Saturday, January 01, 2011

Canadian Government intend to protect the Great White Shark even more!

If you have seen the movie "Jaws" you know what a Great White shark is...or at least, you have a partial idea of what it is. I say this because the movie is only based on some facts but mostly on fiction. Hollywood took a large fish and made people terrified of them. What are the facts that were "right" in the movie? The appearance, the name, the type of teeth and...that's pretty much it!

You see, the Great White shark is a species consider to be at risk, thanks to that movie! Its population dangerously decreased following its new, unwanted Hollywood fame. In fact, protective laws have been created in numerous countries worldwide, in order to prevent their extinction as they were hunted down, as they were now seen as human eating machines. If you know anything about the Great White shark, you know that most of the information shared by the movie has nothing to do with reality. This shark is more likely to flee humans than eat them. We are too bony for them and don't have that tasty blubber that whales and seals have.

Most people are unaware that 32 Great White sharks have been caught off the Canadian coast of the Atlantic Ocean, in the last 30 years. Most have been accidentally caught by fishermen, some by trade, others by sport.

While it is illegal to intentionally catch a Great White shark, the Canadian government intends to create more laws to help protect this species from extinction.

I must say that when I read something like this from my own government, it makes me proud to be Canadian. Hopefully, this action will lead to other countries adopting the same attitude...worldwide.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Massachusetts: Great White shark caught off the coast!

Local fisherman have been keeping an eye out for the return of great white sharks after they were spotted and tagged off the coast of Cape Cod last summer.On Saturday, the fishing boat Sweet Dream III was tuna fishing on Stellwagen Bank when the crew spotted one of the predators.Capt. Bruce Sweet said he and his crew caught the 7-foot shark after a one-hour fight to bring it in.The crew then tagged and released the fish.Stellwagen Bank lies off the Massachusetts coast, running some 18 miles from a point six miles northeast of Provincetown to seven miles southeast of Gloucester.
Greg Skomal/Massachusetts Division
Scientists tagged this great white shark and another off Chatham.More
Last September, town officials in Chatham closed all east-side facing beaches to swimming after three great white sharks came within 75 yards of the coastline.A state biologist and a team of Cape Cod fishermen became the first group to successfully tag a great white shark in the Atlantic Ocean, placing tracking devices on two sharks off the coast of Chatham, according to the Department of Marine Fisheries.No fewer than a dozen shark species, including makos, blue sharks and thresher sharks, swim in and out of New England waters each year.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Great White shark mauled by taggers has recovered!

In 2009 a film/research team badly mauled a white shark at the Farallone Islands.

What is not in dispute is the fact that a circle hook, very similar to the one seen here, was embedded deeply in the throat of a white shark.

The team went on to try and remove this hook by pushing bolt cutters through the gills of the animal and only succeeded in getting a fraction back leaving the animal with a hook still embedded in it's throat.

The resulting media storm over this event sent shock waves through both the research community and the commercial shark world. Only a few of the commercial shark diving operators on the West coast of the USA got in front of this issue, were one of them. Others who are far more commercially invested in the Farallones said and did little in the public forum for reasons that remain their own.

Our long standing commercial and conservation efforts with sharks have been predicated by one mandate "do no harm to sharks." We support all research and commercial endeavors until they break that simple tenant.

The badly mauled shark at the Farallones was tagged with a real time GPS monitor and we were told the animal was "in great health." Unfortunately since December 8. 2009, all our efforts to get this real time data monitored by an independent source seemed to have hit a wall.

To date we have sent six emails to NOAA's and GFNMS regional managers and have been told the following:

The Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary will work with an independent, qualified reviewer with expertise in white shark behavior, husbandry, and/or health to assess the status of the sharks tagged last Fall around the Farallon Islands.

b) The independent reviewer will assess the status of the sharks by reviewing footage of the tagging operations and comparing the tracking data from Dr. Domeier's tags with the tracking data from TOPP's research project at the Farallones over a year's timeframe. The GFNMS has already contacted Dr. Domeier for his data to begin the assessment.

c) The GFNMS will notify you as soon as that person has been identified and the work has begun.

d) The GFNMS will notify you of the results and post the results of the assessment on the Gulf of Farallones website (

It has been five months since this tagging disaster and we have not heard anything from NOAA or the GFNMS staff in regards to this pressing matter and it is time that we did.

Editors Note: Fiji's Da Shark has weighed in on this issue (again) and we have to agree with his take, makes for great additional reading.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Teen dives with Great White sharks

Intrepid teen dives into close encounter

PREPARING FOR ACTION: Invercargill 14-year-old Lydia Ward (left, in cage) who was attacked by a shark at Oreti Beach last month and brother Alex, 10, prepare to face off with great white sharks off the coast of Stewart Island yesterday.

