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- Category Archives Tiger Shark
Swimmers are being warned – monsters sharks are coming in to our beaches in significant numbers this year, they’re lurking just beyond the breakers, stalking and menacing swimmers and surfers. Some of these man-eaters are known for their attacks on people yet thankfully our last line of defence, the vital shark nets and drumlins, are saving so many people from these prehistoric killers.
Sound familiar? Well it should, we’ve all been hearing this for years in one form or another, with mainstream media and tabloid newspapers leading the charge to sensationalize and vilify our aquatic apex predators. We’ve done up our lead page and written the first paragraph here to highlight how far behind the times general perception still is surrounding the topic of sharks and people. A prime example would be the Western Australian governments. They have been out en mass culling tiger and bull sharks in West Oz waters, all because a white shark tragically took a surfers life. That would be not unlike the concept of slaughtering any large cheetahs nearby because a lion attacked someone.
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Shark Addicts friend, Terri the Tiger Shark bites into a bait box and the cool thing– it was all captured by a GoPro.
Chip Michalove a charter boat captain who specializes in catch and release of large sharks teamed up with OCEARCH to tag Tiger sharks off the South Carolina coast.
Their first Tiger shark is named after Chips mother Miss Michalove . You can live track her at http:/
/ www.ocearch.org/ profile/ miss_michalove/
Hannah Fraser is a real life mermaid…well kind of. The 38 year old is a professional underwater mermaid. More importantly she is a dedicated ocean activist, traveling the world performing as a mermaid for charity projects and commercial events that bring awareness to the ocean and its precious animal life.
Hannah can hold her breath for two minutes and can free dive to a depth of 50 ft (15.24M). She put these skills to good use for her upcoming documentary called Tears of a Mermaid. In it, she swims with whale sharks, rays and Tiger sharks.
So how was it swimming with the tigers? ‘I was feeling very anxious the first time I got in the water with the tiger sharks.’
‘The most important aspect was knowing how their minds worked, finding out what triggered them to use their mouths and teeth to inspect or react to situations and how to avoid doing any of those actions or movements.
‘We avoided wearing anything light colored because that may catch their eye and look like a little fish, causing them to bite by accident.
‘I learned how to touch them in the right way to allow a connection that they felt comfortable with, and amazingly enough; I found out that they actually love being tickled on the nose.’
Emmy award-winning cinematographer Shawn Heinrichs who shot the footage said
‘What made this shoot entirely unique was that Hannah was devoid of any scuba or free-dive gear, dressed only in a tiny costume and airbrush body paint to create the perfect artistic vision.
‘Without mask, fins or any sort of protective gear, she had to rely solely on her skills, training and experience, along with the diligent support of her expert team, to ensure the shoot went off without a hitch.
‘There was no room for error, as one mistake could have resulted in severe injury or worse.
‘Despite the risks, the team was resolute in their mission to create the most groundbreaking imagery to oppose not only the Australia shark cull, but also the global slaughter of sharks.’
Hannah knows that whenever you dive or swim with sharks there is a risk factor involved. But for her the reward outweighs the risk. She says ‘Many people have asked me why I would put my life on the line to do this, especially for dangerous predatory sharks.’
‘I feel that all animals play an essential role in keeping our ocean ecosystems in balance.
‘We humans have a history of annihilating anything we see as a competition, so much so that we are now threatening our very existence on this planet.
‘I advocate for greater understanding and awareness for all sea creatures, and hope to inspire people to see that sharks, despite being one of the world’s most effective predators, are also intelligent, and magnificent animals worthy of protection.
‘We are currently killing over 100 million sharks per year, whereas there are only five reported human fatalities by sharks per year worldwide.’
‘Who are the real dangerous predators in this equation?’
She is correct. Just this week we had an article about sharks washing up on the beach due to bycatch. Sharks caught, killed and thrown overboard. Not to mention all the sharks captured for their fins. Brought on deck to have their fins sliced off while they are still alive and then thrown back in the waters to drown.
I will be in touch with Hannah and as soon as I can find a release date for Tears of a Mermaid I will update this article. In the meantime be sure to visit Hannah’s website http://www.hannahmermaid.com/
Thanks to Hannah Fraser and Shawn Heinrichs for use of their photos and for fighting for our oceans!!
Will have a full post later today sharing the story behind this awesome photo.
The shark was hooked on a WA Government drum line off Trigg Beach overnight and released by Fisheries officers about 7am.
But observers on three boats, including a Sea Shepherd vessel and an Animal Amnesty vessel, saw the animal floating just below the surface and begin to turn upside down, indicating it was close to death.
They swam with the injured shark for more than an hour and a half, helping it to re-oxygenate its vital organs and muscles.
Among those who swam with the shark, which was bleeding from hook wounds, was Ocean Ramsey, the Hawaiian who shot to fame after riding the dorsal fin of a massive great white shark.
The 28-year-old is in Perth to document WA’s shark catch and kill program.
Animal Amnesty spokeswoman Amy-Lea Wilkins, who also helped revive the tiger shark, said: “Everyone was starting to think it was time to give up. Then it gave a kick, then a couple more big kicks and then it swam off. It was really classic.
