epic tiger shark diving expeditions
tiger shark attack

Tiger Shark Attack on Hammerhead Shark

It’s always tough to watch a shark struggle on a fishing line. But this video gives an interesting underwater look at a Tiger Shark attacking a hammerhead caught on a fishing line. This happened in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the fisherman, the tiger shark showed up only minutes after the hammerhead was hooked.

Watch the video on YouTube

tiger shark attack

Tiger sharks are certainly top predators. They certainly prefer an easy meal and so a struggling shark on a fishing line is a great opportunity. Tiger sharks have a reputation of being the garbage cleaners of the ocean because they are known to eat just about anything. This goes to their large size, bold nature, and willingness to investigate any feeding opportunity that comes their way. Tiger shark attack on people do happen from time to time, but usually related to a person in the water unaware of the sharks presence.

So how do we safely dive in the presence of one of the sharks considered to be the most dangerous? And without the safety of a cage? It’s actually pretty simple. Sharks are not “mindless” and do not attack indiscriminately. Observing sharks in the wild allows divers to get a first hand look at their behavior, and their decision making. They are constantly sizing up the situation and evaluating their environment for feeding opportunities. The key is being aware of your surroundings, paying attention to the safety briefing, and never making yourself seem like a good opportunity for them.

Tiger Beach Bahamas

Tiger Beach is the best place on earth to dive with Tiger sharks. Calm, clear water, shallow dive sites, and loads of sharks make this dive site one of the best shark dives on earth!

Want more tips and tricks for diving with sharks? Take a look at these articles:

Shark Diving Tips and Tricks

Tiger Beach: 5 Common Mistakes

tiger shark fishing

Texas fisherman reels in enormous shark 10 years after it’s tagged

tiger shark caught

A Texas fisherman recently reeled in a massive 11-foot tiger shark with an attached research tag, leading to what may be the biggest coincidence in shark-catching history.

hooked tiger shark fishing

Although we could do without the beached/hooked shark images, there’s certainly interesting information learned from this catch. Turns out, this shark was tagged 10 years to the day prior to this catch. It measured only 32 inches at the time, was tagged, and released from a location only 40 miles from this catch. The fisherman took his photos, recorded the tag number, and discussed the information with the scientist later. Everyone was excited to learn the details and the amazing coincidence.

Tiger sharks are quite hardy animals, unlike some other species. Certain sharks, like the great hammerhead, have very high mortality rates after a long fight on a fishing line and being dragged out of the water. By contrast, this tiger shark should manage well after the release.

Source: Texas fisherman reels in enormous shark, finds unbelievable coincidence – Houston Chronicle

shark fin ban thresher

The Shark Fin Ban That Should Be Banned

Here’s a rather interesting and unexpected take on the proposed shark fin elimination act of 2016, currently co-sponsored by 7 US senators.  There are a number of shark scientists and conservationist that believe this bill, in it’s current form, is the wrong approach.

In a letter to Senator Bill Nelson, Bob Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, outlines his objections. At best, it’s unnecessary, he says. At worst, it harms rather than helps shark populations.

The thinking here is that shark finning is already illegal in the United States.  Returning to shore with shark fins and no shark body means you’ll end up in court, for sure.  The “fins attached” policy is the gold standard to ensure that there is no finning taking place.

There are many sharks species that are completely legal to catch as of now.  When those sharks are brought in to shore, the meat is sold just like an other fish, in addition the the fins, liver oil, skin, etc.  The whole shark is used and nothing goes to waste.

The proposed ban would change that. The meat could still be eaten or sold, but any fins would have to be tossed overboard, thrown into the trash, or used for display or research purposes by a museum, college, or university, to avoid breaking the law. “It’s going in the opposite direction from the goal of any fishery,” says Hueter. That is, to “utilize as much as you can, and throw away as little as you have to.”

This would effectively eliminate Americans from the shark fin trade which would, in turn, just give more opportunity for other countries that fill the gap.  This would likely be countries that participate in the illegal fin trade.  Hueter also notes that when it comes to shark fins, the United States is a small drop in a vast ocean of trade; only three percent of the Asian imports hail from its waters. “Shutting down the US supply … will have no real impact on this market.”  This is unlike the ban of the sale of elephant ivory that took place in 2014.  At that time, the US was a major consumer of elephant ivory so the ban was effective at turning the tide.

