Sunday, June 29, 2014

Spain - still at it!

European Shark fishing. Source - click for detail.

From the news release.
The renewal of this agreement ... will allow for 22 tuna ships, 17 Spanish surface longliners and another 52 ships flying an EC flag to continue operating in the waters of this country under technical conditions similar to those currently in effect...
The improvements over the previous protocol include a 25% increase in the shark quota assigned to the European longline fleet, of which over 80% corresponds to the 17 longliners from Galicia.

Access to this fishing ground will represent a total disbursement of just over six million euros from the EU budget, of which 2.8 million euros will be spent on financing development aid projects in the fisheries sector. To this figure must be added a disbursement due to be made by the European ship-owners amounting to four million euros for the entire period, depending on the use made of agreed fishing allowances.

The swift conclusion of the Protocol enables a strengthened presence by the Spanish fleet in the Indian Ocean, thereby enhancing the network of EU Fisheries Agreements with other countries in the region (the Seychelles, the Comoros, Mozambique and Mauritius). The General Secretariat of Fisheries encourages the European Commission to continue working on expanding and consolidating the network of EU Fisheries Agreements with non-EU countries as a fundamental pillar of the Common Fisheries Policy. 
Long story short?
After having annihilated the Sharks in the Med and in the Eastern Atlantic, Europe = the planet's biggest Shark killing entity and Spain = ranked third in the word = its worst perpetrator, are exporting their Shark fisheries abroad where they leverage their development aid in order to equally deplete the Fish stocks of those countries.
With that in mind, the recent protection of those few, completely depleted an thus economically insignificant Sharks and Rays in Spain and in the Mediterranean rings completely hollow.

Guaranteeing sustainability for fishing activity my ass!
What the Fuck!

Saving Sawfish!

That was back then. Source: this great piece by Christine! Click for detail!

Now, it's just simply appalling - source.

This is good.

Posted especially for those morons that target them!
Global conservation strategies here!


Friday, June 27, 2014

The Clock is ticking!

Have you posted you submission?
Details here!

Flipping GWS - Mental Midgetry?

Old news... GWS in tonic. Source.

So now it's official.
Eli has been trying to flip a GWS - obviously, illegally, and meticulously recorded by the king of Shark porn! For the Sharks, no doubt!
And I cite.
Tedium is a black mistress, watching those with a predisposition for both moral and mental midgetry perform tricks with underwater wildlife is the highest form of tedium. 
Indeed, and then some!
Which begs the question, what is one to do when one's pal continues to behave like an idiot - maybe tell him, and this lovingly, to stop behaving like an idiot?

So there!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reef Whitetips vs Moray Eels!

Alien-esque - Morays have pharingeal jaws! Source.

Amazing stuff!

Yes it's tit for tat!
Watch the second video til the end!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Spiny Dogfish and Mercury!


Remember the luncheon Sharks and Chuck's post?

They're obviously still on the agenda.
Here's a really good article exploring the issue, and from what I understand, it ain't looking good. Whatever the finer details, those Sharks are simply too full of mercury to be adequate food for school children, period - so here's to this stupidity being turned down!

And the fishermen?
The quotas are simply too high - not biologically but economically. 
And the solution is not to try and smuggle toxic Fish into school meals, but to land less Dogfish! Yup it's tough - but both economically, medically and ethically, it's the only possible way to go!

PS - and this shit?
Obviously, just the ramblings of one more uninformed moron.
As humans, it is our duty, of course, to regulate ecosystems as we see fit - yeah, right.

PS2 -  and much like anticipated, they have transitioned back from being endangered to being one of the most despised fishes... sigh...

Baby GWS off New York!

And where is that video???

Story here!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Riley in Fiji - Teaser!

"Reef Patrol" - epic picture by big Allen! Source.

So this is it.

Mike and Riley are launching the first Shark Man episodes.
Website (under construction) here, FB here!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

More GWS on the East Coast!

This is becoming ever more frequent.

And here is the paper - read it!
GWS sightings on the US East coast are on the increase, prompting  the researchers to speculate that after nearly 20 years of protection, the NW Atlantic population may finally be rebounding, much like what appears to be the case wherever they have been protected elsewhere.
Great synopsis by NOAA here, stories here and here.

And did you notice?
Remember Fischer's continuous reference to the unknown location of the nurseries, all the way to publicly speculating that Lydia may be on the way to giving birth in Turkey? Of course she did not and is back more or less exactly where she was tagged (= philopatry rules), the more as the Mediterranean population is believed to be completely distinct.

