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News of Sharks

APRIL 2013


April 21 , 2013 - Fisherman bitten by shark off NSW coast

Photo: The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has released an image of a shark
in the water at Crowdy Head Beach.

A man has been bitten by a shark on the New South Wales mid-north coast this afternoon.

The 51-year-old was knee deep in water pulling out nets of mullet when he was bitten on the legs by a grey nurse shark in Crowdy Head about 2.30pm (AEST).

He has been airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle in a stable condition with puncture wounds and lacerations on both of his legs.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter service says many sharks could be seen in the area from the air including one almost 3 metres long.




April 20 , 2013 - Shark art aims to raise money for research

Artist Linda Sanders works recycled corks into a shark figure at her Chatham workshop.

CHATHAM — While scientists may not know how many great white sharks swim in the waters just off our shores, Chatham Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Franz knows just how many will be in Kate Gould Park come May 18.

"Fifty-two sharks for the park," she said.

The 5-foot-long plastic cutouts, decorated by local artists in a variety of mediums such as broken pottery, mosaic tiles and paint, will be displayed in the park from May 18 to June 2. They will then be moved to different venues before being auctioned off Aug. 1 to kick-start the drive for a shark and marine-life education and research center in Chatham.

Companies or individuals can sponsor a shark for $150. The artists will get 10 percent of the auction price.

"There's so much potential (in Chatham) for monitoring and research," Franz said. "We have to start somewhere. We are hoping to show that this is a viable, real idea that the town is behind 100 percent."

Both shark and seal researchers at a big seal symposium held last month at Chatham High School were frustrated at the lack of funding for their research, she said.

"People think they have a ton of money for it and they don't," Franz said.

Blessed with plentiful harbors, vessels and maritime experience, not to mention proximity to the largest colony of gray seals and densest aggregation of great white sharks on the East Coast, Chatham is a natural site for a research center that could include both labs and an educational component, Franz argued.

"At a center, we could bring (researchers) under one roof and create a research and educational center that would be world-class," she said.

The seed money could go to hiring a consultant to create a business plan and line up donors, Franz said. The hope is that a center, possibly located in the hotel at the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center, would attract visitors to town year-round.

The shark project also has some near-term goals. Smaller versions of the decorated great whites will be placed in local shops this summer as part of a scavenger hunt.

And, a shark cocktail contest among the town's restaurants is part of a coordinated effort to bring customers to Chatham.

The lemons-to-lemonade idea began with the Chatham chamber's 80-member merchants association, which was worried about negative publicity following shark sightings and the state's first great white shark attack on a human in 76 years last summer in Truro.

The association started kicking around the idea of capitalizing on the great white mystique by decorating shark images to both draw people into town and reduce some of the fear factor.

"It'll be a sweet piece when its done," said Atlantic Workshop owner Scott Feen, running a hand over the great white he built out of mahogany pieces salvaged off a 55-foot wooden sportfishing boat.

Feen specializes in turning reclaimed materials into decorative art pieces and functional furniture. He took some artistic license in not using the white plastic template he was given, which hangs by its tail from the ceiling of his workshop.

"I want somebody to walk out and go 'Boom!'" he said of his shark.

Franz marveled at the creativity and variety exhibited by the artists who tackled the project.

"I can't wait to see their imagination go crazy," said artist Linda Saunders, who is looking forward to the May 18 exhibit to see how other artists handled the challenge.

"I love reclaimed, recycled stuff," Saunders said.

Her home is decorated with her own work, angular slices of mirrored glass surrounded by a stew of watches, bent forks, jewelry and other found objects.

Shattered tiles and mosaics cover one side of her shark. She's still playing with the arrangement, on the other side, of wine corks, forks, jewelry and an assortment of metal and glass objects she either picked up off the street, found in swap shops or was given by people who know her artwork.

Milley Trucking, a trash hauler and recycling company, paid the $150 fee — it seemed a perfect pairing, Saunders said.

"I think that, as with any other thing in nature, Mother Nature has her own plans and we can't alter that," Patrice Milley, wife of company owner Tim Milley, said about the real sharks.

"This is a good opportunity to alter what is a potentially disastrous situation by educating people that (great whites) aren't vicious all of the time. We're going to adapt to the situation and make it work for everybody."




April 11 , 2013 - Huge shark gives kayak angler a major surprise

Predator jumps while attacking hooked fish only a few feet away, in an event captured on videotape

Isaac Brumaghim was fighting a small tuna from his kayak Sunday when all of a sudden the fish became “heavy” and he could no longer gain line. Suddenly, immediately behind him, the tuna jumped and the surface erupted as a huge shark emerged and filled the frame on a mounted camera. Brumaghim, who was fishing off western Oahu, had captured this dramatic event–and his reaction—on video (warning, footage contains an expletive).

