Join photographer Joe Romeiro and filmmaker Skyler Thomas on special blue shark trip meant to take your photography skills to a new level...all while experiencing big, male blue sharks in mating season.
Two Day Price is listed below. If you want to do just one day please contact directly using the contact page.
Only 6 divers are allowed on these trips!
Boat leaves from Point View Marina in Snug Harbor, R.I. at 6:00 AM. Roundtrip is approximately 12 hours (each day).
And here we come, earth’s most dominant species, entering this dynamic ocean ecosystem largely for recreational reasons, as though it’s some sort of oversized swimming pool. Recreation...as in used for entertainment and leisure, not necessity or survival. Is it OK to kill predators in the ocean to keep people safe during their recreation? Human life is valuable after all, we don’t want our friends and loves ones being bitten by sharks.Let’s apply a similar scenario except on land this time.
If a group of people decided the serengeti would make the perfect place to play 18 holes of golf, would that make it OK to kill the lions that live there to ensure human safety? Human life is valuable after all, we don’t want our friends and loves ones being mauled by lions and hyenas.
Oh, right, we don’t HAVE to golf there. Just like we don’t HAVE to surf, swim, dive, work or play in waters where it is known that large sharks exist.
So how do we explain something that appears to be a double standard? Is it because we are less familiar with marine animals than terrestrial animals? Is it because it’s a fish, not a mammal? Or is it because lions are limited to certain areas of Africa while sharks can be found in oceans around the globe (making them more inconvenient)? If the latter, this is simply because we’ve already wiped out most large land predators from areas we have chosen to use for ourselves.
So are the oceans doomed to the same fate?
Can you fit sharks into your life? If you can spare 60 seconds, the answer is yes. Shark Minutes premieres June 16th and will feature a new episode every Tuesday for 8 weeks in 2015 hosted by Skyler Thomas.
The application to continue the shark cull another three years was rejected by the Environmental Protection Authority in Western Australia. However, the imminent threat policy was. The EPA justified this decision claiming that the targeting of a few sharks was not likely to play a large impact on the environment. In this interview, scientists Malcolm Francis and Jessica Meeuwig explain how our lack of understanding of the reproductive nature of sharks, particularly white sharks, might prove the EPA's reasoning to be flawed. Jeff Hansen of Sea Shepherd contributes commentary on the Imminent Threat Policy.
Footage by Rohan Sibon and Skyler Thomas.
This is a scene from the director's cut of #GreatWhiteLies
The upper jaw of the white shark is not fused to the skull. Instead, the jaws are slung loosely beneath the skull, held in place by flexible connective tissue and braced by accessory cartilages. Special muscles pull the jaw forward and down, riding on grooves on the undersurface of the skull. This arrangement allows this shark to protrude its jaws outward from the head, extending the reach of its teeth and creating a partial vacuum that helps suck in prey. This comes into play when one considers the teeth. The teeth have broadly triangular blades with coarsely serrated edges. The upper teeth are broader and flatter than the lower teeth, which reflects their different roles during biting. The lower teeth stab into and hold secure a food item while the saw-like upper teeth gouge out a hunk of flesh as the detached jaw extends forward and crashed down to meet the teeth holding the target in place. This dental arrangement allows the white shark to feed on prey too large to swallow whole as well as scoop out calorie-rich blubber from whale carcasses.
The two photos (by #WSV cameraman MJ Billen) featured here show how a white shark's upper jaw can appear almost toothless until the jaw moves forward and down to reveal the impressive teeth waiting within (image 2).
"Strongly directional swimming" is my new favorite "scientific" term. Apparently sharks are heading in a direction while they swim and that was worth publishing another paper about the White Shark Cafe. Or maybe this is an example of "publish or perish" or an attempt to justify the use of SPOT tags. I know Bonfil has made strong contributions to white shark research over the years, but I'm not too impressed by this paper analyzing someone else's data. The first image is the map provided in Bonfil's paper and a link to the paper. Make your own conclusions of the significance of the new map to the old SAT tag maps. Next do a Google search for any conservation measures that have been put in place thanks to SPOT tags on white sharks. Leave your conclusions in the comments.
This photo by Maarten Jozef Billen is absolutely nuts. Something about this fish tells me it might be designed to eat more than just fish. To learn more about the unique adaptations and diet of the white shark watch the short film 'Balance' below.
What are these sharks doing? Is this a normal, annual shark movement, or is something else causing this congregation?
Many people have asked why "someone" didn't stop the shark cull. One of the "someone's" expected to do something was Sea Shepherd. Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen, was kind enough to speak with Skyler Thomas, of White Shark Video, about the cull and Sea Shepherd's role in it. The clip below is an excerpt from that interview and addresses the previous question.
