Not just Shark
Pictures: Elasmodiver contains photos of sharks, skates, rays, and
chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web
based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to
encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in
shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project
containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark
There are now
more than 5000 shark pictures and sections on shark evolution,
biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed
shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster
list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous
articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so
difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures
are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:
I have just returned from a Big Fish
Expeditions trip to Tiger Beach and I have to say that Tiger Beach is no
longer the best tiger shark dive in the world.
Don't get me wrong, Tiger Beach is as sharky as it
always has been with scores of lemon sharks ready to play as soon as the
boat drops anchor and plenty of tiger shark action including regular
visits from Smiley the resident tiger shark that has a damaged jaw
leaving her with a permanent one sided grin.
But there is a new site close to Tiger Beach that is
even better for shark action especially if you're looking for dramatic
backdrops for your shark portraits.
The reef is named Fish Tales but that's a bit generic
for such a great shark diving spot so I'm calling it Tiger Tales for the
tiger sharks that regularly wander by.
The site consists of a healthy coral reef in 40ft of
clear blue water. It is overrun with packs of bold Caribbean reef
sharks and a few resident nurse sharks. There are always some lemons
swimming around also and it doesn't take much effort to swell their
ranks and bring in the tigers that inhabit the area.
It was normal for us to see all four species of sharks
on each dive and we even had a few flybys from one or two large great hammerheads
but the hammers were too timid to approach the divers.
All in all, it was a phenomenal week and I can't wait
to go back next year. With such great photo ops it was hard to decide
what to include in this overview but here are few scenes from that week
to give you an idea of ho intense the action was:
Even before setting sail for the Bahamas, I was
already in shooting mode. I spent a few days chasing American alligators
in the swamps of South Florida with Film Maker Joe Romeiro.
As I have no experience shooting big reptiles, I was
pretty nervous being around the lizard king and wondered if I should
have bought a pole cam with me to put a little distance between me and
the gators but even the big animals were reasonably well behaved.
The images (shot with a fisheye lens) are an
interesting addition to any shooter's portfolio and after posting them
on my Facebook page I was asked if I planned to lead gator trips. Its an
intriguing idea but I'll leave that to the experts for now.
In March I spent some time in the Darien jungle
talking to fishermen about the endemic shark species that live in the
area. After a lot of hunting, I was finally able to get the first in-water images of a scoophead shark. This is one of the smaller hammerhead
species that has eluded photographers for so long.
Scoophead sharks are far too timid to approach a diver
no matter how much chum is in the water so to get the shots I spent a
lot of time in a small panga shadowing the fishing boats as they pulled
in their nets. The scoophead in my images came up on the last day of the
trip and after a short negotiation involving the promise of a bottle of
rum , the fishermen allowed me to release the ailing shark.
With global shark populations dwindling and inshore species
with limited ranges (like the scoophead) particularly vulnerable to gill
obtaining representative images for conservation initiatives is
extremely important. Its sad to say, but in some ways my one off
expeditions to shoot the world's most illusive and endangered sharks,
are my way of recording archival footage of species before they are
THE OCEANIC WHITETIP SHARKS OF CAT ISLAND, BAHAMAS.
Another shark that has seen better days is the oceanic
whitetip. Virtually eliminated from the Gulf of Mexico, there are few
places left where oceanics can be reliably found. One of those places is
Cat Island on the eastern edge of the Bahamian chain. In May of this
year, I will be joining 7 guests on a week long land based expedition to
dive with these ocean ocean predators and a handful of other shark
species that call Cat Island home.
With just a few weeks to go and one spot still open, I
am running a last minute special for one lucky diver - $1995. Includes 5
days of boat diving and beach house accommodation on Cat Island. Email
me if you want to come:
On the first weekend of August.... Sharkfest is
If you missed the action last year there is a
report on the epic shark diving that we enjoyed, plus film screenings
and fun. This year we're stepping it up by adding a night dive with the sandtiger
sharks on our first day. Space on the boat is limited and right now
there are only five spots left so sign up now if you want to
come. 3 days of shark diving, dorm accommodation, BBQ, film screenings,
and a Sharkfest Tee Shirt $640.
Later in August we'll be chasing humboldts and whales in the Sea of Cortez (only 4 spots left).
This will no doubt be the most eclectic trip. In a nut shell we'll be
diving Baja's best reefs each day while we cruise north to Loretto.
Between dives we'll be scouting for fin whales, sperm whales and pilot
whales to jump in the water with. Once we get to Loretto we'll be diving
by day and jigging up humboldts in the evenings and hopefully getting in
the water to shoot free swimming humboldt squid if everything goes to
As if reefs, whales, squid and sea lions wasn't
enough, the operator has agreed to let me try chumming for sharks at
some locations. This is a bit of a wild card and we are not sure what
species (if any) will show up but we can't go all the way to Baja
without looking for sharks.
MALPELO ISLAND FEBRUARY 2012
There are no links on the Big Fish Expeditions Website
for this one yet so I'll be blogging about it more in the next update.
But to give you a brief idea, at Malpelo (a day's boat ride off the
coast of Panama) you can expect to see schooling scalloped hammerheads,
silky shaks, Galapagos sharks, random sightings of mantas and whale
sharks, and many other pelagic visitors as well as reefs crawling in
morays and large stingrays.
But in February and March on the deeper reefs around
the rocky island, there is the chance to see enormous Smalltooth
Sandtiger Sharks (Odontaspis ferox) which are the sandtiger's big cousin
from the depths.
If you think you've seen it all you have to dive
We'll be on the liveaboard Inula. Although I have
barely talked to anyone about this trip there are only 6 spots left so
please send me an email if you want more info.
Between expeditions, I'll be enjoying the diving
Island with Pinnacle Scuba Adventures. Pinnacle is southern Vancouver
Island's newest and most versatile dive charter operator. We'll be
diving some of the best sites on the south end of the island and
exploring new locations each week throughout the summer. Join us if you're up this way.
For the sharks,
/ Big Fish Photography Shark Diving News
2011 is shaping up to be an exciting year for shark
diving. A few weeks ago, divers in Mexico were treated to the first ever
encounter with a longfin mako; a species which has eluded photographers
since the invention of the aqualung.
As always, time in the water is the key to rare encounters. The more you
dive, the more opportunities you have to be the person that gets the
money shot or enjoys that memorable encounter that you will be talking
about for years to come.
After a long, cold winter of diving in the Pacific
North West and writing articles, cleaning up images from 2010 and
dreaming about diving under tropical seas, it is finally time to dust
off my dive gear and jump into the next adventure.
