How many Great White Sharks are at Guadalupe Island?


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The last 2 seasons at Guadalupe Island were awesome with more sharks than we have ever seen before. On some of our expeditions we saw over 30 individual sharks. Some of those sharks were old "friends", while a lot of them were new. We started the 2015 season with 170 identified great white sharks and ended with 200. That was one of the largest number of new sharks we encountered, since we started cage diving in 2001.


We are still working on a final count for the just finished 2016 season, but we definitely have more than 20 new individuals to add. The last couple of seasons were not only very productive as far as the total number of sharks seen (both new and already identified), but it was also unusual that we saw a lot of juvenile females early in the season and generally a much larger number of sharks late in the season. In seasons past, we saw the really big females in October and November and when they showed up, the smaller sharks stayed away.  The last 2 seasons the smaller sharks stayed around, when the big females arrived. What will we see this coming season? We never know what to expect when going to Guadalupe Island, but after 16 seasons of diving with these sharks, I can't wait to go back in August.


This last season was extremely unique in that we saw all sizes of sharks together. Anything from a small 8ft. male to Tzitzimitl and Scarboard, two of the largest females at Guadalupe Island.

Why are we seeing these sharks in larger numbers? Are the conservation efforts paying off? I don't really have an answer to this, but hope that the continued efforts of the Marine Conservation Science Institute, (MCSI) with their tagging and photo ID program will provide the answers we are looking for.
If you would like to support the ongoing research, MCSI has various ways you can become involved, including the right to name a shark. Wouldn't it be cool, if you watch shark week and see a shark you named? You can contact them by clicking here.

Lucy, one of our regular females, easily recognizable by her tail.
We also have 3 science expeditions to Guadalupe Island, with Nicole Nasby-Lucas from MCSI. These expeditions are a great opportunity to learn from the scientist who is maintaining the photo ID database. You also get a copy of that database, so you can identify all the sharks you'll encounter on the trip, as well as the sharks you see on shark week.

To join us on one of our trips, call 619.887.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com for more information.

Let's go shark diving!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Have a Sharky New Year!


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In 2106 we had some awesome expeditions to Guadalupe, Fiji and Tiger Beach. We made many new friends and reconnected with old ones. We want to thank all of you that came out with us this year and are looking forward to meeting those of you who are coming out in 2017.

We want to wish all of you the best for a healthy, prosperous, happy and sharky 2017!

Cheers,

Cindy and Martin

Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Have a Sharky New Year!


Instagram 



In 2106 we had some awesome expeditions to Guadalupe, Fiji and Tiger Beach. We made many new friends and reconnected with old ones. We want to thank all of you that came out with us this year and are looking forward to meeting those of you who are coming out in 2017.

We want to wish all of you the best for a healthy, prosperous, happy and sharky 2017!

Cheers,

Cindy and Martin

Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Do shark repelling devices work?


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We see a lot of devices advertised that claim to repel sharks. The question is, do they work?
A lot of these devices use either electricity or magnets that are supposed to repel sharks, others claim that a certain color pattern will prevent a shark from biting the wearer.

I have always been skeptical of these devices, since I have seen sharks been simultaneously attracted to and repelled by the same object. Some of the makers of these devices use videos that show sharks jerk away from their gadgets in their advertising. (just search for shark repellent on youtube) In my experience, anything that causes a reaction by a shark, even one that shows it jerking away and taking off, is also peaking its curiosity, which could mean that these devices may actually increase your chances of getting bit.

I have seen 3 white sharks swim in to investigate a beach towel that got blown overboard. All of them jerked away and took off. While 2 took off for good, one came back, jerked away again, but kept coming back. I don't know weather it eventually bit the towel or not, because I lost sight of them, as they descended too deep to see. It definitely did show though, that even if something causes a shark to take off, it can also peak its curiosity and bring it back to investigate.

Now we have proof that at least one of these devices definitely does not work. The Daily Mail reports that a surfer in Florida got bit while wearing the "sharkbanz"

source

The article states that:
"A teenager has been bitten by a shark while wearing the new shark-repelling band he got for Christmas for the first time. Zack Davis suffered a huge bite to his arm while surfing near Avalon Beach State Park on North Hutchinson Island in Florida. The teen was wearing a new band with magnetic technology that claims to repel sharks away from swimmers." Read the entire article here

Of course I'm not the first to say that these devices don't work. DaShark has called it back in January, when he wrote "Sharkbanz - total scam" You can read his what he said here

Don't get suckered in and buy these products. At best, they simply don't work and at worst may actually increase your chances of a shark encounter.

Cheers,

Martin Graf
CEO
Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Do shark repelling devices work?


Instagram 
We see a lot of devices advertised that claim to repel sharks. The question is, do they work?
A lot of these devices use either electricity or magnets that are supposed to repel sharks, others claim that a certain color pattern will prevent a shark from biting the wearer.

