Friday, March 27, 2015

Awesome volunteer opportunity for 16-19 year olds!

We just wrote that our friends at Projects Abroad looking for a Volunteer Coordinator. Since they need a volunteer coordinator, they obviously also need volunteers and are looking for 16-19 year old adventurers, who would like to live and work in Cambodia for a couple of weeks. The volunteers will be able to get SCUBA certified and help out with local conservation and community projects. What an awesome opportunity!


Here is all the info you from their website.

2 Week Summer Program


  • Sunday June 21st 2015 - Saturday July 4th 2015
  • Sunday July 12th 2015 - Saturday July 25th 2015
  • Sunday August 2nd 2015 - Saturday August 15th 2015

2 Week Winter Program
  • Sunday December 6th 2015 - Saturday December 19th 2015
  • Placement location: Koh Sdach
  • Types of placement: Diving and Conservation
  • Accommodation: Shared Dorms
  • Age Requirements: 16-19 years old

Volunteers joining our Conservation & Community project in Cambodia will travel to the tropical island of Koh Sdach where you will live in a house over the water, in the local village. The facilities are basic, but you will become part of this tiny island community, learn to dive and take part in conservation and community projects.

Conservation & Community in Cambodia

During your stay you will complete an internationally recognised PADI Open Water course to qualify you to dive. In the initial stages when you're in shallow water, you will learn how to breathe, clear your mask and equalise pressure. You will also become familiar with the buddy system and underwater sign language.
Once you have qualified, you will take part in clean-up salvage dives and seahorse search dives. You will also take part in a jungle trek and help with a beach clean-up. You will also join a practical community project, which may be clearing land and building a children's playground, helping to build an incinerator or an aquaculture pond.
During the two weeks you may also have chance to join a village fun day - playing games and running fun water-based activities with the village children.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

For more information, click here, to apply, click here

Projects Abroad is an awesome organization that is helping people and the environment around the world. I have had the pleasure of working alongside them in Fiji and can attest to the fact, that the work feels more like an adventure than working. Here is your opportunity to have an adventure and the knowledge that you made a difference.

I hope you'll get to help them out and have an awesome time!

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.

Looking for a summer job, but would prefer an adventure?

Summer is approaching fast and if you are looking for a job, but would prefer an adventure, have we found an opportunity for you!


Our friends at Projects Abroad are looking for a Volunteer Coordinator. Projects Abroad is an awesome organization that is helping people and the environment around the world. I have had the pleasure of working alongside them in Fiji and can attest to the fact, that the work is more of an adventure than a job. Here is your opportunity to have a summer job that offers you adventure and the knowledge that you made a difference.







This is from their website.

Job title Volunteer Coordinator – Short-term Specials
LocationTo be confirmed, however should include: Cambodia, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
ContractWe are recruiting Volunteer Coordinators for our Short-term Specials in several destinations. You will usually be employed on a 2 or 3 month contract starting in June 2015. An offer of employment is dependent upon receipt of satisfactory references, a criminal record check and personal interview.
Job descriptionAs a Volunteer Coordinator for our Short-term Specials you will support our overseas teams of staff headed by the Country Director. We recruit Short-term Special volunteers from June to August each summer. Job role:
  • Working alongside our team of local staff, you will be responsible for making each new arrival feel welcome and secure in their new environment.
  • You will complete inductions with the new volunteers, introducing them to their host family and work project and explaining cultural differences and expectations of their project.
  • You will help maintain effective communication between the destination office, the volunteers and the UK office.
  • • You will support the Short-term Special volunteers throughout their time with Projects Abroad. This will include supervising them at their placement and during cultural activities.
  • The job is busy; it will involve some out-of-office hours work and can be physically demanding. You should be prepared to be on call on any day during your time overseas.
Requirements; you should be:
  • A graduate
  • Fluent in English, both spoken and written
  • Physically fit
  • Computer literate, (Microsoft Office, databases)
  • Mature in attitude and outlook
  • Able to remain calm and efficient under pressure
  • Flexible and able to take direction and accept feedback
  • Friendly and personable with customer service skills, you must respond well to others
  • Enthusiastic to work in a different culture and relish the opportunity to work in a challenging environment
  • Experience in volunteering
  • Experience in living overseas.
  • Additional languages, especially French, Spanish, German or Japanese will be an advantage.