Before the first Elasmodiver/Big Fish guest trip to Tiger Beach in early
April, I have an 'off the beaten path' expedition planned to the Bay of
Panama for the Predators in Peril Project. Right now I am on my way to
Panama City to meet up with a contact in the Panamanian government who
believes that he can get me out on a panga with the local shark
fishermen. My goal is to document the taking of (and hopefully the
release of) two tiny species of hammerhead shark that have never been
photographed by a diver. The images (if I get them) will be used to draw
attention to these lesser known species in an effort to generate support
for conservation measures.
Its not going to be an easy shoot. The sharks are rarely seen even by
the fishermen themselves but this is the right time of year to go and if
I wait until next year there will be even fewer animals left to find.
Wish me luck!
GULF OF PANAMA
Far from the glamorous impression that some divers have of the life of a
traveling photojournalist, This will likely be an uncomfortable, sad and
frustrating expedition. Fortunately, as soon as I return to North
America, I will change lenses and head to the Bahamas for my annual
Tiger Beach Photo Workshop. Tiger Beach is truly a spectacular location
where you are virtually guaranteed the opportunity to dive with big
tigers and scores of lemon sharks. This will be my 6th season at TB but
it still feels like there are new shooting angles waiting to be explored
and once a year is just not enough!
There was one cancellation on the trip so if you're looking for an
incredible experience let me know.
Next stop on the 2011 Shark Diving Calendar is the
Oceanic Whitetip Shark Expedition to Cat Island in the Bahamas. This is
a relatively new location for shark divers. The area was originally
pioneered by Shark Diving Guru and liveaboard Operator Jim Abernathy,
but it is now possible to stay on the island and dive with the whitetip
sharks from the comfort of a day boat and then slip back into port each
night and kick back in a New Bight beach house until the sun comes up
again. Two spots left on this land based adventure:
After Cat there is another Predators in Peril Expedition in the works.
This time I'll be hunting some very deepwater sharks with researchers
from a University in the Caribbean. I won't mention any species until I
get the shots but I'm very excited at the prospect of shooting some
bizarre green eyed squaloid sharks and catsharks that few people have
ever seen let alone photographed!
In August there is an exploratory trip through the Sea of Cortez to
chase whales and hunt down the illusive and voracious humboldt squid.
Blessed with tooth encrusted suckers and clawed tentacles, humboldt
squid make formidable photo subjects. If you are interested in joining
me for a week on the high seas off of beautiful Baja please let me know:
While I'm down in southern Baja I'll be staying on after the
Humboldt/whale trip to track down some very skittish stingrays. There
are a number of species that only show up during the summer months so
I'm hoping to improve Elasmodiver's selection of i.d. shots while I am
in the area. The pics will ultimately become part of a new i.d. guide
covering the sharks and rays of North America which is slowly coming
together - very slowly :)
Beyond that there is an expedition to Kalimantan in the works and then
another attempt to organize a bull shark trip to Playa Del Carmen. The
last guest trip (scheduled to take place in early February) was
cancelled after the aggregation of Bull Sharks was virtually wiped out
by local shark fishermen. Although the shark dive operator began
chumming in new sharks there is nothing in place yet to make sure that
the new arrivals don't meet the same fate so I'm not going to confirm
any dates until I'm convinced that the sharks are locally protected.
This summer you can also expect to be invited to join a 'drysuit only'
diving safari on the dynamic and outrageously colourful reefs of
Vancouver Island. British Columbia, Canada has an amazing diversity of
marine life. Jacque Cousteau dubbed the northern reaches of Vancouver
Island as 'the best cold water diving in the world'. He was right!
Steller sea lions, giant pacific octopuses, stubby squid, nudibranchs as
big as your hand, healthy schools of rockfish, enormous bull kelp
forests, sunken warships and reefs packed with sponges and invertebrate
life are just some of the things you can expect on a daily basis.
Whether you're a macro maniac or a wide angle shooter there is plenty to
keep you snapping away. There is even the chance of a North Pacific
Spiny Dogfish or two (which was recently identified as a new species
completely distinct from the spiny dogfish that lives elsewhere on our
big blue planet) and the slim but tangible chance of encountering a
lumbering bluntnose sixgill shark.
Time in the water is what it all comes down to. I look forward to seeing
many of you out there.
For the sharks,
Big Fish Photography Expeditions http://bigfishphotographyexpeditions.com
Elasmodiver Shark and Ray Picture Database http://elasmodiver.com
GROWING ELASMODIVER & OUR NEW SHARK DIVING EXPEDITIONS
KEEPING ELASMODIVER GROWING
Last year, more than a million people spent some time
clicking through Elasmodiver's 400+ pages of information and shark
images. Hopefully, some of them took away a little more knowledge and
respect for our world's endangered Elasmobranchs.
It is important to me to keep expanding the
shark and ray field guide, but as I
slowly tick off the few remaining shark and ray species that are
relatively easy to dive with and photograph, I find myself planning
increasingly more abstract expeditions, often working with researchers
and sometimes even commercial fishermen.
There are parts of the world like Southern Africa that
I have been purposely avoiding. I could probably find a dozen new
species in a week or two of diving around Cape Town but before I take
off to such exotic locations, there are a number of elasmos from North
America that still need some time in the spotlight. There are a couple
of hammerheads from the Pacific slope that are virtually unknown and a
number of Central American smoothhound sharks that are heavily targeted
by the artisanal shark fishing fleets. Those species come first.
The latest shark species that was added to the Field
Guide (a few weeks ago) was the Dusky
Smoothhound. Smooth dogfish (as they are called in New England) are
very common sharks but they are rarely encountered by divers.
Getting these images involved a trip back to visit my
shark diving buddy Joe Romeiro in Rhode Island. Although we did
everything we could to try to shoot a dusky smoothhound in the wild, we
eventually gave up our fruitless search and found an aquarium that would
let us shoot in their tank. A natural encounter would have been better
but sometimes, this is the only way to get the shot.
After many months of
planning, a boat load of Shark Fanatics finally descended on Morehead
City, North Carolina, for our weekend of shark diving, film screenings
and good times. The whole event could not have gone better so we are
planning to do it all over again next year - with a few very cool
changes. Check out some of the great shark photos that came out of
Sharkfest 2010 and find out what we have in store for next year: SHARKFEST 2010 TRIP REPORT
DIVING AND PHOTOGRAPHY EXPEDITIONS
If you know your way around
Elasmodiver, then you'll have noticed that there are a lot of new links
Fish Photography Expeditions. This is our brand new expedition
website that showcases all of the trips that you can join me on to meet
the world's top predators on their own ground.
