Shark conservation at it’s best!

Great news out of Fiji. "DasShark" has just sent me an email, letting me know that the Shark Reef Marine Reserve Fiji has been officially designated a National Marine Park.



Thanks to all the guys and gals at Beqa Adventure Divers! Because of your tireless efforts, the sharks and all the marine creatures are now officially protected. Also a huge congratulations to all of you, for being named the official management team for this newly created park. They couldn't have picked a better group.

For all of you, that think a project like this is easy to accomplish, consider this. From the very beginning, none of the stake holders was opposing this project, but it still took 11 years to get it done. Remember that the next time you think that someone's efforts are not getting any results. Projects like these get accomplished by people who don't need instant gratification, who don't let set backs discourage them and who have a lot of determination and perseverance. The gang at Beqa Adventure Divers has all that in spades.

"DaShark" writes in his blog,  

Oh boy has this been an adventure!

It is the result of a whopping 11 years of constant advocacy, cajoling all the way to begging: hundreds upon hundreds of e-mails, dozens of formal meetings and position papers, several governments, multiple ministers, five different village chiefs chairing numerous village meetings with ever changing village committees, having to wait for the outcome of the ultimately failed Fiji Shark Sanctuary campaign, and the list goes on and on and on. And mind you: all these years and enormous effort had to be invested into a conservation project that was completely undisputed and where every single stakeholder had given his approval since the very beginning!
This just as an aside and as a warning to those groups that want to quickly parachute in and get fast results and instant gratification - this is not how Fiji works!


This would not have been possible without the help of a lot of people. So in his blog he is thanking them, for their help in getting this reserve created.

We are highly grateful to Government and specifically, to Frank Bainimarama for not only having single-handedly saved our sorry ass back then in 2010, but for getting Cabinet to finally endorse it. And an enormous shout-out goes to Aisake Batibasaga, Principal Research Officer at the Department of Fisheries, for his unwavering support and encouragement all throughout this interminable process. It is thanks to his very personal effort that it got tabled, and for that we shall always be grateful to him.
Vinaka Bati, you're a good man and a good friend!

Our massive thanks also go to the village of Galoa.
Shark Reef lays is within their fishing grounds, and I must really say that contrary to others, working with them has always been easy, and fueled by mutual trust, respect and above all, honesty. To celebrate this event and show our appreciation, we will very shortly increase the marine park levy, with all incremental funds flowing to Galoa only.
Vinaka vakalevu!

And then there's our unmatched team.
Here's to James for having founded BAD and to Andrew for his excellent leadership, loyalty and hard work; to Papa and Nani that have been invaluable guides when navigating the treacherous waters of local protocol; to Rusi, quite possibly the world's best Shark feeder and my dive buddy who continues to inspire me every single day; and to the BAD boyz an gals that always make me so proud.

And then!
Here's to those wonderful people that have been helping us since the very beginning - for a decade of friendship, counsel and encouragement, and above all, for stellar company and shared adventures: Valerie and the late Ron, Juerg, Gary and Brenda, the Hawaii gang of Jack and his disciples John, Rob and Richard and least but not least, Alexander Goldknecht of the Shark Foundation who funded our first patrol boat, continues to fund Juerg' research and is a sponsor of the ongoing GFSC.
And to you, the many loyal friends we've made on the way, and the thousands upon thousands of visitors that have enabled us to keep going and finally achieve our vision of a tourism-based integrated Shark research and conservation project, and reach finally this milestone.
And to our detractors - your have only strengthened our resolve!
Thank you so much!
There is one person I would like to thank for "getting it done".  Thank you "DaShark"! I know you like to stay behind the scenes and are not seeking the public accolades, but in this case, I have to say, Vinaka vakalevu Mike!

There are a lot of people out there, that say that feeding sharks is bad, period. I wonder if any of them have created a national marine park? This is an excellent example of how real conservation works. This park would never have been created without the shark feeding program. It was the catalyst to get all the stake holders on board and would have been impossible without the funds collected from the divers.

Shark Diver is proud to partner with Beqa Adventure Divers for our Fiji Bull Shark adventures next May. If you want to join us, when we visit this newly created national park, call us at 619.887.4275 or email us at staff@sharkdiver.com

Our 2015 dates are May 8-17, May 15-24 and May 22-31.

Let's go Bull 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.

A 99.999999% effective shark repellent!

Finally, after years of careful research and countless hours spent analyzing shark bite data from all over the world, after comparing all the shark repelling products on the market, we at Shark Diver have found the one shark repellent that works in give or take 99.999999% of the time.

But first, a little background on our research. To obtain our data, we have been diving with Great White Sharks at Isla Guadalupe, Tiger Sharks in the Bahamas and Bull Sharks in Fiji.

Everyone is always skeptical about the testing methods used to obtain the data. The companies advertising their products always say that you can't test the product on humans, because of the dangers involved. We are so confident in our shark repellent, that we put our own butts on the line to proof the effectiveness. More than anyone else can say. ... Oh yes, we have taken some pictures, documenting our work, for all you naysayers out there.



