See video above for the latest shark attack in Western Australia. They’re getting it right but more needs to be done.
See video above for the latest shark attack in Western Australia. They’re getting it right but more needs to be done.
A recent email from a reader of my site:
You are a piece of shit human being, please do the world a favor and
Well, well, well it seems I’ve hit a nerve with another eco-hippie…
I’ve posted this so reasonable thinking people can see that real facts upset animal rights protectionists to the point of cursing. Thanks for the comment –keep them coming!
Kyle Burden. A 21 year old Australian surfer was looking for his next wave near Bunker Bay. He would never catch it. A great white shark attacked him from behind, cutting him in half. Death was quick and instant! Kurt Morris, who witnessed the attack, was visibly shaken. He looked at Kyle’s lifeless remains after other surfers pulled them from the surf. Kyle’s upper torso lay in the sand. Liver, intestines and lower spine strewn in a pool of blood.
Shockingly, Kyle Burden was only one of nearly 60 other shark attacks spanning six months. Attacks that occurred in Africa, Australia, Russia, West Indies, Hawaii, Coastal US, Red Sea, etc… a growing list in 2011. But shark “experts” (protectionists) interviewed by the Media console the public: “You’re more likely to be killed by lightning or die from falling coconuts” (!) Really?
I am sick of this lack of respect for human dignity.
It’s a shame the world press supports only eco-driven “man vs. shark” propaganda. Perhaps they need to question what’s causing a spike in sharks attacking humans the past ten years! I have. I’m Captain Bill Goldschmitt, shark fisherman, author and researcher of shark behavior, with 50 years of experience. I know sharks. Could it be that film makers competing for exposure on the biggest stage (television) could have something to do with the increased attacks? I think so. Shark Week attracts millions of viewers each summer –– it’s done so for nearly 28 years. We’ve watched predator sharks perform like circus animals in episodes like: Air Jaws, White Sharks Uncaged, Shark Week’s Best Bites, Air Jaws of South Africa, Air Jaws II, Ultimate Air Jaws, blah, blah, blah! It’s nauseating! I’m not saying sharks attack humans to get a screen test, the apex predators have been munching on humans for hundreds of years, but in a salacious effort to bring more gore to the screen, film makers are creating an unnatural environment for their folly.
In the early years of Shark Week, they featured informative stories of real people in real attacks. Hell, in one episode kids even learned how to ward off an attacking shark. Helpful stuff. But times have changed. Shark Week’s stories have become a platform for eco-fruits, nuts and producers eager to film sharks doing unnatural things, or humans doing unnatural things with sharks, like the so-called researcher standing in waist-deep water and allowing a bull shark to bite his calf. The results of these shenanigans for us normal people are dangerous. Dumping thousands of pounds of bloody chum, including tuna carcasses, horsemeat, etc., as free meals sharks don’t need to chase does not inspire real shark behavior. These film makers video tape and photograph in high def, infrared, sky cam, shark cam, underwater cam, all of this, they say, in the name of science, and to “better understand” sharks. Who are they kidding? This is Prime Time, costing billions of dollars. And, most importantly, they don’t want their sponsors’ products boycotted by the shark protection lobby. It’s all about money while human safety is ignored. Shark-human interaction induced with feeding is bad news!
The thrill-seeking idiots featured on these programs…swimming over, under and around sharks, touching, tagging, everything short of fornicating, in the name of understanding this misunderstood creature is pure bull shit! When the director yells, “Cut! –– that’s a wrap ––good shot,” is when danger begins. Once the films are edited, Shark Week’s directors and producers don’t give a damn where those white sharks, tiger and bull sharks go to find their next meal, or how they’ll interact with their next human encounter. Thanks to all the free grub, they’ve lost their fear of humans. Those sharks will migrate coast-to-coast searching for a new source of food. Something they don’t need to chase. Most likely a victim like Kyle Burden.
Sharks don’t need protection, people do!