These are not your average
wildlife expeditions. They are one of a kind adventures tailored to
adventurous people that want to enjoy up-close, in-water encounters with
apex predatory sharks, whales, dolphins and even giant squid.
Our first expedition kicks
off in February next year in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Playa has
recently become a hot spot for bull shark encounters and the Bull Shark
Feed that takes place there from November to March is second to none.
I am timing our
bull shark diving adventure to overlap with a scientific shark
tagging expedition which is being conducted by Dr Mauricio Hoyos who is
Mexico's leading Great White Shark Specialist. Mauricio and I worked on
a white shark film together a couple of years ago and he has agreed to
do a talk about his white shark research on Guadalupe Island and explain
what he hopes to learn about the bull sharks in Playa.
I have some great ideas for
creating the perfect shooting environment and if the sharks cooperate I
expect that we will return with some amazing images.
In April I will be running a
Tiger Beach Photography Workshop. This year's trip was a bit hit
with scores of lemon sharks and 24/7 tiger shark action, not to mention
encounters with reef sharks and nurse sharks too. For some people it was
their first introduction to shooting big animals. For others it was a
chance to hone their skills. I'm looking forward to getting back there
and doing it again in 2011. Next year's boat is already half full so if you're
interested in joining us please let me know as soon as possible.
I guess that's more than
enough bragging about expeditions. The ones we have scheduled so far are
all listed on the
Fish Photography Expeditions website. I'll update you on new
expeditions that I intend to run, as soon as they come together.
This year is quickly getting
away from me. Fortunately, late summer is the time when things start to
get interesting here on Vancouver Island so I am dedicating the next
month to the Pacific North West Elasmo Hunt.
Next weekend I will start by
working on the wild west coast in an area called Barkley Sound which is
a great place to track down sixgill sharks. I already have some sixgill
shots but I'm hoping to improve them and get a much better variety that
really capture the bluntnose sixgill's enigmatic personality. We have
our bait crates ready to go and a boat rented for this very purpose. If
any local divers want to join us on the hunt, there may be a few spots
up for grabs.
Late summer is also when
deepwater skates start making their way into the shallows to feed on
crustaceans and other benthic invertebrates, so I'll probably be
spending a fair bit of this month swimming around in muddy featureless
bays, hoping to encounter a skate or two. Wish me luck!
For the sharks,
strange places long enough and you'll eventually see strange sharks and
After shooting three new
species of deep water skates in Rhode Island (see previous post), I flew
down to West Palm Beach to meet up with a group of keen shark
photographers that were accompanying me on the Tiger Beach Shark
The expedition was a huge
success. Tiger Beach always has a healthy supply of lemon sharks
(usually around 40 or 50 once the chum gets going) but the tigers
themselves can be hit and miss. Its important to have a solid player - a
shark that isn't afraid of cameras, swims close to the group and stays
around long enough for everyone to get the shots they want. Fortunately,
that is exactly what we had. Other sharks came and went but one
respectably sized tiger shark stayed with us for the entire week. I
think that everyone got more tiger shark shots than they knew what to do
I wanted everyone to come home
with great shots, a better knowledge of workflow (Bridge, Photoshop,
etc) and some amazing stories about close up encounters with big sharks.
I think everyone learned a lot and had a great time and I'm really
looking forward to doing this again next year!
As well as lemons and tigers we
had one little nurse shark that kept skirting the action. He was pretty
brave to get as close as he did with all the huge carcharanids milling
about but the poor guy never made it to the food.
We spent the entire week
exploring all the different photography opportunities that Tiger Beach
has to offer except for one afternoon that we snuck off to a deeper site
to chase Caribbean reef sharks. After the big lumbering lemons it was
great to play with some zippy little sharks for a few hours. Everyone
hunkered down next to the reef and snapped away while the sharks buzzed
back and forth above us perfectly framed against the clear blue Bahamian
We returned to Tiger Beach to
find our super model tiger shark still in residence and continued
looking for the perfect shot until it was time to pull anchor and head
back to Florida.
After bidding farewell to a
boat load of new friends, I packed up my cameras and took a flight to
Steve Fox (Owner of the
Blue Resort in Utila) had graciously invited me to come and
photograph a couple of deep water shark species that local fishermen sometimes
encounter on the deep coastal plains around the island.
Both species we were after are rarely if
ever photographed and both are data defficient according to the IUCN Red
List. They are caught incidentally in other fisheries and like many deep
sea species they are probably in decline. Sadly, if you chase rare sharks you
have to expect to strike out now and then and on this trip the sharks
Cutting my losses, I spent the next week snorkeling in a muddy lagoon
looking for a rare stingray called the
chupare stingray (aka Caribbean whiptail stingray).
Steve (who has a cutting
British wit) ribbed me relentlessly during the week when I wasn't able
to find one. He was adamant that they were all over the place if only
I'd open my eyes, but trying to shoot one in the low visibility
environment was an extremely challenging mission.
Through a combination of luck
and stubbornness, I finally cornered a ray in a pocket of mangrove and
fired off a fusillade of shots while the ray kicked up more and more
silt until there was nothing left to see.
Although I didn't get the
quality of images I would have liked, I did take some usable ID shots so
the trip was officially a success. One more species for the Elasmodiver
Shark and Ray Field Guide.
Tired of swimming around in
lukewarm tea all day, I decided to take a break and head out to see
some of Utila's beautiful reefs with the sensible divers. Deep Blue
Resort has a seamless system for delivering divers to wonderful
environments and encounters: After a leisurely breakfast, you simply stroll
onto Deep Blue's private dock and get whisked off to a stunning and dramatic
wall dive somewhere then climb back on board and slip out of your dive
gear while the crew find you some whale sharks to play with.
Then you jump in, snorkel with
the sharks (which are conveniently feeding at the surface on baitballs) and pop back onto the boat
once the sharks move too deep. This is repeated time and again until the
guests get tired of 'whale shark jumps' and ask to be taken to another
pretty dive site.
After a pleasant lunch back at
the lodge, guests are then invited to head back out on the boat for more
absurdly easy diving or enjoy a shore dive on the house reef. After a
week of paradise they all fly home feeling ten years younger. It's
I'm not jealous - really I'm
not. But how come my dive trips more often involve squeezing onto a
Central American school bus jammed full of locals that are carrying
hundreds of chickens to some far away market. And then, sleeping on a
grubby panga in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of fishermen that I
can barely understand while waiting for a hapless shark to swim by. I
think it's time I reconsidered my shooting strategy :)
Its been so long since I did
any 'recreational diving' that at first I couldn't remember what I was
supposed to look at. After a while, I settled in and started shooting
pretty sponges and coral formations but it still felt kind of weird not
being on a shark photography mission. The whale shark jumps were much more familiar
and I was happy to have the chance to snorkel (if only briefly) with a
couple of big animals.