Salary & benefitsProjects Abroad pays a good local salary, international flights, comprehensive travel and health insurance, board and lodging as well as agreed day-to-day work-related expenses.
To applyEmail your CV and a covering letter to: workforus@projects-abroad.net. Please state on your application that you are applying for a Short-term Special Coordinator position.
Unsuccessful applicants will not be contacted.

Good luck with your application and have an awesome summer!

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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How do you make a viral video?

This is a fun little video I took at Tiger beach, diving with Shark Diver. Little did I know that it would be a hit on Facebook. Within an hour of posting it, people watched it over 20'000 times. Come join us and take your own pictures and videos and maybe yours will goes viral as well!




Of course, we don't just encounter Lemon Sharks, we see plenty of Tiger Sharks as well.  This is truly a trip of a lifetime! Since we only take 6 divers at a time, you'll be sure to get up close and personal with these amazing animals.



For more info on the trips and a complete itinerary, check here, or you can call us at 855.987.4275 or 619.887.4275 We are always happy to talk "sharks"!

Let's go shark diving!

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.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Here is your chance to make your own shark diving movie!

Have you ever dreamed of diving with great white sharks? Did you ever want to know, how they film those amazing underwater scenes you see in the movie theaters and on television?

This is your chance to do both! Join Shark Diver and Emmy award winning underwater cinematographer Peter Kragh at the peak of Guadalupe Island's shark season, to dive with great white sharks and learn about the many facets of underwater documentary film making. Whether you are just an amateur or an emerging filmmaker, this is an opportunity to get some expert advise on how to make your videos and, of course, come eye to eye with some of the greatest sharks in the world.

Peter Kragh
Peter is intimately familiar with sharks. He has filmed everything from little horn sharks to whale sharks and great whites and worked on many Shark Week episodes. He will be there to help you improve your photography skills and experience. There will also be screenings of some of Peters work. With all the dives he's done around the world, Peter can also help you find that "secret" location for your next diving adventure.

Here is a short video, showcasing Peter's work.




Demo Reel 2014 from Peter Kragh on Vimeo.

As a professional cameraman for over 10 years, Peter has worked on well known BBC and National Geographic projects like Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life and Secret Life of Predators. In 2013 he won an Emmy award for outstanding cinematography on the Nat Geo series "Untamed Americas". He has also worked on multiple Imax films: Deep Sea 3D, Hubble 3D, Under The Sea 3D, and Journey to the South Pacific 3D.

With all this experience, Peter will sure be able to help you make your own amazing video, to document your trip of a lifetime. This is a unique opportunity to both improve your filming skills, while having the time of your life, coming face to face with the Great White Sharks at Guadalupe Island!


The video below is from last season, shot without Peter's assistance. I can't wait to see, how much better it will be with his help this year!


video

Come join us and Peter on either September 4-9 2015 or September 9-14 2015 for a trip of a lifetime.
Cost is $3,300 for a 5 day live aboard trip, leaving from and returning to San Diego.

For more information visit www.sharkdiver.com/dive-packages/great-white-shark-diving-film-expedition/ or call us at 619.887.4275 toll free 855.987.4275 email staff@sharkdiver.com

You can also contact us via our website http://www.sharkdiver.com//bookings/

I hope to see you this in September.

Let's go shark diving!

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.

Friday, March 20, 2015

New shark research method?

"Are you sure he only eats plankton? Daring marine biologist hitches a ride on the world's largest shark" is the headline of the "Mail Online".

Combining the term "marine biologist" and riding sharks peaked my curiosity. Has someone found out that riding sharks is beneficial to them? Have I been wrong all these years, condemning that practice?  

The article started out with "Marine biologist Forrest Galante has swam with some of the most fearsome creatures in the sea, including the terrifying hammerhead." So immediately I realized, this is a highly scientific article and thankfully they're not going to use sensationalistic language. (sharkasm intended!) "Terrifying Hammerhead" indeed.

In this picture you see the "heroic" Forrest Galante in his death defying act of riding a 45 ft. whale shark!


