Monthly Archives: December 2009

Killer Sharks are Closing in on Coastal Shores

 

A 16 foot great white breaches the surface, cutting a California seal in half. Blood swirls as the predator swallows the first, then the second half before disappearing beneath the water. 3 days later, on August 11, 2009 at Stinson Beach, a mile south of the seal attack, 4 more white sharks are sighted only 200 yards from this California shore. Witness photograph the sharks with cell phones.

On August 30, across the globe in Glentana Bay, South Africa, a surfer dies after a savage attack – the shark takes his leg– yum, yum, another statistic!

In the Pacific, tiger sharks attack swimmers off Kawa Kau beaches in Hawaii. There are three victims.

Along the US east coast, 5 great white sharks are tagged by researchers in what is called an

unprecedented amount of shark sightings near Chatham, Cape Cod. And on November 13, a fellow boating close to shore off Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, photographs a 16 foot white shark with his cell phone.

In my home state of Florida, record numbers of sharks – tigers, bulls, lemons, great hammerheads and blacktips are being hooked and beached by sports fishermen from Daytona to Key West and in the Gulf coast to the Florida Panhandle and into Texas waters. And, not little five-footers, but ‘biguns.’ Some up to 14 feet long, 1000 pounds or more. South of us, during March of this year, hoards of bull sharks invaded the southern coast of Costa Rica. Government officials demand something must be done!

Now amid all these verifiable, undeniable newspaper, TV films, photographs, hospital reports and reliable witnesses, why do environmental groups like Wild Aid, Safe Shark and a slew of eco-idiots continue to push the disappearing shark theory and related propaganda across the world? PROFIT and POWER: profit from their eco-businesses (send money to save the X) and an intoxicating power to persuade and control the public.

On every environmental website you’ll see the slogan “one hundred million sharks killed each year!” Really? This slogan of theirs means jobs and money. “Going green” equals folding cash! It’s eco-business and big bucks to pander to the doom-and-gloom theory. They feed on drama and crisis like sharks feed on each other. Meanwhile destroying both commercial and recreational fishing with their propaganda films that tug at unsuspecting hearts and wallets. “Send us your money, we need to save the sharks!” While they stage photos of dead sharks, fins cut off, lying on the sea floor. I’m not saying this never happens, just not to the extent they say it does. And hey, commercially fishing for sharks near shore, or recreational fishing for a few of them is not the same as those lunatics that cut the fins off somewhere in the deep sea. That’s like saying someone who snaps a twig from a tree is deforesting a nation.

Now let’s address their supposed shark net problem: They film porpoise tangled in the nets off Durbin, South Africa where 17 million dollars are spent annually to use and maintain these nets to protect millions of tourists from shark attacks. This is a staged performance, utilizing an already dead animal. Sea mammals have exceptional sonar detection and wouldn’t simply “get caught” in a net. I used to capture bottle-nosed dolphins for the Miami Seaquarium and those buggas are smart! It took three boats to chase the dolphin into the nets; many times they’d simply jump over it. Environmental photographs are often staged, convincing the ignorant of their follies. Thankfully, in Durbin, their government recognized that human death is bad business so the enviro-nuts aren’t able to shut down the beach netting that keeps tourists safe. And if sharks are nearing extinction, why have the catch totals from these nets been increasing over the last four years? Maybe the eco-nuts want these nets shut down because they prove their theories false! Some government officials believe that the eco-tours to watch great whites feed while divers photograph them from cages is causing the sharks to lose their natural fear of man – another reason they are coming closer to shore.

Tampa 2002: Environmentalist groups The National Audubon Society, Earth Justice and Ocean Conservatory took donated money and sued NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric) and NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) to add leverage for their causes, resulting in even more regulations, more regulations!!! And now, these government agencies are only too happy to comply.

Mote Marine Laboratory, working with The Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission, is flexing their power muscle as well; Executive Director of the Southern Offshore Fishing Association, Bob Spaeth, knows how all their fishing restrictions can kill the commercial fishing industry, as does Sean Paxton, who represents The International Shark Fishing Association. Even William Fundora’s group – The South Florida Shark Club, is affected. And all these fishermen will be facing new restrictions in 2010. Lee Schlesinger of The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission claims too many sharks are dying, speaking from the state that leads the world in shark attacks! And Delray Beach City Commissioners passed a law that prohibits anglers from fishing for sharks along the shore as of July 2009. Who’s dinner bell are they ringing?

We need to face the truth here: sharks’ only natural predator is Man. Because of all this rampant protection and pocket-lining, sharks are growing in numbers off our shores and vital fishing industries are being decimated. Hey you with the tugged at hearstrings: look past the staged photos and films, look past the brainwashing propaganda, realize you’re being had, and search for the truth – it’s really about power and greed, not about conservation. Shouldn’t it be about protecting the public, not saving a predator?

