Sunday, May 26, 2019

Haitourismus und Wissenschaft!

Für undere deutschsprachigen Freunde!

Danke Tom!
Dieses ist mal wieder saubere Arbeit: interessant, informativ, schön bebildert und vor allem wissenschaflich korrekt! 

Viel Spass beim lesen!



In case you've missed it - amazing!
Story here - enjoy!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Hawaii - Shark Feeding and Shark Bites?

Yes this stupidity will eventually get you bitten - click for detail. Source.

Here we go again...
Have you seen, and above all, watched this?

Yes those Sharks are definitely conditioned.
And like Michael, I am 100% certain that they are being fed, be it via suspended bait crates and/or by feeding surreptitiously off the bow like described here, and/or by chumming secretly via the bilge pump like I've been told on the qt.  But whilst I concur with most of what Michael has posted, there are still aspects where I strongly differ.

So there.

First things first: shit happens.
Baited Shark dives are risky and despite of even the most stringent protocols, bites do happen - yes, even to us! But as long as one carries the adequate first aid equipment and as long as the staff are adequately trained (in client relations, too!), those situations can most certainly be managed. In fact and in general terms, Shark dives remain orders of magnitude safer than SCUBA, and regulation is really the very last resort - so let's not get carried away, the more as attributing causality is always gonna be more than a stretch!
And anyway, let's never forget that the folks who generally feed and condition Sharks are not the few Shark diving operators but the thousands of fishermen and spearos - with the known consequences e.g. here and here among many, many such examples!

And in this particular case?
The above matters little as Shark provisioning in Hawaii is illegal both in state waters and according to Domeier, in federal waters, too - tho in view of little Marco's recent and ultimately aborted legislative attempt, I find the latter rather surprising? Be it as it may, it is shit legislation and back then I've been opposing it vigorously - but that was in favor of Stefanie's Hawaii Shark Encounters who keep their clients in total safety inside of a floating cage.

Nowadays I see things quite a bit differently.
Partly for these reasons - but I must also confess, very much also because of Ramsey and her retinue of self promoting Shark molesters!
I'm the first one to grant that her heart is probably in the right place - but for me to ever respect, let alone endorse them, the whole exercise is just too slick and vain and profit-driven, and there are just too many inconsistencies and outright falsehoods, starting with her own name, to her claimed academic credentials, to her claimed research, to her claimed conservation achievements (no they did not "introduce" that legislation, some senators did), and the list gets longer every time I bother to look.
But apart from all that misleading BS, the principal problem remains that those disrespectful media $tunt$ are making a whole generation of young people want to jump into the water and hug sharks - and that those folks continue to spawn and endorse copycat commercial undertakings, see e.g. the Florida troglodytes, or this stupidity featuring this absolute genius in French Polynesia, or the persistent illegal shenanigans in Guadalupe, or little Riley who still just doesn't get it.
And whereas I just personally despise all that gratuitous Shark molesting, I also personally believe that throwing unprotected snorkelers into open ocean is not long term sustainable tourism - especially not in baited conditions where they immediately become part of the food chain!

Which brings me straight to that Shark bite.
The victim has since outed herself in a highly scripted statement and all I can say is, q.e.d. - may she learn the obvious lessons, stop following pied pipers and above all, stop molesting Sharks!

Let's go Shark diving - respectfully!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Face-to-Face with Dakuwaqa!

It is definitely always Shark O'Clock on Shark Reef - click for detail!

Great stuff!

Behold Joanna's post about her visit with us.
Joanna is the current Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Australasian Rolex Scholar, and we are proud that she continues in the hallowed tradition of making Fiji the first destination in her year-long itinerary. Should you be interested, you can follow her adventures on Facebook, Instagram and on her blog.

Vinaka Joanna.
From the team, we wish you fair winds and following seas - and above all, heaps of adventure, inspiration and fun! And to our dear friend, the indefatigable and adorable Jayne who had to sit this one out: get well, and see you real soon!

Enjoy Joanna's post!

Friday, May 17, 2019

What Shark is this??

Notice the caudal peduncle - click for detail!


This is from the second 15m dive at Shark Reef a few days ago. 
For once I was not diving, and the footage is courtesy of Martin who is here for his yearly Bull Shark fix. I'm being told that the Shark was curious and circled above - but with a gaggle of Bulls dominating the feed, she remained wary and never tried to join the mêlée. 

At a reported 3 meters in length, this is a big Shark.
When they first told me, they stated that she was an emaciated, sickly Bull Shark - but from the video I can instead discern that despite of the tumor and the buckled first dorsal, she is in rather good shape. I also notice the elegant sinuous way she moves, and the keel-like bulge on her caudal peduncle, both of which are not at all diagnostic of Bull Sharks, sickly or otherwise.

