Sunday, October 27, 2013


I'm taking a break.

Blogging will resume when it will resume. :)
C'ya at DEMA!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pew - more Sanctuaries in the Offing?

Possible Pitcairn MPA - four times the size of the UK!

Something's brewing!

Yes once again that would be Pew.
I just had a conversation with a fellow activists about those Shark conservation orgs, and why IMO Pew continue to stand head and shoulders above the rest: because they are fact and consensus based and pursue policies, MPAs and Sanctuaries that translate immediately into less Sharks being killed which in my book is the only metric for success.

Now it appears that we're in for some more victories.
Experience tells me that with the infamous exception of Fiji, once they go public, negotiations are already well underway and the deal is essentially all but done. So behold Bermuda and Panama - and Pitcairn that will further close the Pacific to Shark fishing, and further point to us as being the odd man out.

Enjoy the video!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Humpback - Bitch Slap!

Oldie but goodie - Eric Leborgne in Rurutu! Click for detail!

Story here!

Eco-Terrorist on TED!

Yes I'm at it - again!

Watch this.

May this be a tad self congratulatory?
Yes most certainly - but that's just Shawn: incredibly passionate and incredibly eloquent! 
Plus, and that's the most important aspect: his uncompromising commitment to the cause, truly indefatigable efforts, superhuman energy levels, astounding output and above all, his unquestionable track record of success have certainly earned him every right to blow his own trumpet - especially when done in such an accomplished and charming way! :)

So bravo Shawn!
I'll take that anytime over the incessant oblique sniping by the petulant Dottore Ponzo che rima con stronzo!
Godspeed buddy, and thanks for all that you do!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DEMA - Speech by Juerg!

You don't want to miss this!

Juerg will be giving a speech as follows
DEMA Show 2013
Friday, November 8
S320A  2:00pm-3:00pm

A scientific analysis of shark provisioning within the Shark Reef Marine Reserve in Fiji.  Presentation by Dr. Juerg Brunnschweiler, Shark Behaviorist and Marine Biologist.
Quite obviously, it's about our research
Juerg has just completed his latest paper about species composition, to be published very shortly indeed, and will be talking about those insights and the results of his other paper about Shark feeding within the SRMR. You will also have the opportunity of meeting the legendary Gary and Brenda Adkison, of Walker's Cay and Shark Rodeo fame.

See you there!

Great Fiji Shark Count - all Systems go!

It's that time of the year again!

All is ready for counting Sharks, Rays and Turtles this November.
If you are interested, please familiarize yourselves with the concept and with the details - the updated list of participants is right here.

Wishing you the best of success!

Shark Fin Trade: Facts, Speculation or BS?

I'm confused.

The HK Shark fin industry is whining.
Apparently, Shark fin imports to HK are down by 20-30% following the airline and shipping line fin bans, the graft crackdown and the success of the various anti-fin initiatives by the Shark activists.

At the same time, Peter Knights is shouting victory, to wit
“People said it was impossible to change China, but the evidence we are now getting says consumption of shark fin soup in China is down by 50 to 70 percent in the last two years,” said Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid, a San Francisco-based group that has promoted awareness about the shark trade. The drop is also reflected in government and industry statistics.

“It is a myth that people in Asia don’t care about wildlife,” Knights said. “Consumption is based on ignorance rather than malice. ”
But then, I read this
Recently, we have been hearing persistent claims of declining shark fin imports into Hong Kong. But many of the reports - both in local and international media - have been guilty of peddling misinformation, which has created confusion around the real issue.

Claims from the shark fin industry of a drop in imports of some 30 per cent - and even one report of 70 per cent - are exaggerated. Data from the Census and Statistics Department clearly indicates a 19.8 per cent drop in imports from 2011 to 2012. What's more, for the 15 years up to and including 2011, shark fin imports have remained relatively constant at about 10,000 tonnes a year, albeit with some fluctuations.

