Wednesday, July 31, 2019

GWS and Kelp - Video!

Click for detail.

Bingo - watch.

A while back, yours truly raised concerns about what I saw as questionable research supporting the asserted effectiveness of the infamous, kelp-bio-mimicking Shark Safe Barrier.

Well, so much for that - paper here.
I'm probably just just being my usual unscientific, badmouthing and party pooping ignoramus self - but if the original premise of the whole exercise in mimicking is essentially being shown to be a load of BS, then...?
But then again, when I read about wanting to deploy 5 rows, maybe that's irrelevant as the whole thing may ultimately just act as nothing more (but also nothing less!) than an effective physical barrier that contrary to the Shark nets and drumlines would however not be killing any sea life - and if so, it would be a good thing.

Considering the breathy (and liability-attracting!) claims of having a 100% success rate of keeping highly motivated sharks out, this is most definitely going to be continued.

Keep watching this space!

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019

TGIF: Cousteau - Sharks!


This is 1968.
Epic stuff, even featuring early tagging, and behavioral experiments with the unforgotten Shark Lady, Genie Clark.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ocean Championship - Anybody Anybody?

So there.

We're pulling the Ocean Championship.
So far we've received a grand total of zero submissions, and this after posting the announcement to various social media totaling over 100,000 regular followers.

Oh well.
So much for Martin's question - and I can certainly leave it at that.

And no, I'm not in the slightest surprised.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Fiji: Shark Fin Ban!

Click for detail!

Well well.

Read this.
Obviously it's a good thing - albeit with caveats, i.e.
  • My gut tells me that this is less about conservation and more about CITES as from a practical point of view, a blanket ban eliminates the need for cumbersome species identifications and NDFs.

  • The way I see it, this should merely be considered a stop-gap measure pending the establishment of sustainable management much like in the case of those Shark Sanctuaries

  • Where I come from, the saying is that The Good is the Enemy of the Better = is this for Shark fins only, or have they also included the Rays, or at least the increasingly endangered Wedge- and Guitarfishes, see at top?

  • What about whole, or even partial Sharks, see this?
    Detail detail!

  • With Fiji being a pioneer in Coral planting - here's to there being an exemption for certified sustainable mariculture!
And this self congratulatory piece of horse manure?
No, Fiji did not join, and this got nothing whatsoever to do with those folks, zero = for the record and lest anybody forgets, THIS is their legacy in Fiji! 
Seriously, what a fucking disgrace!

Let's go Shark diving - sustainably!

PS - q.e.d. = Giant Guitarfishes and Wedgefishes, collectively called Rhino Rays, are now the world’s most threatened marine fish!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Le Monde du Silence!

Yup those would be Tortoises - click for detail.

Remember these posts about Cousteau?

The videos have since been taken down.
Here is the whole movie in original version - til it gets taken down, too!
But before you watch, heed this *WARNING* that by the standards of back then in 1956, the ocean was there for the taking and consequently, those were epic, adventurous and intrepid feats = sensibilities were completely different, meaning that you will likely be shocked by what you see.
*You have been warned!*

Still, methinks that it is worth watching as a historic document.
Should you want to avoid watching the most controversial among many other controversial scenes: dynamite at 22:10ff, baby Sperm Whale at 47:20ff , subsequent OWT massacre at 56:20ff: really despicable stuff - the good news being that we sure have come a long long way since those days!

Anyway - here it is.

And this is the English version.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Monday Blues?

Click for detail!

Yup that would be one of our boats.
So what are you waiting for!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Manhandling Tiger Sharks in Fiji - not Sustainable!

This is a difficult one.
I'm pretty sure that it's going to harm us commercially - but it must be done.