What was more unexpected was
the pod of rough-toothed dolphins that we encountered. I am far from
a marine mammal expert and I confess that I'd never even heard of
rough-toothed dolphns. Apparently they encounter them on Utila fairly
regularly and these ones were surprisingly playful. I was the only one
free diving so the dolphins gave me a lot of attention and I came away
with some very respectable images. I'd like to share them here but
they are earmarked for a future publication. Here's one that didn't make
Having got my fix of big
aquatic animals, I decided to head back into the lagoon for one more
crack at the Caribbean whiptail rays. The vis had improved enough to see
the mangrove forest in all its glory but the rays were nowhere to be
What I did stumble upon was a urolophid ray (round stingray family) that I can't positively
identify. It was probably just a yellow spotted stingray but rather than the
usual tiny yellow spots on a pale background this little ray was jet black
with vividly contrasting orange/yellow spots. I've never seen this color
variation before but then again I've never spent a week snorkeling
around a Honduran lagoon.
Tallying up the elasmobranchs
from the entire trip, over a 5 week period I managed to shoot nine
species of sharks and rays and saw two more species distantly swimming along.
Not a bad first adventure for the new decade.
I'm hoping to attend the
American Elasmobranch Meeting in July in Providence, RI. If any of you sharkafiles will be there please let me know. After that, my next big trip
will be Sharkfest. Sharkfest is three days of sandtiger shark diving
with a mini shark film festival attached. It's my humble attempt to
bring together a whole bunch of shark divers to dive, watch movies, tell
stories and have some fun. If you would like to attend there are 3 spots
left on the boat.
Email me for details.
For now I'm back on Vancouver
Island cleaning up pics, writing stories, diving with local species and
plotting. I may be running an underwater photography workshop here in
Victoria over the summer so if you're up in the Pacific North West and want to learn the
basics of DSLR photography let me know!
For the sharks,
An Incoming Tide of
Like a stingray stranded on a
mud flat, I have been stuck on land for way too long. I
spent the winter working in other fields to raise a shooting budget for
2010 and with that taken care of, its time to embark on a six week expedition through New England, Florida, The
Bahamas and Honduras. The plan as always, is to shoot as many new
species of sharks and rays as possible.
Right now I am in Rhode Island.
Home to makos, blues, threshers, the occasional white shark and lots of
deep sea skates. For those that don't know, skates are a type of ray and
are therefore closely related to sharks. One big difference between
skates and other rays is that skates lay eggs. They are also very
specious. If fact, they are the largest of all shark or ray families and because
most live in very deep inaccessible areas, scientists are still finding
new species on a fairly regular basis.
I am particularly interested in
shooting barndoor skates which Greenpeace International recently added
to its Seafood Red List. Greenpeace's red list is a list of fish that
are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, and which have a
very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries. On the
other hand, NOAA recently downgraded the barndoor on its 'species of
concern' scale but the continuing directed fishery and high by-catch
levels make it an ever-vulnerable species.
You can't dive with deep sea
skates in their natural environment unless you happen to own a research
submersible. Sadly, a sub is out of my budget this year but I have a
buddy named Brian Raymond who works on a fishing trawler that often
plies the waters of The Georges Bank where barndoor and other skate
species are fairly common.
You may think that its odd for
a conservation minded shark photographer to be hanging out with a
fisherman but Brian is no ordinary fisher. After 5 years in the industry
he is very tired of being part of the problem. This summer he is
quitting his job and going into business with Shark Film Maker Joe
Romeiro. They will be running eco-friendly blue and mako viewing trips
out of Rhode Island so if you're up this way and want to get in the
water with some beefy New England sharks, give them a call:
333 Blue and Mako Shark Expeditions
The boat that Brian works on
mostly trawls for squid but trawling is an indiscriminant form of
fishing so the by-catch levels are often horrendous. Recently, they have been dragging in
1000ft where there are a number of vulnerable skate species so we worked
out a plan to try a catch and release photo shoot with some of the
skates that he rescued from the nets. It should have been a simple way
to nail some shots of never before photographed species but the best
laid plans can go awry.
While Brian was returning from
his last fishing trip, I flew in, stashed my stuff at Joe's place and
got ready to start shooting. Brian and his girlfriend Jen met me at a
local beach and Brian pulled a tote of slowly flapping skates out of the
back of his truck. When I found that he had managed to bring not one but
three deep sea skate species I was as happy as a kid at Christmas.
The plan was for me to swim out
to clear water and release the animals on the sand and rocks where I
could get some usable ID shots before they swam away. I was petrified
that they would bolt before I could get any images but that turned out
to be the least of my problems.
R.I. is recovering from the
worst flood in 200 years which has thrown millions of gallons of dirty
water into inshore coves like the one we were shooting in. To make
matters worse, the day we chose to release the animals, the weather was
far from ideal. Strong winds, lashing rain and turbulent seas made the
whole swim out from shore rather daunting. I went out for a test run
just with my camera and found the going pretty tough. It didn't help
that I was nursing a fever and a throat infection and apparently my
drysuit had somehow gained a lot of extra buoyancy over the winter :)
leaving me considerably underweighted.
Unperturbed, I kicked back to
shore, found some scrap iron on the beach and strapped it to my tank.
Then, I filled my pockets with rocks and ventured out again, this time
with my camera in one hand and a lobster trap full of deep sea skates in
Clutching such a voluminous
object in rough seas put me in an unexpected position. I found myself at the
mercy of the rip which dragged me out of the bay into an area that was
churning like a washing machine. Looking down, the visibility was so bad
that I couldn't see my camera dangling at my side, let alone photograph
marine life. I tried retreating but I could barely make any headway back
to the beach and I was slowly drifting sideways onto a patch of
submerged rocks that was throwing extra large waves in my direction.
I tried sinking under the
buffeting chop but my drysuit inflator jammed open, lifting me back to
the surface and filling my suit to Michelin Man proportions. I had no
choice other than to disconnect the air hose but as the air trickled
out, the sea trickled in and within a minute or two my suit was
Now I was starting to feel a
bit uncomfortable. I'm not one to panic but I was riding so low in the
water that I couldn't tell which way the shore was. While I was deciding
whether I should drop the lobster trap (making the entire trip to New
England a disaster) I spotted Brian waving from the rocks with a pair of
binoculars around his neck. With new resolve I inched towards
shore. Cage in the left hand. Camera in the right. KICK! Look up.
reorient to shore. Head down. KICK!