That contrasts significantly with the figure of 1,162 tonnes recently reported for 2012. The exaggerated drop in the 2012 figure, which was widely reported, is probably a result of the fact that the codes under which shark fin products are reported were revised in the 2012 government data.

A large quantity of fins were recorded against a previously rarely used code and omitted from the total figure reported.

The decline also started well before major airlines, led by Cathay Pacific last December, took the bold and much welcome step of banning the carriage of shark fin. About 15 per cent of all shark fin is imported into Hong Kong by air; the majority still comes by sea.

Yet, despite the 2012 decline, Hong Kong has retained its leading and historic position representing about 50 per cent of the global total, indicating that the drop is likely to be global in nature. The good news could be that demand and consumption are falling - which has also been widely reported. The bad news could be that there are simply fewer sharks in the oceans, a very real possibility according to scientists. Or, it could be a combination of both.

Whichever way, until we see a significant downward trend that can be attributed to reduced consumption, there is much reason for concern. Overfishing is driving many shark species towards extinction and by the time we see such a trend emerge, it will probably be too late to do anything about it.
I would have to agree with Sophie.
The decline is quite possibly due to reductions at both ends, the demand side but also the supply side - the latter due to depleted Shark stocks but also, hopefully, to better Shark protection and management measures in the countries they are being sourced from.

But is it really so?
With Shark fins originating from a supply limited fishery - is the drop in demand already sufficient to have an effect on the trade? 
If so, then the inevitable consequence would be that prices must have dropped when compared to the prices of the same fins (in kind, quality and size) of the same species that were being quoted, say, last year. If so, then the reduction in demand but also the crackdown on corruption and the slower economy are having an effect.
If prices have however remained the same or even risen, then the advocacy is not (yet) having any effect on the trade (and thus the fishing), and the self congratulatory victory laps may be a tad premature.

Do we have that information?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Spiny Dogfish Fisheries - in Limbo!

Source - click for detail!


Who would have thought.
After all the fighting and the controversies about the MSC certification, those certified Spiny Dogfish fisheries simply aren't working - but not because they are not sustainable like some would have suspected: because in BC no ones is catching and processing them as they are apparently not even suitable for the Chinese restaurants; and because on the US West Coast, they have caught too many, swamped the market and thus ended up destroying the financial viability of those fisheries.
Long story short: when put to the practical test, it sure looks like both the Shark activists and the fishermen were dead wrong!

Story with all the relevant links here.
Next, we'll hear the usual complaint about them being pests, and the usual calls for culling and the like - damned if you do damned if you don't!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tiger Sharks vs Blue Whale - Paper!

Very interesting!

Read this paper.
A (likely already weakened) Blue Whale was killed by Bull Sharks in New Caledonia and then later devoured by Tiger Sharks. The observations by Eric Clua and Jonathan Werry reveal a whole array of behavioral patters both when feeding but above all, when interacting among each other that range from the usual displays of dominance and agonism, to totally unexpected and amazing stuff - or did you know that they tail slap each other? 
Very useful, especially for those lovers of TB and Aliwal!

Love it, well done!

Bringing back the Fish - good enough?

Mountain of Spiny Dogfish - apparently recovered, click for detail. Source.

First things first.

Congratulations, well done.
This report by the NRDC highlights the successes in rebuilding several Fish stocks under the Magnuson–Stevens Act.
For those species, that's great news.