I’m Captain Bill Goldschmitt, I co-wrote Sharkman of Cortez. I was also featured in the award winning documentary, The Shark Con. And I was the first charter captain in Florida to offer underwater cage dives. Nearly fifty years ago. That’s right, I was the first. My charter brochure proclaimed a guaranteed, face-to-face encounter with sharks or your money back. (I never had to return any money.) All this, long before Jaws.
As I said in the Shark Con movie, “After the thrill-seekers and photographers went down in my cage and took their pictures, I killed the sharks.” And I NEVER let them interact with the sharks. No hand-feeding, no touching and no getting out of the cage. Lots of ’em wanted to push the envelope, but not on my boat. I had no shortage of eco-idiots as clients, but hand-feeding predators: sharks, gators, wolves, dinosaurs, it’s just plain stupid! Ain’t no sugar coating this –– it’s just plain stupid!
Unfortunately, divers feeding sharks see no harm in what they’re doing. The Bahamian government promotes it. The Bahamas is the shark dive capital of the world and as they proudly “protect” shark species, they are actually protecting an 80 million dollar per year shark tourism industry. Money trumping public safety.
Pro-shark advocated claim that my beliefs are not credible but in The Shark Con, George Burgess, curator of the International Shark Attack File, and champion of Shark Protection would not dispute my assertion that shark behavior does become altered once humans begin feeding them. In the film he was quoted, “It’s like ringing the dinner bell. The sharks swam to the boat at the sound of the revving engine.” He didn’t want to chance anybody questioning his credibility.
Human and shark interaction is not only dangerous to divers but trouble for others who use our waters for recreation. And unlike thrill-seeking shark feeders, the bathers, surfers, snorkelers and fishermen don’t have the same death-wish. The sharks featured on Shark Week (Stuart Cove, etc.) the ones protected in the Bahamas, don’t STAY in the Bahamas. THEY MIGRATE. To Florida, Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, etc. Once they are accustomed to humans feeding them, they lose their fear of humans. They become more dangerous and aggressive (Where’s my food, Human?)
Take the recent fatal shark attack of Dr. John Petty, a 63 year old thrill seeker completely eaten by tiger sharks while diving aboard The Shear Water. The boat’s operator, Jim Abernathy’s Scuba Adventures (also featured on Shark Week) had lost another diver in 2008, Lawyer Markus Groh. Abernathy himself was once a victim of attack while feeding a lemon shark. Divers who claim that what they do does not alter shark behavior are self-centered and dead wrong.
Bahamas commercial diver David Rose, a professional spear-fisherman for 40 years, says, “It’s unsafe and should be banned in the Bahamas. But the tourist lobby is so powerful in this country, they make good money doing this.”
After the thrill-seekers get their pictures, return home and tell their friends how they cheated death, those predator sharks they leave behind (perhaps the ones that consumed Dr. Petty)will eventually find a child splashing in the water of Daytona beach. Then George Burgess can tell the Media it’s another “unprovoked attack”, and that there are “too many people in the water”, or it’s “mistaken identity” (are you a diver? Where’s my food?)
PETA, Mote Marine Lab and all the other Eco-nuts will chime in: sharks are nearly extinct, we need to save them, they’re essential to our ecosystem blah, blah, blah…but that is subject for another blog. I say,the only good shark is a dead shark!
It never ceases to amaze me how scientists, government-created wildlife agencies and eco-fund-raising heads of NGO’s, etc, author such irrational explanations to “re-educate” and calm a gullible public when it comes to shark attacks.
The nature of sharks certainly isn’t rocket science. All species of them, large and small, are predators of something. They kill, then eat, and make baby sharks.
Public safety, when entering the oceans, clearly is in direct conflict with those who hold shark conservation as their priority (sharks more important than people). There are solutions to protect people but shark conservationists and/or those who gain financially from shark protection agencies will vehemently oppose these solutions.