Surprise surprise - the nurseries are already known! 
No (obviously!) nothing to do with Fischer, and I cite
YOY and juvenile white sharks, which were more prevalent in the New York Bight region during summer, would have access to a wide variety of demersal and pelagic teleosts and elasmobranchs for prey [24]. The waters less than 50 m deep on the broad continental shelf in the New York Bight area may represent primary nursery habitat for YOY white sharks [24]. The seasonal peak in the presence of neonate-sized sharks suggests that parturition may occur near this area between May and August.
W.C. Fields anybody?
Which begs the question, how does all that unremitting bullshit reflect on the standing of the likes of Skomal and Hueter?

Read the paper - great stuff and a cause for hope!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Western Australia - Case in Point!

The 14 week trial attracted intense media and community interest. 
The trial generated: 
  • 765 separate articles on sharks in local, state and national newspapers 
  • 1,100 radio news bulletins on sharks (Western Australia) 
  • 850 radio talk back comments on sharks (Western Australia) 
  • 290 television news items on sharks (Western Australia) 
  • 286,000 emails and letters to the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) - a significant number of which were pro forma emails
  • and a significant number of postings on Twitter and Facebook, some of which were offensive and contained personal attacks on members of the Government and staff involved with the program.
Talk about full transparency!
And the net result of that onslaught of unsolicited appeals, petitions (= pro forma emails), opinions and abuse?

A big fat zero.
Not only are they completely disregarding them, they are proposing to extend the cull for another three years and have gone on the offensive by claiming that a silent majority is in favor but had “no choice but to stay quiet due to the level of abuse and vilification received”, describing the level of personal attack and social media postings as “unacceptable”.
So, can we please stop this insanity?

Now, we shall see.
Both the postulated silent majority and the anti-cull faction have an equal opportunity to have their voices heard - and I sure hope that the latter is not only composed of social media slacktivists and agitators but that instead, it will make a vigorous attempt at turning things around by fielding rational arguments.
Not really convinced that the WA government will listen - but along with the federal assessment, it's the best opportunity we got.
Recommendations here.

Please make your submission - the clock is ticking!
Fingers crossed!

Shark Fin?


Shark or Dolphin?

Maybe he should have chosen a better Skool?
And since we're at it - how big?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Google Earth - Shark Reef!

Click for detail!


Yes, those are Predator and Hunter!
How cool is THAT!

Shark Skool!

"The learning curve"??? Source.

The guy who runs the course had a big chunk of his left leg ripped off by a Bull Shark a few years ago.
That wasn't reassuring.
But despite of the problematic promotion for Ritter's Sharkitarian snake oil, I must admit that I've really enjoyed this article.
This is really good journalism and apart from that faux pas, I must say that Contenta has certainly done his home work and interviewed a lot of relevant people. His tour de force is exhaustive, erudite and witty, the language compelling, the scope impressive.
Bravo - required reading!

Oh, and have you noticed
  • It was the fault of the spotter.
    Not of some idiot who chose to wade around, bare-legged, among feeding Bull Sharks.
  • And after having trained with the Caribbean Reefies, the idiot is going diving with GWS in Lupe. Cageless = illegally. With paying customers, among which a self-professed Suicide Diver! Because Sharks are harmless! (And only want to hug!)
    You just can't make this shit up can you!
And since we're at it.
Other news alert me that he's giving a presentation. This Friday. At a university! About his latest research project!

But, do read that article!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mega-Sanctuaries - Mega-Announcements!

Our Ocean is delivering some mighty big goodies.

Obama is proposing the world's largest MPA.
That's a great project indeed, and kudos for it - but there's the tiny little detail that first, he'll have to overcome the likely opposition by the US Tuna fishing industry and of course, by the Republicans.
We'll see.

And then, there is Tong.
It appears that during his Remarks he has, once again, proudly announced that the PIPA will be closed to commercial fishing, plus that there will be a fishing moratorium in the Southern Line Islands, both effective next year. 
So, does that mean that he deserves one more round of accolades simply for finally keeping his word? I say, Fool me once..., meaning that for now, this earns him just a hint of a slow hand clap pending rigorous verification of any fishing quotas next year.

And... what's the quid pro quo?
Maybe a nice posh job, maybe in some major NGO once he retires - or will he renounce the trappings of notoriety, retire to Tarawa and valiantly share the fate of his beloved people?
Questions questions!

The real kudos go to Christopher Pala for a great piece of investigative journalism that has unearthed the scam and quite possibly forced the shifty President's hand. And now that it appears done - how about another piece unmasking WESPAC!

To be continued!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

California's GWS - the Rebuttal!

