Another Year in Shark Photography   Leave a comment

Where did last year go? It’s a common thought in many people’s minds. Fortunately, I remember exactly where 2006 went. I spent a great deal of time chasing sharks around North America. Between shooting a TV show with Eli from Shark Diver Magazine, hunting down sharks to illustrate new articles, and expanding this never ending shark website, I barely had time to think. Before I knew it I was looking for Xmas presents for my boys and planning 2007.

It looks like this year is going to be just as exciting and just as manic. I have so many ideas that I couldn’t possibly achieve all of them in a mere 365 days. My first trip is just one week away and I am nowhere near ready. That’s a sure sign that life is moving fast because if you haven’t already noticed by browsing through Elasmodiver, I like to be very organized.

Initially I am heading down to Texas to check in at Shark Diver Mag HQ. Eli and our good friend Paul Spielvogel have organized a boat to go out into the Gulf of Mexico for 5 days. There are many sharks on our hit list including silkies, blacktips, sharpnose, scalloped hammerheads, and what I call ‘exotics’ i.e. sharks that we know live in the gulf but we do not expect to encounter because they are generally too deep, too shy, or too rare to make an appearance. We are expecting rough seas this time of year and life in our little shark boat will not be glamorous. If all goes well I will be able to upload some new shark pictures onto Elasmodiver before I leave Texas on the 22nd.

Next stop El Salvador. The last time that I was there I was dragged off a bus and held at gun point for two hours. That was in 1989 when the country was entrenched in a bloody civil war. Times have changed and I am looking forward to a warmer welcome this time. My plan is to document the El Salvadorian shark fishery and to find out what they are catching. El Salvador is a hazy spot on most researcher’s maps so the inshore sharks that live there may be quite interesting. Being a camera toting gringo in a remote village full of nervous shark fishermen is asking for trouble but I have some contacts that should be able to make some introductions for me. Its been a while since I walked on the wild side and I am filled with a trepidation that I have not enjoyed for many years.

Stage three involves flying home and driving straight down to California. It’s not written in stone yet but with luck I’ll be hunting for Angel Sharks north of LA and kicking back with many old and new shark diving friends until I get the shot. Then it gets fuzzy; San Diego? Baja? We’ll see.

Amazingly, that’s just trip #1! Later in the year I am looking at Brazil, Mexico, back to Cali, and possibly Fiji and Australia. I have also just nailed down a summer expedition to the west coast of Vancouver Island with Ogden Point Dive Centre to search for the northern population of Blue Sharks – possibly the only decent sized gathering of blues left in the eastern Pacific.

Other plans include developing a shark photography course, becoming an Inspiration Rebreather Instructor, and expanding Elasmodiver to include an ambitious section on extinct sharks including a database of shark fossil pictures that I will slowly expand as I get permission to shoot at various natural history museums around North America.

If I work at this speed, between sharks and my kids, 2007 will be over in a flash, but life is so short that I wouldn’t have it any other way.


For the Sharks,

Andy Murch

Posted January 6, 2007 by Andy Murch in Movie Journal, Nature, Photography, Sharks, Uncategorized

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