Conservationists slant data on shark-human encounters to support their theory that humans, not sharks, provoke attacks: swimmers don’t belong where sharks feed; surfers present themselves as food (they look like seals); divers provoke attacks by offering food. Their data always concludes that shark bites are accidental or mistaken identity. In their minds, it’s not conceivable that sharks are simply doing what comes natural to them, which is killing and eating something.
These conservationists and their ilk continue to admonish the “uneducated” and “uninformed” (fishermen maybe?) for saying that sharks are dangerous predators. They slam authors, movie-makers and the press for sensationalizing attacks by the “myths” they print and even attempt to sooth the public’s “irrational fears” by comparing a shark attack to being hit on the head with a coconut. All the while ignoring history: sharks have been attacking humans for centuries.
The politics of shark conservation has led to anti-fishing propaganda worldwide. This eco-agenda has been financially supported by the petroleum industry to misdirect the public’s perception of actual eco-pollution like oil spills onto shark finning and over fishing as the big bad guy ruining our planet. Fishermen have lost their jobs and now the protection of great whites has resulted in a huge increase in shark attacks by this species in Australia and South Africa. Divers, swimmers and tourists have been killed in horrific attacks creating economic hardship due to declining tourism. Public confidence in the government’ ability to implement solutions has deteriorated.
Now, to the solutions: anti-shark nets and baited hooks to capture and remove larger rogue sharks from designated bathing and surfing areas would not only reduce the local (as in, off the beach) shark populations, but will also restore public confidence in returning to the water.
But these solutions infuriate animal rights activists and, as usual, they will produce charts and reports to refute into ad nauseam the harm these efforts would have on eco-systems.
The business of shark feeding and eco-tourism is a recognized practice in both Australia and South Africa. Such operations for photographing white sharks from underwater cages is an ill-conceived profit operation with dire consequences. I’ve maintained for years that feeding these predators alters the sharks’ natural fear of humans (if they have any) and only makes them more dangerous. Common sense says you don’t feed wild predators. Tagging and photo-documentation has proved that these handfed sharks migrate and become a threat elsewhere once feeding time ends. Does anyone consider who may be at risk from these sharks? I’m sure the conservation extremists don’t care if we lose a few more human lives.
Captain bill Goldschmitt
P.S. I was the first charter captain to offer cage diving in Florida in 1970. But I killed the shark after the pictures were taken. I know now as I knew then sharks are predators and the public doesn’t need to be “re-educated.”
2014 correspondence with a shark attack victim:
Yea im a survivor in Australia, when my attack happened the council lifeguards had seen the shark hours before but said nothing as I paddled way out the back by myself. They put the marine stinger sign up. So after I was attacked they put the shark sign up.
The local council the very next day while I was being stabilised in hospital, contacted their insurer. Not once did they ever contact me to this day 3 years on. I am the 3rd in our banned zone. I was attacked in an Aquatic Reserve WITHIN a Marine Park!! Crazy eh!! Thanks Pew and shark.org friends.
Glen Folkard. SAS 2012′
As far back as 1968, tree-huggers (enviros) have been telling me that I was “overfishing” sharks. Nearly 50 years they’ve pushed the “protect sharks” agenda.
Today, they claim a 90% decline in shark species. A hoax! A lie! There is no credible evidence to prove this. But how have they succeeded in persuading governments to protect sharks using ridiculous anti-fishing laws? They didn’t! Shark protection didn’t gain momentum until the Oil Industry decided to misdirect public opinion away from offshore drilling as the biggest danger to the world’s oceans, and place it on “overfishing.” Oil companies (Sunoco) created the environmental foundation PEW — pumping billions of dollars into this foundation to create a new crisis — shark finning, and a new villain — the Asian shark fin soup industry. “100 million sharks killed each year,” is their bogus mantra. C’mon, you might as well believe in the tooth fairy. But it worked! Nobody talks about oil exploration any more; not even the BP oil spill gets press the way killing sharks does! And they’ve done a good job re-education young people: tell them the sky is green year after year and they eventually believe it.