In summary, it would seem that as long as it’s legal to catch sharks in the US, some feel that it would be extremely wasteful to not allow the sale of the fins from those same sharks.  It’s not shark finning if the entire shark is brought to market.  This bill will not ban catching sharks for commercial reasons.  It will just make the sale of the fins illegal.  Stopping any shark fins from being imported or exported to/from the US would have a much greater impact.

Here is Oceana’s video making the case for the passage of the bill:

Read the full text of the Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016 here.
Read the full article in Hakai Magazine here: The Shark Fin Ban That Should Be Banned | Hakai Magazine

shark fishing tournament

Shark fishing tournaments face growing pressure

There’s a really interesting article published in The Guardian about shark fishing. It goes into great detail about some of the support and opposition of the catch and kill shark tournaments and well worth the read.

Check out this map of Atlantic Shark Fishing Tournaments:

Here’s a list of multinational corporate sponsors of these tournaments:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Globalstar
  • Lexus
  • Caterpillar
  • Goslings Rum
  • Yamaha
  • Budweiser
  • Boat US (Berkshire Hathaway)
  • West Marine
  • Astoria Bank
  • Home Depot
  • West Marine
  •  Coors Lite
  • Milwaukee Tool Corporation
  • Academy Sports
  • Nissan
  • Samuel Adams
  • Cummins
  •  BASF
  • Dow
  • Veolia
  • Ford
  • Phillips 66
  • Olin
  • Home Depot
  • Hertz
  • Maserati
  • Ferrari
  • Captain Morgan
  • Miller Lite
  • Garmin
  • Aon
  • Intercontinental Hotels
  • Merrill Lynch (Bank of America)
  • RBC Wealth Management
  • The Wahlrich Group and Unity International Group
The quest to haul in giant sharks used to be a free-for-all, with those who took part in the 1970s recalling thousands of rotting carcasses laid out on the parking lots of places like Montauk.
This year there are 71 registered tournaments along the Atlantic coast in which large pelagic sharks can be caught – 28 target sharks exclusively.

shark fishing tournament

Source: Monster shark fishing tournaments face growing pressure to reform | Environment | The Guardian

toxic mako shark fishing

Mako Shark Sport Fishing :(

The 20th annual Bahia Marina Mako Mania Tournament (Ocean City, Maryland) was held earlier this month. A total of 270 fishermen and 58 boats participated in the mako shark tourney competing for over $100,000 in cash prizes.

During the mako shark fishing tournament, anglers brought 21 mako sharks to the scales, as well as 4 thresher sharks.

The largest mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) caught weighed in at 220.0 pounds and earned a cash prize of $52,340. The second place mako was 199.2 pounds, and the third place mako shark was 182.5 pounds.

The largest thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) weighed in at 455 pounds and earned a $10,060. The second place thresher weighed 407.8 pounds while the third place was 318.7 pounds.

This tournament actually features a release award, which pays out to the boat that releases the most number of sharks. The winning boat in this category released a total of 6 mako sharks and earned $1,000 for their efforts, an obvious discrepancy compared to the earnings for killing the fish.

Here are the other weigh-ins for the tournament:

Species: Thresher ( Alopias vulpinus )
Weight: 274.6 lbs
Date: 03. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 176.7 lbs
Date: 03. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 157 lbs
Date: 03. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 154.4 lbs
Date: 05. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 150.3 lbs
Date: 04. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 148.3 lbs
Date: 03. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 147.5 lbs
Date: 03. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 142.3 lbs
Date: 03. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 129.3 lbs
Date: 03. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 127.2 lbs
Date: 04. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 125.3 lbs
Date: 04. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 125.2 lbs
Date: 04. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 120.3 lbs
Date: 03. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 114.3 lbs
Date: 04. June 2016

Species: Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
Weight: 111.3 lbs
Date: 04. June 2016

The payouts this year seemed much higher when compared to last year for the same tournament. Last year’s first place mako shark winner was 281.6 pounds (61.6 pounds heavier than this year) and cashed in at $27,590. The first place thresher shark in 2015 weighed in at 500 pounds and brought the fishermen just $2,760. In 2015, only 37 boats competed and just 13 sharks (10 mako and 3 thresher) were landed and weighed, although 2 of the first were disqualified as they did not meet the minimum 100 pound requirement. The release reward, still just $1,000, was given to a boat that released 7 sharks.

beheaded shark fishing

Beheaded shark found in fishing cooler – Miami man arrested

A Monroe County sheriff’s deputy found this gutted and beheaded shark in a Miami man’s fishing cooler. The man was arrested and charged with a second-degree misdemeanor.