So there: this shit really needs to stop.
Big Tiger Sharks are not harmless pets, and the stupid global fad of wanting to push them around is just fucking disrespectful, and a recipe for disaster to boot. And anyway, even the most rudimentary knowledge of basic physics should amply expose the foolishness of trying to physically manhandle and dominate an animal that is several times one's weight - or not?
And how about utilizing some basic protective gear starting with black gloves for the clients so that their pasty white hands sticking out of dark wetsuits don't look like bait; to have your staff wear chainmail; to using poles in order to create separation with the Sharks - and when you have one, don't throw it down but fucking use it, see below!

To wit.
And no, no need to mention names: do your own research.

And how about these beauties.
Close calls anybody?

And how about this eye gouging and slamming into coral.
See what I meant about basic physics = the hopelessness of wanting to successfully steer such a large Shark - especially whilst one is swimming where one has no leverage like when one is standing firmly on the ground?

And finally, over to that much-publicized shark bite.
Again, no need for names the more as the whole fiasco has been amply negotiated in the public domain from newspaper articles to scathing reviews to social media to the following two videos. FYI the victim was successfully evacuated and patched up which is hopefully a testimony to there at least being a good evacuation protocol.

First the bite, then how it came to it.
Once again, check out the basic physics - etc. etc. etc.!

No, no need to elaborate.
And before you start wasting your time by speculating about the Sharks' intentions: who knows and ultimately, who cares!

Where I come from, the saying is that A Fish rots from the Head down, meaning that this is essentially a management issue. Guys, formulate sustainable protocols and then train, protect and above all, fucking supervise your staff - and STAHP stoking them by calling them warriors and gladiators! 

And since we're at it.
Protect you clients, and fucking always control your dive - this is commercial Shark diving, not some adventure where you try to wing it and hope for the best!

If you publicly claim that you've created an MPA, and that you are giving money and are providing jobs for the village: bloody train fish wardens and then invest time and money into anti-poaching patrols, preferably at night when the poachers go poaching; and bloody pay the village and employ their youth like you've promised - and if not, stop lying!

And just to be clear.
This is not about making others look bad, let alone about trying to suggest that we are "better" or the like.
We too have had our fair share of cock-ups, scares and bites like everybody else - but contrary to what appears to be happening elsewhere, we try hard to learn from those experiences whereby we continuously adapt and tighten our Shark diving protocols, continuously improve the protection of our clients (see here) and of our staff, and also continuously repeat our emergency response training and continuously optimize our emergency protocols and gear.

But we equally firmly believe that the inherent risks of baited Shark dives can very much be managed. And we also believe that it also actually *IS* being managed, to wit the fact that there are orders of magnitude more pro-rata fatalities in ordinary diving compared to Shark diving - and yes I'm very much repeating myself.
Anyway, think "aviation" and you can see where I'm coming from.

So here's to improvement!

And here endeth the weekend sermon!
Let's go Shark diving - sustainably!

PS: Comments policy: please comment here and not on FB. Also, please be aware that comments are being monitored and that I reserve to delete anything I don't like at my full discretion = my blog my rules!

Friday, July 12, 2019

GWS Tussle - Video!

Likely a bite by another GWS - source. And yes, Bulls are WAY more peaceful - click for detail!

Very cool!
Story here - enjoy!

Professional Fishermen?

Professional my ass!

Just great - holding the tiger by its eyes!
Looks like I was too optimistic and that the infamous saga continues - and no I'm not really surprised.

Oh well.
To be continued no doubt!
H/T Kim, for keeping a watchful eye on things as always!

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Fiji Shark Dive with B.A.D!

Amazing weather - click for detail!

Well well.

No we are definitely not on Beqa (?) nor in the Lagoon.
But this is typical for what our clients can experience - and this very much inclusive of the friendliness and outright exuberance of our unequaled staff!


Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Saving Our Sharks - Video!

Obviously don't fully agree but still, quite good - click for detail. Source.

This is great and important work.
Huge kudos to Chino and Luis, and also to all the other people, dive shops and sponsors of Saving Our Sharks who have contributed to this success.