The ups and downs in the life of a shark photographer   Leave a comment

My apologies; for the last week Elasmodiver has been offline. Really it should be Webserve Canada that is apologizing but given their track record that is unlikely which is why Elasmodiver has moved servers. Re-uploading hundreds of pages and thousands of pictures is a slow process hence the interuption. Everything should be back to normal soon except at Webserve Canada who just lost another client. Was that enough of a negative plug for Webserve Canada? You get the point 🙂

Ok, onto something sharky:

A few days ago I got some bad news. I had been tentatively invited to pilot a submersible for a film shoot at Guadalupe Island for a few weeks but the project ran into a snag and had to be delayed indefinitely. That was a blow. It would have been awesome to spend day after day under water at the best place in the world to see Great White Sharks. Who knows what new behaviors we would have witnessed. At least the shoot is still a future possibility.

Then I got some great news; a shark diving buddy of mine – Nathan Meadows, is joining my project to build a deep water camera system: Project Deep Shark. Specifically, Nathan has offered the use of his machine shop to help with the construction of the housings. I’m very happy to have his help because it will make a huge difference to the construction time. Perhaps more importantly, Nathan is bringing his usual enthusiasm which is contagious and may have an even more profound effect on how quickly the project takes shape. I met Nathan a few years back (shark diving of course) and then I bumped into him again this summer when he joined the Shark Diver Magazine trip that I hosted in eastern Canada. He also wrote an article in the last issue of SDM and I have a feeling that (like the rest of us) he will become more and more fanatical about sharks as the years go by. Nathan’s wife Lindsay is also a big shark fan and with that kind of support you can achieve anything. And once sharks have a grip on you there is no escape.

In other news, it looks like it will be even longer before we will finally head south. The refit of the ship that I am working on in British Columbia has had a number of setbacks. Nothing too serious just time consuming. So, our new ETD from Canada is December 6th. I believe that we will actually make this departure date unless something catastrophic happens between now and then. But it means that we will not be in sunny Baja until late December. Fortunately the mobula ray migration which we want to document, is at its height in January, so we should still have plenty of time to shoot after we get to Cabo. Its getting really cold here now and the nights are drawing in, but hey, maybe we can get some skiing in before we go! There is always a bright side.

Last night I was walking along the shore winding down after a busy day at the boat yard. Some kind of fox (or maybe it was a coyote) was scavenging at the waters edge. It was lit up by the moon and I got a great chance to enjoy it before it finally became too nervous of my attention and trotted off into the bush. It got me thinking about how isolated we are from nature. I can’t remember the last time I saw anything that big foraging so close to the city. With so little contact with the natural world around us its not surprising that it is so hard to generate support for conservation for our local fauna. And if even that is a struggle what chance do sharks have?

Its been a while since I got on my soap box and I’ll spare you the whole story this time but remember the key points and tell as many people as you can:

Sharks are in decline. They are heavily over fished and can’t bread fast enough to bounce back. Even if you don’t like sharks we need them. Because of their low birth rate, sharks are the only animals that can maintain a healthy balance in our oceans. Without them the food chain will collapse with catastrophic consequences.

Spread the word, boycott restaurants that sell shark fin soup, join conservation groups like The Shark Trust and Sea Shepherd, and try to dispel the myth that sharks are mindless killers. Its a tough message to get across to people but its very important to keep trying.

For the sharks,

Andy Murch

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Posted November 22, 2008 by Andy Murch in Environment, Nature, Photography, Sharks, TV Shows

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