You can read the full details in the bill in the red box below, but here are the main points related to shark diving:
…The term ‘shark feeding’ means the introduction of food or any other substance into the water to feed or attract sharks for any purpose other than to harvest sharks.
This would make it illegal for any baiting of sharks unless you planned to kill the sharks. Frankly, that’s disgusting and ignorant. Thanks Marco Rubio!
Make sure you take a look at the tiger shark article in the June 2016 issue of National Geographic magazine. We were excited to work with Brian Skerry and Glenn Hodges over 2 seasons as they worked to construct the article.
We had some amazing Tiger Shark encounters at Tiger Beach as well as some interesting lemon and reef shark interactions. Here’s a sample. Find the full article here: He Went Face-to-Face With Tiger Sharks
We’re terrified of sharks, thanks to their reputation as vicious killers. Shark attacks are rare but appear to be rising: There were a record 98 unprovoked attacks worldwide in 2015, six fatal. Less known are the crucial roles sharks play in ocean ecology. This summer, we’ll look at three species with notorious reputations: tiger sharks, great whites, and oceanic whitetips. We’ll meet scientists who are shedding new light on these enigmatic creatures that are vital to the seas, and not as scary as you might think.
Here’s a neat set of 15 photography cheat sheets we found from the folks over at brightside.me. Have a look and feel free to post your thoughts/comments below. Enjoy!
Everybody who picks up a camera should know this.
The team and UM published an article in March 2012 called Don’t bite the hand that feeds: assessing ecological impacts of provisioning ecotourism on an apex marine predator.
The article represents a strong scientific look at the the potential impacts of “shark provisioning” for the shark diving tourism industry on the natural behavior and migration patterns of the sharks involved. Here’s the article’s summary:
Read the full research article here.
From The Bahamas National Trust:
The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) has been made aware of the killing of a mature tiger shark in the Exuma Cays in early March. The BNT would like to remind the general public that the killing of sharks is currently illegal in The Bahamas. Although the BNT is sensitive to the needs to local people who may accidentally catch sharks and choose to consume it, the BNT does not condone the targeted culling and ruthless killing of such valuable, sentient beings. This shark was reportedly frequenting an area where stingrays were being fed. The targeted killing of this shark does not appear to be justified.
The Bahamas enjoys a great diversity and bounty of sharks, due to our relatively healthy marine environment, but these magnificent animals are considered threatened or endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is due to the fact that sharks are heavily sought after for their fins for shark fin soup and similar products. In areas of the world where sharks were fished out, there have been complete shifts in the ecosystems that they had previously been the “Apex” predators of, and as a result, the decline of other fisheries meant that they too had to close. The role that these creatures play at the very top of their ecosystems, means that they are influencing the balance of everything beneath them in the food chain.
In The Bahamas, we actually economically benefit from having such healthy shark populations, as tourists travel here specifically to swim and dive with them every year. Shark tourism generates some $78M per year in The Bahamas, and is responsible for countless jobs across the entire country, including and especially dive shop employees. Many film and documentary makers also travel to The Bahamas in order to capture sharks on film, and when their movies reach others it is, in a sense, a form of marketing our sharks and our country. In simpler terms, a single, dead shark is worth only about $60 for its meat and organs, while a single, living shark is valued at $250,000 over its entire life time.
The BNT strongly condemns the the needless, intentional killing of sharks.
Here’s a great list of recommendations for dealing with a lionfish sting. As the invasive species continues to flourish in the Caribbean, diver’s are finding themselves running in to these guys a bunch. While we’re supposed to wipe them out (since they’re invasive), they are mesmerizing to look at and photograph. Typically, they’re well behaved and most cases of stings have completely understandable defensive reasoning by the lionfish. In other words, either people are being careless or hunting the lionfish. Either way, this quick read will give you some guidance to deal with it should you find yourself faced with the problem.
The injuries can be serious, and if there is hand involvement, special medical attention may be required.