But of course there's a big BUT.
Having checked the full report, I only find mention of one Shark, i.e. the Spiny Dogfish among the winners.
When it comes to the other Sharks, I read this.
Tuna Troubles
A number of migratory fish stocks that are caught in U.S. waters are subject to management under international agreements. The MSA contains an exception to the 10-year rebuilding requirement when management measures under international agreements dictate otherwise. Though multiple factors are at play, this weaker approach to rebuilding has not proved a conservation success: Of the 19 Atlantic highly migratory species of known status managed by NMFS, including multiple tuna, billfish, and shark stocks and stock complexes, 8 are overfished and 1 is approaching an overfished condition—about half of the total.
One relative bright spot is North Atlantic swordfish, which, after becoming overfished by the late 1990s, was put into a rebuilding plan and ultimately declared rebuilt in 2009.
As far as I understand, those internationally managed species are Swordfish (North Atlantic), Blue Marlin (North Atlantic), White Marlin (North Atlantic), Sailfish (Western Atlantic), Bluefin Tuna (Western Atlantic), Bigeye Tuna (Atlantic), Albacore (North Atlantic), Porbeagle (Atlantic), Blacknose Shark (Atlantic), Dusky Shark (Atlantic), Sandbar Shark (Atlantic), Blacktip Shark (Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico), and the Large Coastal Shark Complex. 
And the Makos, Blue and OWT?
The Large Coastal Shark Complex is listed by its management complex rather than individual stocks. The complex includes Spinner Shark, Silky Shark, Bull Shark, Tiger Shark, Lemon Shark, Nurse Shark, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Great Hammerhead Shark, Smooth Hammerhead Shark, Dusky Shark, Bignose Shark, Galapagos Shark, Night Shark, Caribbean Reef Shark, Narrowtooth Shark, Sand Tiger Shark, Bigeye Sand Tiger Shark, Whale Shark, Basking Shark, and White Shark - a whopping 20 additional and completely heterogeneous Sharks that essentially comprise everybody else!

All those species were excluded from the NRDC report.
With that in mind: is it only me - or does that not mean that the report is actually way too rosy, and that the calls for weakening the rules may be actually totally unwarranted?

Does anybody know the status of those Sharks - David?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Whitetip Reef Shat!

The Squibbit, the Fricket and the Ganouse here!

Shark Strikes - Amateur Hour!

Oh for crying out loud - again!

And I cite.
Victoria - How do you test a shark proof wetsuit? It sounds like it could potentially be a very terrifying test. 

Nathan - Well, we have lots of PhD students who are willing to swim with these suits on (just joking!). 
Really, it is very hard, in actual fact for all shark deterrents to test these things. Limited testing can be done in the lab, but ultimately, you have to take the product out into the wild, try and induce sharks to come up and investigate. Then you have to see how effective it is. We’re at the very early stages of helping the company to test their wetsuit and it would be really nice to validate it and see if the science really works. There's likely to be no downside of the suit, but it would be really nice to know whether it decreases your chances. 

Victoria - Does that really involve putting dummies in different wet suits underwater and inducing sharks to come and investigate and see what happens? 

Nathan - Well obviously, there are ethical problems in putting either a person or even just an entire wetsuit, a mannequin in the water. So, we have to do it in a slightly more controlled way which is to use a piece of the wetsuit material, wrapped around something which doesn’t resemble a human because obviously, we have to be very careful that we don’t want to make any association between humans and food in an area where there are sharks.
So they want to test those stupid Shark repellent wetsuits on something that does NOT look like a human - and then what? Simply claim that their experiments are applicable to Shark strikes on humans as well?

Please re-read this post.
Those various explanations about why strikes by different Sharks occur are at best plausible hypotheses and as Doc eloquently illustrates, they are essentially not testable. Shark strikes on humans can only be rigorously tested by, wait for it...,  having Sharks strike humans, and this against a control group and sufficiently often in order to have an adequate sample size allowing for statistical analysis - and this of course equally applies, mutatis mutandis, to testing those wetsuits!

Nathan is a researcher and knows that.
Or does he? From what I can see, he's essentially an animal physiologist that is now dabbling in Shark behavior - so maybe he would be well advised to refresh his knowledge by corresponding with the Grand Mufti of Sharks?

Because this is just bullshit.
We got plenty of clues as to why different Sharks strike people - but we know nothing with certainty and will have to continue speculating, and no money out of WA coffers is gonna change that anytime soon! That money would be much, much better spent on further perfecting WA's early warning system - and were Nathan not a veritable PROFESSOR, no less, I would have to scream, totally busted!

So there - no screaming!
And anyway, who am I to say! :)

Goblin Shark gobblin'!