The caption for the picture below reads"Galante and his team were measuring the giant "whales" who were returning to the secret Mexican location." 


I have to admit that I'm not a scientist. Apparently I know even less than I previously assumed. Who know what whale sharks are "whales"? And the secret location? Is it Isla Mujeres? We wouldn't want them to start a whale shark watching industry there. Or maybe it's Baja California? Same thing, I hope nobody starts whale shark watching there.

So what was this research that the local marine biologists needed his expert help with anyway? "I was helping out a team of marine biologists conduct a survey on whale shark population estimates, to identify returning sharks year on year and to see growth rates of individuals." No wonder he needed to ride those sharks! I mean, how else could you measure a shark than by riding it. The watch you see on his wrist must be a super secret measuring device!

Anyway, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find any other references to anything remotely research related in the article here.

I did however find the real reason for Galante's antics. On his facebook page he writes  

"Hey I'm back in the ‪#‎news‬!
Thanks Caters News Agency and Daily Mail for another fun interview and thank you to the team of hard working ‪#‎biologists‬ who are helping save these magnificent creatures! so proud to have been a part of it!


Just as I thought, it's all about him. Not the sharks or anything "Hey I'm back in the ‪#‎news‬!" is what it's all about. 
Hey Forrest, you got your wish, you are back in the news! "DaShark" writes "Forrest Galante, disrespectful moron!" Well put "DaShark"!
Even the "fans" on your facebook page agree
  • Luke Penks As a whale shark researcher, I find it such a shame that you are promoting incredibly bad practices like this. Interaction with any wild animal should be as non-invasive as possible, but you are spreading the opposite idea, which is disgraceful for a marine biologist.

    Here's a paper showing that touching sharks is hugely associated with stress: http://www.butandingnetwork.net/.../2014/05/2007-Quiros.pdf
  • Marissa Fox Agree with Luke Penks. Promoting behavior like this counteracts the scientific conservation work so many of us are working so hard for.
Yep Forrest, you are sooooo cool! Riding a whale shark is really something everyone should do! You call yourself a researcher?! Are you one of those guys who says "do as I say, not as I do?" Is this somehow furthering your "research?" Do you have a new paper coming out "Riding whale sharks is beneficial to sharks!" Your headline on your Facebook page says it all  "Hey I'm back in the ‪#‎news‬!" because that's what it is, all about you! 

We at Shark Diver are all for respectful interaction with these magnificent animals. You can have an awesome experience, like we did last December at Socorro Islands with the Nautilus Explorer. The video below shows that you don't have to touch the sharks to accomplish that. When you look at the guy next to the it, you'll get a great idea of the size of this whale shark. No touching or riding required!


video


Let's go shark diving!

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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Randy Jordan, what sharks like to eat.

Recently Randy Jordan of Emerald Charters made some negative headlines lately, when he was fined by the state of Florida, for illegally feeding sharks within 3 miles from shore. He claimed that those charges were not true and states that he does his dives to educate people and conserve sharks. The video below shows how he takes care of his beloved tiger sharks. Concerned about their health and well being, he feeds them.......... a stuffed leprechaun? Seriously!? You call that conservation shark diving?

video

Apparently he is no longer proud of his video and has removed it from youtube. Luckily, we had a downloaded version. When asked about this particular incident on Facebook, he apparently thought it still a joke and responded with "The tiger spit it out immediately. Apparently leprechauns aren't magically delicious" Really funny Randy! Is that what you mean, when you say "Protect what you love, take care of the sharks?"

We at shark diver believe in safe and sane interactions with all sharks. If we want to protect the sharks, we have to treat them with respect. Randy's actions, feeding stuffed toys to sharks and diving where it is illegal, give the shark diving industry a bad name and doesn't do the sharks any favors either.

If you want to responsible dive with white sharks, tiger- or bull sharks, give us a call at 855.987.4275 or visit www.sharkdiver.com

Let's go shark diving!

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.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Deadly shark attacks in California?

Today NBC 4 in Los Angeles had the following headline on their website. "Maps: Deadly Shark Attacks Off California Coast".


There was only a very short 2 paragraph article and a map that are both shown below.

