Monday, May 21, 2018

Bull Shark Smiles!

This is just awesome - click for detail!

What can I say but, Vinaka Christian!

No more Shark Sanctuary in the Marshall Islands?

I was wrong.
The Marshalls are not among the "best" - read the above (= click for detail).

Yes this is not good.
In brief, the Shark protection in the Marshall Islands is quietly being rolled back, and nobody appears to give a rat's ass.
Once again, it's all about the money: the huge earnings, the jobs and the according political clout of the fishing industry versus the money needed for enforcement but also the establishment of  alternative livelihoods.
In fact I remember distinctly how back then, Pew strongly suggested that following the designation as a sanctuary, the Marshalls would become a world-renown mecca for shark tourism like Palau - which has very much unsurprisingly not happened as the logistics for running a dive operation there are just simply totally prohibitive.
And like I said back then, legislation can be reversed - and now it has.

And Pew - anybody anybody?
Yeah, right.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Not a Shark Cage?

Right - click for detail!

Read this.
Those are Western Australia's Rules for Shark interactions by Aquatic Eco Tours. “Aquatic eco-tourism” is defined as tourism relating to fish in their natural environment and includes the viewing or feeding of fish but does include the taking of fish.
And these are the rules pertaining to fishing. 

And now watch, and read about this fucking fiasco
Yup that would be yet another production for Shark Week barging in and rubbishing yet another location. And surprise surprise: like he has e.g. already done in Fiji, the Bahamas, Guadalupe and New Zealand, the hypocritical  king of Shark porn is once again smack in the middle of it all.

Just great isn't it.
And let's be crystal clear about it: this is not fucking CinemaScience (I mean, seriously!!!) or environmental filmmaking let alone conservation = this is illegal, unethical and exploitative rubbish perpetrated by human garbage - and let there be no doubt that Discovery Channel is certainly an accomplice, too!
Anyway, not surprised - but it sure is a crying shame seeing Charlie's name associated with that shit!

And like an old broken record let me repeat
Here are my own questions to fellow Shark diving operators, researchers and conservationists.
  • Are we going to continue pretending this aint happening?
  • Are we going to continue watching that shit?
  • Are we the operators going to continue enabling it?
  • Are we going to continue giving our business to operators who do?
  • Are we going to continue associating with those people?
Questions questions - you know who you are!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Science Week!

What an amazing group of researchers, conservationists and industry professionals! 
From L2R, back row: Peni, Gauthier, Wase, Richard, Ian, Charlie and Re; front row Chris, Christian, Manoa and Adam - click for detail!

Now we're at it.
We're finally analyzing our impact on the Whitetip Reefies - and with the original authors having graciously flown in to supervise but also document our experiments, I'm highly confident that we will shortly dispose of solid evidence, the more as the gizmos we are deploying are truly amazing - and totally non-invasive, too!
And like I said back then, I'm equally highly confident that our Sharks are not being harmed.

But we will see won't we.
And should the results indicate that we need to implement changes, we certainly will - and that's a promise.

To be continued - keep watching this space!

Sunday, May 13, 2018


It's a wrap.

We've just hosted a small shoot.
It's for an educational travel series called Awesome Planet that focuses on earth science topics, is geared towards the 13-19 year old audience, and is hosted by Philippe Cousteau. The show is in production for the 5th season  and averages around 700,000 viewers a week nationwide (with an additional 20,000 / month on Amazon Prime).

And now that I've met him, I must say that I really like the dude.
Highly knowledgeable and undoubtedly passionate, world renown and yet refreshingly humble and funny, he is the real deal, and it has been a true delight and also an honor working with him.

This is exactly what we like to facilitate.
Like the episodes of Einstein, this is something respectful and educational that doesn't want to exploit the Sharks and focuses on what we actually do as opposed to some contrived story line featuring the usual assortment of self-enamored media whores.

Which brings me straight to that shit with Ronda Rousey.
No it was certainly not us - along with many other reputable people ranging from potential hosts to researchers to shooters we decided to turn it down as we ultimately want nothing to do with all that gratuitous hype and mental midgetry that are this show in particular and Shark Week in general. 
But of course there will always be some desperate operator enabling that horrible exploitative crap; and of course one can always count on the usual pathetic assortment of self-promoting hypocrites like the king of Shark porn and the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of pseudo-conservation who will always be all-too-happy to come clowning around in front of the camera and molest some poor unsuspecting Shark. 
Case in point - yes that would be conservation messaging, or whatever, and I can certainly leave it at that!