Nomen est omen!
Story here!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bermuda - Action alert!


Quick quick.

This is great
Bermuda is pondering the establishment of the Atlantic's biggest marine reserve in its offshore waters, and is soliciting comments.
Great overview here.

Please do this
  • Open the link here

  • Answer Yes to the first Question

  • Choose OPTION 1 (Protect three quarters (3/4) of our Exclusive Economic Zone) in Question # 2

  • Copy/Paste this into Question # 3: "If we made the marine reserve from 50 miles to 200 miles then the new Marine Reserve would be larger than the Great Barrier Reef, and there is considerable evidence to suggest that the tourism benefits would increase significantly without any impact on current fishing or recreational practice." - and then add whatever you want to say about why you are in favor of large MPAs.

  • Done! :)
Please, just do that.
Do not post verbose platitudes, or philosophical reflections about humankind or greed or whatever the latest fad may be. Any polite comments pertaining to the matter at hand will be useful - the others may even be harmful.

Thank you!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Shark Bloggers - all Mouth?

Remember this thread?

The Saipan Blogger said...
I hereby challenge that scientist-in-training down in Miami to a dance off!!!
DaShark said...
Camera running I hope!
And the prize - Neil's orange Crocs?
WhySharksMatter said...
Challenge accepted, Angelo. I used to be a competitive line dancer and have won informal dance-offs on behalf of the United States in the Bahamas, Caymans, and Australia. I doubt Neil would give up his orange crocs though.
That was nearly two years ago.
I know that they have met last week - see the evidence at top.
I also know that at least one of them has been working, HARD, on the Shark tagging boat - see the evidence below.
And finally, I know that there has been dancing aboard!

So, gents - have you finally delivered on the breathy announcements?
Evidence please!

Heron vs Shark!

Amazing - story here.
And the Shark - some kind of Dawg?

And talking of those Tuna!

Watch this.

Bravo Pew, excellent job - again!
But the proof is of course in the pudding, and progress so far has been excruciatingly slow - plus, this is only about the Western population of the endangered Atlantic Bluefin. The much larger Eastern population that spawns in the Mediterranean  is in equally bad if not worse shape, with little improvement in sight.
Baby step by baby step...

Story here.

And in the Pacific?
Read this, or listen to this podcast.

And here's the infographic - click for detail!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shark Discards - Yes or No?


Do you agree that discards are madness?

And if it's a bycaught Shark - keep or throw away?
I say, if it is alive: release it if it's both endangered and protected, and keep it if it's neither. 
But what if it's endangered but not adequately protected? And what if it's endangered but already dead - discard  only the protected ones, discard them all, or keep them all as they are already dead anyway?
Thorny thorny!

Did you follow this story?
A fish monger had the audacity to legally buy, and then try and sell a 15ft, 250 kg Common Thresher that had died in a net - and the usual wailing hyenas went absolutely berserk. The abuse became so extreme to include death threats and threats to burn down his home and business premises. The intimidated fish monger has stopped marketing the Shark (the question being, did he end up throwing it away?) and has pledged to donate any profits to a marine conservation agency.

First things first.
This is a fucking disgrace and I sure hope everybody agrees.
What that fisherman and the fish monger did is perfectly legal, and the abuse, let alone the threats heaped upon them are simply unacceptable - or are we now gonna start condoning, promoting and applauding doing the same to every single fisherman, fish monger and sushi restaurant that trade in those threatened Atlantic and Southern Bluefin, and Bigeye Tuna? How about the European Eel?
And the list goes on and on and on...

The good people at the Shark Trust are perfectly correct.
The consumers can send a strong message by refusing to buy those products irrespective of their legality - and many of course already do, and the trade is shifting as a result.
Of course it's equally a disgrace that like in the case of those Tuna, the fisheries authorities have not implemented science-based catch limits and the provision of special protection for those threatened Shark species - but then, be angry at them, not at some poor sod that is trying to make a buck, and this perfectly legally!