It was slow going but I made it
back into the shallows and dropped the cage in a sheltered spot to rest.
There was no way I was heading out to sea again so I gently lifted a
skate out of its confinement and let it go. The skate swam around a
little and then settled onto the sand, cupping its body to provide the
suction necessary to resist the surge that was still pulling me around.
By working with a fisheye lens
within about six inches of each skate, I was able to get some images
that looked like they were shot in much clearer water than they really
were. After maybe an hour I dragged my wet and weary bones out of the
bay and left the skates to find their way out to sea.
Barndoor, Smooth and Thorny
That was two days ago and I'm
still feeling whipped but the images came out great. Three more species
for the Elasmodiver Shark and Ray Field
Guide. Three more elasmos available for any conservation initiatives
that might need images.
Next stop Washington State for
a couple of days diving on the Olympic Peninsula with Claire and then I
fly down to Florida to lead a week long Photography shoot at Tiger Beach
in The Bahamas. After that, the trip starts to get interesting!
In other news, Sharkfest is
getting exciting. As a new facet of the Predators in Peril Project we
are starting a simple new campaign inspired by a constant flow of emails
from people that want to do something to help sharks in their local
communities. Its called the Shark Friendly Restaurant Initiative.
The idea is for individuals to use fact sheets and decals that we will
supply to approach restaurant owners in their communities that sell
shark products (not just shark fin soup). If a restaurant agrees to
become part of the solution, they get a Shark Friendly Restaurant Decal
for their door and a listing in the Shark Friendly Restaurant Guide on
Elasmodiver. Where possible, we will arrange for the campaign to be
listed in local food and entertainment magazines so that conscientious
consumers can learn what the decal looks like and patronize the right
restaurants. Seafood Restaurants that already refuse to sell shark
products get a decal right off the bat which will help to brand the
What does this have to do with
shark diving in North Carolina? Well, the campaign is being sponsored by
the profits from Sharkfest. If I manage to fill the boat, we'll have a
budget to print enough decals to get started. You can find out more
about the campaign at this link:
Shark Friendly Restaurants.
On a more fun note, we also
have our first shark film submissions. The first to arrive was Big
Fish Utila an excellent film about whale sharks in the Bay
Islands. We'd like to have at least a dozen short films to view over the
weekend so if you know anyone that has made a shark film recently or if
you have a film of your own to submit, please tell us about it. Film
submission is free.
There has been a lot of
interest in the trip but there is still room so if you would like to
come diving with Sandtiger Sharks with us and a bunch of other shark
fanatics for 3 days in early August please let me know. Sharkfest is
$640 which includes 3 days shark diving, accommodation, a Sharkfest 2010
T-shirt and our 'shark friendly' Barbeque.
One shark diver suggested that
we include a sandtiger night dive in the agenda. That sounds like fun to
me but I'd like to hear what you think!
The Tiger Beach Photography
Workshop appears to be a very popular concept. I've never seen a trip
fill up quite so fast. So... I'm considering running a second
workshop/expedition in the fall. Email me if you're interested.
Lastly, Elasmodiver is
getting out of control
Some people have commented that
Elasmodiver is getting too big to navigate. No argument from me! So how
do you get your head around a website with almost 500 pages? Its a
puzzle but at least its easy to keep track of recent changes by
bookmarking this link: Elasmodiver
Updates. Its the simplest way to scan what is new, what has changed
and when. And, if you have suggestions on how Elasmodiver could be made
better, pleeeease let me know. Elasmodiver remains one of the largest
sources of shark info on the internet. Help us keep it user friendly.
For the sharks,
SHARKFEST, PREDATORS IN PERIL REBORN AND
A RHODE ISLAND DEEP ELASMO SHOOT
Predators in Peril
First the bad news... Our
2010 Central American Predators in Peril Expedition got turned down for funding. I'm
not sure why but rather than dwell on the time wasted in drawing up
funding proposals, I'm happy to move on and look for creative ways for
us to fund the expedition on our own.
Through a combination of
revenue sources including Photography Workshops, Sharkfest, a pending
photography exhibition and some good old fashioned hard work (at the
Winter Olympics) we think we can pull off a modified PIP Central
American Expedition that incorporates almost as much as the original
The new plan is to turn the
proposed epic road journey into a series of fly in - fly out satellite trips.
This ultimately works better because we can work on other projects in
between shoots, we will have better opportunities to keep the world
updated on our successes and we can avoid the rainy seasons much more
easily by heading to the right places at exactly the right times.
About a month ago I was
looking at places around North America where I could run a cheap fun
filled shark diving weekend. Moorhead City in North Carolina was the
obvious place because it is easily accessible, warm enough to be popular
and full of extremely photogenic sandtiger sharks.
Olympus Dive Center (which is
the premiere dive center in the region) was keen to host the trip so we
started hashing out the details. Shark diving trips with Olympus are
always fun because they can cater to big groups and their store and
staging area are set up well for apres dive entertainment.
Rather than just a dive
party I wanted to create an event that shark fanatics would really
enjoy. The result is Sharkfest - a shark diving weekend and mini film
festival just for shark people.
As soon as I mentioned the
idea to people they started getting excited. Information about Sharkfest
only went online just over a week ago and the first boat is half full
already so I think it is going to be very popular. The good thing is
that Olympus has two big boats so we could get a record number of sharky
people in one place at the same time which is bound to be memorable.
Attracting film makers to
submit their short films will probably be the hardest part to organize
but we have two films on the way already and screening times will be
limited to the evenings. I hope I don't have to reject submissions -
that would be tough. If you're interested in submitting a short but
you're not sure if your shark footage is up to scratch don't worry about
it. Sharkfest isn't Sundance or Cannes and you won't find a more
appreciative audience anywhere!
H2O Photo Pros in California
has kindly offered to sponsor the festival with prize money and I am
having a really special trophy made called an ELASMO for the crowd
favorite. More on that when its done and I have a picture to show you.