The map below shows locations where fatal shark attacks took place off the California coast since about 1900, compiled by the Shark Research Institute.

Click the points on the map to learn more about each attack.

Read the article here.

So in 115 years, there have been only 13 unprovoked fatal shark attacks and none since 2008. It must be a really slow news day in Los Angeles, that they have to use this sensationalistic headline, with the last shark fatality having occurred over 6 years ago.

It is ridiculous, using data and maps along with misleading headlines like this. Most people will not realize that these attacks happened over a period of 115 years and will assume that sharks present a great danger to anyone going into the ocean.

The reality is that millions of people enter the ocean every year and never even see a shark, let alone get bitten by one.

Enjoy your day at the beach!

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.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Switzerland bans the importation of shark fins!

Fin Fighters UK has just made the following announcement
  

On the 5 march 2015 a government council banned the Import of fins into the country. The Swiss national council accepted the proposition on thursday by 160 votes against 19 and was passed into effect. Amazing!


Just goes to show that the tired old excuse of contravening World Trading Standards - is a load of rubbish.


That certainly sounds like good news. Anytime a country decides to ban the importation of shark fins, it is a victory for sharks. Since I grew up in Switzerland and obviously love sharks, I wanted to find out, a bit more about the process of how this law was passed and just how many sharks might be saved by it. What I found out might surprise you. 

According to the official website for the Swiss Government, the motion to establish this law was registered on April 17, 2013, by Congressman Oskar Freysinger. That means this process took about 2 years. Surprising many, the Swiss Federal Council, (the executive branch) was opposed to the ban, partially because of international trade agreements, which Fin Fighters mentioned as a ridiculous excuse. The main reason for their opposition was entirely different though. According to the Swiss import statistics, no shark fins are being imported into Switzerland, negating the need for a law.

I have to say that I'm proud of the country I grew up in. Not only do they now officially ban the import of shark fins, they never consumed them in the first place. At least not in quantities that would show up in import statistics.

Of course, anytime a country decides to pass a law like this, there are numerous groups either claiming credit and/or are using the news for fundraising. In the case of Switzerland, it was the initiative of just one Congressman, Mr. Oskar Freysinger. Merci bien, Oscar!

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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hammerhead shark attacking diver?

As shark diving operators we have to be aware of our actions and how they are depicted in the media. Every time something goes wrong, or someone get's a sensationalistic video of a shark dive, the shark gets portrayed as a bloodthirsty manhunter!


Take this latest report on MSN, reporting "Hammerhead shark tries to attack diver"  and all the way from Australia, news 9 writes "Daring diver taunts angry shark!" Yes, daring, cool, courageous diver is confronting and angry man killer! So what happened?

Well, watch the video below and you'll see for yourself.


http://www.newsflare.com/video/41672/travel/hammerhead-shark-tries-to-attack-diver
 
Basically we have a diver with a piece of fish in his right hand, not wearing any chainlink glove or any other protective gear, standing right next to a bait box. When the hammerhead approaches the diver, trying to get the fish, the diver grabs it's head and pushes it around. You notice that the first guy who was feeding the shark is actually turning it's back to this "angry" shark. That alone gives you an indication of how "responsible" this outfit is. You'll also see that the only diver the shark is interested in, is the one with the fish in his hand and not the "tasty rubber suited human" as news 9 would have you.


News 9 writes "As hard as the shark tries, it just can't get close enough to the tasty rubber-suited human to take a chunk out of him, and the diver seems to know it."

Read the entire news 9 article here and MSN's video here

It's not just the media though. In an effort to make money off the video, the diver who shot it, advertises it like this 

"Hammerhead shark tries to attack diver! A dramatic video has emerged of a hammerhead shark trying to attack a diver in the Bahamas. In the footage, captured during a scuba diving trip in the Bimini Atoll in late January, the shark can be seen circling a diver before lunging forwards several times. Fortunately, the experienced diver was able to push the shark away and survived the experience without any injuries."
 
