Friday, July 30, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shark Week -- Education or Just Entertainment?

I really do not know what to expect from Shark Week this year - the last seasons have been complete disasters in my opinion in the portrayal of sharks.  I will say that the logo looks much "friendly" (no blood) and positive this year - it is a start.

But from reading Shark Diver's last post - change does not seem imminent:

Shark Week -- Education or Just Entertainment "Chris Palmer and Peter Kimball just hit a home run over at Huff Post today talking Shark Weekand the ongoing debate about wildlife television.

Many years ago I wrote an Op Ed for a local San Diego paper titled "When Filmmakers Attack...." 

So I am hoping to see more than just a fresh logo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lionfish Smash

Chica, Wawy, Manuel, Bou, Felix - celebrating a successful smash

This last weekend I was in Bimini, Bahamas, with a group of friends to attend the South Florida Freedivers "Lionfish Smash" competition.  The event focused on the spearing of lionfish as they are become a real problem in the reefs of the Bahamas and the Caribbean. In these parts of the world, the species have no natural predators, hence they are starting to dominate the reefs by multiplying in an uncontrolled manner, and, therefore, threatening to disrupt the delicate ecological balance in vast areas. The fishing industry is concerned.

On the trip we saw lionfish up to 16 inches, and literally in every ledge that you would look under.  After a day of spearing, we caught over 35 lionfish; in total over 100 were speared.  And the fish did not go to waste, cook Ralph Pagano made some delicious ceviche and fillets from the white meat - it actually tasted very well.

All the proceeds of the competition went to the Boys and Girls Club of Miami, over $8,500 were raised.

Our team consisted of Manuel, Chica, Bou, Wawy, and me - Manuel won the "Lionfish Slayer", largest and smallest lionfish categories - he caught over 22 fish himself while the rest of us were slacking.

Was a lot of fun to be back in Bimini - the island has definitely changed (not for the better) - but it was good hanging out with friends.  A video will be coming out shortly...

Monday, July 12, 2010

You don't have to be a shark diver to own a Helson Shark Diver watch -

- but it would help. Well, not really sure about that.... :-). All I can say with certainty is that the Shark Diver watch is a hell of a precision instrument, heavy and solid as a tank.

Justify Full Peter Helson, a German hobby diver and shark lover, has had many dive watches, and was never completely happy with them. So he decided to design his own watch - and establish a watch company with a few like-minded watch nuts. Mind you, Peter is not a watch maker, he is just a bloody perfectionist and a hands-on typaguy. With that combination of personality traits you can't go wrong with hardly anything you do.

Peter Helson - proudly flashing his own Helson Shark Diver watch.

I used to be (still am) a watch fanatic. In the past I only went for top-notch brand names: Rolex, Jaeger-le-Coultre, IWC, Patek Philippe, and Lange & Soehne. I have seven of those beautiful watches. They are true masterpieces, no doubt about it - BUT they are also very, very expensive.

What I didn't fully realize is that when you buy high-grade watches you not only pay for the superior quality but you indirectly finance the manufacturers' formidable marketing and advertising activities.

Not long ago, I discovered that there are many still unknown new brands out there, launched by industrious and enthusiastic individuals like Peter Helson. This new breed of watch manufacturers produce stunning watches with a minimum of overhead expenses which allows them to sell their timepieces applying a spectacularly advantageous cost-benefit ratio.

It is probably safe to say that a watch produced by Peter Helson costs at least three times less than a comparable timepiece manufactured by a well established and renowned watch company in Switzerland or Germany.

When I saw the Helson Shark Diver watch in Peter's website, I did not hesitate ordering two models - the flashy one with the black dial and orange numbers, and the more elegant version with the dark grey dial and the steel colored bezel. Why did I buy both? Simple: Because I could not decide which one I liked better.... :-)

Friday, July 09, 2010

Mike Ellis 2.0

We wrote about Mike Ellis in the past and his photography...since then, Mike has launched a new site showcasing his work, not just underwater.  

Pretty impressive stuff:  

Mike has the good fortune to be "out there" a lot - and while he spends a lot of time on photography - he spends more time helping and giving people advice on how to get better shots - and take his word for it - even if you have an ego, listen to him.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Introducing the Summer SharkTakular photo contest!

David over at Southern Fried Science is helping Cindy and Alexa of Oceans 4 Ever to promote a shark photo contest.  Rules are as follows:

1) Make a sign or banner with a shark conservation message (something as simple as “save the sharks” is fine, but you are encouraged to make your own). Nothing promoting racism or violence will be accepted.

2) Take a photograph that includes you and your sign. The background is up to you, but be creative!

3) E-mail the photo to me (WhySharksMatter AT Gmail DOT com) before 5:00 p.m. eastern standard time on Monday, July 12. Your e-mail MUST include the information listed below in order to be eligible to win.
A) Your name (first name and last initial is acceptable if you have privacy concerns), hometown, and occupation (if student, please list your grade).
B)  This sentence- “I give David Shiffman permission to display this photograph on Southern Fried Science and in possible future not-for-profit shark conservation initiatives”
C) A sentence or two about why you care about sharks and why they should be protected.
4) All photos will be displayed on Southern Fried Science. They will be voted on by a panel of judges that includes myself, Cindy, Alexa and other ocean bloggers and famous shark-o-philes.

5) The winners will be announced on Oceans 4 Ever on July 23 at noon eastern standard time.
Anyone (no age or location restrictions) is eligible to enter. Tell your friends!
Here are the fabulous prizes you could win!

1st place will have a WildAid anti-finning billboard in China donated in their name (value- $100)
2nd place will win an Iemanya Oceanica Adopt-A-Shark packet (value- $50)