Saturday, October 12, 2013

Superhero Shark Wrangler?

Ocearch seems to be on a publicity campaign to promote their tagging of great white sharks again. This article on CNN is a bit ridiculous, even by OCEARCH standards.

The headline is calling the captain of the Ocearch vessel, Brett McBride, "Shark wrangler who sleeps with the fishes" The article it goes on to say:"Imagine you're sitting at the bottom of the ocean, amidst 500 sharks in a feeding frenzy.Would you: A.) Swim to the surface as fast as your trembling legs could take you. B.) Find a weapon to arm yourself with. C.) Fall asleep. Brett McBride fell asleep. For a minute. While hundreds of three-meter-long Galapagos sharks swarmed around him during a feeding frenzy off the coast of Costa Rica."

Ocearch lifiting shark out of the water.
That should tell you something about the intelligence of the guy. Falling asleep while scuba diving is an act of heroism, but a great recipee for a disaster. The article states "The 46-year-old shark wrangler doesn't suffer from some kind of severe narcolepsy. Instead, he was merely proving a point -- these fearsome predators aren't going to be interested in you, if you're not interested in them." How is falling asleep while SCUBA diving and risking to drown, proving a point that sharks are not interested in you? It's just another stupid stunt to impress an uninformed public and make him out to be a superhero.

Their definition of a superhero seems to be someone who gets his boats lines tangled in the props, which forces him to dive in order to free them. Wow, who knew that this makes one a superhero. I've performed dives like that myself and never felt particularly heroic doing them. Heros are people like firefighters, paramedics, soldiers etc. who risk their lives for the benefit of others, not publicity seeking idiots. Interestingly, most of those real Heros are a lot more humble than these Ocearch publicity seekers.

Dr. Domeier tagging a shark without lifting it.
Mc Bride goes on to offer other words of "wisdom" "When the shark is taken out of the equation, the squid populations explode. They're voracious eaters so every night they'd eat the baby fish -- swordfish, tuna, marlin. The fish are being wiped out, not by man, but by squid. And that's because man took away their main predator -- sharks," said McBride.  Wow, I wonder where he get's that info from. Is that a scientific or a PIDOOMA (Pulled It Directly Out Of My A..) statement? 

The fact that Ocearch still insists on stressing the sharks by taking them out of the water to tag them, when Dr. Domeier has shown that it is no longer necessary, clearly shows that they are much more interested in what makes for good TV instead of good science.

We at Shark Diver support responsible shark research, but we do not condone sharks being abused in the name of sicence, just to get TV ratings.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives
Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com

5 comments:

Craig said...

Just curious what show Martin thinks Brett is showing off for? It's been almost two years since Ocearch has been involved with TV show's yet everyone keeps saying they are doing it for TV... a little misinformed I'd say.

Andrew Scerbo said...

Just because "Sharkmen" is no longer televised, the Ocearch crew are still being filmed by "documentaries" (I use that term loosely), news specials/interviews/stories, internet fandoms, fundraising efforts and more. There are more than 2 channels on TV. The hint here was "Cable News Network" (CNN).
See also: ABCNews, CBSNews, YahooTV, Charlie Rose show, Bloomberg channel, YouTube ("But that's not TV!"; Yes, but available on most televisions and digital services including phones), news affiliates, FoxNews...should I go on?

Shark Diver said...

Craig, according to their website, Fisher productions is listed as a corporate partner for television productions and they say that they have expeditions planned through 2015

Weather they have a current TV deal or are looking for another one doesn't really change the fact that they pull they sharks out of the water because it makes for more dramatic TV.

Cage Diving Conditions said...

You are correct Craig.
Ocearch is funded through 2015.
They have not shot any tv since early 2012 in Africa. Since then they have funded 3 expeditions.
They are just funding research around the world and open sourcing the data for phd students, the public and school kids for educational programs now.
It's always amusing to listen to the cage divers... They peddle white sharks for profit more than anyone while they condition them to boats and people.
Nice to see the mainstream normal people are having enough of the extremists with profit agendas.
I was speaking with Chris at the Int'l Workboat Show in New Orleans last week and he said the most shocking thing he has learned over the course of their work around the world is how different a wild white shark like in Cape Cod are compared to a condition white shark by cage divers like in Guadalupe, the Farrallons etc.
When you go to those places and drop the anchor, it's like ringing a dinner bell... the sharks just show up...
In a place like Cape Cod where the sharks are wild and there is no cage diving, they won't even come close to a boat etc.
Funny to listen to those modifying shark behavior for profit attempt to undermine real research.
Do you think this cage diving/conditioning is related to the shark attacks in the past week?
Cage diving is in all of the areas where the incidents occurred?????

Shark Diver said...

@ cage diving conditions.

We not only do white shark diving for profit, as you put it. We also started shark free marinas, the Guadalupe fund and work with researchers on the non invasive photo id database.

So what exactly is extremist in my views. The fact that I don't consider someone who cuts a line from his props a superhero? The fact that Dr. Domeier can attach a satellite tag without removing the sharks from the water?

When you talked to Chris Fisher, you were shocked to hear how conditioned the white sharks are at the farralon islands? Interesting, since there is hardly anyone going out there, and when they do, they stay pretty far away from cages.

When you go to the places, where we dive with sharks, they just show up..... hmmm, could that be, because they are already there!?

When you go to a known aggregation area, where a lot of male and female sharks are hanging out, their behavior is definitely different than at a non aggregation area. That has nothing to do with the shark diving boats.

How exactly are we undermining real research? By supporting the real researchers? You know, the ones who unlike Chris Fisher, studied sharks? Like Dr. Domeier, Nicole Lucas-Nashby and Dr. Mauricio Hoyos?

And now my favorite, the old "shark diving is related to shark attacks" Have you ever thought about the fact that we dive where the sharks are, and not vice versa. Stands to reason that shark attack happen, where the sharks are.

If you believe that shark operators lure the sharks to an area, rather than go where they already are, you really don't know anything about shark diving.

Lastly, why are you hiding behind a made up name. If you have something to say, why not be a man/woman and stand behind what you say?

Cheers,
Martin