Source - now comprehensively discredited, this is the paper that spawned the whole expensive fiasco.

The Burgess paper is finally out - read it!
Good to observe how the man is morphing from token couch farting Sharxpert to real researcher!
And I cite.
"The listing of a species as 'endangered' places substantial demands on governments," Burgess said. "Listing species that are not under the threat of biological extinction diverts resources away from species genuinely at risk. 
We want to use our resources for the neediest species."
And thus endeth the ignominious conservation sham that has been the listing of the NE Pacific GWS poulation under ESA and CESA.

Kudos again to Michael Domeier.
He was the first to raise his voice in alarm (scroll down) years ago, for which he was severely criticized by the usual dipshits with an opinion and a keyboard. 
Now, he finds himself fully vindicated.

And the dipshits?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mola Mola Conservation!


To change the perception of this misunderstood animal!
For the Mola Molas!

Western Australia - Public Environmental Review!

So here it is.

This is the formal process I was talking about.
Here you can find the full Environmental review, and here are some excellent arguments courtesy of the ever formidable Jessica Meeuwig, a brilliant researcher and  Shark diver who is very much taking a personal risk by publicly opposing the cull. Please read them - then you will have plenty of ammunition for posting your submission against the cull.

And the petitions?
They didn't work last time and there are no indications that the EPA will consider them now. The  official process is this one and if you really want to make a difference, this is the correct way to have your voice heard. Remember this is an Environmental Review so arguments must be pertinent to that topic, so statements like For The Sharks For The Oceans For The Future!! >~xo:] x and the like simply out you as a whack and do nothing to protect those Sharks.
Those videos and social media rants were (hopefully) meant to create awareness - now is the time to harness that awareness and convince people to make submissions, as ultimately, that is the only metric that counts!

And please, do not insult, and do not follow the advice of the crazies!
You are asking the WA government to change their mind and call off the cull and it is them, not you, that ultimately have the power to say yay or nay - so pissing them off is certainly not conducive to bringing about a positive result!

Thank you!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Moce Allen!

Stellar viz, stellar pic! Source.

We just bid farewell to Allen Walker (and here!).

Thing is, his visit was certainly a big surprise.
Remember the Aliwal Shoal baiting controversy? Allen is the man who developed the Shark-friendly bait ball, an this on his own time and very much also dime for which he was then heaped with praise - but still, having publicly insulted all of his then friends, he is really the very last person I would have expected to ever grace our shores!

Anyway, tempi passati.
I must say that I've learned a lot, including all of the grisly details about that event where the blame cannot be only apportioned unilaterally, and I can certainly leave it at that. But above all, I got to know the man for being an accomplished Shark diver and a real Mensch, generous, witty as hell and with a big golden heart.

And the photography?
As probably South Africa's mot accomplished underwater photographer, Allen is nothing but uncompromising, both in terms of diligence but also quality, and getting the specific shots he was aiming for was certainly not trivial. Considering the fact that he only managed to attend a measly 5 Shark dives, the output has been rather spectacular, see above and on his FB page - but much remains to be done, meaning that we are all looking forward to his next visit, and this for a longer time frame!

Safe travels buddy and hopefully, see you soon!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Victor about BAD!

Merci Victor.

This is really very nice!
Much appreciated!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Syndney Harbor - GWS!


But nicely done.

Mermaid and Tiger Sharks?

This is gonna be a difficult one.
But first, watch this.

Now, read this and then, watch the video.

Yes it certainly is what it is.
To say it mildly, it has generated a lot of interest within the Shark community, and opinions are vehemently divided about whether this is actually conservation or rather, merely one more of those productions - and I'm sure you know what I mean.

Personally, I must confess that I'm conflicted.
I've never met Hannah who for me is a professional doing a difficult job, and this well - but I know both Shawn and Jimmy and in my book, they are good men that care deeply. 

But what is more important, is that they have earned my respect.
Jimmy is without a doubt one of the world's most experienced and renown Shark diving operators and a passionate voice for Shark conservation. 
Shawn has evolved into one of the universally most respected conservationists who combines limitless passion and energy with profound knowledge of the situation especially in the lesser developed countries, with admirable tenacity and the absolute willingness to risk life and limb in his relentless investigation and documentation of the trade, and in the pursuit of realistic solutions. Case in point: his and DaMary's ongoing epic Manta Ray of Hope project (watch this space for an important update!) that has directly led to the listing of the Mantas on CITES 2 and continues to spawn Manta Ray sanctuaries, latest of which in the Maldives.
From that point of view alone, this is certainly miles away from those pathetic self promoting productions featuring the usual menopausally challenged bikinettes, precocious home-schooled brats and media whores - and yes I can certainly leave it at that, they know who they are and so do you!