Learn more about lionfish envenomation and see more photos at:11 Recommendations for Treating a Lionfish Sting | Cayman Islands Diving | iDive Blog
Liked the information in this article? Check out our blog on Jellyfish Stings.
Motion sickness is a sure-fire way to put a damper on an otherwise great day. Once it starts, it’s really difficult to break the cycle and you’re often left to endure the misery until you can get your feet back on solid ground. PADI’s website recently featured some great info from the Diver’s Alert Network.
Over-the-counter products: Antihistamines are commonly used both to prevent and treat motion sickness. A side effect of antihistamines is drowsiness, which is exaggerated when alcohol is consumed. Drowsiness may adversely affect diver safety. Meclizine, the medication in Bonine or Dramamine II, is considered less drowsy. It is actually a very effective medication and available by prescription under the name “Antivert” – given it’s use in treating vertigo.
Prescription products: The scopolamine skin patch (Transderm Scop) is a popular option. The patch is applied to the skin area behind the ear at least eight hours before exposure and can help prevent motion sickness for up to three days per patch. Scopolamine may cause dry mouth, blurry vision, drowsiness and dizziness. Patients with glaucoma, enlarged prostate and some other health problems should not use this drug. Be sure to tell your doctor of your existing health problems to help determine which drug is best suited for you. As mentioned above, meclizine is also available as a prescription.
Alternative remedies: Various alternative remedies have been promoted as being helpful in relieving or preventing motion sickness. In most cases, the evidence of efficacy is missing. However, if you have mild symptoms, you may try ginger or peppermint products to ease your symptoms without risking side effects.
Occasionally, the currents at Tiger Beach Bahamas can get pretty strong. We try to plan our dives when the current is mild, but conditions have been known to change in a matter of minutes. Because the scent trail is moving fast, it can lead to some pretty amazing dives, but there are a few extra special considerations.
We suggest packing on the pounds while diving at Tiger Beach Bahamas. It may be a strange concept for some, but an average of 20 – 30 pounds of lead is typical. Most of our dives are static, meaning that divers are positioned on the bottom and need to stay in place for the dive. When currents pick up, underweighted divers turn into tumbleweeds and can find themselves in some pretty precarious situations. Because the dives are shallow and subject to surface surge and occasional strong currents, there’s really no downside to carrying some extra lead. We know that once divers are done discussing how little air they breathe and how long a tank lasts them, the next thing to brag about is how little weight they wear. Forget that concept for diving Tiger Beach! Nothing will drain you tank faster than fighting against the current to keep your position on the bottom.
As already mentioned, the dives at Tiger Beach Bahamas are generally static and divers should stay put once in position on the bottom. When it’s necessary to move, there’s definitely a right and wrong way to go about it if the currents are moving fast. We suggest dives stand and walk backwards along the bottom. This keeps your eyes focused down current which is where most of the shark action will be. It’s also very difficult to swim against the current in full SCUBA gear, wearing all that extra weight and possibly carrying a camera. This is especially true at the end of the dive, when your tanks are already low. Take a calm, leisurely stroll back to the boat rather than a tiring swim.
There’s two ways to do this: The easy way, and the hard way. Typically, the currents are running from the bow to the stern of the boat, especially when it’s moving fast. We suggest divers walk backwards along the bottom to about the midpoint of the boat. Once in position, make sure the dive ladder is free and begin your ascent from this point. While going up slowly, the current will pull you to the stern and you should meet the ladder as you surface. Nice and smooth! Ascending directly below the ladder, or worse yet, just popping up and trying to swim to the ladder, is a recipe for disaster. By the time you reach the surface, you could be quite a distance away from the boat. If this happens, hopefully you didn’t drain your tank in the struggle and can drop back to the bottom and start over. The boat will be anchored with other divers below and cannot simply unhitch to go pick you up. We always put out drift lines as a backup in strong currents, but divers should be aware of the proper technique for returning back to the boat. Here’s a quick video showing the technique: