Friday, April 30, 2010

Land Based Shark Fishing in Florida This Weeks Results

Some people get their kicks killing pregnant mothers just for fun, just for the joy and thrill of seeing another creature struggle for its life and loose. 
They do! And it is a family affair.

Here is just the latest results from this weeks "Land Based" shark fishing here in Florida....

One dead mother...... 12ft Bull shark in Florida Keys

12 dead babies.....

These are full term pups that could have been born at anytime.

Another dead mother... 13 ft Hammerhead Del Ray Beach

35 More dead babies...

Our very own Mary Omalley (right) and good friend Brendal Davis rushed to the scene and tried to save these pups, but were too late and they were already dead by time they arrived on the beach in Del Ray.

So lets tally this week up.  
Florida lost 49 sharks (36 hammerheads & 13 bull sharks), of which 2 were reproductive females likely helping sustain the local nearshore population.

Now I can say that in my opinion, this is really fucked up. But I am not quite finished yet. Check this out. Land Based shark fishing is ILLEGAL in Del Ray Florida.
Just last year a group of conservation minded shark fans banded together and wrote letters to the local politicians and spoke up in front of the city council and told them that they were tired of seeing dead sharks washed up on the beaches.
In the end the city council of Del Ray Beach Florida sided with the sharks and passed a city ordinance making shark fishing from its beaches illegal.

The fishermen countered with arguments that they have a born right to fish and they should be allowed to catch and release sharks whenever they wanted. Apparently these fishermen rarely if ever eat any of the sharks that they do catch, they say that they just love to hear the sound that the reel makes when a big fish takes the line. 
This is what I am hearing...Da da ding da da ding, da da ding ding ding ding  (theme from Deliverance).

They actually even have clubs and stuff check them out.

Here is a few snips from the South Florida Shark Club Forum. 


Big bait #153 for 2010 and big bait # 71 for the BHC. Monica, Joey and I was on our 2nd night of fishing in a row and getting very frustrated. We have spent more nights on the beach this month than at home. 17 nights total this month. 4 runs and we are thinking we are hunting a ghost. My reel went off about 5;10am a slow unsteady run. there was a boat kinda close and i had just woke up. I first thought dam but then my vision cleared and the boat was too far. Just been so long between runs. The reel quit and the boat went on by. 3 min later here we go again slow and steady. I let it go 50 yds or so and set the hook. Like hitting a brick wall. it started taking line for a while kinda slow and jerky. 50 min later we was looking at the dorsal just as the sun was comming up good. Joey got the leader and it took it and went 25yds or so. Her belly was already dragging. Joey got the leader again and i loosened the drag and I waded out to roap her tail. We pulled her up and got the tape and took some pics. It's hard to get everything perfict. I worked the 16/0 hook out of the corner of her mouth. Then i pryed 2 teeth out with my knife. It was too early to get perfect pics and too light to make a flash. I was nervous and wanted her back swimming asap. We put the tag in and i pushed her off. She swam off like nothing ever happened. Total lenth was 11' 9" and she was 80' around. thats right 80' girth. She was pregnate. She is gona have all those little ones soon. I guess she was over 800lbs. A fish of a life time during a tourniment. I got lucky. Iv been letting Joey have 3 and 4 reels and I just been taking mine. Kinda wish he would have caught it. Monica had the video camera and got the whole thing. A set of Jaws like that and i let it swim. Oh well she got lucky and so did i.

Wow what a hero!

1)Shark fishing from a beach does not put at risk swimmers.
2) most shark attacks occur in murky water when a shark mistakes a surfer for a thrashing fish
3) a hooked shark has never attacked a swimmer
4)shark fishing takes place in the evening mostly when bathers are out of the water 
5)We do not chum sharks to a beach (that would be absurd),we drop our baits 200 to 500 yards away from the beach.
6)We do not attract sharks to the beach ,they allready live and thrive there.
7)Dead fish often wash up on the beach ,,,,,,it is the ocean after all .

i find it obscured to have fishing for sharks off the beach taken away that’s simply outrages shark fishing is a beautiful thing they fight hard and drive a ever so passionate hobby i love shark fishing more than any other type because no other fish can kick my ass so bad

At this time tomorrow I hope to have sweat dripping down my forehead... my arms strained and the pleasent sound of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ ringing through my ears.

OK, OK, Ill stop there. Either your laughing your ass off or your puking. Or both :)

Nah, I can't stop here I have to keep going!

I really like this guy, Capt Bill Goldschmitt. However he doesn't think to much of me.
We met about a year ago at the Sarasota Shark Tournament. I went there to document the event and see what these shark killing tournaments were all about. 
Why, do I like him you ask? All I can say is this man does more for our cause than Yao Ming! Just listen to him and you will see.

I quote directly from his website Sharkman of Cortez :
"This whole catch and release fishing is nothing more than a make me feel good deal. Fact is, most hooked sharks undergo a condition during their capture called lactic acid saturation that often paralyzes the fish after capture. Removing the hook not only is dangerous, but most of the time the shark will swim off and sink to the bottom to die or get eaten by other sharks. I've often seen this in the Keys, returning to a reef the next day after releasing sharks, finding them dead on the reef bottom."

Thank you for sharing Capt Bill. I could not have said it any better. 
See folks, he can be very useful to shark conservation!

More from Capt Bill:

Then there is this little event which is upcoming here in Florida. But I have to agree with Capt Bill Goldschmitt here, this is just a "Make Me Feel Good Deal". This event is just a spin on shark conservation to appease shark fishermen, make a couple of businessmen a few bucks and to get some other Land Based Shark Fishermen a little notoriety. Nothing but spin. Plain and simple...

