The below permit was just made available to me by a shark advocate on the east coast. It is the most incomplete, unprofessional, ridiculous farce for a permit I've ever read. The bulk of the permit pertains to not holding Massachusetts responsible and doesn't mention anywhere safety concerns for the sharks. The sharks are simply allowed to be "taken and possessed" for "scientific purposes". What does "taken and possessed" mean? What about the method of possessing them? Any regulations there at all? Any size or sex limitations? Any time restrictions? What about determining if the shark has already been tagged and what to do in that situation?
"Take and possess"has a scary ring to it, particularly when not followed up by any definition. And that's where mention of the sharks ends. Everything else is about the area to be worked in and not being held responsible for anything that goes wrong. No where does the permit list or demand any safety procedures defining acceptable methods for obtaining the sharks. Nor is there a list of what is unacceptable. This is a free for all.
Can anyone tell me what defines "smallest zone of attraction possible", because this permit certainly doesn't define it in even the broadest of terms. Is this for OCEARCH to decide as they go? Apparently so.
Making it worse is the fact that the marine fisheries just rejected recommendations from local researchers not to allow the exact type of methods OCEARCH will be using due to concerns for both man and animal. That was rejected and in place a permit was issued with pretty much no regulations whatsoever.
Oh, excuse me, they aren't allowed to do this on Saturdays and Sundays. (Let's see if they even follow that rule).
Reed and weep.
1 Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Paul J. Diodati
Richard K. Sullivan, Jr.
Mary B. Griffin
Division of Marine Fisheries
251 Causeway Street, Suite 400
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
Scientific Permit Number: 167281
Date: July 10, 2013
Pursuant to its authority under M.G.L. Chapter 130, Sections: 17(2) and (3), 38, 69, 75, 80, and 83, the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) hereby grants this Research Permit to:
1790 Bonanza Drive, Ste 101
Park City, Utah 84060
The following activities are authorized by this Research Permit:
To take and possess white sharks for scientific purposes, subject to the conditions below.
Aboard vessel(s): M/V OCEARCH (126’) and 28’ Tournament Model Contender
1. The primary collector for OCEARCH for the duration of this permit shall be Chris Fisher. This permit or a copy must be in the possession of OCEARCH’s primary collector, or his designee, while taking and/or possessing white sharks for scientific purposes.
2. The taking and possessing of white sharks shall begin no sooner than July 29, 2013 and be completed no later than August 30, 2013.
3. No taking or possession of white sharks shall take place on Saturdays and Sundays, unless authorized in advance in writing by DMF.
4. OCEARCH shall conduct the fishing for white sharks in a manner that results in the smallest zone of attraction possible to accomplish its goals.
5. Unless authorized in advance in writing by DMF, the area of taking and possession of white sharks authorized by this Research Permit is restricted to those waters east and south of Monomoy Island (Chatham) and around Muskegat Island (Nantucket).
6. OCEARCH shall indemnify and hold harmless the Commonwealth, including the Department of Fish and Game and Division of Marine Fisheries, its agents, officers and employees, against any and all claims, liabilities and outside costs for any personal injury or property damage, or other damages that the Commonwealth may sustain which arise out of or are reasonably connected with the activities authorized by this Research Permit, including but not limited to negligence, reckless or intentional conduct of OCEARCH, its agents, officers, employees or subcontractors and which are reduced to a final, non-appealable judgment or settlement with OCEARCH’s prior written consent, not to be unreasonably withheld. OCEARCH shall at no time be considered an agent or representative of the Commonwealth, the Department of Fish and Game or Division of Marine Fisheries. The Commonwealth shall not be liable for any costs incurred by OCEARCH arising under this indemnification provision.
7. A copy of this Research Permit specifying the conditions applicable to OCEARCH’s permitted activities must be available at all times aboard each vessel identified in the permit when conducting the permitted activities. A copy of this Research Permit must also be provided to an environmental police officer upon request.
This Research Permit will expire on August 31, 2013 unless revoked for cause by DMF prior to this termination date.
Paul J. Diodati, Director
Debra Canabal of Epic Diving in the WSV hoodie. Get yours!
About the Author
Skyler Thomas is the primary blog contributor, cinematographer, and lead editor at White Shark Video.