I hope some of you can make
it out for the whole event and come diving. Anyone that can't get there
during the day but wants to show up in the evenings to talk sharks with
us is more than welcome. More info here:
Rhode Island Expedition
Right now we are at Olympic
Village in Whistler BC. I am helping with some of the organizational
nightmares of this monstrous event. As soon as the Paralympics finish
in late March I am flying to Providence to dive with Film Maker Joe
Romeiro. Joe has a friend in the commercial fishing world who is keeping
an eye out for deep water species of sharks and skates for us. If he
finds some while I am there we are going to do a captive release photo
shoot. If any of you remember the 'walking the dog' blog that I
posted during the shark tour this will be the same kind of shoot. We'll
release the deep water species in one of the bays and try to get some
i.d. shots before they head for the hills. Its a pretty hokey way to shoot elasmobranchs but its the only way some species will ever be
photographed unless I strike it rich and buy my own deep water
submersible. I'm still working on that.
Sharks in a Fading Light
I have a local gallery
interested in a shark photography exhibition. Dates have yet to be
arranged but we're past the hand shake stage. The exhibition will be in
two parts. The first series of images focus on the traditional view of
sharks, portraying them as majestic apex predators. The second series of
images looks at the change that is starting to take place in the
public's perception and the plight that sharks now collectively face. It
contains enough 'pretty pictures' to make it appealing but also depicts
sharks on long-lines and other unpleasant realities.
I initially wanted to avoid
any toothy shots that would paint sharks as aggressive animals but I've
had a change of heart on this subject lately. Instilling fear into
people is obviously detrimental to sharks but painting them as teddy
bears is also foolish. Sharks are not monsters but they are formidable
creatures. Hopefully my images will convey that sentiment.
For the sharks,
A NEW DECADE TO SINK YOUR TEETH INTO...
First, The Tiger Shark
I'm running a workshop at
Tiger Beach in The Bahamas in April. Space is limited to ten shooters.
The boat is half full already so please let me know if you're
interested. Its going be a fun trip. Amazing shooting opportunities and
lots of tips and presentations. We'll also have a whole week to kick back
and talk sharks - my favorite subject. More info on the
Second, a little
nostalgia and an important mission
I have spent the last decade
sliding over or diving into the ocean. Quite often, I was diving with
sharks but sometimes I was just snorkeling and looking down longingly at
the world below. Occasionally, I had the privilege of piloting
submarines.; driving over the seafloor, exploring the mysteries of the
deep from the safety of my acrylic goldfish bowl. Every time I entered
the water I came back nourished from the experience even when I was
charged with difficult tasks. And, when I finally dragged my water
logged body back to land, my mind remained deep in the ocean and there I
expect it will stay forever.
Of all the creatures that I
encounters none affected me as strongly as sharks. Sharks have
been such a captivating and pivotal force in my recent life that I now only accept jobs in places where I
can find sharks and I scrimp
and save to go to remote shark diving spots between shooting for magazine articles or
After I loaded Elasmodiver.com
onto the web in 2002, I found even
more reason to travel to unusual coastal destinations; the pursuit of
rarely encountered species to add to the growing elasmodiver field
Initially, shark images were
simply trophies in my collection. I was a big game hunter with an
underwater housing and a bucket list of shark species that I wanted to
photograph. I really didn't know that much about the plight of
endangered species. I was simply overwhelmed by the beauty and grace of
the animals themselves.
I am still just as
infatuated with elasmobranchs (large and small) but now I am also
starkly aware of the sad decline of our ocean's top predators.
Regardless of the controversy over specific decline rates, few would
disagree that many sharks and rays are in trouble. According to the IUCN,
At least a third of the world's shark species are considered threatened.
Many more are data deficient implying that further research could reveal
more bad news.
The enormity of the problem
makes me feel pretty
helpless. I want to do something tangible to help but I am just a photojournalist. I can tell
people what I have
learned but the people that read diving and nature magazines already
love the ocean and the natural world. While its important to reinforce
the message lest we forget, there has to be a way to spread the word to
a wider audience.
I'm not sure what the answer
is or if anything can really be done to reverse the trend but I'll do my
bit. In 2010 I am planning to play the part of a missionary and my mission is to bring the word about over
fishing, shark finning and habitat destruction to people that still
don't understand what is happening below the surface of the sea. I hope
that you will all do your part too.
Spreading the Word
through the Elasmodiver Network
Elasmodiver gets around
150,000 hits a month. That still blows me away!
Not everyone that lands on
the site wants to read about the plight of sharks but there are more and
more shark conservation pages being added for those that care to look.
I'm also trying to sneak as
much conservation information as possible onto every page without
turning people off. To that end, I am in the process of updating every
species in the Elasmodiver Shark and Ray
Field Guide with IUCN info. That means that when little Johnny cuts
and pastes a page about great white sharks into his grade 7 school
project, he inadvertently learns more than just how big they grow. It
There are now Elasmodiver
pages, channels and blogs on Facebook, Blogger, Wordpress, Twitter and
YouTube. So, whatever way you like to get your news there is no escape
from Elasmodiver. Don't sign up for our Twitter feed unless you want to
live and breathe sharks. I am turning that account over to our new
social networking guru Bo Moran. He'll be tweeting and re-tweeting
Elasmodiver news and general shark stuff multiple times a day.
The pen may be mightier
than the sword but what is wrong with keeping a sword handy just in
Outside of the web, I am now
trying to write every shark diving article with shark conservation in
mind. That's not always easy to do when you're writing about how much
fun it is diving with tiger sharks but I'm committed to squeezing the
message into the text wherever I can. I'm also pitching my stories to
way more magazines this year. I'm a slow writer and I'm starting to
think that I may be mildly dyslexic so its really cutting into my
shooting time but its a worthwhile platform even if it is preaching to
In the next couple of
months, I have articles slated for Diver, Invertum, Oceans (a new mag -
keep a look out for this one), Xray, Shark
Diver (of course) and a few others that must remain nameless for now. I'll keep
plugging away on that front so expect to see more of my writing on the
I also contributed an
interview for a photographic magazine which annoyed the hell out of me.
No matter how many times I pointed out that I don't spend every waking
minute 'in the jaws of death' they were not interested in any other
angle. It frustrates me to think that many editors outside of
dive/nature mags are still stuck on the sensationalist man-eater model -
its time to claw your way out of the 70's guys!.
At the end of the day I'm
really not sure if what I write has any effect. I plan to keep it up but
I look at Sea Shepherd and the front line approach that they have taken
by harassing whaling ships and ruining catches and I wonder if that
would be a more effective method in the battle to save sharks. I know
that I'll be labeled as a radical if I go down that path but on a whim I
registered SharkShepherd.com the other day. Every successful army has a
political and a military wing. I'm not sold on the idea of direct
intervention yet but I'm open to suggestion.