If I understand this image of a “co-existing” future of man and shark at the beach it goes like this: Vacationers, surfers, and divers heed the incoming alert that a tagged shark is in the area and cooperatively exit the water. Yeah, right. The scared people will get out and the others will continue business as usual. People who are scared of sharks will stop vacationing there (whether there was a bite or not) and the land-owners will start demanding that the politicians they put in office start culling the sharks. Just imagine if a significant number of sharks are tagged. Never-ending alerts. I don’t think that’s co-existence. It’s another work around in an attempt to not have to co-exist with sharks. But my problem isn’t with the attempt to make people safer or whether the technology will work properly. As mentioned before, I think we will be forced to come to terms with how we honestly feel about sharks.
The first thing we have to do is be honest about is our willingness to share water with them. A quick glimpse of mankind’s history of willfully sharing land with other predators doesn’t make me very hopeful for the sharks. Granted, there is a growing population of people who recognize that we are living on a dynamic ecosystem called planet earth and that sharks are a necessary part of it. However, even with a growing number of shark warriors, the bulk of the population still lies with those who exist safely outside the self-made boundary between man and this ecosystem...not wanting to participate in it or even be exposed to it. Amazingly, we've managed to dominate this earth so extensively that not only are we no longer required to participate in the ecosystem, but we don’t even need to experience it. No wonder it seems to come as an incredible shock anytime a human is injured by any living creature other than another human.
I suppose I can relate to Rodney’s quote since many audience members come up to me after my presentations and thank me for what they learned about sharks... but never-the-less remain convinced that I am crazy and they would never get in the water with sharks like I do.
That’s fine. There is no rule that says people must be willing to swim with sharks to prove that they like sharks, but we do need to recognize that supporting sharks that are far away is different than supporting sharks that are in your back yard, a frustration that many pre-cull surfers express when griping about “shark huggers” in far away countries.
But I digress. My rambling is an attempt to lay the foundation for the topic of whether or not we are willing to share with sharks, whether they are tagged or not.
Now let’s take that mentality a step further. Much of the world remains scared to death of sharks…even many “shark fans” would rather not get in the water with them. This is the reality we need to keep in mind when beach-front resort owners start hearing about “shark alerts” going off every other day. Vacationers, most of whom will be visiting from afar, are likely to be more concerned about getting value from their expensive and carefully planned stay at the beach than the fact that sharks are a sign of a healthy ocean.
But let’s drop my personal opinion of how I perceive our willingness to share and instead look at recent history. Western Australia listed tiger sharks as a target species during their highly controversial shark cull that ran roughly from Jan 26th (Australia Day) to April 30th of the same year. Over 170 tiger sharks were caught in just over three months time. Over 50 were confirmed to have been killed according to the government’s records while independent observation and documentation would leave one to suspect the death toll to be much higher. Wow! That’s a lot of sharks in a relatively small area in a relatively short period of time! This might leave one to wonder just how many sharks are out there and how many are next to surfers, swimmers, and divers at any given time. But what one should really be thinking about is how many people were bitten by tiger sharks with hundreds of the swimming around out there. The answer, during those three and a half months, is ZERO.
The number the year before that was also zero. And the year before that and the year before that… In fact in the previous 84 years not a single tiger shark was implicated in an attack on a human in those areas that the tiger sharks were culled. The only reason I stopped at 84 is because there was one alleged, but not confirmed tiger shark related fatality, otherwise the tiger shark’s record would have continued unblemished for several more years. This species, the tiger shark, is now the topic of beach safety thanks to a sensationalist American fishing company that made it’s way into Australia.
Perpetuating the idea that shark presence is a problem that needs to be solved is a step backward from real education, awareness, and learning how to co-exist. Only a year ago, the media-savvy, self-proclaimed shark-saviors, OCEARCH, tried to play upon the shark hysteria in Western Australia as a platform to get in and tag white sharks. They were rejected by WA at that time and on a higher level rejected by CSIRO, only to have OCEARCH go around CSIRO and find other ways into the country. Now here they are on Australia’s east coast using fear-mongering once again to get press, claiming they can increase beach safety with their tagging. If they are going to use shark fear to leverage press for themselves, it seems only fair that they should be held accountable when someone is bitten after their tracking tags have been bolted on. But, like everywhere else OCEARCH has gone, they will leave the locals with the mess and take the money and fame with them when they leave. Oh wait, sorry, I forgot about their amazing contribution to shark conservation. They provided an app that people can check from their couches once every month or so and see where the perpetually pregnant Lydia will show up next.
Sorry OCEARCH. Playing upon human ignorance and fear to further your self-glorified fishing campaign is sending the wrong message and just another chapter in your decade of hurting sharks much more than helping them. OCEARCH fans are checking their smart phones with one hand while reeling in protected species at the beach with the other. But this time while fighting the animal to near death they can not only call themselves conservationists, but can also say they were contributing to public safety.
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About the Author
Skyler Thomas is the primary blog contributor, cinematographer, and lead editor at White Shark Video.