And anyway.
How about you stop foaming at the mouth and for once channel all that energy to where it will have a real effect. Support the Shark Trust's and the Shark Alliance's efforts to reform the European fisheries laws - and this not only with noise but also with donations as those causes are bloody lengthy and expensive to run, and those conservation folks got families to feed, too. Or get involved and actually do something! Or if yer too bloody busy, stop complaining and at least go to the polls - and then vote in politicos that champion ecological causes!

And the dead bycatch?
Are we really gonna throw away food that is perfectly good, albeit only if consumed in moderation - or may there be other, maybe a tad more unconventional solutions?

As I said: thorny thorny!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tagging GWS in Oz!

Like I said, nobody is missing out on anything.

Check out the video.
No drama no superheroes - just some information, as it should be.
The fisheries department of WA is continuing to tag those GWS and to perfect its early warning system - and  I know for a fact that excellent, experienced people are standing by should the department decide that it really requires any external assistance.
Story here - and more info here!

Nuff said.

PIPA - more Smoke & Mirrors!

PIPA - fact or fiction? Source.

Read, or listen to this.

Yes Sue is pissed off.
We should have sent her an e-mail to get the FACTS right - not simply believed the repeated public assertions of the president of Kiribas, e.g. proffered here last January, 03:20 ff.

Here are the FACTS.
CI and the Tong have been lying to the public by stating, or at least implying that the entire PIPA is closed to commercial fishing.
Having been caught out, CI is now trying to deny any accountability by complaining that they are being unfairly attacked by competing NGOs etc. and claiming that the whole exercise has been a process from the get go.

The latter is of course correct.
Here's CI's Greg Stone giving a talk about it in April of 2010.

All perfectly fair and understandable.
But then, this is not a grand gift to the world - then this is a (perfectly legit) financial transaction that is far from having been delivered upon let alone concluded - and as long as that is the case, claiming that the PIPA is closed to commercial fishing is a big fat LIE, period! 
CI has repeatedly changed its website and now calls it a multiple-use marine protected area (MPA) which is technically correct - but even that is totally misleading and thus equally dishonest.

So here's the deal.
Get on with it and by all means, godspeed. 
IMO aint gonna happen. But it's worth the try - at least until it becomes clear to everybody that this is nothing but a scam where the donors are being duped into forking out money for more inefficient bureaucracy and the salaries of those verbose NGO folks whilst Kiribati continues to cash in on those fishing licenses and zero progress is being made on the actual no-take area.
Anybody taking bets?

But above all, stop whinging. 
You've been caught with your pants down - so how about everybody including the prez is being told to shut the fuck up and deliver on the breathy claims instead. Now THAT would be impressive!
We shall be watching!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Samsung - brilliant!


Guidelines - à la Poubelle!

Just enjoy!

Take it easy.

Sharks are way cool.
They are also unbelievably shy, and being able to observe them in their natural habitat is a rare privilege indeed.
In 99.99% percent of the cases, you will be diving with a local dive operator - so choose well and then follow his recommendations. He knows his nick of the ocean better than you ever will, and will be happy to share any advice you may require.

It's that simple - so chill and enjoy.
And throw away this crap - the anxiety it foments is totally unwarranted, and the content is so bad to be an embarrassment.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Everybody hates those Activists - Paper!

Is this inspiring?

Me, not at all!

From the paper

Click for detail!
Activist and nonactivist perceivers may, however, respond differently to activist targets. 
Indeed, because individuals generally view ingroup members positively (Sherif, Harvey, White, Hood, & Sherif 1961; Tajfel & Turner, 1979), activist perceivers may respond relatively favourably to ‘typical’ activists. On the other hand, because individuals have especially unfavourable impressions of group members who perform undesirable behaviours (Marques, Yzerbyt, & Leyens, 1988), activist perceivers who condemn the use of militant methods to promote social change (e.g. ‘atypical’ activists) may react particularly negatively to ‘typical’ activists.