Sharks are now protected globally and so are now overpopulated. this is why shark attacks are increasing. Unfortunately you are a victim of world-wide brain-washing. Some day a shark attack victim will take legal action against government shark protection. I can’t wait to see who pays.
Sharks don’t need protection, people do!
Captain Bill Goldschmitt
the following is an excerpt from Glens’ response email 9-13-2014:
Thanks for the prompt reply, I thought very serious about a lawsuit against the local council who’s MP was ‘granted’ 20 million to make our lake an AR, I was attacked in an Aquatic Reserve within a Marine Park…did I already say that before?? My friend Tangui in Reunion in a Marine Park. 70% here are in Marine Parks.
|just finished your book sharkman it was one of the best reads ive had i hope to see you on shark week this year so you can set the record straight its tireing to hear those assholes who lost their limb to a shark saying they dont blame the shark and every year its more bullshit on top of the pile anyway i really like your book thanks
Not even a month into the new year and there have been four shark attacks, three in Australia and a fatal one in South Africa. When will the eco-craziness stop? Good article here: http://www.dispatch.co.za/news/article/2707
and here: http://www.dispatch.co.za/news/article/2729 about lifeguards who want to quit because they fear for their lives…
For over a decade I’ve struggled to understand why countless environmental groups wage a massive campaign to brainwash the public into believing sharks need protection. This unprecedented juggernaut of nonsense defies rational understanding. Countless Eco websites, news stories, even public figures seem intent to jump onto a bandwagon of government and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) which chant an ill-conceived mantra: “One hundred million sharks killed a year—send money—we need to save the sharks.”
They created drama and crisis while filling NGO pockets. Sharks are a perfect poster child for an agenda that claims overfishing will destroy the planet, yet countless seafood markets once offering fresh local seafood fail as an unprecedented 90% of our seafood is now imported. American jobs lost as this well-funded “over-fishing” campaign fueled with bad science and no evidence of so-called declining fish stocks crushes us. For thirty years I have asked the question: Why??
Greed, power and money feed the deadliest species of sharks: land sharks—the ones with two legs.
On September 19th I received an article written by a reporter from the United Kingdom titled: The Real Shark Con, Controlling our Seas and Other Stories. This article by Howard Sawyer was based on a two year investigation about shark protection. I believe it is the
biggest news since the Watergate break-in and resignation of a US president.
His article is about corruption and greed in one of the largest industries and ‘charitable’ foundations in America. Many people believe it could ultimately destroy our planet. In today’s climate of concern over ocean destruction and vulnerable eco-systems, I believe the power of the public perception should know the real story. And it ain’t about ocean sharks!
For the purpose of space I have condensed Mr. Sawyers’ investigation, adding comments in (parenthesis). His entire story can be found at: www.hesawyer.com
The Real Shark Con, Controlling Our Seas, And Other Stories
There was something fishy about shark conservation from the start. The closer one looked at the hyperbolic claims, the murkier the waters became.
A Few Words About The Pew Charitable
Trusts (Remember the group of shark attack victims who were ushered to Washington to lobby Congress for shark protection?)
Founded by the children of Joseph N. Pew, CEO of the Sun Oil Company, (Sunoco), the Pew Charitable Trusts have donated millions to environmental groups. Sunoco is considered an environmental leader in the oil and gas industry.
The Shark Trust is just one of 85 NGOs who receive funding from Pew, as part of the Shark Alliance, which Pew formed. This benefactor expects environmental groups within the Shark Alliance to toe their party line, or lose funding.
The important thing to remember here is that Pew are the biggest hitter in shark conservation, (Babe Ruth!) and they’re an American charitable foundation created from an American oil corporation.
The obvious question is: why is an oil company channeling dollars to save sharks?The answer: it was a strategy to improve the oil company’s image. Greenwashing!
Oil corporations reinvented themselves as energy corporations keen to push their environmental credentials. BP, British Petroleum,(remember the Deepwater Horizon debacle and subsequent coastal devastation?) They changed their company logo to the eco-friendly yellow and green sunburst. (How cute!)
