Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Look what recreational fishermen have done to her:

Same shark: November 2009 (below) and 2010 (above)
Photos: Wolfgang Leander (Tiger Beach)
Click to enlarge

We are seeing every year more sharks with hooks in their mouths and jaw injuries, some as severe as the one this tiger girl suffered recently. Her jaws were strong enough to cut through bones and tortoise shells. Not anymore.

Just imagine the brute force the responsible fisherman must have applied that he (maybe she?) actually cracked the lower jaw trying to land this medium sized shark.

Fortunately, the shark was strong enough to survive the ordeal. Many others don't which is why it is so important that the Bahamian authorities declare their archipelago a shark sanctuary soonest.

A much bigger threat than sport fishermen are the professional shark hunters (e.g. the Bahamian seafood company SUNCO) that are in the starting holes, ready to go after the Bahamian sharks solely for their fins so they can be sold to Hong Kong traders.

SUNCO and possible others must be stopped "harvesting" the Bahamian sharks so that wealthy Chinese can enjoy a costly shark fin soup they consider an aphrodisiac or some "cultural" dish.

Back to "our" shark girl. Before she was hooked we all remembered her as a playful, almost sociable shark; now she is very shy and distrustful of humans. Can you blame her?

Shy and distrustful of humans
Photo: Wolfgang Leander (Tiger Beach)
Click to enlarge

This female shark is what all sharks are: Highly sensitive and surprisingly intelligent animals with a memory that has ben tested to go back as far as one year, approximately.

My memory? Better don't test me, not about things that happened yesterday or the day before yesterday, let alone one year ago...


Shark Diver said...

Great images and observations Wolf, sad indeed.

Megan Frances said...

Wonderful photos. I hope your passion and caring helps raise awareness about the plight of the sharks.

Jeff Schreiber said...

This is Hook; Obviously from the name we coined her in 2008, this isn't the first time she's survived.

It disturbs me greatly that her demeanor has changed; not that I don't understand... just that her wonderful personality is what opened my eyes to a much greater understanding of sharks and the misconceptions surrounding them.

Andrea said...

Makes my heart hurt :(