Author poses with dusky, bull and sandbar sharks; Anna Maria City pier in background

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Sharkman of Cortez sets the Record Straight

I’ve spent nearly 45 years of my life on or near the water. The early days
in the sixties, as a net puller and craber. From the seventies and on I was
a commercial shark fisherman. I studied the behavior of these predators from
the surface and below and often in captivity. I learned a lot, but during my
59 years I’ve found another species of shark almost as dangerous if not as
deadly. They walk on two legs, come in many shapes and sizes, and their
egos, lies, greed and deceptions can leave another human desperate and dying
just as sure as from those with fins and teeth. You can find them in board
rooms or behind expensive, wooden desks with very impressive titles and
degrees. They all feed on self-indulgence, each one fighting over the
biggest scientific monetary endowment, while destroying the dreams of
others.

Back in the sixties, I watched as two of these land sharks – one, an
intellectual scientist, the other, a successful entrepreneur – take a woman
biologist’s dream and claim it for themselves. Her dream was The Cape Haze
Marine Lab and the biologist was Eugenie Clark. (Author of Lady with a Spear
and The Lady and the Sharks) These two sharks tried to feed on a young
fisherman and his wife but when they couldn’t manipulate or control his
destiny, they set out to wipe out his livelihood in the name of
conservation. Their legacy lives on but in their wake was planted the seeds
of more egos, more greed and more deception. This new breed of
environmentalist mentality is hell-bent on disrupting ecosystems worldwide,
while claiming the necessity of World Management.

In Florida, from 1935 to 1950, a thriving shark fishing industry captured
sharks for their livers, rich in vitamin A. Later, in the seventies and
eighties, sharks were captured for fins and meat but on a much smaller
scale.

I began fishing exclusively for shark during this period. As an independent
fisherman, I captured more than 6000 sharks from a fishing zone not more
than six miles from shore, nor more than nine miles long and at a depth
never exceeding 45 feet. A small area, for sure. Using a long line strung
along the Gulf floor, I kept extensive records of my catch – species, sex,
tides, moon, bait used, etc. My catch records were so precise that Dr.
Stewart Springer, formerly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, often
claimed my records were the best he’d ever examined.

Not during any of my years of shark fishing was there any evidence of
declining fish stocks. In fact, during 1985 upward, catch totals began to increase.

From 1980 to present day, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission, in concert with the Mote Marine Laboratory, have mounted a
successful propaganda and regulations campaign against both commercial and
recreational fishermen. Not only crippling all fishing industries, but
eliminating shark harvest completely. Everything from stone crab, to
grouper, to jewfish, redfish, red snapper and shark have been regulated ad
nauseam. All for the so-called need for health and balanced ecosystems.

Since my main expertise lies with sharks, I’ve had to contend with a slew of
self-proclaimed eco-activists, as I’ve prepared to release my book, Sharkman
of Cortez. My two-legged sharks from years past have become what many
fishermen call “eco-greenies” of today. And debating them leaves one
frustrated. In an attempt to set the record straight on declining fish
stocks – sharks – I will address three questions most avoided by the
conservationists – the greenies that attack me and those like me:

1. Asked if they would like their job or the industry in which they work
eliminated due to false information fabricated by scientists, I’m told no
they would not. Then they chant like a mantra, that fabricated nugget of
science: “over a hundred million sharks killed every year.” That is the
benchmark by which all environmental web sites base their beliefs. There
will be more in the news soon as to how this calculation came to be….

2. Asked if they would like their right to fish along a stretch of beach
denied, again, the answer is “no.” Yet this was done to the members of the
South Florida Shark Club in 2009. The eco-greenie logic: “well, sharks are
over-fished and I don’t agree to catching a species that is declining.”
(Still referring to that original, fabricated benchmark.)

3. When asked what he/she could say to those who’ve suffered the tragedy of
a loved one dying needlessly from a shark attack: “I would not wipe out a
species due to human death. (Though tragic.)” No one is asking to “wipe out
an entire species,” just to prevent tragedies.

In conclusion: I, and most American fishermen, don’t believe in finning
sharks and discarding what remains. I don’t want to kill every shark in the
ocean, it’s not possible – that would be like trying to kill every fire ant
in Florida. I just believe in capturing the predators that jeopardize public
safety along the beaches. And I believe we all have the right to fish in
peace, unrestricted by the unjust regulations put forth by over-educated
egos driven by publicity and greed.

Eco-Greenies or two-legged sharks? Take your pick.

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