Lydia Ward
BITE BACK: 14-year-old Lydia Ward who was attacked by a shark at Oreti Beach last month.
Great White Shark
GREAT SIGHT: This was one of the smaller great white sharks seen by Invercargill 14-year-old Lydia Ward when in a cage off the coast of Stewart Island at the weekend.

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Five weeks after being bitten by a shark, an Invercargill teen on Saturday dived with her attacker's larger cousins – the great white.

Lydia Ward, 14, gained international media attention last month when she fought off a shark – believed to be a broadnose sevengill shark – with her body-board after it latched on to her right thigh at Oreti Beach.

On Saturday, Lydia again came face to face with a predator at the top of the ocean's food chain – albeit from the safety of a 2m-high dive cage.

Lydia, her father Tim and brother Alex, 10, flew from Invercargill to Stewart Island early on Saturday to be treated to an all-expenses-paid expedition courtesy of shark-dive operation Great White Southern Dive.

Lydia yesterday said a 3m-long great white had come within 1m of her soon after she got in the cage.

She said she didn't have any flashbacks of the Oreti Beach shark attack, but had been a bit wary of the great white.

"I was just staring at it ... and it looked like it was staring right at me. It had a lot of scars all over it."

The experience had been "really cool", Lydia said.

Mr Ward said his daughter had "hesitated very slightly" before getting into the cage, but she was fine once inside.

Though she had not swum at Oreti Beach since being attacked, Lydia believed she would be able to get back into the water, adding she had been coping just fine.

Her father agreed: "From the day after (the shark attack), when she realised she was at the wrong place at the wrong time and there was no man-eater cruising around looking for lunch, she was quite composed," Mr Ward said.

Great White Southern Dive operator Peter Scott said he had offered the cage experience after seeing how much attention Lydia's story had attracted.

"I didn't want people getting the wrong impression (of sharks)," he said. "There can't have been much else happening in the world."

Two or three great whites had been in the water near the cage throughout the day-long expedition for the Ward family, Mr Scott said.

"They just come – they're curious."

Giant squids may cause migration of Great White sharks

In what could be the ultimate marine smack-down, great white sharks off the California coast may be migrating 1,600 miles west to do battle with creatures that rival their star power: giant squids.

A series of studies tracking this mysterious migration has scientists rethinking not just what the big shark does with its time but also what sort of creature it is.

Few sea denizens match great white sharks and giant squids in primitive mystique. Both are the subject of popular mania; both are inscrutable. That these two mythic sea monsters might convene for epic battles in the stark expanses of the Pacific is enough to make a documentarian salivate.

For more reserved scientists, the possible link between sharks and squid, suggested by marine ecologist Michael Domeier of the Marine Conservation Science Institute in Fallbrook, is just one part of emerging research that has altered their understanding of the great whites.

The shift began eight years ago with the surprising discovery that great white sharks migrate, somewhat as humpback whales do. That and subsequent studies have demolished the iconic image of great whites lurking in relative shallows, ready to snatch an errant swimmer, as popularized in the movie "Jaws."

Domeier said he believes the animals "are not a coastal shark that comes out to the middle of the ocean. They are an ocean shark that comes to the coast. It is a complete flip-flop."

Picture them not as a dorsal fin off the beach but rather as an unseen leviathan swimming through black depths where the oxygen thins and fish glow in the dark, and maybe pouncing on a 30-foot squid.

The squid part is controversial. But Domeier's work and that of other scientists increasingly suggests that great white sharks are not randomly roving eating machines.

Instead, they obey set migration patterns, have distinct populations and return to the same locales. They are not desperadoes but dutiful migrants: Nomads but not outlaws, they yearn for home.

But this new understanding raised a question: Why would an animal so large, that grows teeth as humans grow hair, bother to go so far when it can dine on just about anything in fin's reach? The migration is especially puzzling because it means sharks miss out on coastal food supplies, said the University of Hawaii's Kevin Weng, who also tracked sharks' migration.

Determined to find the reason, Domeier and his team spent three years catching 22 great whites off Mexico's Guadalupe Island, southwest of San Diego, and bolting high-tech tags to their fins. The area, like California's Farallon Islands, is a hot spot for shark visits.

The team used hooks that could cradle a volleyball. They wrestled the sharks onto platforms, lifted them aboard their vessel and put towels over their eyes. The 4,000-pound predator is only a minor threat out of water, Domeier said. But after being thwacked off his feet, he learned to tie up their tails.