We at Shark Diver practice "safe and sane" shark diving. Along with the many responsible shark diving outfits out there, we are aware of our responsibility to treat the sharks with respect and portray them in a realistic light. You won't find us riding, hugging or flipping them, we respect them to be awesome predators that are not trying to eat us, but are neither trying to be hugged by us. We are not trying to tease the shark with a piece of fish in our hand and then call it an attack, when the shark tries to get to eat the fish.


We get close to the sharks, but we don't hug them! We are aware that if anything bad happens during a shark dive, the sharks will get blamed and not the irresponsible divers and operators. If you want to know who the operator of this particular dive was, just watch the video. It's name is prominently displayed on the bait box!

Let's go shark diving! Responsibly!

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.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Are white sharks parenting their offspring?

When it comes to how the media covers any sightings of a great white shark, it never ceases to amaze me how their articles are devoid of any real facts and full of disinformation. Take this latest coverage by the Inquisitr of a sighting in lake Macquarie. You really have to wonder who these experts are, that they refer to in this article.

They are saying  "A 9-foot-long great white shark has been spotted in Australia’s Lake Macquarie, close to the scene of another recent sighting, along with a smaller, unidentified fish that some researchers believe could be the shark’s offspring".


Now I have to say that even though I'm not a scientist, but simply a guy who's been diving with great white sharks at Isla Guadalupe for 14 years, I do know that a 9 ft great white shark is not sexually mature and thus cannot have an offspring.


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.

Really cool shark!

You never know what you are going to find in the ocean. We know more about the moon, than we do about the creatures in the ocean. Check out this video of a goblin shark!


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.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dead Sharks, Selfies, and Shark Fin Soup?

What is our obsession with taking pictures of ourselves with subjects that seem just a bit inappropriate? Now that smart phones have turned us all into photog wannabes, the rush to get pictures published on social media sites has also lead us to be wannabe reporters, as well.  Recently two sharks, a bull and a hammerhead, washed up dead on the shore of Miami Beach. One was bloated, the other with its fin cut off.  Once beach-combers saw the poor creatures, the camera phones came out and the snap-shot taking crowds were enough to make any paparazzi, surrounding a Hollywood celebrity, pale in comparison.  There was even a grown adult who pulled up on the head of one shark to get its mouth to open. What a photo op! "Hey kids, come gather around!"



Where is the respect? It’s just an animal. Who cares, right? WRONG! Are we another 'Me Generation' or have we never left it?  This is 2015 folks.  We've scratched our way out to escape the errors of our ways. After fighting for equality in several different arenas, freedom of religion, the push to reuse, reduce and recycle, ‘save our planet,’ ‘plant a tree’…have we not arrived? What has happened to the rights and respect for those with which we share this slowly, dying planet?

http://cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Bull-Shark-670.jpg
Source: Inquisitr.com

Back to these dead sharks: No one knows what caused their deaths, and apparently no one is investigating.  A fin was cut off! I was told by an authority at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that maybe if there was a bunch of these guys washing up on the shore with their fins hacked, there might then be an investigation. How many have to lose their lives in order for that to happen? Maybe this is just a prelude of what is to come. Since shark fin soup is served in restaurants throughout Florida, and yes, Miami, maybe this was the result of someone trying to cash in on the evil craze. Does that mean finless carcasses are on their way to shore like a message in a bottle? Are we going to read it and do something about it or are we going to throw it back in for the next generation to deal with? Did you know that 24 states according to the Animal Welfare Institute, serve up the controversial delicacy, shark fin soup?  You can find it on the menu at South Garden Chinese Restaurant in Miami for $12 a bowl.

Source 

It’s a shame; it’s a crying shame that an 8 foot animal is tortured for its 8 inch body part and left to die, rotting in its ocean home, only to float to the shore to be mocked as part of social media fodder. To the person(s) who did this: "At least, eat the rest!" I discourage anyone from killing these animals and it pains me to see their fins cut off and then the shark dropped back in the water to try and survive. Would the same thoughtless individual do that to their pet? They’d be put in jail.

These sharks are intelligent, beautiful, and are an integral part of our oceans and were here way before you and I. Respect them. Wouldn't a picture of you with a live shark be cooler to take?



Join us for live shark selfie-taking starting this August at Guadalupe; Bahamas starting in April and Fiji year-round.

Let's go shark diving!
'Ocean'
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.