Pew were not just the benevolent green face of Sunoco. They founded SeaWeb. One of the first things SeaWeb did was commission a survey to discover which ocean issue would best engage the public.
The results told SeaWeb that 81% of Americans thought oil spills were a very serious problem. (“Overfishing” wasn’t even on the radar). Negative attention was diverted from oil companies to fisheries, (thanks to the eco-shark agenda, funded by PEW.)
The important thing to remember here? Oil companies were to blame in the minds of the public. Until they were told the problem was overfishing.
Rebranding The Shark
No longer a ‘mindless killer’ it was portrayed as a victim. Conservation gave sharks an enemy with a face. Better still, a foreign face. The Asian market for shark fin soup. It was David vs. Goliath. Sharks were being killed for soup. The shark was now charismatic, faced a crisis, and had a villain. A perfect package for fund raising.
The important thing to remember here is that the shark conservation package was developed and marketed by Pew. For misdirection. They produced a 32 page glossy report entitled ‘Sharks in Trouble.’ The report included the dramatic decline in shark populations, (non-verifiable) complete with emotive photography of finned sharks lifeless on the seabed, pushing the ‘shark con’ agenda with leaps of faith and cherry picked, slanted science.
Essentially it was propaganda. Their solution: add more fishing regulations and trade restrictions. And most important: add shark sanctuaries. (Fact is: sharks are migratory and not likely to stay put.)
Points I raised to Pew about their report were simply unaddressed and ignored. Pew’s Director of Global Shark Conservation cared less about ‘Sharks in Trouble’ than I did. Are sharks simply Pew’s poster child? Remember the ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ there’s another story going on, behind the poster, out of sight.
The Shark Con
After eighteen months of researching shark conservation, Pew’s involvement made no sense. Why was the shark so important? I realised I was neglecting the bigger picture.
‘The Shark Con’ a film by American Rusty Armstrong in 2010 had a tag line ‘It’s only business’. He found the embedded conservation message at every turn. Then he met a retired shark fisherman who had a completely different tale to tell. (Me: The Sharkman of Cortez.) “Sharks weren’t overfished, people were being paid to say this.”
Then came insight from Russell Hudson of Directed Fisheries. He spoke about Pew, “They had their people everywhere.” And he told Rusty why Pew were so interested in sharks. He
suggested that because the shark interacted in every fishery on the planet, it gave Pew leverage in every aspect of commercial fishing. (Follow the money…)
Pew’s SeaWeb painted overfishing as bad guy as far as the health of our oceans and Pew were the good guys, funding conservation. That’s how I knew shark conservation were distorting the facts.
The Real Shark Con
Why was the charitable foundation of an oil corporation funding shark conservation? Pew had funded SeaWeb and in turn changed negative public perception from oil companies to fisheries. (Now here’s the REAL story)
Pew Charitable Trusts called for a National Ocean Policy for the US outer continental shelf. The policy they wrote became law. Top of the list was zoning large areas of sea floor for the purpose of leasing them to corporations for energy production (Offshore DRILLING!)
It’s a very clever way of rapidly privatising the ocean and effectively becoming the sea’s landlord! Shark conservation, as funded by Pew, appears to be greenwash buffering an oil corporation looking to increase their real estate portfolio. It’s a land grab that can be leased, regulated and exploited, if, when, and as they wish, for the benefit of their stock holders. (And they’re fucking all those animal activists and eco-lunatics who promote
their cause! God knows I’m rolling on the floor laughing as I read this!)
If you look at Pew’s stock holdings, they’re not fisheries, they’re energy corporations. An oil corporation ‘greenwashing’ its image through a charitable trust that ‘guides’
conservationists towards an agenda that suits and rewards itself for its philanthropy. I know how much profit these companies make, and how much political influence they wield.