In Peril Project update - The PIP Exhibition
On a less controversial
note, PIP is progressing. I have built a portfolio of images for the
Predators in Peril Exhibition and I'm out pounding the pavement, looking
for suitable venues. The exhibition consists of a number of my most
dramatic shark images. Each image is accompanied by a smaller image that
conveys the plight of that species and a message about the decline of
sharks in general. Sometimes I use images of dead sharks and sometimes I
use images with a more symbolic reference. I plan to use fishing hooks
to hang the images in each gallery if the curators don't object. For a
sneak peek at some of the images that are included please follow this
link: Predators in Peril
I have invested a fair chunk
of my net worth in this project. The images are printed on archival
silver rag and they look gorgeous. The intention is to educate everyone
that comes through the galleries and to raise funds for the 2010
Central American Predators in Peril
EXPEDITION which will take place later in the year.
This year we're also
throwing our doors open to advertisers in the scuba diving and
photography industries to help raise funds for Predators in Peril. There
are banner, button and full page advertising opportunities. Our rates
are unbeatable considering our web presence so if you are a
manufacturer, dive shop or operator and you want a button on all 480+
pages on Elasmodiver please let me know. First come, first served.
Advertise on Elasmodiver
One more idea. Life is
short. Some people just want to get through it. Some want to make it
fun. And some people want to lead an extraordinary existence. Its no
secret which group I am in. The overland expeditions that I undertake
are rewarding on many levels but there are so many more opportunities
out there for the right people with the right ideas and the right
Have you ever wondered what
it would be like to dive off of Tierra Del Fuego or the Aleutian
Islands? Can you imagine what you'd see if you spent a night at 100ft
hanging from a baited line in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? How about
sliding over the sea floor in a small submersible at any number of
unexplored abyssal reefs around the world. Does that sound interesting?
Maybe such adventures would
be disappointing. A waste of time and money. But maybe, with careful
planning and the right people involved we can achieve the unthinkable,
explore the unexplorable, and come face to face with the unencounterable.
How about an expedition to find a giant squid or an illusive longfin
mako or a mega mouth shark?
Why are these creatures
never photographed? Because its hard and because normal people don't go
if the expedition might fail. Well, I want to try. If you are interested
in joining me on an extraordinary expedition to encounter some of the
rarest sights in the natural world then let me know.
Right now Extraordinary
Ocean Explorers is not a club or a society or a group. It is an idea.
That is how it always starts. Someone with enough drive pulls together
the right people to create an adventure that is bigger than the sum of
its parts. Then it is up to you. If we try we may fail. If we don't then
we will definitely fail.
If you want to be involved
with the development of upcoming expeditions email me and we'll talk.
Happy new year! Thanks for
tuning in and for supporting Elsmodiver.
For the sharks,
Pictures, Shark Projects and Shark Photography Workshops!
November 15th 2009
2010 Central American Predators in
Peril Expedition is taking shape. This will be the most exciting
project that Elasmodiver has ever been involved in. If you thought that
the 2009 North American Shark Diving Tour
was ambitious, please have a quick look at the itinerary for
the 2010 expedition. Its all laid out on the new
Predators In Peril page on Elasmodiver.com
To quickly outline the
mission: Beginning in early May, we will be traveling through nine
countries along the entire length of Central America to photograph new
species of sharks. We have arranged to work with local researchers in
many locations and we will also be working with artisanal shark
fishermen and with a number of Central American dive operators.
We are hoping to photograph
at least a dozen new species that have not yet been documented in the
wild. The images will be used in an extensive public awareness campaign
and then offered to regional conservation groups to promote local
We have put in a couple of
funding proposals but we still need help with equipment and field
expenses. Please take a look at the
Predators in Peril Expedition Wish
List if you think you may be able to help. And, please spread
the word about the expedition through any networks that you are involved
with. Media coverage is a very important part of the project.
In other news, I have just returned from
Tiger Beach in the Bahamas. It was an unexpected last minute shoot that
I almost didn't go on but I'm glad I did because the sharks were VERY
friendly on this visit and the shooting opportunities were
outstanding. If you've never been to Tiger Beach you'd be forgiven for
imagining a palm fringed island surrounded by big striped sharks but TB isn't
actually a beach at all. It's a sand bank in the middle of nowhere that
rises to within about 20ft of the surface. The lemon sharks that patrol
the area have become accustomed to the occasional dive boat passing
through and the sound of an anchor chain rattling down to the seabed
acts like an aquatic dinner bell.
For first time visitors it
can be very daunting seeing a score of large lemon sharks circling just
below the swim step but lemons tend to be pretty well behaved sharks.
Tigers (in my opinion) are a little more unpredictable. The tigers
usually show up in ones and twos but you never really know what Tiger
Beach will dish out. I've heard of divers encountering a dozen tigers on
a single dive. I'm sure that would be fun for the adrenalin junkies that
go shark diving for kicks but it would make my job a little tricky so
I'm glad that we only saw a handful of tigers over the course of the
I need an accommodating
shark that is bold enough to come in close and pose but doesn't get out
of control and swim off with the bait box. The 4 meter female that
adopted us on this trip was almost the perfect shark. 'Fluffy' as we
called her, was a beautiful animal that moved slowly among us for the
better part of two days. Judging by her distended belly she was either
digesting a turtle or almost ready to give birth to the next generation
of baby tigers.
Between Fluffy and the
omnipresent lemon sharks it turned into a great shoot:
MORE IMAGES ON
After Tiger Beach I had a
week to kill in Florida which would normally have involved lots of
snorkeling with stingrays and hunting for little coastal sharks but I'm
ashamed to say that I barely got wet even though I was holed up right
next the beach in Fort Lauderdale. I spent the week sitting in a
darkened hotel room cleaning and sorting all of the images that I have
taken this year. It was a mammoth undertaking but I'm finally caught up
(almost). Pretty soon there will be a whole lot of new images on Elasmodiver.com
- I promise!
Here are some new leopard
shark pics to keep everyone happy:
2010 SHARK SHOOT IN THE
While in Florida I attended
DEMA - the yearly North American Dive Industry Bash. I'm glad I went
because after 4 days of schmoozing with magazine editors and dive
operators I walked away with lots of exciting plans for next year. So
many plans in fact that there is no way I can work on them all, but even
if I make half of them happen it is going to be an amazing 2010.
One tentative plan I have is
a Shark Photography Workshop in the Bahamas. This is a new direction for
me. Other professional shooters have done similar workshops but I have
been biding my time until I was sure I had something worth offering.