“I swear I could hear the shark’s jaws chomp closed,” said Brumaghim, who believes the predator was either a tiger shark or Galapagos shark.

What the footage does not show, however, is that after the tuna, or kawakawa, had shaken free of his hook, the shark devoured the fish and swam in a circle around Brumaghim before swimming off.

“It was as if the shark was taunting me,” Brumaghim said. “It gave me the heebie-jeebies.”

Brumaghim, 37, is a Penn-sponsored angler and director of Aquahunters, a club for serious kayak fishermen. He has seen lots of sharks, and had lost many fish to sharks, but had never heard of one jumping out of the water in pursuit of a hooked fish.

He and a friend were the only anglers in the vicinity on Sunday, trying to bolster their standing in the 2013 Makahiki World Championships, a season-long competition that awards points depending on the types and weights of fish caught.

The friend did not see the jumping shark because he had been battling a smaller shark at the time.

“And I had already lost another fish to a shark,” Brumaghim said. “There were lots of sharks around that day.”




April 9 , 2013 - Researchers say the disappearance of two species of shark from the reefs surrounding Kiribati in Australia could be linked to shark-finning.

The researchers have been studying a collection of vicious weapons made of shark teeth and dating back to the 1840s.

Ichthyologist Joshua Drew from Columbia University says the findings reveal two species of sharks - the spotfin and dusky sharks - started disappearing from the Gilbert Islands about 100 years ago.

He's told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat that's about the same time as the practice of shark-finning became popular.

"We do know by 1910 there is already a well established shark-finning industry and by 1950, almost 3,500 kilograms of shark shark fins alone, not whole shark bodies, but fins alone were being exported out," he said.

"So, you connect the lines as you were, and it looks like human exploitation was probably a very key reason why these species were no longer found."

The researchers found the nearest population for a spotfin is in the Solomon Islands, while the dusky remains in Fiji.

Dr Drew says other shark species in Kiribati may also be showing signs of stress.

"It certainly is a case that you don't find many large sharks near the capital, and you have to go to fairly remote and distant islands to be able to find healthy shark populations," he said.

"So there does seem to be the relationship that the more people you have, the less sharks you have."

In their study, the researchers identified teeth from 8 species of shark on 122 weapons and teeth collections from the Gilbert Islands.

Dr Drew says the the cultural links with sharks are also being lost as species come under threat.

"We've got a really great case study about people who care about sharks, who have a really personal relationship with sharks," he said.

"To the people of Kiribati, sharks aren't the 'faceless man-eaters' that are out there - they're part and parcel of their culture.

"The people of the Gilbert islands involved their culture with these two sharks being present...and we have to think that when we have practices which harm shark populations, we're also harming the people who have special relationships with sharks."




                April 5 , 2013 - Incredible moments as a Great White shark leaps from the water with helpless 'seal' clamped between its razor sharp teeth

Photographer Chris McLennon captures incredible shots of hunting great whites using decoy seal to tempt them
Some of the sharks are pictured flying through air up to 3ft above waves after launching themselves at their 'prey'
Images were taken in waters close to Seal Island in South Africa, one of the great white's favourite hunting grounds

These stunning photos reveal both the terrifying power and the unusual beauty of the great white shark.
The images, captured by photographer Chris McLennan, show the sharks exploding out of the water with helpless seals clamped between their jaws.
But luckily for the inhabitants of Seal Island in South Africa these sharks are only biting down on a decoy set up to tempt them from the deep.




April 4 , 2013 - Marina Del Rey Man Bitten by Shark in Maui

LAHAINA, MAUI — A 58-year-old Marina del Rey man is recovering after he was bitten by a shark while vacationing in Maui.

It happened on Tuesday morning as the man was sitting on a surfboard about 100 yards offshore at Kaanapali Beach.

The victim was hospitalized with a six-inch bite on his right leg.

He had surgery and was listed in stable condition at Maui Memorial Medical Center. His name was not released, and he was denying media requests.

He told authorities the shark’s head was “the size of a basketball,” Maui County officials said in a statement.

The attack prompted authorities to shut down the popular beach for a mile in both directions. It reopened on Wednesday afternoon.

Lifeguards and state officials patrolled the beach in all-terrain vehicles and monitored the water with binoculars, but the never found the shark.

Fisherman hauled a shark onto the same beach back in January.

The victim reportedly had a camera mounted on his surfboard.

Maui police say they have recovered the camera, but they are not saying what was shot in the water.