For many activists, the willingness to take a radical stand without regard for mainstream sensibilities is a point of pride. 
Indeed,environmental activist and author of ‘Tree Spiker’ Mike Roselle (as cited in Olafsson, 2009) defends his militant efforts to protect the environment, noting, ‘I don’t think there’s anything extreme about saying we have to stop pumping carbon into the air. If we’re extremists, so be it. The stakes are too high’ (para. 6).
The present research suggests, however, that such seemingly zealous dedication to a social cause may backfire and elicit unfavourable reactions from others. Indeed, individuals avoid affiliating with ‘typical’ activists and adopting the pro-change behaviours that these activists advocate because individuals associate them with negative stereotypes. 

Ironically and despite good intentions, therefore, the very individuals who are most actively engaged in promoting social change may inadvertently alienate members of the public and reduce pro-change motivation.
Said it a thousand times, and I spare you the links.
Synopsis here.

Playa - it's complicated!

Many of the Bulls that are being caught in Playa are pregnant females. Source.

This is the situation on the ground.

There are no easy solutions here.
I still believe that this may be a start - but of course that's only the theory, and translating those lofty goals into practice may well turn out to be impossible. People are people and egos are egos - and with I hear dozens of more or less specialized, more or less knowledgeable and more or less conservation-oriented Shark viewing operators competing over those Shark tourism dollars, generating that all important solidarity within the industry is likely to be a monumental challenge.
But then again, nobody said it was gonna be easy - right? :)

Anyway, please watch it.
Great job, kudos!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Great White chomping?

Stripiest GWS on the planet!

Story here.

Culling Lionfish - it's working!

The new reality.

The Lionfish saga continues.

But this time, it's good news.
It really looks like the culls are working in both reducing the numbers of those invasive Lionfish and in preserving those of the native Fishes that would otherwise become their victims. But of course the pests are there to stay, meaning that barring a miracle, the culling needs to continue indefinitely.

Here's an idea for you.
Turn this into an opportunity and market the Caribbean as the new mecca for those trigger-happy alternative lifestyle advocates?

Just saying!

Australian GWS - extremely well documented!

The shenanigans continue - as expected!

No WA did not miss out on anything!
If you read past the pro-OCEARCH propaganda and Fischer's pathetic demagoguery, you will discover that the Ozzie GWS researchers have been extremely active - and I may add that this has been going on for years (read it!) and not only since the strikes in WA. As a result, the coastal phase (including the nurseries and early life stages) of the life history of those Sharks is extremely well documented - and considering that that is precisely where their trajectories intersect with those of the aquatic recreationists,  Fischer's assertions sound particularly hollow. 
More details here, and I know of trials to link those arrays to the other early warning systems and thus e.g. complement the helicopter patrols.
Think the WA authorities are really as moronic as depicted? Check this out and think again!

The oceanic phase however warrants more investigation.
Ever since Bonfil documented Nicole's epic trip, we know that there is connectivity between WA and South Africa. As far as I know, the purpose of those voyages remains unknown - but that cannot be addressed by telemetry alone and will require additional evidence collection, very much like what has been pioneered by Domeier in the NE Pacific.
Think the Ozzie scientists are too stupid to do that if they wanted to?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fish Banks - nice!

Just beautiful: Predator at the SRMR - epic pic by Klaus, click for detail!

Read this.

Great stuff, way to go.
When designed, implemented and managed correctly, MPAs are simply phenomenal. 
Case in point, where everybody wins.

And this?
I must confess that when I first saw it, I was simply livid.
But these are of course good, intelligent people and passionate conservationists, and many of the concerns that are being raised are absolutely legitimate.

But here's the rub.
Last time I checked, only approx 1% of the ocean was being protected via MPAs, with full no-take zones accounting for only approx 1/3 of that, or 0.3%  - so may we maybe missing the big picture here, ie. the remaining 99%?
  • If many MPAs are badly managed - then go and bloody fix the bloody management and stop questioning the principle!
  • And then by all means, go and knock yerself out with your pet alternative management approaches in those 99.7% where you can. Show us how to do it better - and no cheating and no shifting  of the 1960ies baseline!