I have always been skeptical of these devices, since I have seen sharks been simultaneously attracted to and repelled by the same object. Some of the makers of these devices use videos that show sharks jerk away from their gadgets in their advertising. (just search for shark repellent on youtube) In my experience, anything that causes a reaction by a shark, even one that shows it jerking away and taking off, is also peaking its curiosity, which could mean that these devices may actually increase your chances of getting bit.

I have seen 3 white sharks swim in to investigate a beach towel that got blown overboard. All of them jerked away and took off. While 2 took off for good, one came back, jerked away again, but kept coming back. I don't know weather it eventually bit the towel or not, because I lost sight of them, as they descended too deep to see. It definitely did show though, that even if something causes a shark to take off, it can also peak its curiosity and bring it back to investigate.

Now we have proof that at least one of these devices definitely does not work. The Daily Mail reports that a surfer in Florida got bit while wearing the "sharkbanz"

source

The article states that:
"A teenager has been bitten by a shark while wearing the new shark-repelling band he got for Christmas for the first time. Zack Davis suffered a huge bite to his arm while surfing near Avalon Beach State Park on North Hutchinson Island in Florida. The teen was wearing a new band with magnetic technology that claims to repel sharks away from swimmers." Read the entire article here

Of course I'm not the first to say that these devices don't work. DaShark has called it back in January, when he wrote "Sharkbanz - total scam" You can read his what he said here

Don't get suckered in and buy these products. At best, they simply don't work and at worst may actually increase your chances of a shark encounter.

Cheers,

Martin Graf
CEO
Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Is shark diving beneficial for the sharks?


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With the recent coverage of the cage diving accident at Guadalupe, a lot of people have commented that shark diving should be banned.


Obviously my view on that may be biased, since I own a shark diving business, but I have some facts that may change your view on shark diving.

Did you know that shark diving operations have prevented poachers from fishing for sharks at Guadalupe? At this point, everyone knows there are great white sharks at Guadalupe Island, including the poachers. If we would stop shark diving there, the poachers would have easy access.


Did you know that shark diving created a National Marine Park in Fiji? The efforts of Beqa Adventure Divers, have directly led to the creation of the Shark Reef Marine Reserve. When they started diving there, they went to the local fishing village that were the traditional owners of that reef and made a deal with them. They would receive a levy from every shark diver in return for a promise from the village to not fish on that reef. Beqa Adventure Divers also hired and trained their Divemasters, Instructors and boat Captains from that village. After 10 years of diving there, the number of fish species on the reef increased from around 280 to over 480. In 2014 that reef became an official National Marine Park, the equivalent of a National Park in the US.

Shark Reef Marine Reserve
Did you know that Shark Diver donates a significant portion of it's proceeds to research? We primarily support the Marine Conservation Science Institute who created and maintains the photo ID database of all the sharks at Guadalupe Island.

Did you know that Shark Diver started Shark Free Marinas?

Did you know that Shark Diver works to get fishing tournaments to have catch and release divisions, instead of all kill? This is actually something we have been criticized for by people who don't want to see shark fishing tournaments at all. Well, I don't like them either, but catch and release is far better than catch and kill. One step at a time!

Shark Diver is just one company among many operators who actively uses the business to support conservation. We try to emulate our buddies in Fiji. Beqa Adventure Divers who state that they are a "Conservation project, masquerading as a dive operation" We have a long way to go, but we are working on catching up.

So how about the issue of conditioning the sharks, by providing them with food? I leave the answer to that question to DaShark who wrote a blog about that issue a while back.
The late Rusi feeding his sharks.

He writes:
Conditioning via Positive Reinforcement, the big no-no.
Yes, I confess, this is precisely what we do!
We reward the Sharks whenever they approach, very much in the hopes that over time, more and more of them will turn up for a meal - which of course, being smart Apex Predators, they do!
We do so in order to show them to our clients - as opposed to, as I shall never tire to repeat, Fishermen who do exactly the same thing in order to catch and then kill them.
Get the hint? Who has the way biggest, and most negative impact on the animals? Are we going to abolish fishing as a consequence? I wish!


Just to remind you, this comes from the guy who was largely responsible for creating that national marine park I mentioned above.

There are many, many more reasons I could list that show that shark diving, when done properly can greatly benefit not only the sharks, but the ocean in general. It is easy to just oppose shark diving with often unsubstantiated claims, without taking into consideration what the alternative would be.

How many of you would be interested in sharks, or aware of them, without all the pictures and videos on TV and social media? None of those would be around, if not for shark diving?



Weather you agree with my stand on shark diving or not, let's agree on something. Just offering our opinions on social media and criticizing others is not saving a single shark. Only actions can do that. Let's be activists, not slacktivists and keep in mind who is killing sharks. It's the fishing industry, not shark divers!

Let's go shark diving! Or clean up a beach or.....

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver
   
About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.
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