So what is this?
Years ago there was another mystery Shark with a similar shape of the caudal peduncle. Back then, somebody stated that it was a Dusky - but that's a Shark living off continental shelves and we are obviously on an island, so today I'm rather skeptical.

I got my thoughts but would love to hear yours.
Opinions welcome - here on the blog and not on Facebook please!

Thank you!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Beqa Adventure Divers presents!

Thank you Tom.

As always he is delivering in spades.
Behold his awesome little promo video, and blog post about our latest conservation initiative, My Fiji Shark that illustrate perfectly his rapid progression from researcher to professional conservation photographer and scientific journalist to now also filmmaker and editor. 

As a quick reminder.
This is all about assisting Government in the implementation of two key commitments it has made at the 2017 Ocean Conference: Fiji-wide Shark and Ray conservation and management where stuff is happening behind the scenes; and improved coastal fisheries management where we have already embarked on an aggressive schedule of anti-poaching patrols together with the Ministry of Fisheries.

Big kudos to the project team.
Our stalwart Peni and Mans are looking back on close to a decade of scientific and awareness work for BAD, and it certainly shows both here but also in our publications and in the reviews where their passionate surface interval talks are consistently being praised by our customers.
Guys, Vinaka Vakalevu for your commitment, dedication and loyalty.

And then there is Tashi Blue.
Our indefatigable Conservation Director has hit the ground running, and My Fiji Shark is entirely her very own, very personal initiative from initial concept to weeks upon weeks of preparations to final implementation.
In fact she has, and continues to personally curate every single aspect from the stellar logo to having personally built the entire website including every single description of the Sharks, every single element of the Adoption Pack and every single Upgrade. And now that everything is up and running, she personally writes every single post on Facebook and Instagram and every single report, personally shoots and edits every single video, personally sources every single garment and bespoke jewelry and personally manages every aspect of outreach and marketing, like she will then personally oversee all disbursement and related conservation initiatives once they will finally eventuate. Talk about unbridled passion, meticulous attention to detail, utmost professionalism and total commitment!
Thank You. I'm proud of you. And I love you.

Enjoy Tom's video!

Please, Adopt Your Shark Now!
Thank you!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Goodbye, Doc.

Doc and his lovely family. Source.

What a tragedy.
I had been away, and had missed the horrible news of Doc's passing.

No, no eulogy here - others knew him so much better.
We did meet a few times and did like each other, and have corresponded frequently, sometimes also for this blog. My recollection of him can be summarized in "larger than life": brilliantly intelligent; utterly fearless; eminently entertaining and charming, and ludicrously witty; opinionated, authoritative and passionate; zero tolerance for mediocrity, bullshit, posers and charlatans; lived life to the fullest. Mensch.
And he was such a brilliant scientist and mentor who has given us so much and above all, touched so many lives.

And then, there are Jeremy's book, and his synopsis. And of course, the eulogy by the Sharklab, and the many loving testimonials.
And this.

Such a lovely man - I will miss him greatly.
My heart goes out to Marie and the family.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

15 Years of BAD Videos - Coming of Age!

And here we are!
Needless to say that we're mighty proud - and after much trial-and error, it also looks like we might be finally doing something right! :)
Anyway, notable more recent clips include:

Howard and Michele!

Fiji's first National Marine Park!

Happy, and very funny clients - and the FOOTAGE IS 100% REAL! :)



Juerg and Kerstin!

16:55ff: Tashi Blue and My Fiji Shark!

Lemme tell'ya, it has been quite the adventure!
And although the job is by no means done, we're certainly getting there, baby step by baby step, with BIG NEWS looming in the not-too-distant future!

To be continued!
And THAT's a promise!

Monday, April 15, 2019

15 Years of BAD Videos - Getting There!

Happy days.

And the saga continues.
Among many, many short and long film productions:

Behold the Fiji Shark Sanctuary that wasn't.
And lest anyone forgets: thank you Julie Andersen and her disastrous Operation Requiem for sabotaging years of hard work!

Shark Free Marinas in Fiji!

My favorite trailer for David's Of Shark and Man, filmed in 2011.

Hello Projects Abroad!

Jero and Ana of Pelagic Life in Fiji!

Shark Reef video!

Goodbye my friend and hero, Ron Taylor.

RIP my friend and buddy, Rusi.

To be continued!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Mystery Wedgefish?