The Shark Research Institute - peddling Pseudoscience?

Click for detail!


Have they done it - again?
You be the judge of it, see at top!

My thoughts on the subject here, with many links.
At best, it's shoddy reporting showcasing naive credulity - but it could also be interpreted as an endorsement and then, it's just simply unconscionable.
Disjointed musings about the SRI et al here.

In other news from la-la land.
Behold SRI's latest contribution to Shark conservation - oh yes, this would be on a government website soliciting comments from the public!
Pompous anybody?

OCEARCH - Clarification!

There appears to be a misunderstanding here.

The last two posts about Fischer have literally exploded.
They are being read by the concerned parties and by many Shark enthusiasts, which is great.
Alas they are also being read by those other folks.

So there.
We are in no way a party to, nor do we in the slightest endorse the current anti-OCEARCH campaign. 
It is being driven by the usual cabal of self indulgent Californian and South African bloviators, cheats, charlatans and screechy fanatics, and it is based on nothing more than a collection of factoids, innuendos, half truths and defamatory lies that are being cunningly woven together into yet another perfidious and equally demented anti-science conspiracy theory for which I have nothing but contempt.
Needless to say that we don't endorse OCEARCH, either.

Remember Loose Change
Same MO - fodder for retards and pure poison.
So beware and do not engage!

Enough said.
And no, I will not let you post breathy comments and links.
You know who you are.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Warren - that's how you do it!

Particularly challenging - multiple Bulls at 30m!


Remember Warren from Dubai?
He has just finished editing his pics from Shark Reef and I must say that he's right up there with the very best! He had to endure absolutely shocking conditions during most of his stay and was only granted a short two-day window with sunny skies and good viz for actually getting the job done - and boy did he deliver, in spades!

You can admire Warren's 3-page portfolio here - and here!
Congratulations - great job!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Unplanned huh!


Oh for crying out loud!

Have you seen this?
Next thing she's gonna tell us that she was lost in the moment like the peroxide piranha! No planning whatsoever went into booking an illegal film stunt on Wade's camo boat - and the at least three cameras plus the dude outside the Shark cage just happened to be there at the right time! 

Incidentally, I just found this.
Just in case anybody thought this was somehow new - the shenanigans with those camera dudes pimping credulous chicks into putting their life on the line, for money, have been going on for years!
This was Great White Shark: Uncaged, 2004 - stupid then and stupid now!

And the new age clap trap?
Living off the land huh. How romantic and how commendable.
Tell ya' what - let's ALL rethink our lives, live off the land and go grab ourselves some Lobsters and shoot ourselves some Reef Fishes whenever we want protein!
Great idea - yes, do read the link!

Way to go Patagonia and Huff Post!


More pics of Titus here!


Taryn has made her choice.
The little feisty Shark's name is inspired by Rome's Titus Pullo, depicted above - and I must admit that once one looks at the profile with that pointy nose, there really is an eerie resemblance to a passionate Shark diver who just so happens to be Taryn's current side kick and a pal of yours truly! He may not be small but he's certainly as feisty!
Gabe - any guesses? :)

So Titus it is!
Well done - and thanks again, you rock!

Monday, October 07, 2013

Fischer - going for broke!

The savior of Australia - or is he? Source.
Bingo - again!

Yup the dude is certainly crafty.
Whereas he was only hinting before, he's now said it: he's the only one that can make the beaches in Western Australia safe - and fuck the Aussie researchers that obviously don't know what they're doing, and the stupid Aussie governments that refuse to acknowledge him as their only pathway to salvation.
Breathy interview here.

Of course it's all bollocks.
That research was pioneering 1-2 years ago. 
But now, there are better alternatives: less invasive protocols, and excellent local and international researchers that have worked with those Sharks for years and can certainly do the very same job without having to contend with all that self promoting noise, that inflated ego, those omnipresent cameras and the incessant media circus.

There's no middle ground here.
Tell him to get lost - and warn your friends in New Zealand!


