Monday, October 05, 2009

Follow-up on "Olga", the gentle tiger shark girl.

Photo: Wolfgang Leander
Click on image to enlarge

Here is a portrait of "Olga" I particularly like a lot. It is minimalistic in that it just shows the shark in all her beauty and nobleness - no distracting scuba divers, no corals, and a plain, sandy bottom.

Just look at "Olga's" expressive dark eyes - and you will understand why I am in love with these vilified creatures.

I heard that one Tiger Beach dive operator, Jim Abernethy, has not seen some of the resident tigers anymore. I am worried and fear the worst: 'Recreational' fishermen who are going after the tigers of Tiger Beach.

Should that prove to be correct, then war will be declared to what to me are wreckless poachers and senseless killers.

You, "Olga" - may you live to the tiger shark equivalent of 120 human years!!!!


DaShark said...

Wolf, forget about going after the fishermen - what they do is perfectly legal.

What needs 2 happen is that those iconic sites get protected - once they are, then you can make sure the law gets respected.

Remember the conversations 6 months ago?

Wolfgang Leander said...

Yes, I know it's legal. What has to be done is to convince the Bahamian authorities that they should ban all shark fishing throughout their archipelago - which will effectively amount to declaring war to the 'sports' fishermen.

Palau has just enacted a prohibition to fish sharks in their territory which is as large as France. The Bahamas could follow suit and be the first country in the Western hemisphere to fully protect their sharks.

DaShark said...

Agree, Wolf, that would be wonderful.

Alas, in the "real" world, I just don't believe that's gonna happen anytime soon.
The economic benefits of game fishing to the Bahamas are huge and I just don't think that any such country-wide legislation can be promulgated without reaching out to the fishing community. That is a long term process.

Having said this, I do believe that turning selected hotspots like Tiger Beach into marine reserves is achievable.
Those areas are relatively small and if properly enacted, those reserves could be the source of considerable revenues to the Bahamian Government and give a powerful boost to eco-tourism - think "Cocos" and "Galapagos".

Wolfgang Leander said...

Patric - you are a reaist and, thus, absolutely right. Unfortunately... :-)

I agree, turning Tiger Beach into a MPA would probably be a much more feasible goal as a first step.

Time will tell.

Wolfgang Leander said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaShark said...

Just to quench any of the "usual" conspiracy theories: Patric and I are two distinct persons - really! (:

Wolfgang Leander said...

Sorry, Mike - I got mixed up. Which is why I make it easy for others to identify me by using my full name - and pic!! :-)