The CITES CoP18 will be held in Colombo in May. 
Among the species proposed for listing are the Wedgefishes and Giant Guitarfishes that are both being persecuted mercilessly for their fins, and ever more threatened with extinction as a consequence.
Above is a Wedgefish from Fiji - click for detail.
The pics are from the FB page of the Waidroka Bay Resort, i.e. from just around the corner. Our local Wedgefishes are a bit of a mystery and consistently being misidentified, mostly as Rhynchobatus djiddensis which this one is clearly not - so which one is it?

Brand-new ID guide right here.

PS: indeed R. australiae or laevis - or yet another undescribed Wedgefish from that species complex. That said, Kerstin has already identified australiae by DNA barcoding back in 2015!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

15 Years of BAD Videos - Growing up!

Our Viking BAD girl Lill dove with us for most of 2009 and provided us with a steady stream of great pictures - this is Chopper.

Welcome back! :)

So here are some videos from our middle years.
I had just come back from a rather traumatic multi-year hiatus in Tonga, things were challenging with first a coup d'état and then a constitutional crisis in Fiji, and a recession globally; and then to top it off our land lord went bust and we were temporarily shut down - and thank you Frank for personally saving our ass with a strategically placed phone call!
And yet we did progress in leaps and bounds, did really crank up the scientific work and also greatly refined our protocols.

And then there was the International Year of the Shark!
We coordinated the only nation-wide roll-out of this initiative and produced Fiji's first Shark PSA, to wit.

This is a nice little program we did with local Mai TV.

The following two productions are incidentally both by Basque visitors.

And finally, more goodies by Mai TV, this time about our early work in the river nurseries.

To be continued!

Friday, April 12, 2019

15 Years of BAD Videos - the Beginning!

Oh my - how time flies!

Behold a small selection of videos from the very early days.
These are from approx 2003-2007 when we did a lot of experimenting and frankly also crazy shit, to wit the selection of bloopers and close calls in the "Naughty File".
Featuring Rusi and "Papa" Manasa but also David and Mini!

And this is our very first, very cheesy marketing video! :)

And talking about crazy shit.
How about Rusi a) removing a hook from, and then at the end b) mouth-feeeding Scarface!

And here's the famous BBC clip from 2006!

To be continued! :)

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Sharkbait Ooh Ha Ha!

Source - click for detail!

To wit,

That said, enjoy Hannah Logan's Shark diving report!

Will Smith's Bucket List - Shark Diving!

I've finally found the embed code so there - watch.

Like it?
Frankly, I rather do - because I like pro-Shark media, because I like Will Smith and because owing to him, there's an endearing levity to it all.

But of course there has to be a big BUT - right? :)
No worry not: I'm not gonna personally unleash on little PdG who has been punished enough and is obviously just trying to cope and make a living.

But I still got to ask,
Has this production gotten any better by portraying him as a Shark expert which he is clearly not, letting him stoke the fear of Sharks by reminding everybody that they can be deadly, and then having him sell his old and terminally tired fear-facing snake oil?
Wouldn't it have been amply enough to have Will experience and simply ENJOY the dive at Tiger Beach sans all that repetitive gratuitous and totally fabricated death-defying drama - remember the stellar program with Craig Ferguson back then?
And talking of clap trap: did Nietzsche really state what Joe claims?

It could have clearly been better - but Will had a great time and that's all that ultimately counts. And it will of course make no difference whatsoever, one way or the other.

So all is good.
Let's go Shark diving!

Friday, April 05, 2019

15 Years of BAD - Pictures!

Rusi the man with the yellow hood and Whitenose, the first Shark we've ever named - click for detail!

I really got nothing to add to what I said here and here.
Only, that there obviously has been more progress, foremost of which the designation of the SRMR as Fiji's first National Marine Park; quite a few more research papers, with several more already in the pipeline; and last but not least, our newest conservation initiative, My Fiji Shark.

So in lieu of yet another boring self-congratulatory tribute.
Behold 15 years of BADness - and should this or that picture intrigue you, you can click on it for detail, and also click on the dates for the relevant blog posts!

The unforgotten Scarface - this pic is from 2003!

Two icons: Rusi and Scarface, 2005

October, 2006

Rusi and Doris, June10,2007
June 17, 2008

June 27, 2008

September 15, 2008


August 28, 2009
December 22, 2009

April 21, 2010

June 25, 2011
August 14, 2012

August 28, 2012

March 21, 2012

May 21, 2012

May 29, 2013 

July 26, 2013 

 August 13, 2013
February 14, 2014
April 4, 2014 

January 29, 2015
March 28, 2015 

September 9, 2015

February 28, 2016 

September 27, 2016

March 25, 2017

May 3, 2018 

May 15, 2018

January 1, 2019

February 2, 2019 

And finally, here we are!

To be continued - and that's a promise!