Now I'm ready. We're looking
3 or 4 day shoot, mostly working with Caribbean reef sharks in different
environments. Two dives a day plus 'how to' workshops, photography
critiques (don't be shy) and daily slide shows.
The idea is that you walk
away with some good pics, a better understanding of how to shoot sharks
and some great stories about the crazy time you had with a slough of other
shark shooters in the Bahamas. Space will be limited so if that sounds
like fun let me know! Depending on interest, I'm hoping to set some
dates in April before the Predators in Peril Expedition gets underway.
NEW ELASMO T-SHIRTS!
Another spin off from DEMA, I bumped into Tom Sergent who operates the
company Amphibious Warrior Scuba Wear which raises money for shark
education and conservation activities. Tom is a big supporter of Elasmodiver
and he has agreed to
produce our new Elasmo T shirts that have been getting rave reviews. His
new AWSW website will soon be up and running but for now, if you want to
order an Elasmo T, go to Tom's AWSW fan page on FaceBook:
The Elasmo T's are US$22.
All proceeds go towards the Predators in Peril Project.
BAIT BALL DIVING IN THE
SEA OF CORTEZ
Tomorrow I leave for Cabo
san Lucas in Baja to shoot Marlins with Shark Diver Magazine. "MARLINS?"
I hear you say. Well, its a trip to shoot marlins attacking bait balls.
Don't tell the editor but I'm only going incase some sharks show up to
feed as well. If they do, I'll just have to wait for those pesky marlins
to get out of the way so that I can get the shot.
For the sharks,
that the shark
tour is officially over, I
am back on Vancouver Island formulating a game plan for next year. My
fall schedule is looking a bit grim regarding actual time in the water
with sharks but there are so many exciting projects that need my
attention that I'll be too busy to go diving anyway. Here are a few of
the things that I am working on:
exhibition featuring a selection of dynamic shark and ray images
designed to draw attention to the critical position of critically
endangered elasmobranch species. This will initially start locally
but if it is well received I will try to turn it into a traveling
exhibition. It is a great opportunity for me to get on my soap box
in a friendly setting to reinforce the message that shark stocks are
in decline and need to be protected at a global level.
are a lot of obstacles holding the project back such as: set up,
printing, framing, venue hire and advertising expenses but we have
high hopes for pulling this together by the spring of next year.
website affiliated with Elasmodiver that will ultimately become our
portal for marketing limited edition prints and other elasmodiver
goodies. This is not that big a project but its way beyond my web
savvy so if anyone wants to lend a hand...
Shark Dive Operator Initiative
original mandate of Elasmodiver was to create an exhaustive shark and ray
field guide on the internet where divers could look
up a particular species that they were interested in and immediately
find out where they could dive with it. Well, eight years later I'm
nowhere near finished but I think that I've made a pretty good
the factors holding the project up is that I still don't know where
each and every elasmobranch is hiding and when dive operators are
talking about their dive sites on the internet, they don't usually
bother saying that stingray species A is sometimes found swimming
around at dive site B. Consequently, I've decided to approach the
problem from another angle.
Shark Dive Operator Initiative (I'm still working on the name) is an
email campaign to get every dive shop or dive operator that we can
find on the internet (not just those that run organized shark dives)
to fill out a quick survey answering which shark and ray species
they see in their neighborhood.
get the results, their contact info and a brief outline of what you
might encounter with them will get added to the
Dive Operator Directory.
I'm guessing that most dive operators will be pretty happy to have a
link from one of the largest shark diving resources on the internet
so the survey should get a good response. In return, we'll get
priceless information for our database and maybe even some location
ideas for upcoming shark tours. It is a mammoth project. Why any
sane person would attempt it I don't know...
surprises here. I'm swamped with new shark and ray images from the
2009 tour and it is going to take me months to add them all onto
Elasmodiver. There are at least 6 new species profiles to be added
to the Field Guide (like the Atlantic Guitarfish shown here) as well
as location pics, some new 'shark diving hot spot' features and lots more
that I don't even want to think about right now.
Diver Magazine Issue 21
you may have heard that
Eli was so inspired by the North American Shark Diving Tour that he
decided to dedicate the next issue of the mag almost exclusively to
our adventures. That was a nice gesture on his part but the reality
is that after I agreed in principle, I soon realized that I would
have to rewrite and expand upon my entire road trip blog so that it
would read well in a magazine. And, sort, clean and edit lots and
lots of pics so that Eli can cherry pick his favorites. It is very
time consuming but its kinda fun reliving all the high points and
writing about them from a more retrospective point of view.
what I've seen so far, the mag is going to look awesome. Here are a
couple of screen shots that Eli sent me. That's Claire surrounded by
silky sharks on the cover:
or two ago a friend of mine started an Andy Murch Shark Photographer
Group on Facebook. That was going well but I couldn't figure out how
to keep everyone updated unless they actually visited the group to
see what had changed. So now there is a simple page that anyone can
join. Once you join Elasmodiver (or become a fan of it) on
Facebook you'll get all my website updates zapped straight to your
Facebook status updates page - much easier for me to manage.
it has seemed like there are so many shark group postings and worthy
causes that its difficult to know which ones to support. I am sure
that they are probably all worthy causes. The Shark Safe Network is
trying to get likeminded organizations to work together. In their
Shark Safe Network provides a framework to combine and focus the
efforts of committed individuals and shark conservation groups
towards specific shark conservation campaigns. If you have a
passion to protect sharks, Shark Safe Network helps you to get
involved and make a difference - by participating in a current
campaign or by launching your own campaign in your community.
Shark Safe Network provides the
information, tools, raw materials and support. You provide the
The goal of every Shark Safe
Network campaign is to reduce and ultimately eliminate wasteful
and unsustainable activities and products that threaten sharks'
survival. Shark Safe Network invites and welcomes participation
from any and all organizations and individuals, provided that
all campaigns are conducted according the Shark Safe Network
And we always keep in mind that
helping sharks = helping people. When you consider any of the
issues that threaten sharks today, there is also a corresponding
negative impact on humans and the planet.
Shark Safe Network is all about
getting involved and doing something that counts. Join the Shark
Safe Network and you will make a difference!
organizations have already endorsed the initiative so if you're
looking for an effective way to make a difference, take a closer
look at what the
SharkSafeNetwork is trying to do.
are lots more projects that I would like to start at some point but
these will keep me busy for a while.
planning to go to DEMA in November so if you see me wandering around
in an Elasmodiver T-shirt please come up and say hello. It'll be a
busy weekend but there is always time to talk shark.