Funded by Newport Beach's George T. Pfleger Foundation and others, Domeier arranged a voyage with a National Geographic Channel television crew to follow the sharks in a 126-foot boat. The crew used the tags to track the sharks to an area of the deep Pacific about 1,500 miles east of Kauai that scientists consider an ecological desert because it is so biologically unproductive.

There, the sharks abruptly ended their migration, and satellite tags showed them milling around and diving.

Despite hours of surveys and trolling during last spring's monthlong voyage, members found barely any fish or other prey that the sharks might be eating.

But there was an exception: squids. Purple and neon flying squids were easy to find. There also were leaping sperm whales, a marine mammal known to feed in spawning areas for large squids. To Domeier, it was clear: The sharks had found a squid-based ecosystem with big enough prey to attract sperm whales.

Finally, the crew found a whitish carcass of a giant squid that had been chewed on, perhaps by various predators. Because of the lack of alternative food sources, and the pinging tags that traced deep and frequent dives, Domeier said, he formed a speculative conclusion: The sharks go to the area for the same reason as sperm whales: to feed on large squids, including the giant ones in the area, and on various predators the squids attract.

The weather turned bad, and the investigation ended early. The trip back was boring enough for the crew to form a band, then break up.

Domeier said he believes the sharks return to the coast to breed. His tags showed that some females stayed out at sea full-time.

The idea has set off robust debate. Some scientists argue it remains possible that the sharks mate offshore, and all agree that more research is needed to determine exactly what, and when, they eat. And it's highly unlikely anyone will ever see a shark making an easy kill of giant squid.

But Oscar Sosa-Nishizaki, a fisheries biologist in Ensenada, said the tagging effort helps researchers count sharks and plan conservation efforts.

Shark scientists face a dilemma: There is intense popular interest in their work, but some fret that it may hinder conservation. Media interest in sharks tends to be "sparse on detail, high on testosterone," said marine biologist Weng. "It's as if aliens were to visit planet Earth, and the only thing they saw of human beings was ultimate fighting on TV."

Though wary of pop biology, Domeier made the most of it. He used his time on camera to lobby against eating bluefin tuna and Chilean sea bass.

If mythic predator-mania gave him the chance, so be it, he said. "We are at a state of real disaster of our oceans," he said. "Perhaps the scientific routine . . . doesn't work."

New seals colony could invite Great White sharks to favorite surfing spot!

ROTTNEST Island looks likely to become home to a breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals, raising fears that great white sharks will be attracted to the holiday spot.

While several dozen seals have long called Cathedral Rocks near Cape Vlamingh home, University of WA researcher Ana Hara says the seals could establish a permanent breeding colony there by as soon as next summer.

It has raised fears that the popular surfing spot at the west end of Rottnest could attract more great whites.

"The great white is their big predator so that could pose a risk," Rottnest Island Authority ranger Sarah Ellis-Stott said.

Rottnest police officer-in-charge Sgt Peter Bahan, who is also a keen surfer, admitted he no longer surfed the popular break called Cathedrals after a great white "popped up" next to him during a surf last year.

The surf break is less than 50m from the outcrop of rocks the seals inhabit.

"She was a big one," Sgt Bahan said of the shark.

"I won't surf there any more."

He said his was one of at least three confirmed great white sightings off Rottnest last year and a pod of five killer whales was also spotted in waters off the island.

There are 17 recorded NZ fur seal colonies in WA, all in waters off Esperance and Albany.

Ms Hara, who is doing a masters at the University of WA into the diet and distribution of the seals in WA waters, said they were establishing colonies farther north and increasing in numbers.

"It looks like there is now a colony at Bunker Bay (in Dunsborough) and I believe the next point is going to be a breeding colony at Cathedral Rocks on Rottnest Island," she said.

Ms Hara said there were between 10 and 80 seals around Cathedral Rocks at any one time and one animal showed signs of a shark bite.

Rottnest rangers Claire O'Callaghan and Ms Ellis-Stott were monitoring the number of seals and had swum with them. "They're amazing animals," Ms Ellis-Stott said.

"They're really curious and come right up and check you out.

"You often see them thermo-regulating, which actually looks like they're doing yoga."

A Rottnest Island Authority spokeswoman said the seals were an exciting development that would increase visitor appeal to the island.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tagged Great White shark traveled from Massachusetts to Florida

Massachusetts marine biologists say one of the great white sharks tagged with electronic tracking equipment last summer off Cape Cod has traveled as far as north Florida.

The great white was one of five sharks tagged by harpoon in September near Chatham by Division of Marine Fisheries biologists. Officials said it was the first successful tagging of great whites in the Atlantic using electronic satellite technology.