April 1 , 2013 - How a Canadian shark attack survivor became a saviour of the carnivorous fish

Nicole Moore doesn’t have nightmares about the full-grown shark that chomped into her left thigh as she stood waist-deep in the bright turquoise waters off Cancun, Mexico.

She bares no psychological scars when recalling how she came face to face with her attacker as she tried to lift her left arm out of its clamped jaws.

And the Orangeville, Ont., nurse and mother of two, who lost 60% of her blood, two quadriceps and two hamstrings during the attack on her fit 38-year-old body, doesn’t show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. At least not yet, she says. “If it comes, it comes. I’ll take it.”

Perhaps most remarkably of all, Ms. Moore does not blame the shark.

“In fact,” she said in a sit-down interview with the National Post late last week, a little more than two years after her attack. “I’m actually on a mission to try to help keep them alive.”

It’s a difficult mental hurdle to jump: Why would a person who has more than every right to revile the slippery creatures, who had to have her arm amputated above the elbow and get a skin graft to fill in the part of her leg because of a fish’s taste for flesh, want anything to do with sharks, let alone save them?

The irony is not lost on Ms. Moore, who decided two months ago as she began work on a book about her experience that this was a cause she cared about. But the petite and upbeat mother of two girls knows she was in that shark’s territory. She knows the shark didn’t have a personal vendetta. It’s just what they do.

“The people around me, they hate sharks,” she said. “They say ‘Why are you trying to speak for sharks? Look what they did to you, look what you had to go through.’ But it didn’t do anything wrong. Most people get over that and end up feeling ‘it just happened.”

A week after the attack, someone sent her video footage of about 70 sharks being culled in Cancun less than 24 hours after she was bitten.

“They go right in and they do a mass catch and kill of all of them,” she said. “They do them a lot apparently to try to keep the numbers down that are in the shore, that are moving in.” She was too focused on her recovery back then to care about the sharks. But she does now. The experience of other shark attack survivors also intrigues her.

Just a few weeks ago, Ms. Moore joined the invite-only Shark Attack Survivors Facebook group, where members — many of them unwitting shark celebrities such as herself — discuss their experiences.

She learned one startling fact: Her story is completely different from many of theirs, so totally out of the norm for shark attack survivors, many of them surfers who routinely tempted fate by playing in shark-infested waters.

“I was worse off than all of them, hands down,” she said. None of the others lost a limb. But she found herself to be at a different place about it emotionally — more positive and at peace with the fact that this happened.

Returning to the scene of the crime, as it were, in November, 2011 provided her with closure.

“I’m a walking advertisement for resorts and what can go wrong in Mexico,” she said. “You can’t hide it. And if people ask me, I’m not ready to lie, so I didn’t know what to expect from management at the hotel.”

But they encouraged her openness. The Spanish-speaking male employees on jet-skis, who tried to warn her about the circling sharks just before the Jan. 31, 2011, attack, even wept when they met her on that trip. They felt responsible.

Though she is considering her options about the way the Mexican hospital handled her wounds — failing to change the dressings on her arm until her blackening fingers made her insist on a doctor’s special attention, and not providing her with adequate medical records — Ms. Moore does feel they saved her life.

She’s also made contact with the strangers who helped her — the man who locked fingertips with her and pulled her out of the bloodied water, the American who refused to take his hands off the blood-squirting severed artery in her leg, the Canadian who pulled the string from his bathing trunks and affixed it as a tourniquet to her upper arm, the nurse who kept talking with Ms. Moore so she wouldn’t slip into sleep and into death.

“If anyone has any doubt about humanity, in times of need they come around,” she said.

Ms. Moore has kept going back to Mexico — she heads there with her family this week — and doesn’t at all mind the notoriety, as she puts it, of being “the shark lady.” She’d rather you ask her about her experience than come to your own conclusions.

Ms. Moore is even building her own motivational speaking business out of the thirst for details after learning she could make some money at it (in February, she addressed an audience in California). She even hopes to create a foundation that would support efforts to save sharks.

Recently, a Discovery Channel crew came to film her tell her story, for possible inclusion in Shark Week, a weeklong summer series on all things shark. The popular series has been one of the catalysts behind recent bans on the Asian delicacy shark fin soup, such as the one in Toronto that was overturned by the Ontario Superior Court in December. Last week, a proposed ban on the importation of shark fins into Canada died in the House of Commons.

Ms. Moore supports any effort to ban the product.

Even before her shark encounter, she was a fan of Discovery’s Shark Week. She’s a bigger fan now.

“The first year after my attack, I wanted to watch it,” she said. “My husband said ‘Are you sure you want to watch this?’ And I said ‘Well, yeah, I’m all over it!’ He couldn’t. He had a tough time with it.”

( as reported by the NationalPost )





( As of December 2012 )


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