But is this conservation - and is it effective?
To some it may be art, whereas most Europeans including me would define it as typical American over-the-top new-agesque Kitsch - but be it as it may, the fact is that there is a lot of people who simply love those mermaids, meaning that like Shawn eloquently explains, the outreach is simply phenomenal. 

When it comes to having a real impact, however, not convinced.
This is specifically being framed as a protest against the Aussie Shark cull - and I just cannot see how it is going to influence the decision about whether to extend the slaughter to 2017. The assessment by the WA EPA will be a formal process, and so will be the review by the feds - meaning that if at all (!), the decision makers will be swayed by rational as opposed to emotional arguments.
But who knows, maybe some of them have watched it and something sticks.

Long story short?
On this one, I'm with Jimmy an Shawn.
It has been created by the right people and for the right reasons, the production is impressive, the interactions are respectful, the safety protocols impeccable, the imagery and soundtrack and editing excellent, the outreach unmatched.

So bravo and best of luck.
May I be mistaken and may this effect change.

Not convinced - but fingers crossed!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Do Stingrays dash sideways?


Now I'm irritated.
Graham Page remarks, Nice try, rays dont go sideways, it the shadow from a Kite.

Watch again.

Sure fooled me!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Idiot molesting a Stingray - Video!

Estuary Stingray (Dasyatis fluviorum) - Source.

Good one, serves him right!
Story here and here.

El Diego - Shark Reef!


This is what the piscatorial pride of Colombia does on his days off!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Spawning Aggregations - Snappers vs Snappers!

These are Sailfin Snappers, equally in Palau. Video here. Source.

Very cool video!

More about spawning aggregations here.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Californian GWS - no Listing!

Already sufficiently protected - Californian GWS. Source.

So this is it.

And I cite.
Renowned shark expert and Mill Valley resident John McCosker said the commission made the correction decision, saying new data will be out soon corroborating the higher population. 
"We are seeing more attacks on marine mammals indicating the numbers are up," he said. "It's important that you protect animals that need protection and not your favorites. There are too many of them to consider them for the list."
Shame on Oceana, Center for Biological Diversity and Sea Stewards for having squandered so many resources = theirs, those of the donors and those of the authorities, on a non issue instead of investing them in something really important and productive.

And the really bad news?
The frothy conservation BS is not likely to abate anytime soon!
To be continued no doubt!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Chondrichthyes: Tree of Life!

This is the geographic distribution of the Bull Shark - click for detail!


Check this out.
Anybody know who created it?


Feeding Frenzy - the Video!


First the pictures, now this.

Simply amazing!
As to it being a feeding frenzy - no it aint.
On the contrary, all looks controlled, methodical, peaceful and actually, quite mellow!


Friday, June 06, 2014

Our Ocean!

Posted especially for those self promoting charlatans that stipulate the need for direct action because those politicians are callous and don't care.

Website here, speakers here, program here - the latter with one major irritant!
Eagerly awaiting a transcript of those Remarks! :)

Anyway, kudos!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Saving the Sawfishes - Global Strategy!

Click for detail - whole infographic here!

Bravo IUCN!

All Sawfishes are threatened with extinction.
And whilst some countries like the USA do a good job at protecting them and trying to re-establish critical habitat, others require urgent action.

You can read it all here.
This is excellent, impressive work and a must read for fisheries managers, researchers and conservationists alike - and for smartass anglers, too!


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Shark Slaughter in Indonesia!

Source - read it!


Indonesia has the world's largest Shark fishery.
Details here and here. Although there has been some fantastic progress (and here!), progress is excruciatingly slow, enforcement extremely difficult - and there are some totally unexpected consequences.

This is the real world - not one of those lofty utopias.
Welcome to the developing world.

A Win for the Blue Shark!

Well said Riley.

As I said, he might be the next big thing.
IF he navigates the pitfalls - which includes steering well clear of the rabid shark loons out there!
We shall see! :)

Anyway, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Feeding Frenzy!


These photos were taken this afternoon in Coral Bay inside the reef. Yesterday a sick or injured humpback whale was spotted not too far off the back of the reef, and it must of died overnight, and our wonderful garbage trucks of the sea, Tiger sharks have come in to clean up the mess. Other sharks also hanging around the carcass include, lemon sharks, black tip reef sharks, bull sharks, and grey reef sharks and possibly tawny nurse shark as well!! What an after noon! We will see what is left of it tomorrow....