Officials said Wednesday that the tag popped off the shark on Friday and began transmitting data by satellite.

Scientists expect tags on the other sharks to surface and begin sending data later this winter and in the spring.

The tags collect water temperatures and depth and light levels, which help determine where the great white has traveled. The information can help scientists better understand shark's migratory behavior.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Facts about the Great White shark

Great white shark is the most dangerous shark in the sea. This shark can be seen in all the oceans

in the world. However, the largest in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the United States. This dangerous sharks have very large teeth and her teeth and can be up to 23 centimeters.

This Shark can be long and more than 12 meters which means that this animal is one of the largest shark that now exist in the ocean. To see this huge shark is enough to go with a boat to a destination in the Atlantic Ocean and set the bait near the boat that will easily lure sharks and it will come to feed.

Great white shark feeds on

all that she found on the road and mainly carnivorous. This Shark is the only carnivore and they eat nothing but meat. This large predator can be difficult and up to 16 tons which makes it one of the most difficult mammals that live in the sea.

Shark is very fast and can reach speeds of 25 miles per hour which enables each to catch your prey. Great white shark eat turtles, other sharks, seals, dolphins and all the fish that exist in the sea and ocean.

This predator is very dangerous to humans, and if a man is found in water near the dangerous sharks would be in big trouble. If you go with your boat or yacht to sail an ocean it will follow your ship in search of food.

Today, Great White Sharks saturated types and are not allowed to love because many years ago were much more numerous and their number amounts to over one million until now in the world by some estimates, there are only about 200,000 of these large and dangerous animals.

Were frequent cases of attacks the people of the Great White, while today cases are rare because they are everywhere in America on the beaches designated as the beach would be a warning to all tourists who come on holiday for all other information about the Shark, you can visit a blog that talks about where they live and what the food as well as everything else about this shark.

Blog is created for all lovers of the Great White Sharks and contains a lot of pictures of this dangerous and beautiful animals.

Great White sharks text messaging lifeguards?

Great White sharks tracked by tags and text messages
Sharks are an ever-present threat in Perth waters Photo: Amos Nachoun / Barcroft USA

More than 70 white pointers have been tagged by scientists is Western Australia in a world first trial that will send beach lifesavers a text message when one of the predators swims close to the Perth shoreline.

Wildlife officials and scientists will also receive the text or email warning when any of the tagged sharks move to within 500m of metropolitan beaches.

The text messages will be triggered less than two minutes after a shark swims over any one of 18 acoustic seabed receivers.

Since the receivers were installed in May, Department of Fisheries' senior research scientist Dr Rory McAuley said sharks had been picked up in Perth waters on four occasion, PerthNow reports.

The last detection was in September.

"The use of the technology that delivers real-time notifications of tag detections hasn't been used in an operational sense anywhere else in the world," Dr McAuley told the website.

The study is aimed at unlocking the secrets of shark migration patterns and how they relate to attacks on humans.

"The information we are hoping to collect will hopefully provide us some answers to the questions we are always asking about how long white sharks spend off our beaches, whether they come back, is there a season, do they come back one year after the other."

In all, researchers hope to tag 100 sharks over the next two years.

The sharks are fitted with the satellite-tracking darts by researchers who shoot or stab the devices into the flank of the animals.

"I think the public's fear of sharks stems largely from a fear of the unknown," Dr McAuley said.

"Any information we can find out about the real risk of people encountering sharks at the beach will hopefully alleviate people's concerns to some degree."

Shark are an ever-present threat in the waters off Perth. Nine years ago, a man was killed by a white pointer in waist-deep water off Cottesloe Beach.

Since then, there have been a dozen shark attacks in Western Australia, two of them fatal.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is scientist using "inhumane" tagging methods on Great White sharks?

Click here to find out more!
Were you able to watch the National Geographic special, "White Shark Expedition," on Monday night -- and if so, what do you think of the methods utilized by researcher Michael Domeier at remote Guadalupe Island off Baja California?

If you live in the Bay Area, you might also have viewed an ABC News program that was spawned by an incident involving Domeier's team using the same methods at the Farallon Islands off San Francisco. The program featured experts who were critical of the methods, which involve using a team of anglers and a large baited hook attached to a line with buoys.

(There's also a film crew, hence the National Geographic special and related episodes to air next summer.)

The hooked shark struggles until it's completely worn out. It's then lifted onto a platform, where a sophisticated tracking tag is bolted into its dorsal fin. A large hose is used to flush water through the shark's gills, so it can breathe throughout a process that can take 20 minutes.

The sharks usually are hooked in the corner of the mouth -- because of the 24-inch circle hook's design --but in at least one case at the Farallon Islands a shark had to be set free with part of the hook lodged deep in its throat.

