Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

July 31, 2011

Shark Week - Live

Ok, I've never done this blogging. I usually let thoughts percolate before I post them here. But, what the heck... It's good to try something new (?)

Sunday - 10:40pm (younger son is still laid up after having his wisdom teeth removed on Friday morning. Dogs are asleep - Bodie is in his cozy crate, Bear has his head on a pillow next to mine. One of them is farting. It STINKS in my bedroom!

Synopsis: The first hour had a lot of scary voice-over with a mix of conservation and fear. More fear than conservation. Many dumb Gillette commercials. Nothing learned.

Now: They've got a man in a shark cage tethered to bouys, a dead whale, and a feeding White Shark. OK then... The shark gets caught up in the bouys. Big surprise! Then the shark gets freaked out and gets caught up in the line. Free advice: Think things through to their final conclusion. DUH! Of course the shark would get upset and caught up in the lines. Clue: IT...IS...A...SHARK! It doesn't know about lines and bouys and cages. I knows about food and mating and food and mating.

10:50pm: Oh boy! A commercial about tomorrow's Shark Week! Shark attacks! They gotta squeeze that in.

Scary Mike Rowe voice-over. Ugh. This is SO predictable. It's the same old sh-t.

Maybe this live blogging wasn't a good idea....

11:20 pm: A scientist is on a paddle-board 'investigating' a White Shark. OK then. BUT, he does not have a life vest on. Huh? Come to think of it, not many of these scientist/actors have life vests on. What's up with that?

More scary voice-over.

Need to crash. (Bodie just barfed up something in his crate. Yay.) Oh, not without some crapolla Fosters beer commercial telling me to have a "Happy Shark Week".
Well Okey Doke. If you say so!

Tiger Shark Close Encounter

This blog is quickly becoming a blog about sharks. Should I change the name? Nah...

Sharks are in the news - a lot. What with Shark Week (dum dum dum dum!) beginning tonight and summer in full swing, sharks and humans are having close encounters of the virtual, fictional, and real variety.

Now, no matter how much I love sharks, I would NOT want to have a close encounter with an adult Tiger Shark. I've got too much respect for them. These spear fishermen did too! Fortunately, they hadn't speared any fish, yet. Click here to read the article.

Hammerhead on Tarpon

Over 8 million views. Wow. And I JUST saw this. Normally, I'd share it on the Facebook but I have a lot of friends who are Tarpon fishermen and generally, they sharks. Because, well, sharks take Tarpon.
Anyway, this is pretty amazing.
Sidenote: If the Tarpon had not been hooked, the Hammerhead wouldn't have gotten it in the first place.

July 28, 2011

Need a Fish Fix?

Oftentimes, when I need a mental break from work, I'll pull up my ReefNet DVD and zone out on the myriad of videos. Nothing like watching fishes sway and dart and chase to distract from tedium. Usually, I'll notice something new. "Wow! I've never seen that before!" Then, refreshed, I get back to work.

This time, I poked around Google Video for refreshment. I found Undersea Productions.
WOW! What a wellspring! The site goes on and on! Critters I didn't know existed! Thousands of images and clips. Hundreds of different species. It's no wonder I'm in love with the ocean. It's beautiful!

Uh oh, I'd better watch my time...:)

July 26, 2011

Now Gillette is getting in the act... Ugh.

It's no secret that I loathe Shark Week. Is it this week? Last week? Next week? I dunno. The whole thing grosses me out: the sensationalism, the the over-reaction, the fear factor. The best thing that the Discovery Channel could do is do away with Shark Week. But will they? Fat chance. They won't give up the advertising dollars.

Advertising dollars from sponsors such as Gillette! Yes! A razor company has put a new spin (new low) on their product! The message: If you don't use it, you will be terrorized by sharks! YAY! So let's all dive into our cages, shave with the new razor and try not to choke on our fear. Take a gander here.

Sorry, this kind of thing pisses me off.