“It wasn’t particularly dangerous. We could see the shark was close to death and it was a matter of everyone taking turns — two people swimming with the shark and one spotter.
“We kept tickling it under the chin and moving it to help get the oxygen into its system. It was really beautiful to see it swim off.”
Andy Corbe, who was also among the rescue team, said the swimmers held the shark’s pectoral fins as they swam with it just below the surface.
“It was pretty epic. Luckily we had about 15 people who took it turns to swim with the shark,” he said.
“It’s not dangerous. These guys are shark experts and the tiger sharks are incredibly tired by the time they get off the Fisheries boat because (the officers) don’t oxygenate them properly.”
Ms Ramsey was dubbed the “shark whisperer” after she was filmed holding onto the dorsal fin of a five metre great white shark to change perceptions of the apex predator.
The model, who with a film crew is following the Fisheries vessel patrolling the hooks off Perth beaches, said: “It’s absolutely disturbing and disgusting. It’s disrespectful to nature and even to the community because essentially they are luring sharks closer to shore.”
“It’s a complete waste of life because of the ineffectiveness of the methods. The small sharks aren’t surviving and the large ones are tortured for a long period of time before they are eventually put out of their misery,” she said.
“The Fisheries guys just don’t know how to handle the animals. They were unable to kill (the larger shark). They started dragging it out as if they had killed and then they realised they hadn’t killed it so they had to stop and shoot it again.
“It’s hard (to witness) for someone who works with sharks and gets to see them alive, to see how beautiful and misunderstood they are. I feel like this cull is just coming out of fear and is a knee-jerk reaction by politicians because they feel like they have to do something.”
Ms Ramsey said a shark cull in her native Hawaii from 1959 to 1976 was found to be “completely ineffective” and WA’s policy was not based on sound science.
“To come here and see in our current day and age, with the scientific knowledge we have, a first-world country killing something so vitally important to our ecosystem is shocking and disturbing on so many levels. It’s very hard to stomach,” she said.
New Zealand shark scientist Riley Elliott is also documenting WA’s shark drum lines as part of a series for NZTV.
The University of Auckland PhD candidate said the State Government should fund other shark mitigation measures, such as expanding its tagging scheme.
“This entire policy to protect the beaches came about to save tourism because everyone feared the sharks,” Mr Elliott said.
“What they’ve done is far more damaging to their image, and how people view Western Australia, than the six or seven shark attacks that there were.”
Ms Wilkins questioned how many other sharks had been released alive by Fisheries only to die later.
“It just goes to show how much effort is needed to revive a shark after it’s been hooked on a drum line and not able to move or get oxygen through its gills,” she said.
Earlier today, a string ray was caught and released off Leighton Beach at 6.30am. It is the first known by-catch since the program started on Australia Day.
Monday 14th April, 2014 – This morning off the Perth Metro meat curtains (aka Barnett’s drum lines), Sea Shepherd’s Bruce the RIB, witnessed the following: 08:00 am AWST – Drum line approximately 1km off Scarborough Beach – 2.7 metre (8.9 ft.) Tiger shark caught, injured and released Bruce the RIB noticed that due to the drum lines being drawn together and tangled that something had tragically been hooked over night and was waiting a visit from the WA Fisheries Department. The Fisheries officers inspected the caught and injured tiger shark before he/she was pulled aboard the Fisheries boat, then was released bloodied and injured back into the water approximately 1 kilometre off Scarborough beach. Captain Mike Dicks on board Bruce the RIB stated, “One can not imagine what these sharks go through to be hooked over night, to not be able to swim and get oxygen to their vital organs, slowly slipping into a state of tonic immobility. Everything about this shark cull defies logic and sense on every level, most importantly the fact that it makes public safety worse with sharks being drawn closer to our beaches stimulated by bait.” 10:15 am AWST – Drum line approximately 1km off Mullaloo Beach – 3 metre (9.8 ft)plus Tiger shark caught, injured and thrashing about before Fisheries shoot 3 times to the death A second tiger shark was hooked by Barnett’s meat curtains this morning, a large 3 metre plus tiger shark had been hooked over night off Mullaloo beach. She was in a very distressed state and was thrashing around with a hook through her head, before being dragged along side the P.V. Houtman, the WA Fisheries boat with the hypocritical slogan “Fish for the future” on the side of the boat. She was then shot, not once, not twice, but three times before being hauled aboard and dumped out to sea. No tagging, no research, nothing learnt, a complete waste. Sea Shepherd crew member Tim Watters stated, “I have now seen first hand the barbaric, senseless, cruel and tragedy of the WA shark cull. I have seen today a beautiful female 3 metre plus tiger shark in such a stressed state, thrashing around for her life, before being pulled alongside and shot three times. Given the time of year, she was most likely was pregnant. I have just returned from defending the whales in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and can not believe what I am seeing right off our WA coast, it rivals that of any cruelty and insanity of the Japanese whale poachers” • The Japanese whale poachers are targeting protected species, just as the WA Fisheries Department do. • The Japanese whale poachers try and run Sea Shepherd out of fuel just as the WA Fisheries Department do. • The Japanese whale poachers try to hide from the world their cruel and barbaric slaughter of marine life, just like the WA Fisheries Department do. • The Japanese whale poachers have no respect for human or marine life, just as the WA Fisheries department don’t by attracting sharks closer to shore and stimulating them with bait, right off popular Perth swimming beaches. The WA Fisheries Department have the following statement on their website, “The presence of many species of shark as ‘apex predators’ – occupying the top level of the food chain – is an indication of a healthy marine environment.”. With just over two weeks to go until the drum lines comes out from this insane three month trial, the WA Fisheries Department continue their assault on WA’s healthy marine environment. Sea Shepherd will not rest until the Australian Government use the worlds best practices that help minimise the threat of shark incidents, instead of worlds worst practices that not only kill our precious marine life that we all rely on, but also make our beaches less safe. All photos: Tim Watters / Sea Shepherd Visit and support Sea Shepherd by clicking: Here
The Western Australian shark cull policy has been referred to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) as the WA Government is requesting approval for the program to proceed until 2017 (Read more: here).