But I'm digressing as usual.
What I really wanted to say is, merci beaucoup, ça a été un vrai plaisir - and a big shout out to Jason of Silver Shark Media for having organized and managed the shoot impeccably!

À la prochaine!

Thursday, May 03, 2018


Gates nerds and BAD boyz in action - click for detail. Source.

This is a great capture.

Bravo Pete.
Last week, he was here teaching DaVinci Resolve to a gaggle of Gates and Red Digital shooters at the Gates STO Fiji 2018, and now this is his and Kylie's well-deserved holiday - which they obviously choose to spend diving on the Fiji Shark Dive in Fiji's first National Marine Park!

The pesky Shark with the busted first dorsal is Chunky.
He one of our most faithful friends and of interest, one of the very few individuals who is a true virtuoso both on the hand- and the bin-feeds.


PS - Pete here.
Thank you - this really is  much appreciated!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Rolex Scholarship - good bye Melinda hello Olivia!

From L2R, with medals: Melinda, Jayne and Olivia, with big Fiji Bull in the background - click for detail!


This is the parting vlog of our pal Melinda.
The new OWUSS Australasia Rolex Scholar is Olivia Johnson, and we all very much look forward to hosting her very soon indeed, together with her indefatigable mer-mom and dear friend Jayne!

And there is this.
The changing of the guard was recently celebrated in New York, and we are particularly proud that one of Melinda's pictures from Shark Reef was chosen to adorn the venue, see at top.
Vinaka vakalevu!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Florida Land-Based Shark Fishing - Progress!

From a presentation to the FWC - those Hammers are obviously moribund, or they could not be handled that way. Click for detail.


Finally at their last meeting, the FWC has taken note.
So far, the staff have continued to derelict their duties and failed to adequately protect their vulnerable prohibited Sharks by cozying up to the shore-based fishermen, by never enforcing their very own rules and by never following up on the numerous complaints (and evidence!) of illegal activities, and have instead continued to belittle the concerns of the public; but in view of the overwhelming evidence presented, the commissioners have now decided that it was high time to draw up unequivocal regulations to stop the shenanigans. 
Yes they will take some time to draft and implement - but here's to the staff taking note that the status quo has become unacceptable and starting to finally fucking do their bloody job; and to the shore-based anglers to fucking clean up their act in order to avoid a total ban of their activity!

Kudos to everybody involved.
But whereas some of the usual shameless self-promoters are already taking public victory laps (shame on you Angela - you know who you are!), the real heroes prefer to keep anonymous - especially one incredibly impressive gal who has been busting her ass setting up a citizen initiative and coordinating much of the concerted effort.
She writes,
You know why this campaign has been different and successful?

I didn’t just start screaming at FWC.
We respectfully communicated and I learned lots along the way.
I figured out how they were trying to handle the issue “education rather that regulation” and then spent 9 months on a daily basis illustrating to them why their approach wouldn’t work. I do know many people have submitted crap to the FWC over the years, that doesn’t do anything. We recognized this issue and immediately spent time and money to address the Commissioners at their meeting of July of 2017 =
within one month of starting our group, and at that time we asked the FWC Commissioners to put land based shark fishing on a future agenda.

Here is where the hard work starts though.
We still have so much work to do.
Yes indeed you do.
There are several topics requiring detailed attention i.e. a) blood baiting and public beach safety, b) gear restrictions, c) handling of prohibited species, d) prohibition of shark fishing from man made structures and finally, e) potential licensing and permitting, and there are already efforts underway to properly address each of them.

Want to help make a difference?
Should you live in Florida, have the required knowledge and skills and want to lend a helping hand, you will have plenty of opportunities - and with most good people wanting to remain anonymous: if you don't know whom to contact, best address yourself to the ASC who will undoubtedly point you in the right direction.

Wishing you the best of luck.
And remember: less talking more doing!

Oh and more good news: there will be no harvest of Goliath Groupers!

PS - Hannah Medd here: yes it has been a dedicated FEW, see her reply to Austin's comment!