July 13, 2011

Random: Peacock Spider

This is so amazing, I couldn't help sharing. Evolution at its finest!

July 12, 2011

Saving Valentine the Humpback Whale

This made me so happy I cried. It is one of those stories that restored my belief. There are people, many people, who really REALLY care, and will go to extraordinary measures to help animals.

July 11, 2011

Congratulations, You Killed a Shark.

Conundrum: What to do about Facebook 'friends' that kill sharks.

I realize that FB is supposed to be a happy cyber-space where we can all share and be jolly and sing kumbayah (sp?). But when one of your 'friends'' actions flies in the face of your convictions, what do you do? Do you hit the kill switch (de-friend), or turn a blind eye and keep the peace? Do you risk rocking the boat, or make nice?

It's no secret that I hold a special place in my heart and mind for sharks. That said, I also understand how hard it is to make a living as a fisherman - either commercial or recreational. In certain states, it is still legal to 'harvest' certain sharks. The law is the law. But, with every shark killed, the fishermen inch closer to killing their livelihood. No fish, no business. Furthermore, through my FB friends, I can stay informed - on the lines as it were - instead of being fed a stream of filtered information. It's a fine line.

I got into a tussle with one of my FB 'friends' over this about 6-7 months ago. He takes sharks legally, I oppose taking any sharks for any reason. We came to a mutual understanding. I'd hoped over time, he'd find a way to satisfy his clients and stay in business WITHOUT taking sharks. Not. Today he posted a picture of a client with a Blacktip Shark with the caption: "blacktip - that's what's for dinner." (See above. Interestingly, out of his over 500 'friends' only four 'liked' it, and only two commented. What's that say?)

I was completely grossed out and my visceral reaction was to say so. But, I didn't. Then, I felt like a total coward. Wimp! Wishy-washy! That's not usually how I operate.

So, when I can't smack myself out of myself, I go to my roots. What would Mom say? That's easy enough: "Follow your heart."

In conclusion: Bye bye FB 'friend'. The only good shark is a live shark.

July 8, 2011

The Plastic Gyre...Continued

Photo credit: Newscom
This is really gross. According to this article, the Scripps Oceanographic Institute has concluded that 1 in 10 fishes that live around or in the Pacific Plastic Gyre have consumed plastic debris. No surprise given how expansive the gyre is. The question I have is not how many fishes or top predators are affected, but how will this mess get cleaned up?

July 7, 2011 - Great Cause, Great Idea!

A reader recently turned me on to an organization devoted to clean living (terrestrial and oceanic) in the Pacific Northwest.
Click here to visit Among the many issues they cover: ocean acidification, over-consumption of plastics, and storm water runoff. Looks to me like these folks have big hearts and an abundance of motivation to clean up their corner of the world -- which just happens to be connected to my, and everyone else's corner! Check it out!

July 6, 2011

So-So Shark Press

This Time article is the kind that may pull at heart strings, but it is flimsy on scientific backing. And the author fails to report anything new. Which is too bad. Given the space and opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of readers, he missed the mark and did not press the most important message: the oceans need sharks, we need the oceans, therefore, we need sharks. It's bad enough that he blames Steven Spielberg for 'Jaws' (Peter Benchley is responsible for its penning), but he blames him for 'indelibly imprinting sharks as killers', and potentially influencing young Chinese. Lame, far-reaching, and untrue. Spielberg is hardly responsible for the decades of global overfishing and abuse that sharks have endured. And Benchley became a vocal advocate for shark conservation post-'Jaws'. It is true that Sharkfin soup is a major contributing factor to the sharks' demise. But we can also point a finger at the fisherman who, while not breaking the law, still elected to bring a dead shark into his local marina. Yes, global governments are responsible for failing to see the larger picture, and read the writing on the wall: without united intervention, sharks may be doomed. But who put those governments in place? We did. We elected them. So the fate of sharks is no just in the hands of the government and conservationists like Yao Ming, it is in all of our hands.