Ooops, the shark came a little close here.


A Tiger Shark showing no interest in biting the diver.

But what about the supposedly most aggressive shark, the Bull Shark?


Wow, that was close, but once again, even a Bull Shark didn't bite the test subject.

But how about a lot of Bull Sharks?



The video shows, that the sharks came close, but again, showed no interest in biting our test subjects.

So what is this incredible shark deterrent, that is so effective, that if it were a drug, it would be the most effective drug ever produced? So effective that there is not a single safety device out there, that has a better success rate? Well, it is quite simple actually. The common denominator for all the people that went into the water for thousands of years is this. The were all human! Being human gives you such a miniscule chance of getting bit or killed by a shark, that there is simply no way to design a device that will statistically lower your chances of getting bit by a shark. Think about it, what else is 99.999999% safe?

So let's go out and enjoy the ocean. Just be careful on your way there and watch out for those rip currents.

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.

Cageless diving with Great White Sharks. Good idea?

This is for all of you who are thinking that it is a good idea to go outside of a cage and dive with Great White Sharks and say that they treat you as one of their own. Check out this video shark diving, great white shark diving, swimming with great white sharks, great white adventures, shark cage diving


Imagine if the smaller shark would have been a diver. Still think it's a good idea?  Still want them to treat you as one of their own?
 Isla Guadalupe shark diving, shark cage diving california.
When will we learn to love the sharks for who and what they are? They are wild predators, not freaking pets. I'm not ashamed to say "I love those Great White Sharks, but the feeling is NOT mutual!" They are not capable of loving us. That doesn't mean that they are mindless killers either. They are fierce predators that are neither out to eat us, nor do they want to be touched or hugged by us.

Let's go "safe and sane" shark diving! See and appreciate them for what they are.

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.

Pictures and trip report from Guadalupe

Marie Tartar has posted some great pictures and written a blog about her recent trip to Guadalupe Island with us.

Cage diving, swimming with sharks, shark diving, at Isla Guadalupe. experience a real shark week
On her FB page she writes. "Just when you thought it was safe to go back on Facebook...more sharks! Great white sharks, in residence for the season at Guadalupe Island, Mexico. See more pics on my blog:" http://aperturephotoarts.com/white-sharks-guadalupe-island-mexico/




Marie also posted this video.

Thanks for sharing your experience along with your great pictures Marie! It was nice having you come out with us. I enjoyed introducing you to "my" sharks at Isla Guadalupe.

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.

“Chugey” is back at Guadalupe

Just how rough a life do Great White Sharks have? We have talked about the amazing healing power of these amazing animals here and it looks like they really need that ability to heal. Chugey, the shark we were talking about in that blog, is back at Guadalupe Island and it looks like that he hasn't gotten any more careful since he got his face bit. He is sporting some brand new bite marks to add to the scars from his previous bite.

As a reminder, here is what he looked like 2 years ago.


Here is what he looks like with his old scar and new bite marks.



This is another picture of Chugey, taken by one of our divers, Marie Tartar.



It's great to see him back at Guadalupe acting like nothing happened. I continue to be blown away by both their ability to heal and never showing any signs of discomfort or indication that they are in pain, when swimming around with severe bite injuries. Chugey is one of our "original" sharks at Isla Guadalupe, having visited the island every year for well over a decade.

Tonight we leave on our first science dive of the season. Nicole Nasby-Lucas, who is of course the person responsible for our photo ID database, will be coming out with us. Thanks to her, we can individually identify the sharks and also have a history of when they visited Guadalupe Island.

We have seen a few new sharks this season and I cant wait for her to add them to the database.

What will he be named?


If you would like to come out with us, we only have two spaces open for this season, one each on September 19-24 and on November 5-10. We are also booking for next season and some expeditions are almost sold out. Don't miss your chance for an amazing trip of a lifetime. Call 619.887.4275 or email us at staff@sharkdiver.com for more information or to reserve your space.

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.

A whole lot of fighting going on at Isla Guadalupe.

We have seen an unusual number of sharks with fresh bite marks at Guadalupe Island this season. It seems like most sharks, over about 12 ft long have some kind of new bite marks on their bodies. Chugey has another nice bite to his head, a new shark's face is all messed up and Kendric has a big bite on his tail. It seems like Thor and Bite Face are the only large sharks that haven't been bitten.


I've also noticed a much bigger interest in the cages, by sharks who have been around for years and are used to them. Gunther was nibbling on the cages on a bunch of different occasions. It was definitely not a predatory kind of biting. Their movements were almost in slow motion and when they bit on metal, they didn't react to it at all........ strange. It's amazing, how these sharks just keep surprising us with new behaviors. I call it "predictably unpredictable".


I'll keep you updated on what we encounter on our next expedition.

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 sharkcrew@gmail.com.
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