This isn't a circle hook!

A quote from DA SHARK nails it:

"Pragmatically speaking, it's unfortunately the only way forward, at least in the short term - but I still don't like it and have thus refrained from promoting any Shark fishing and specifically, the new format of Shark tournaments, forward looking as they may be. Thing is, I'm still not convinced that they are not merely the brain child of some clever businessmen who want to establish, market and exploit a new business niche by pandering to the eco movement, as opposed to the genuine desire to reform the existing kill tournaments."


Did you see the size of the tackle these fishermen use? Bloody massive gear!
How can that be sporting?? WTF??

One very common trait that I have noticed when I have interviewed shark fishermen and watched their videos is that they have a great deal of fear of sharks. Most of these people are deathly afraid of the ocean period. Of course some of them have much greater challenges and issues, as you can see. In my opinion, that simple fact says volumes about their state of mind. That to me explains their belief that what they do is OK.

Shark Killers are afraid of sharks and well, I guess they should be....


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Great News from Hawaii

Congratulations and a job well done to all the Shark fans in Hawaii. The herculean efforts by Stefanie Brendal of Shark Allies and numerous supporters has paid off with ground breaking shark conservation legislation being passed.

From Stef:

Hi everyone,

By now the news has traveled around the globe.

The vote was a unanimous "Yes" in the Senate. Then we received word that
 Rep. Karamatsu was walking the floor of the house trying to convince House
 members to vote "No".

It was very suspenseful the whole afternoon. We had to wait a long time for
 the bill to come up on the agenda. When it did, Karamatsu jumped up and
 grabbed the microphone and held a 15 min monolog on how bad this bill was,
 trying to convince everyone that all stakeholders were against this bill
 including the fishermen, DLNR, all Chinese, and of course that it would be 
bad for the ocean, because (I quote) "too little predators in the ocean 
aren't good, but too many aren't either", and then followed the typical 
explanation that we have to make sure that there aren't too many sharks
 because we will loose too many fish.... you get the idea!

Rep McKelvey was awesome. He stood up and countered all the lies with the 
truth. Rep Morita and Rep Belatti also stood up and countered the arguments. 
I had the distinct feeling that the members of the house were fed up with
Finally it came to the vote, and everyone voted "Yes" except for Karamatsu.
 There were a few members that said they had reservations and they would
 submit written comments, but they still voted "Yes". 

To say that I am relieved and happy is an under statement.
 It hasn't really sunk in though. For the rest of the day the feeling of
 resentment and shock about Karamatsu's behavior lingered on.

Now the bill is off to the Governor. We don't anticipate that she would veto 
the bill, but you never know. 
A veto could be overturned by a majority vote in the Senate and House.


On a side note: 
Royal Gardens Restaurant just took shark fin soup off their menu. The owner
 of this restaurant was also the owner of RC International, the company that 
had the container loads of fins at the harbor. The hidden camera footage I 
gave the news, of him peddling fins to a film crew, was so embarrassing to
 the owner that he has relocated the container and has taken soup off his 

Vicky Cayetano also made sure he knew that her and all her influential
 friends would go on a silent boycott of his establishment if he didn't stop
 his dealings.

Thank you for Tango Productions for letting me use the footage.

Thanks again to all of you for helping us make this happen.


Below is some media about the bill.

See Stefanie with some of her friends:

Shark Allies Trailer 2 from Mushy Kid on Vimeo.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

I would like to start by saying that I do have some experience and knowledge about this topic. I had the opportunity of working in the offshore oilfield industry and also had a very unique experience working in oil spill response. I started my career as a commercial diver working in the Gulf of Mexico in 1983. I spent 7 years working in the oil patch as an offshore oilfield diver and then later worked on the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Price William Sound Alaska in 1990.

The Deepwater Horizon, positioned off of the coast of Louisiana, went down in flames after several explosions led to the outbreak of a fire that could not be contained. The events started on Tuesday with a minor explosion, followed by a panic call and then a major explosion which set the rig ablaze. The fire raged on for more than a day before the rig sank into the sea. 126 workers were on-board the rig; 11 were killed with another 17 injured. The remaining crew managed to escape to safety.

The Deepwater Horizon a semi-submersible drilling unit capable of operating in harsh environments and water depths up to 8,000 ft. It was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries back in 2001 and holds the world record for drilling the deepest oil well in history at 35,055 feet.

The oil is a light crude, unlike heavy crude, which would be more dangerous to the environment. BP and Transocean have contracted Oceaneering International to assist in the capping of the oil well. Oceaneering has deployed robotic submarines (ROV's) to “activate the blowout preventer,” a 450-ton valve at the top of the oil well.

The command team will work closely with Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, and NOAA to stay on top of the effect of the spill. Assets currently being used to respond to the incident include:
  • - More than 1,000 personnel,
  • - 14,654 gallons of dispersant have been used with another 119,734 gallons on stand by,
  • - 21,340 feet of containment boom is place at the spill site,
  • - 10 offshore response vessels,
  • - 7 skimming boats,
  • - 1,152 barrels/48,384 gallons of oily water have been collected

I will be keeping an eye on the progress of the cleanup and salvage of Deepwater Horizon. It will be an extremely hazardous and very technical operation. The Deepwater Horizon is insured for total loss coverage and for wreck removal, to the extent removal can be carried out and is required. The total insured value of the rig is $560 million.

Stay Tuned!


Battle for survival at South East Farallon Island

The Ultimate Shark Dive