Thursday, April 28, 2016

Made in Taiwan - shocking!

This report really beggars belief.

Or maybe not so much.
It is a shocking compendium of systemic widespread poaching and shark finning (nothing new there - and here!), and appalling human abuses all the way to the well documented but never properly investigated murder at sea that made the rounds two years ago. The perpetrators remain largely unpunished as the Taiwanese authorities don't seem to give a shit - and those Taiwanese distant water fleets are still being allowed by the various Tuna RFMOs to ply their nefarious trade unscathed.
Press coverage here.

Required reading.
And bravo Greenpeace for having exposed this abomination!

Barbican Shark Diving Challenge!


Looks like Ozzie Sam has been having some fun!
This post informs us that he did some drone work, obviously from Andrew's boat where over the years, he has become sort of a fixed asset.

Nice - and nice overall messaging!
Which comes at no surprise as Andrew is a member of GSD!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bull Sharks in Fiji - Video!

Daniel in 2014 with the Fiji delegation when Fiji was successful in listing the Mobulas and Reef Mantas under CMS, ratified last February - source.

Daniel Fernando (great interview!) is one of the good guys.
Like us and many others who work tirelessly away from the limelight, he knows that marine conservation strategies in a developing country are miles away from what is being spouted by especially the Americans. Inevitably, instead of winner-takes-all solutions, we need to advocate for compromise positions that take into account all stakeholders inclusive of the fishing industry and especially, the interests of the grassroots communities; and contrary to all those grandiose self-congratulatory social media posts and useless petitions that suggest that this is fast and easy, progress only happens baby step by baby step, with countless setbacks and interminable waiting periods. 
Right now, as one of the Directors of the Manta Trust, Daniel is helping Fiji spearhead efforts to list the Mobulas under CITES; but in his native Sri Lanka, his Blue Resources is engaging in the task of trying to slowly help reforming the currently woefully inadequate Elasmobranch fishing regulations, something that once again must be unendingly tedious and frustrating, and thankless to boot.

Anyway, he was here.
This is video from one single two-tank dive excursion he took before participating in a CITES workshop. As I remember, conditions were not ideal - but Shark Reef always delivers, so there.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Danny Copeland - amazing Video!



I must say that I'm fucking impressed!
No not because we're in it for having hosted Danny like so many other OWUSS scholars - but because this is a real professional, beautifully edited production, and because the dude is clearly wise far beyond his years. And yes, he has obviously found his calling and I'm really looking forward to many stellar productions featuring his name!
Very well done buddy!


Sustainable Shark Diving - Launch!

Like I said, finally!

Please do read this press release.
Rick writes,
We are live on Earth Day! After nearly 1.5 years of work, hundreds of conversations, thousands of dollars in crowd-sourced support, and countless collaborations and wishes of confidence from colleagues, friends, and strangers I am proud to put this hopefully meaningful set of tools out as an experiment in building greater environmental sustainability in the rapidly growing shark diving industry. Good for divers... Good for sharks 
And indeed it is!
Like I said back then, I was hoping it would follow Austin's suggestions, and it does; and when it comes to Industry buy-in, it most definitely already enjoys the support of many industry leaders among which, obviously, GSD.

The website, so far so good.
I'm sure Rick's friends including yours truly will pester him with suggestions for improvement - but it obviously does the job and that is the most important part. 
Finding businesses is easy (tho why two steps to get there?) and the rating process is as easy as it gets (click on the question mark to get an explanation for the different categories). Rating is the important part as it will provide a uniform and measurable assessment of the operators' performance and hopefully spur them to address any weaknesses: so forget the comments at the end which will not be visible anyway - and above all, don't just leave a comment without first engaging in the rating process as your contribution will be essentially zero! And yes you gotta register to prevent fraud - a bloody pain but remember you only gotta do it once!

So there - and now comes the fun part.
Please rate rate rate rate rate as this will be you contribution to holding us all accountable, and to hopefully direct the global Shark diving industry towards a more responsible and long term sustainable model.
We are right here - hint hint! :)


Friday, April 22, 2016

Shark Diving in Fiji - Tom's favorite Images!

Very nice indeed!

I really like Tom.
Smart and yet humble, he is endowed with limitless enthusiasm, loves and knows Sharks and is a real good photographer both topside but also underwater. When checking out his portfolio, please bear in mind that many pics have been taken in modest to atrocious conditions due to the vagaries of this year's shocking weather, making them even more remarkable.

Please check out Tom's post, and also his website.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Big Announcement forthcoming!

Yet another great pic by Allen - click for detail!


All I can say is...
No, I actually cannot - but keep watching this space! :)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

BAD Bulls of Fiji!

Great pic by Allen!

Watch in 720p, and enjoy!

Mako vs Sailfish!


Here's another one.
Not so sure about the 500 lbs but still, it's way cool.

PS: extended version here, story here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

GWS in 360!


Quite nice.

Probably filmed on Andrew's dive - story here.
Use the mouse to change the POV, and enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Stronger than Winston!


Fiji win the Hong Kong Sevens.

Reunion Island

Beautiful in so many ways.

I must say, I was really touched.
Story here - and especially here!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Blissfully uneventful!

Zena: good riddance! Source.

Read this.
Better lucky than smart anytime!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Fiji Weather!

Source - click for detail 

Read this.

It really sucks big time.
We down here will be only moderately affected - but the poor people in the North and West that have just started to dig themselves out from the nightmare that was Winston are once again going to bear the brunt of the onslaught. The rebuilding has barely started and many villagers are still living in precarious temporary shelters that are in no way able to withstand the weather.

To you out there, please don't cancel your travel plans.
The whole nasty thing will be over by tomorrow, this cyclone season and possibly also the El Nino are coming to an end, and Fiji is desperately dependent on tourism both in terms of employment and income.

Fiji: you know what to do!

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Boring Polar Bears or Epic Raggie?

Please vote for Allen's picture.
Thank you!

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Doc - the Book!

JSD and the book!

Very, very nice indeed!

I've just received the book.
The package comes with a letter about the Shark Lab's ambitious renovation plans, and an e-mail asks me to please share or review it. 

What can I say.
Doc is both a pal and somebody I revere enormously, and author Jeremy has long been a pen pal who often graces this blog with his inimitably witty and sometimes, brutally sarcastic comments.

So there.

Thing is, I do this gladly as I really do love the book.
Truth be told I've just started reading it - but I can already say that it is riveting and entertaining, and written with much love but also knowledge, much along the lines of this shorter interim eulogy, equally by Jeremy. My own synopsis: Seriously, you just can't make that shit up - epic stuff!
Absolutely and unequivocally, required reading!

Plus, there is the cause.
Doc's, and now Tristan's iconic Sharklab has been the epicenter of excellent Shark research for the past 25 years and is now in dire need of a major rejuvenation and upgrade, and the book is one of the vehicles intended for collecting the required funds.
Website here, purchase options here.