Saturday, July 11, 2009
Compelling and reasoned discussion of the future of sharks and one direction for shark conservation:
Well folks, when it comes to sharks - we have some good news and some bad news.
The bad news is that sharks - like most other big fish in the ocean - are not long for this world if we continue overfishing on an industrial-scale.
The good news is that because driftnet and longline fishing are banned in the Bahamas, our shark populations are relatively stable. In fact, National Geographic described Bahamian waters as a relative "Eden" for sharks compared to the rest of the world.
"Soft cage" shark encounters. The company behind the innovation is not really a shark diving company at all but the conservation group Sharklife in tandem with a few industry insiders:
Sharklife has teamed up with Debbie Smith and her operation, Africa Dive, to run the soft-cage trips. After a 20-minute trip in our inflatable vessel, we dropped anchor and soon a group of black-tip sharks weaved their way under the boat. We were in luck. Sharks have a phenomenal sense of smell, but it can take an hour to lure them with chum — mainly pieces of sardine.
Grant and the team assembled the cage as we adjusted our masks and flippers and slid in. After less than a minute, I wanted out of the cage and plunged into the sea.
In the thrill of the deep blue, black-tip sharks performed a graceful ballet, swirling and twirling around us, tearing at the bits of sardine with ferocious speed.
A special thanks must go to Kate Metzler who took it upon herself to speak on behalf of SFMI, encouraging the marina to register, she even donated the signs that are now being sent to Cape Cod!
Thanks a lot Kate
- Luke Tipple, Director of SFMI
A little about the Marina:
Harwich Port Boat Yard is at beautiful Wychmere Harbor on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This man-made harbor was once a horse race track, then cars were raced around once the advent of automobiles came about. Now, dredged (by hand in 1887) and channeled to accommodate boats to 65 feet, it provides access to Nantucket Sound and the islands of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Monomoy. Harwich Port Boat Yard began in 1932 as the Lee Ship building Company and then sold to Watt Small who began Harwich Port Boat Works. In 1977, Arthur Cote purchased the property and ran it until November of 2004, when John Our bought the business, changed the name, and has since worked hard to place his mark in Harwich maritime history. Our facilities improvements include a new bulkhead, a new boat ramp that can accommodate boats up to 45 ft., a new fuel system with capacities of 8,000 gallons of diesel and 4,000 gallons of gas. We have purchased a newer fork lift with negative lift capacity for smaller haul outs and some drysailing. We have 19 slips and seasonal moorings as well as transient slips and moorings when available. In the early spring of 2007 we installed a security camera system so our customers know their investment is being protected.
Please take the time to visit their site and drop in if you’re in the area