The shark was reportedly a bonnethead shark, the smallest member of the hammerhead shark genus (Sphyrna – greek for hammer) and is considered a timid and harmless shark. Bonnethead sharks are just 2-3 feet on average, with the largest being around 5 feet in length. Like most shark species, the females tend to be larger than the males.

Regarding their conservation status, the bonnethead shark currently holds a LC (least concern) listing as per the IUNC Red List.

A Miami-Dade man was arrested Wednesday in the Florida Keys and charged with a second degree misdemeanor after a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy discovered a beheaded shark in his fishing cooler.

Source: Beheaded shark found in fishing cooler leads to Miami man’s arrest

shark fins for soup

Two Men Plead Guilty to Federal Shark Violations

Agents found 11 whole sharks located on the deck and a hidden compartment in the bow of the vessel that contained 12 large sacks of shark fins totaling 2,073 fins.  The bodies of the fins found in the sacks were not found on the vessel.

These two men were arrested back in 2012 when they were caught finning sharks, red handed. They just recently pled guilty to the charges and received their sentencing.

  • The pair were ordered to pay a fine to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) totaling $45,000.
  • The men were also placed on two years of probation and during which they agreed to not transfer any of their federal shark directed permits.
  • They also further agreed that if they are determined to be in violation of any provision of the Magnusson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act during this two-year period, they will surrender all of their federal shark directed permits for a period of nine months.
  • Lastly the men had their Louisiana state shark permits and set line licenses revoked for life.

Pretty light, we think. What about you? Should they have paid a heavier fine? Comment below.

Source: Two Men Plead Guilty to Federal Shark Violations | Shark Year Magazine

great white shark killed

Viral photos of decapitated shark prompt state investigation

Authorities are seeking any information that can help lead them to the people who committed this crime. Although this was initially reported to have occurred at Newport Beach pier, investigators cannot be certain this image was even from California.

Viral photographs of a decapitated shark that appeared on social media this week have sparked an investigation by authorities in Newport Beach, though wildlife officers said Wednesday it was unclear where and when the fish was mutilated.

Source: Viral photos of decapitated shark prompt state investigation

shark research tagging

New Study examines the effects of catch-and-release fishing on sharks

It’s well known that sport fishing for sharks represents a minor threat to their preservation when compared to the commercial fishing efforts. This study by the folks at UM does make some interesting findings, and again seems to ignite concern of the idea of sport fishing for sharks. It is now know that many of the animals will not survive their struggle on a fishing line and may die during or shortly after their release.

“Our results show that while some species, like tiger sharks, can sustain and even recover from minimal catch and release fishing, other sharks, such as hammerheads are more sensitive”

Knowing this, it seems irresponsible to allow sport fishing for sharks. Since some of those animals will die, there can be no justification in this. Should we be allowed to kill something for our own sport? I should hope everyone would agree that that’s a barbaric concept and quite arrogant of people. We cannot hunt the apex animals from their environment simply for our own entertainment.

If your not into reading the entire study, have a look at the video below.

You can find the full details here: New Study examines the effects of catch-and-release fishing on sharks | The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami

Read about another catch-and-release shark involved in a study.

shark finning

Removal of Sharks Has Far Reaching Impacts on the Environment

The decline of sharks will cut short our supply of seafood and affect human survival. This is a matter of food security, and if the present trade of sharks continues, businesses will exhaust supply of fins and of sharks forever. 

“The current exploitation of sharks is simply not sustainable. Sharks cannot reproduce fast enough to cope with the high demand and many shark populations are on the verge of collapse,” Chitra explained. 

Source: Removal of Sharks Has Far Reaching Impacts on the Environment and Food Supply