The White Shark Trust Field Research Assistantship is proud to introduce you to our assistants:

Alex BROWN (Burnham, England), Trey SNOW (Wilmington, North Carolina, USA), Nicolas PADE (Nivaa, Denmark) and John NICHOLS (La Jolla, California, USA).

On Sunday the 3rd of October 2004, we went to sea with Lamnidae, the White Shark Trust research boat, for the first time with the new group of assistants. Overcast day with intermittent light drizzle, but flat ocean and virtually no wind. We observed eight different White Sharks today, and we had a lot of fun between Borat (AliG) and the Monthy Pythons' reincarnations...
Unfortunately, it was also a sad day... We resighted a Shark, that we observed a couple of days in August and September, with fresh new blood red engine propeller injuries. Engine covers (see picture on the right) protect the Sharks from injuries while on anchor, but the boats should really be more carefull when they start their engines and drive around in this area.
It is quite possible that this was an accident... but most probably not, and I am sick and tired of seeing White Sharks injured on purpose or due to negligence by some of the people working in the area with the Sharks. The authorities are not doing anything, not just because they do not have the necessary manpower, but because the do not care and this does not represent a priority to them.

Some boats drive around the area without having a clear view of the water in front of them, others boats activelly look for Sharks, and by going to close, drive over them, and other boats never check the back of their boat when they start up their engines to lift the anchor. Other people feed the Sharks with intention, then drag the Shark to the boat, the engines and/or the cage to offer their clients a 'better' view (Adrenaline and 'Jaws' junkies), and by doing so cause terrible injuries to the Sharks.

To this day, only one commercial cage diving company is using engine covers to protect the Sharks from injuries: Shark Diving Unlimited. The White Shark Trust has of course also been using these engine socks for over a year. Engine covers represent a cheap and simple method to protect the Sharks from accidental injuries, and it remains a mystery why the authorities are not willing to make these covers compulsory.

These three pictures taken today illustrate the injuries caused to Sharks through the negligence of some people - People who really should not be allowed to work with these amazing and beautiful animals!

The two pictures below taken yesterday (2nd of October 2004) show another White Shark that got bashed against the cage and/or engine by some cage diving operator. The blood red gash on the leading edge of the dorsal fin and the white scratches and scars on the dorsal fin and on the head are fresh and typical of (too) many Sharks observed around Dyer Island. The sight of these endangered and protected injured and scared White Sharks should be an absolute shame for all the people who work with White Sharks.
On a lighter note, we went to De Kelders for a late afternoon Whale watching... We spotted around 8-10 Southern Right Whales lazing along the rocky shore. And the sunset was an amazing spectacle tonight. Unfortunately, the Whales did not give us the satisfaction of a breach...
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