I have a shark week hangover. While
Shark Week serves as an entertaining distraction and a social
commentary on how we view sharks, the shark attack redux, hillbilly
humor and over-adrenalized scenes saturate my senses. My antidote is to
go see some sharks in the flesh. Unlike the misidentified Salmon Shark (a
much smaller cousin to the Great White Shark) swimming in our San
Francisco Dolphin Club Waters last week, the Island of the Great White
Shark off Guadalupe Island has the real thing.
One of the large aggregations of white sharks in the North Eastern
Pacific population (the others being Ano Nuevo Island and the Farallon
Islands), these large adult sharks are arriving from a migration of
nearly 2000 miles. Having visited this island several times in the I
have experienced an increase in attention and better shark eco-tourism practices and have helped develop best practices with operators.
Having been critical of many shark tourism practices, I believe that
seeing animals in the wild in a well managed operation can win hearts
and minds and help save sharks. In our petition to protect this
population under the Endangered Species Act
under the California Department of Fish and Wildlife we addressed
threats to this population in US and Mexican waters. Its easy to point
fingers at illegal, unregulated and unreported fisheries impacting
sharks, yet the Department of National Marine Fisheries overlooked the
casualties in the Gillnet Fishery for swordfish and sharks in Southern
California legally killing juvenile white sharks.
Ive been invited to join the Great White Adventures team at Guadalupe
and dive with sharks, but also meet with officials and biologists to
attempt to help reduce impacts on these sharks that share waters with
Mexico and International waters. I hope to report back with some images
and footage and some success stories on efforts being made to reduce the
impacts on these incredible predators and steps being taken towards
protecting and appreciating all sharks.
Want to learn more or help? Support Shark Stewards
This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.