Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Video: Tiger Shark Cruising Through the Shallows in the Bahamas

Tiger shark cruising in the shallows of the Bahamas
We always enjoy watching the videos from the Bimini Sharklab but this one really stood out. It shows a tiger shark swimming at speed in very shallow waters.  Its dorsal fin is cutting a wake while its belly nearly scrapes the ocean floor. It's a very cool point of view that you don't often get a chance to see.

The Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation is a US Federal non-profit research institution that has been at the forefront of shark research for the past 25 years. For more information on the Bimini Sharklab, visit: biminisharklab.com, facebook.com/biminisharklab, twitter.com/biminisharklab, and instagram.com/biminisharklab

The following is the video narrative which gives additional details about the tiger shark sighting:
After assisting in the capture of a sub-adult lemon shark, the Bimini Sharklab crew were blindsided by a heavy storm. While attempting to return safely, Tj, Jack, and I noticed an unusually large dorsal fin break the surface in the shallow waters just off the mangroves of South Bimini. At first we assumed it was a large lemon shark, as that would be uncommon, but not unheard of. What we saw was quite a different story... 
As we got closer, we first noted the massive wake this shark was putting off behind it before recognized the signature striped pattern of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier. We see tiger sharks pretty often in the Bahamas, but as you can see in the video, this shark is in unbelievably shallow water, with its dorsal fin fully breaking the surface and its belly just inches from the ground.
After a few attempts to place a tail rope on this big guy (with the intention in mind of placing a tag), we realized we were simply too unprepared and watched him swim off into deeper water. Once the adrenaline of seeing this shark had past, it hit us that we were in the EXACT location that we deploy gillnets to capture juvenile lemon sharks. For those of you that haven't been to the Sharklab, that means walking in this very same water...alone....at night! It was also at this point we noticed TJ's hair was standing on end, we had let the lightning storm get right on top of us. It was time to head home!
Video posted by Zach Parker and is just over a minute and a half in length.  Enjoy!
Photos are video screenshots.

Video: Sea Lion Has a Shark for Lunch

Sea lion consumes shark
A paddleboarder, who appears to be somewhere off the coast of California, came across nature in a bit of role reversal when he encountered a sea lion consuming a small shark.

It's unclear from the video if the sea lion killed the shark or merely came across it dead; but either way, the sea lion was most certainly enjoying its afternoon meal. And judging by the comments from the paddleboarders, they too seemed to enjoy seeing the sea lion in the role as victor.

The video was posted on Youtube by Casey Koppes and is about a minute in length.
Photo is video screenshot.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Video: Massachusetts State Police Air Wing Film Great White 100 Yards of Duxbury Beach

Massachusetts State Police Air Wing video of great white
Although the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing is used to making the news when they help apprehend a criminal or assist in a rescue, today the made the news for a whole different reason when they captured video of a great white shark approximately 100 yards off shore Duxbury Beach, Massachusetts.

Below is the post that they made on their State Police Facebook page regarding the sighting.  We have also posted the one minute segment of raw footage that they released on their Youtube page.
Today, while on patrol out of the Plymouth Air Base, the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing observed a shark approximately 75-100 yards off the coast in Duxbury. The air crew, Troopers Mark Spencer, Edward Mathurin and Eric Fairchild notified Duxbury Police and Duxbury Harbormaster immediately. There were many beachgoers and people in the water on the Duxbury Beach.
As a precaution, the beach was closed for approximately one-hour. As more boats approached the area the shark was spotted in, the shark continued swimming Southeast into deeper water. 
A member of the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries confirmed the shark to be a Great White Shark, approximately 12-14 feet in length. There were no injuries reported during the evacuation of the beach or from the shark.
Photo above is a video screenshot

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Video: SBS World News Takes a Look at Sea Shepherd's Upcoming Movie 'The Shark Cull'

Protesting against the Western Australia shark cull
On August 23, 2014, SBS World News in Australia did a story regarding the upcoming release of the Sea Shepherd movie, 'The Shark Cull.'  The movie centers on Western Australia's controversial shark kill policy that went into effect in January 2014 following several fatal shark attacks. The SBS story outlines some of the key points made in the documentary but it also looks at some of the criticisms the documentary is receiving.

Since implementation of the cull, which ended in April 2014, a total of 72 drum lines were deployed to bait and hook large sharks (sharks over 3 meters were killed) and a total of 172 sharks were caught.  Of the 172, 50 met the size threshold and were killed, 18 were smaller sharks but died due to being caught and the others were released.

Officials have touted that the cull was a success and have since applied to the federal government for a three-year extension of the program which would start in November 2014.  During the time the cull was in effect, beach closures due to shark sightings were fewer than in previous years and there were no reported shark bite incidents. Whether this decline had anything to do with the use of the drum lines would be anyone's guess but officials believe that the program did make the beaches safer for beachgoers.

Tiger shark caught/killed in Western Australia cull
But many shark scientists disagree with the shark cull policy.  As noted in a Southern Fried Science's article titled "More than 100 shark scientists, including me, oppose the cull in Western Australia" the author, David Shiffman, contends that "the government of Western Australia has again proposed a misinformed policy that would harm populations of threatened animals without making surfers or swimmers safer."  He notes that in order to reduce human/shark encounters, a much better solution would be to "further improve education and communication of knowledge (existing and that obtained through further essential research) to the community about ways to avoid negative encounters with sharks."*

Sea Shepard documentary description from their website (trailer below):
A Sea Shepherd documentary on the Western Australian shark cull, exposing the brutal cruelty of the controversial program that took place off the WA Coastline last summer.  
Featuring never before seen footage & exclusive interviews with Sharon Burden (mother of Kyle Burden, tragically taken in 2011 by a White Shark), Skyler Thomas, Jeff Hansen, Nicole McLachlan, Craig Moss & Mike Dicks - captain of the Sea Shepherd vessell, 'Bruce the RIB'.
This explosive documentary on the Western Australians drum line policy is a must see for anyone interested in the protection of sharks & marine conservation.
SBS World News story:

The Shark Cull trailer: *If you're having issues accessing the Shiffman article, you can view the cache copy here.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Video: Shark Week Drama as They Attempt to Put a Camera on a Great White Dorsal Fin

Great white and the dingy - Lair of the Mega Shark (Shark Week)
I guess it just wouldn't be a proper Shark Week without barrels and barrels of drama heaped in a bucket and served in dingy.

In this segment from Lair of the Mega Shark, shark experts Jeff Kurr and Andy Casagrande attempt to put a camera on a great white while bobbing along in a little dingy. Or, as the scene is more enthusiastically explained in the Discovery narrative, the two are "in a small boat surrounded by giant great whites in this heart-pounding scene."

We do have to agree with the one guy on the boat who at the end of the video states, "I don't think this is such a brilliant #%&#@ idea you know...I don't think we can have a boat in there. I really don't."

Video posted by Discovery and is just over 2 minutes in length.
Photo is a screenshot.