Which sharks are back at Guadalupe Island?

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We just came back from our first expedition of the year to Guadalupe Island, where we saw 12 different sharks. As is usual for this time of the year, the smaller males were the most frequent visitors to our cages. On our trip we saw the following sharks that are all in our photo ID database.

#107 Atlantis: He was the first shark that showed up on day one and stayed around all day.

#65 Johnny: He came really close to show off his new mutilation to his tail. He’s now sporting a cut in the center of his caudal fin.

#206 Poseidon: He was super active and made may close passes by the cage.

#97 Drogin: Drogin was his usual self. He’s a super active shark, coming at the cages from all different directions, trying to steal a hang bait.

#188: We can’t leave this shark without a name! How would you like to name him? Contact http://www.marinecsi.org/ and sponsor his name! Make it a cool one! He deserves it!

#149 Kenrick: He was one of the bigger males that showed up and swam around like he’s the boss. He’s still a sub-adult though and won’t be the dominant one, once Bruce, Bite Face, Thor etc. show up.

#168 Sad Face: He was named last year, because he had bite marks that looked like a sad face on his side. This year those marks were barely noticeable, so it’s a good thing that we can use the color markings to positively identify him.

#121 Don Julian: He’s growing up. Last time I saw him, he was probably close to a foot shorter than he is now. Maybe in a couple of years he’ll be mature.

#199 Who wants to name this awesome shark? Contact the Marine Conservation Science Institute to sponsor his name.

#186 He came by with a bunch of pilot fish. He can also be named by contacting http://www.marinecsi.org/

#83 Joker He was pretty shy and didn’t come close.

We also saw a young male with a cookie cutter bite on his head, but I didn’t get any photos of him, so I couldn’t identify him.

Tonight we leave for another trip. I can’t wait to see who else is back at Guadalupe and am ready to meet some new sharks. Last year we added 29 new sharks to our database, how many will it be this year?

Come join us and get to know these awesome creatures. How great would it be to know the individual shark, next time you watch shark week? Call 619.887.4275 or email crew@sharkdiver.com for more information on how to join.
www.sharkdiver.com

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.

Get to know “Lucy” Great White Shark at Guadalupe Island

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I love “Lucy”, and I’m not referring to the popular TV show in the 50ies. “Lucy” is a large female Great White Shark, that is regularly visiting Guadalupe Island. Most mature females are only seen every other year. They mate at Guadalupe Island and then stay away from the Island until after they give birth off the coast of Baja and in the Sea of Cortes, about 18 months after they get pregnant at Guadalupe.

Unfortunately “Lucy” doesn’t seem to get pregnant. In 2008 she suffered and injury to her tail, most likely from a bite by another shark. Her tail is pretty much mangled and it probably affects her speed. I don’t know if that’s the reason she doesn’t seem to get pregnant, but we have seen her every season, for the last 9 years.

“Lucy’s” tail makes it very easy to identify her. Usually we identify the individual sharks by their coloration. The transition from the white underbelly to the grey top is unique for every individual. Some people try to identify the sharks by their scars. That is how “Bite Face” got his name. The problem with scars is that they heal and if that is the only identifying characteristic you have, you would not recognize that same shark when it comes back the following year. Mutilations, like Lucy’s tail don’t change and can be used in conjunction with the markings to identify her. We have a photo id database that is managed by Nicole Nasby-Lucas from the Marince Conservation Science Institute, with over 220 individual sharks in identified.

If you are coming out on one of our “science” expeditions, you’ll get a chance to learn how to identify these sharks from Nicole herself. You will also get the complete photo ID database, so you can identify all the sharks you encountered and what’s really cool, you will then be able to identify the sharks you see on TV. How awesome will it be, when you see a shark on TV and realize that this is the individual that swam inches from your face at Guadalupe?

Even with her tail slowing her down, she seems to be healthy in every other way. She is definitely getting enough food and is holding her own among all the sharks at the Island. Lucy is a very curious shark and she swims very close to the cages, making eye contact with our divers as she is gliding by slowly.

I hope to see Lucy when we return in the fall. I do have mixed emotions though. While I would love to see her, it would of course mean that she didn’t get pregnant again last season.

If you would like to join us, or just get more information, call 619.887.4275, email crew@sharkdiver.com or visit our website www.sharkdiver.com

Let’s go sharkdiving!

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.

Get to know “Lucy” Great White Shark at Guadalupe Island

Instagram 
I love “Lucy”, and I’m not referring to the popular TV show in the 50ies. “Lucy” is a large female Great White Shark, that is regularly visiting Guadalupe Island. Most mature females are only seen every other year. They mate at Guadalupe Island and then stay away from the Island until after they give birth off the coast of Baja and in the Sea of Cortes, about 18 months after they get pregnant at Guadalupe.