Dang - I've done it again!
And I cite.
We simply cannot trust non-experts to grasp the nuances necessary to discuss scientific research and engage in science communication. 
Their lack of accountability for their opinions as compared to “traditional” outlets is downright dangerous, and thus we must do our best ensure that journals and magazines with wide readership do not give credence to unsupported remarks without proper review. While we cannot stifle “free speech”, we have to do what we can to prevent unscientific attacks from damaging the careers of hardworking scientists and writers. This means that major journals should be wary of criticisms, even internal ones, if they have not been properly vetted.
Guilty as charged!
My last post has once again not only not been peer reviewed, but it has instead opined subjectively and meddled with scientific research whilst quite possibly besmirching the reputation of not one, but at least two hardworking scientists and writers - and, that of the selfless benefactor funding their research! And approximately 30 thousand people will likely read it this month and hopefully relay its contents to others!

And the nuances only experts could grasp?
I've heard that one before - it was stupid then and it is stupid now. 
Argumentum ad verecundiam is a fallacy, and since published research is public (dooh) and hopefully not only meant to be read by specialists, anybody who takes the time to read it has every right to comment - and then, it's up to the researchers to decide whether they are really too important, smart, noble, busy, or whatever, to deal with it, or not.

And those irreverent and often moronic posts?
They are. Live with it. Evolve.

We will continue to share in the fun whether you like it or not!

Fischer - Australia next?

Best pals, all smiles in Cape Cod - for now! Source.

And I cite.
You also have a history of secretly obtaining research permits without proper public consultation and awareness, and of then barging in on commercial GWS diving sites whilst disregarding the concerns of the local shark diving operators - and from what I hear, you are attempting to do the same right now in Australia. 

As a fellow Shark diving operator I cannot but disapprove of that MO. 
If you're so convinced of the validity of what you do, you should at least be willing to engage with all stakeholders, defend your POV and adapt your procedures in order to address any valid concerns.
And now - watch this.

Crafty crafty Mr. Fischer.
Playing to the fears of Shark attacks by claiming that he's there to make the beaches safer, and trying to use that to put pressure on the Ozzie federal and state governments by using the Australian media to harness public support. And playing the teary Shark savior card (oh how he suffers for the Sharks!) by suggesting that those GWS are about to go extinct, a fact that is not at all supported by the data - not in California, very likely not in Australia and especially not in Cape Cod!

Will the ploy work?
For now, neither the governments nor any reputable local researchers let alone the local Shark diving operators that ply their trade in the Neptunes want anything to do with him - and rightly so. By today's standards, the protocols are too invasive meaning that if so wanted, the same data can now be collected equally successfully but with far less stress on the animals and less damage to their fins - and without having to suffer through all that media circus and the bombastic self promotion, let alone the inevitable shit storm by the frothy anti-OCEARCH brigades!

But this is certainly not he last we will hear of it.
Fischer is an accomplished manipulator and not likely to give up anytime soon, the more as he disposes of some impressive assets and always manages to find some researcher to lend him credibility and support, at least temporarily - and then, they start believing the whole marketing spiel, get enamored with the media exposure and one's perceived importance and get badly burned in the process. Once the ego gets stoked, brain cells appear to wither, and now that Skomal is the new darling of Discovery, the path towards self destruction by implosion is all but guaranteed.

Seen it before many a time.
We now know the truth about Domeier, but it would be really interesting to hear what Fischer's other various past scientific collaborators from the back-stabbing Klimley to Johnson and Kock have to say now that the media circus has moved on!

Still happy and proud about the association? 
Is Fischer continuing to fund years of Shark research in SA as promised?
And where are those dozens upon dozens of announced seminal papers?

Questions questions!
To be continued no doubt!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Cool Videos!

Nothing to do with Sharks.

So what - enjoy!

BBC - Interview with Cristina!

Great outreach.

The interview starts at 16:20.
That's how you do it - whilst reaching millions in the process!

Braverrima e auguri!