Thursday, December 27, 2018

Let the Dance begin!

Beware - click for detail!

Yes this would be a bloody Cat 1.
Obviously, at this stage it's only a forecast - but the different pages are all showing it, so keep an eye on this and this page, and obviously on the relevant warning page of the FMS.
This is the cyclone outlook for this season.

You know what to do!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ronda Rousey - Mental Midgetry?

Shark conservation messaging, or whatever, by fucking Shark GENIUS PdG - source.

And I cite,
It is a good, well constructed show with professional and scientific insight 
That was good old Riley who STILL desperately wants to be somebody in Sharks, or whatever, and STILL just does not get it and STILL publicly pals with human garbage.
Anyway, along with many reputable presenters, experts and shooters, we did obviously turn it down as we will categorically not host any shoot for Shark Week as long as they continue to air those horrible exploitative programs, and showcase those pathetic self promoting media whores and their pathetic feats.

But I was wrong. It is so much worse than that.

See what I mean?
No blame goes to poor naive Rousey and husband  who have been obviously conned into believing that any of that is in any way an accomplishment. 
But seeing how all that fabricated gratuitous and misleading hype by those fucking self important morons is portraying sweet old Blunt, Gillette, Crook and Granma as lethal killer machines really gets my blood boiling. How dare they!
And no you fucking hypocrite: it is not epic, it is fucking pathetic!

And the bloody operator?
Need I really point out the idiocy of publicly allowing a total beginner to feed your Sharks on your dive - and of allowing another total amateur and untrained ignoramus to pose as a feeding expert? 
Is this maybe the reason why Aqua Trek have shortly thereafter fired Brandon their fucking GENIUS Shark whisperer, and this apparently with cause? Hardly - but here's to that, and good riddance; and here's to the guys down the road using this as an opportunity for some fucking reflection, and to them and others (...) stopping to enable all those revolting Shark porn media that are ultimately harming Fiji's reputation as a Shark ecotourism destination!

Like an old broken record, let me repeat - over and over and over again.
Here are my own questions to fellow Shark diving operators and conservationists.
  • Are we gonna continue to pretend this (read!) is not happening?
  • Are we gonna continue to watch that shit?
  • Are we the operators gonna continue to enable it?
  • Are we gonna continue to give our business to operators who do?
  • Are we gonna continue to admire and to associate with those people?
Questions questions!

PS - Comments: please post them here & not on Facebook. Thanks!

Scavenging Tiger Sharks!


That's a whole lotta Tiger Sharks!

I've missed this when it came out - but better late than never.
Story here - enjoy!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Scuba-diving Lizard!

Amazing - watch.

Story with further links here!

Fishing for Sharks in Fiji - Paper!

Click for detail! 

How times change!

Remember Kerstin's master thesis and subsequent paper about coastal fishing in Fiji? 
Back then when she did her survey a mere five years ago, the data revealed that most caught Sharks were primarily being kept in order to sell the fins to the local bêche-de-mer traders who in turn would export them to Asia.

Not so nowadays.
Kerstin has once again interviewed dozens of fishermen all across Fiji and the news is not good. On top of discovering that indiscriminate overfishing and poaching have very unfortunately become ubiquitous, Shark fishing has fundamentally changed.
As the Asian demand, and thus the prices for the fins have crept ever lower, and as most middlemen have vanished due to the closure of the local bêche-de-mer trade, most caught Sharks are now being caught incidentally and consumed directly by the fishermen themselves. This is very much in line with international developments (and here! and here!) where as the prized Fish are being fished away, the once-eschewed Shark meat is increasingly being consumed as an alternate source of protein.
And where Sharks are still being targeted by small-scale commercial fishermen, it is for the local trade in the Fish markets where Shark meat is being sold as a cheap alternative to chicken and where you can buy a bundle of neonate Sharks for a fistful of dollars, but also in order to sell the fins directly to the local Asian restaurants.

This is obviously of concern.
Whereas trying to manage the fishery by monitoring the trade is comparatively easy, trying to monitor thousands of subsistence fishermen is not; and it is also of particular concern to us to discover that the fishermen are targeting the juveniles of Scalloped Hammerheads and especially Bull Sharks in the river nurseries, see the graph at the top.

Look no further than this commitment by Fiji at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference where I'm highly confident that good things will happen sooner rather than later. And when that eventuates, we will be standing ready to assist with the monitoring and enforcement like announced.
And yes: please Adopt Your Shark Now!

But I'm digressing as always.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Lupe: some Justice at last!

Well well.

Check this out.
Rumor has it that the vessel was carrying Amos along with a complement of his extra lucrative clients - and if so and if the past is any indication, it obviously raises the issue of illegal out-of-cage dives, and illegal dives with the vessel's submarine. 
Rumor also has it that the so-called bogus citizen science expedition was fronted by Mauricio who continues to show extraordinary bad judgement and may now find himself permanently stripped of his research permit.

Good to see that the authorities have finally intervened and put an end to the pathetic shenanigans. Far from being a legit research vessel like they claim, the M/Y Sharkwater has been engaging in illegal tourism by publicly offering trips to known diving destinations like Guadalupe, Malpelo and Cocos, and then barging in by pretending that its paying passengers are "donors" and "citizen scientists" and not tourists, this in order to brazenly circumvent the relevant proper licensing processes. In that, notorious Fins Attached supremo Alex Antoniou continues in the tradition of Marie Levine's travel agency, the infamous fake Shark Research Institute to which he and Amos, and such luminaries as Ritter and Collier are, or used to be affiliated, or whatever. I can't believe I'm saying this: but this shit makes Fisher and OCEARCH who at least try to get the permits look like pillars of propriety!
Needless to say that the local operators who have spent millions developing, promoting and nurturing those sites are not amused.

So here's to this being the beginning of the end of that shit.
Let's hope that the authorities in Cocos, Malpelo and Socorro have been alerted and will do what needs doing; let's hope that group leaders and dive tourists alike stop booking and promoting that shameless travesty; let's hope that whoever is silently financing the vessel stops doing so - or even better, transfers it to a legit operator, be it in tourism or in real scientific research.
And finally, let's also hope that Mauricio will finally start using his brain, disassociate himself from this fraud, resign as expedition leader and generally speaking, stop enabling all those frauds and charlatans who pretend to be his friends in order to gain access to Guadalupe. 

And Arauz?
I'm not hopeful alas.
Witnessing how he is stabbing in the back the very Undersea Hunter Group and Okeanos Aggressor who have assisted him for decades, points to some deep-seated ethical rot. But karma has a way of quietly meting out justice, so here's to that.

And anyway, as always we shall see.
Fingers are crossed!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Shark Attack in the Red Sea!


This is bad - watch in HD.

As to what exactly happened.
Apparently there was no bait *- and for once I tend to believe that. 
One very knowledgeable friend speculates that the victim may have gotten in the way of the OWT who was targeting the dude in the shorts, and that the OWT did bite him in order to chase away a perceived competitor in what would be a case of agonistic behavior.

I beg to differ: to me this looks like a quintessential predatory attack
What strikes me is how small that Shark is, meaning that it may be a subadult who is still experimenting, or not a very good hunter and thus particularly famished, or just a particularly bold individual - but of course we will never know as per this unforgotten brilliant post by Rick.

Story here.
If there is some lesson to be learned from all of this, it escapes me ** - maybe with the exception of the fact that playing possum when faced with a pesky predator may not be the best strategy!

Let's go Shark diving!

* or maybe there was?
** or maybe not = read the rather shocking comments in the above link!