In March, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) chose NOT to assess the policy because they deemed it to be of ‘very limited duration’ and so ‘will not have a significant impact on the environment’. This was when the policy was due to end on April 30th 2014, which has now changed with the Government asking for approval until 2017.
You can help to Stop The Cull by spending just 2 minutes of your time to submit a comment to the EPBC opposing the policy:
1. Email your comments opposing the WA drum lines to – firstname.lastname@example.org (BEFORE Thu 17 April).
2. In the subject bar include the following “Comment on WA drum line referral – reference no. 2014/7174”
3. In the email include the full title and reference no., which are as follows:
Title: WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet/Natural resources management/off metropolitan & SW coastal regions of Western Australia/WA/Shark Hazard Mitigation Drum Line Program
4. Suggested comments and links to relevant information are listed below.
6. Now SHARE, SHARE, SHARE – we only have until Thursday 17th April to get as many people to comment as possible.
SUGGESTED COMMENTS/LINKS TO INFO. TO ADD TO YOUR SUBMISSION:
1. WHITE SHARKS ARE PROTECTED under WA and Australian environmental laws and several international agreements including CITES and CMS.
2. WHITE SHARKS ARE APEX PREDATORS, their roles are vital to keep the health of the ocean in balance. Removing a migratory apex predator from our marine ecosystem is likely to have significant impacts on the species composition and abundance of other marine life.
3. WHITE SHARKS ARE NOT PRESENT IN WA WHEN DRUM LINES ARE OPERATIONAL. White sharks are the main target of the policy yet their population’s peak during June-August each year in WA, which is outside the proposed drum line operational period of November to April (see page 13 of DoF report – http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Documents/occasional_publications/fop109.pdf).
4. DRUM LINES ARE INDISCRIMINANT and will catch and kill other species including dolphins, turtles and non-target sharks. Almost all of the sharks caught so far have been non-target, undersized, tiger sharks. Yet, the WA Government claimed that the drum lines would only catch large sharks (>3m). Non-target sharks are being released at the place of capture and will likely be caught again if they do not die from their injuries.
5. THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that killing sharks will reduce shark bite incidents. When shark culling was carried out in Hawaii, between 1959 to 1976, over 4,500 sharks were killed and yet there was no significant decrease in the number of shark bites recorded - http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/2202
6. THERE ARE NON-LETHAL ALTERNATIVES that are proven to be effective at reducing shark bite incidents. A new approach to shark control recently trialled in Recife, Brazil, involves capturing, transporting and releasing large sharks offshore, whilst providing an opportunity to tag and monitor the individuals caught. This approach has been extremely effective in reducing the incidence of shark bites in protected areas but without the indiscriminate killing of sharks and other marine life -http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/2202
7. THE CURRENT POLICY GOES SIGNIFICANTLY BEYOND ANY OTHER employed in other areas of the world. For example, whilst drum lines and gill nets are used on the east coast of Australia, there is no additional targeted fishing of large sharks in these areas. In addition, a WA Government funded report, by Darryl McPhee of Bond University, into shark control measures found that “due to the environmental impacts of shark control activities, it is not recommended that either shark nets or drum-lines be introduced into Western Australia”.
8. SHARK MITIGATION PROGRAMS SHOULD BE COORDINATED BY GOVERNMENT FISHERIES DEPARTMENTS rather than independent contractors, ensuring a higher level of transparency and accountability as well as a greater opportunity for gathering scientific data on shark abundance and species composition.
9. SHARK EXPERTS OPPOSE THE WA DRUM LINE POLICY - http://supportoursharks.com/en/News/Miscellaneous/Articles/20131223/Shark_Experts_Oppose_WA_Shark_Cull_Policy.htm
10. OPEN LETTER FROM SCIENTISTS TO WA GOVERNMENT – http:/
/ www.supportoursharks.com/ Open_Letter_on_WA_Shark_Policy.pdf
11. QUEENSLAND’S DRUM LINES - http:/
/ supportoursharks.com/ en/ News/ Miscellaneous/ Articles/ 20140228/ Queensland_Drum_Lines.htm