Unfortunately “Lucy” doesn’t seem to get pregnant. In 2008 she suffered and injury to her tail, most likely from a bite by another shark. Her tail is pretty much mangled and it probably affects her speed. I don’t know if that’s the reason she doesn’t seem to get pregnant, but we have seen her every season, for the last 9 years.

“Lucy’s” tail makes it very easy to identify her. Usually we identify the individual sharks by their coloration. The transition from the white underbelly to the grey top is unique for every individual. Some people try to identify the sharks by their scars. That is how “Bite Face” got his name. The problem with scars is that they heal and if that is the only identifying characteristic you have, you would not recognize that same shark when it comes back the following year. Mutilations, like Lucy’s tail don’t change and can be used in conjunction with the markings to identify her. We have a photo id database that is managed by Nicole Nasby-Lucas from the Marince Conservation Science Institute, with over 220 individual sharks in identified.

If you are coming out on one of our “science” expeditions, you’ll get a chance to learn how to identify these sharks from Nicole herself. You will also get the complete photo ID database, so you can identify all the sharks you encountered and what’s really cool, you will then be able to identify the sharks you see on TV. How awesome will it be, when you see a shark on TV and realize that this is the individual that swam inches from your face at Guadalupe?

Even with her tail slowing her down, she seems to be healthy in every other way. She is definitely getting enough food and is holding her own among all the sharks at the Island. Lucy is a very curious shark and she swims very close to the cages, making eye contact with our divers as she is gliding by slowly.

I hope to see Lucy when we return in the fall. I do have mixed emotions though. While I would love to see her, it would of course mean that she didn’t get pregnant again last season.

If you would like to join us, or just get more information, call 619.887.4275, email crew@sharkdiver.com or visit our website www.sharkdiver.com

Let’s go sharkdiving!

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.

Introducing Screaming Mimi, a very unique Great White Shark at Guadalupe Island

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During our confinement at home due to the coronavirus, we are introducing you to a few of our favorite characters you might meet when you visit Guadalupe Island through a series of blogs. Today we’d like you to meet “Screaming Mimi”!

At Shark Diver, our goal is to not just take you to Guadalupe to see some Great White Sharks, we want you to get to know these awesome creatures individually. They all have different character traits and behaviors. How awesome would it be when the next time you watch shark week you can say “this is the shark that swam right next to me!”? So that you can identify the individual sharks when you come home from your trip, every one of our divers will receive a copy of our Photo ID to take home.

 We met “Screaming Mimi” a couple of years ago. When I first encountered her, I nicknamed her “Kinky”.  She has a very distinct kink in her tail. I have no idea what caused that kink, since she doesn’t have any obvious scars or signs of injury. She was named “Screaming Mimi” by someone through the “Sponsor a shark” program of the Marine Conservation Science Institute. That sponsor program is one of the ways they raise funds for the Photo ID database at Guadalupe Island.

Mimi is a very active and curious shark. When she encounters something new in the water, she exhibits a typical white shark trait. Unlike what most people think, white sharks don’t just attack when they encounter something they don’t know. They swim by close to check it out. It is actually quite funny some times. A couple of years ago, a beach towel blew overboard and started to drift down. 3 white sharks came by to investigate it. 2 of them jerked away and rapidly swam away when the towel moved a little in the current. The 3rd. one kept swimming close to it, jerking away, and getting closer again. I don’t know if it eventually bit the towel or not, as I lost sight of both the shark and the towel in the distance.

Watch the video below of Mimi checking out my GoPro camera that was attached to a long pole and handled from the boat.

You can see that they don’t just attack something they don’t know. The swim by and check things out first.

Screaming Mimi ©Tim Peterson

Mimi also likes to swim really close to the cages and makes eye contact with the divers.

Mimi is around 14′ long and not quite mature yet. It is amazing how big these sharks have to be, before they are mature and able to reproduce.

I hope we’ll see her again this year. She loves to swim around the cages, sometimes for hours. It never ceases to amaze me that we keep seeing the same individual sharks year after year. It’s not like they are resident sharks. They migrate thousands of miles each year but come right back to the same spot at Guadalupe Island.

If you want to come face to face with a great white shark and would like to learn how to identify these sharks, join us on one of our “science” expeditions. We do have some spaces open and would love to introduce you to our sharks.

Call 619.887.4275, email crew@sharkdiver.com or visit www.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 crew@sharkdiver.com.