
    No I'm not posting titles and links lest I be accused of aiding and abetting - just this: would you buy a book purporting to teach you about Bird-human, or Mammal-human interaction - get the gist? Not to mention the fact that he really hasn't got a leg to stand on - those very same lunatic hypotheses have already been falsified by a hungry Bull Shark nearly a decade ago, camera running!
    Anyway, see below!

    A friend who has watched it writes, That's 6 minutes and 42 seconds of my life I will never get back!.
    Indeed - you have been warned!

    In the presence of Bull Sharks in shallow water: Recommendation: STAND STILL!
    WOW - pass the coochie to the left hand side!

To be continued!

PS: Check out Part One, Part Two and Part Four!