The specialized tags have a life span of up to six years, providing real-time data and pinpointing precise locations of migrating sharks. They're important, Domeier says, for researchers seeking a clearer picture of these mysterious predators' life history.

I watched both programs and from a non-scientist's viewpoint (mine) the methods appear overly intrusive and harmful to a species of shark that is protected by federal law in the U.S. Given the extent of research already underway on white sharks by renowned scientists at the Farallones, I was surprised to learn that Domeier had even been granted access to the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary.

Said sanctuary superintendent Maria Brown on the ABC News program: "This research helps us protect white sharks. I equated it to ... it felt like what it's like when I go to the dentist; when you go in, you get a cavity filled. It's something that maybe you don't want to go do, but you do it, it's quick, it's over, it's done."

It's not that quick; it involves a giant hook and tiring the predators to the extent they can no longer struggle. Besides, experts from various universities have already learned where these sharks go when they leave the islands -- to a vast, featureless area in the mid-Pacific, and some venture beyond Hawaii. Why they go and what they do there, however, remains unclear.

Like ABC News, I talked to Peter Klimley, a UC Davis professor and one of the world's leading shark researchers. He's against Domeier's methods and called them unnecessary. He said lifting so large a creature from the water Is potentially harmful. He added that pregnant females might be especially vulnerable to the technique. Klimley also expressed concern about how other scientists might be perceived by viewers of the National Geographic special.

"For the most part we are compassionate and we do care about how we handle the animals we work with," he said.

Domeier, president of the Marine Conservation Science Institute, defended his methods and said, via e-mail: "I can unequivocally say that we have tagged and released 17 white sharks in the past two years and every single one has survived. The decision to use these tags was not trivial; the data we obtain from them can be gathered no other way, and the resulting multi-year tracks are going to reveal life history characteristics that will rewrite white shark life history."

Domeier also defended using a team of fishermen headed by big-game angler Chris Fischer, who runs Fischer Productions, and an actor that accompanied the group to Guadalupe Island.

"The reality is this: Without the involvement of the media on this project there would be no project," Domeier said. "The research is hugely expensive and the only way to pay for it is to involve National Geographic and Fischer Productions."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Crew member Chad Kiesel, left, and angler Chris Fischer tag a 14-foot female great white shark at Guadalupe Island. The hydration hose in the shark's mouth is designed to keep the predator alive while the team measures and tags it and takes blood samples. Credit: Chris Ross / National Geographic Channel

Huge Great White shark caught off Guadalupe Island

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"Expedition Great White" airs tonight at 9 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel, and if the accompanying photo is an indication, the footage ought to be spectacular.

The location is Guadalupe Island, 160 miles west of Baja California, a truly spectacular destination and one of the world's largest seasonal gathering places for adult great white sharks. That's where researcher Michael Domeier has been studying the apex predators, and using satellite tags to determine their migration patterns and other habits.

And it's where TV fishing personality Chris Fischer got to play the role of angler -- and literally come face to face with a 4,600-pound white shark -- during a monumental capture aboard his 126-foot mothership, named Ocean.

"Like in the movie 'Jaws,' the first time we saw a shark come in and eat the bait and then take off and drag the buoys under and across the water it was a life-changing moment as an angler," Fischer said. "The experience of capturing and releasing giant great white sharks is nothing similar to an angling experience of capturing large pelagic fish. There's a sense of history, a sense of awe, humility and humbleness."

Domeier is a legitimate researcher, but some might question the methods: hooking and hoisting incredibly large sharks from the water -- even if for only brief periods and if great care is utilized -- for tagging, measuring and DNA sampling.

Domeier, however, assures that great care is utilized and that "this is a show about real science ... not science created for TV, which is so often the case."

Tonight's episode is part of a longer series that will air next summer and undoubtedly will shed significant light on the lifestyle of one of the world's most notorious and mysterious predators.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Crew member Jody Whitworth lifts the snout of a great white shark as Capt. Brett McBride removes hydration hose that keeps the predator alive while it's on deck. Credit: National Geographic Channel / Chris Ross

Woman fights off Great White shark!

An Australian woman has survived an attack by a Great White shark by beating it with a paddle after it knocked her off a surf ski.

Linda Whitehurst, the shark's intended victim, said: "I thought this is it, he is going to grab my leg. I had my blade (paddle) and I just kept punching, punching, punching."

She suffered only small lacerations on her right arm in the fight with the 8ft-long shark.

She then managed to scrambling back onto her surf ski and paddling to shore at Byron Bay's famous surfing beach, "The Pass", on Australia's east coast.