A couple of days ago I talked about how I got started at Isla Guadalupe.
Today I'm going to share a couple of things I do during those trips. I'm always collecting pictures and videos from our Shark divers, both for our photo database and a trip video. Our database identifies the sharks, by looking at the transition from the grey to the white, which is like a fingerprint and different for each shark. So far we have identified over 120 different individuals, some of which we have seen every single year for the past 10 years. If we have a new shark that hasn't been identified, the photographer whose picture we use to identify it, gets to name the Shark.
How cool is that?
I compile pictures and videos for a slide show/video and burn it onto a DVD for each Shark Diver to take home. The following is an example from last season!
Dive Operations Manager
Isla Guadalupe, Mexico
Fortunately when occasional shark attacks occur in Southern California there's a few solid voices out there with ready quotes for the media.
This week was no exception and the quotes given were without the typical "re-branding effort" of top order predators that we are beginning to see in the conservation space.
Sharks are sharks, occasionally they attack things and sometimes those things happen to have a human element to them.
Sharks are not misunderstood, they are not soft and cuddly, and they are toothy.
Accepting the basic tenants of sharks does not make them less viable for conservation, but it does allow people to make "informed decisions" about where they should be when sharks are present.
If you want to introduce a new way to add research packages to shark fins without drilling into the dorsal or jamming a titanium dart into a shark THIS is the way to do it.
Yes, there was another reason for attaching a laser to a shark and it took Luke Tipple and his crew to mastermind the media roll out.
Part of the ongoing debate within the shark community has been over invasive research packages on shark fins. The only way to solve that problem is to innovate your way out of it, and the only way to get your idea out there is to create a media firestorm.
At least that's the idea.
Clips on fins are not new, this fin clip is. Additionally the size of research packages are getting smaller and smaller each and every year. It is time for the research community to start developing multi-purpose packages that are even smaller and more robust for the fin clip methodology.
We can innovate our way out of almost anything, it takes vision, leadership, and in some cases some good old fashioned stunt work.
For Mr.Biggelsworth here that green laser was pointing to a bright new future for shark research and a generation of sharks without corroded wires sticking out of hides and destroyed dorsal fins in the name of science.
While global sharkies went to town in a series of cascading outrages, petitions and angry chatter they missed the mark - completely.
How so you might ask?
New Zealand is one of the few Western countries left on the planet that not only allows shark finning, it has set and growing quotas for it. New Zealand is a main purveyor of legal shark fins to the Asian market.
And where is the shark army for that stunning fact? They all know it, and yet NZ seems to inhabit and strange and bizarre bubble of indifference when it comes to outrage against shark fins.
Four years ago we posted, When One Dead Shark Helps a Species, the idea that one dead shark could help turn public opinion. For the hundreds of thousands of dead sharks that get finned each and every year in NZ as part of a draconian quota system, the outrage over this dead shark was hollow, shallow, and completely misguided.
We all want shark finning to end, and yet the lowest hanging fruit of this effort, a western government adding metric tons of shark fin legally to the system remains untouched and unchampioned by the wider shark conservation world while they chase after shadow boats and shark finning in the remotest places on the planet.
Shark conservationists in New Zealand rage at images of dead shark in Japan while the same images, sanitized, legalized, and part of a fisheries profit machine get little to no mention at all.
Because there are no images.These same finned animals, these same quotas, go by the wayside.
New Zealand needs to wake up to shark fin in their own backyard.
The global shark conservation machine needs to wake up to this as well because the outrage over some misguided locals and one shark is a joke, because somewhere in a glass jar at $350 a kilo are the fins of New Zealands legal system. And somewhere in a dusty warehouse are the thousands and thousands of bags of these same fins that say "Fisheries New Zealand" on the side.
We would like to see pictures of those one of these days. It would be a good first start.
More from GrindTV.
If true, this animal represents what many have long suspected in the Sea of Cortez, a smaller distinct white shark population in these waters that may well be on it's way to complete extinction.
"We were amazed and immediately realized that we had a huge, dead, great white shark, and then we thought what are we going to do?," Guadalupe said in an interview with Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing, which is located in the resort city of Cabo San Lucas.
The shark was nearly as long as their 22-foot panga, or skiff. They had to tow the behemoth to the beach, where about 50 people helped drag it onto dry sand.
"Guadalupe and Baltazar swore they had never seen a fish this big before in their lives," the Pisces blog stated. "Even though on March 13 of this year, some of their fellow fishermen had also caught a great white, which had weighed 990 pounds."
The irony that one of the fishermen that caught this shark was named Guadalupe has not escaped us.