Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ensenada Fish Market - Mexico's White Sharks

This week I was in Ensenada, Mexico for a series of meetings with government officials. With me was long time business associate and friend, Greg Grivetto, owner of Horizon Charters.

For the past four years we have been documenting white sharks taken off the coast of Enseneda and sold a swordfish and marlin for 50-75 peso per kilo at local markets.

Most of the sharks taken are "Young of the Year," usually less then 6 feet in length and taken, according to local fishermen, not far off the coast.

This week we quickly spotted another shark that had just arrived fresh off the boats for processing. It was a 6 foot female.

The local fishermen here are not the bad guys in this yearly drama. In fact they could be shark conservations best assets, as they and they alone know where these animals are found, at what depth, water temperatures, and even seasonal numbers.

What these animals represent is a treasure trove of basic data from DNA sampling, stomach contents, to sex ratios.

All that is needed is the desire to gather the data. As I told Greg who was snapping images of this weeks sad take, "Right now all these animals represent are carcass, when they could even in death be telling us the story of their short lives until this point."

During our short sampling effort this shark represents the 17th animal we have documented here.

The Good News

I sent this image along with a few others to John O'Sullivan from Monterey Bay AQ, who quickly forwarded them on to Dr.Oscar Sosa in Ensenada. The interest was electric, and if all goes well these animals just might be able to tell us the rich and important "back story" missing from this weeks catch.

Patric Douglas CEO