Pew were instrumental in getting George W. Bush to declare the Marianas Trench a National Monument in 2009. It gives NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), “primary responsibility for managing fishery-related activities”. Naturally Pew have their people inside NOAA, so the fox is presumably guarding the hen house. (Now we all know the Bush White House wasn’t eco-friendly but his involvement in Big Oil is legendary! It was one of his last executive orders he signed before leaving
The ocean is being divvied up behind our backs. Public resources falling into ‘private’ hands, with a marine protection area here, and a shark sanctuary there. (Maybe oil exploration and an oil platform too).
Google ‘Palau EEZ’ and the first hit is www.seaaroundus.org. You’ll see the Pew Charitable Trust logo top right of the screen. And the Palau Shark Sanctuary is one of those 85 NGOs in the Shark Alliance under Pew’s umbrella.
Then there’s the Chagos Marine Protected Area. I emailed the Chagos Conservation Trust to ask if there’d been a survey of the MPA seabed. Secretary Simon E. Hughes replied;
“I am pretty sure that no such surveys or anything like it has been carried out ever. Access is strictly controlled.” (Now why would a survey be needed to protect sharks?)
His closing comment was, “May I enquire what your interest is?”
Needless to say within 48 hours I had a survey of the Chagos MPA seabed from the National Oceanographic Centre in Southampton. (Oh what a tangled web we weave when we try to deceive. Might this investigative reporter Howard Sawyer been uncovering things best kept from the public.)
The oceans are being carved up, and we either don’t know, or don’t care, that someone is taking advantage of our ignorance or naivety. All of this appears to be done under the veiled assumption that it’s all about ‘saving the shark’ from the Chinese.(Oh,
really?) It’s estimated that 25% of the planet’s oil and gas resources are under the sea bed. Someone is going to extract it sooner or later. The question is; who in shark conservation knew what the underlying agenda was?
Going back through The Shark Trust accounts, “mapping activities” have been carried out for Pew / Shark Alliance since 2008.
Conservationists are so passionate about saving sharks that the funding and resources Pew brought to the table were simply irresistible.
PRINTED WITH PERMISSION BY HOWARD SAWYER 10-8-11
Sharkman of Cortez here:
I attended a protest aimed at the National Marine fisheries in St. Petersburg a few months back and many signs in the crowd read, PEW—Something stinks. At the time, I thought this was nothing more than a play on words. That all the eco-propaganda was funded by
animal kooks and PETA freaks.
Thanks to a real investigative reporter intent on getting the truth I now get the entire
picture. It’s really about greed, power and of course Green Money. Those conservation
hypocrites will do their spin, they’ll probably claim the above story is
bullshit. But the computer is a wonderful tool. Google search for yourself; the
facts are public record. No self-respecting fisherman, commercial or otherwise would
EVER support offshore “energy exploration” (drilling). The cost is too devastating.
An ocean with less sharks—no problem. But an ocean covered with OIL?? Remember
what I said about those two-legged land sharks – oil company CEO’s and the ones
from the Save the Shark NGO’s – they’ll eat each other in a mass feeding-frenzy
while they fornicate the public. Hell, they‘ve got the whole country
brainwashed. We’ll all lose!
Remember the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, or howabout what BP has done to our Gulf Coast. Those eco-systems will never be the same. And everyone is worried about a few sharks?
IT’S ALL ABOUT OIL.
Captain Bill Goldschmitt
On September 4th, 21 year old surfer Kyle Burden was looking to catch a wave off
Bunker Bay Shore, a popular Southwestern Australian Beach. His luck ran out. A
great white shark attacked him from behind, seizing the young man in his jaws,
instantly cutting him in half. Amid bits of flesh and red blood, he never knew
what hit him; death was quick. For anyone in the water, it was one’s worst
nightmare. Shark attack reality that’s becoming all too frequent. Dunsburough
Police Sergeant Craig Anderson was quoted, “You got to take your hat off to the
young fellow who was surfing with him and his mate for bringing (the victim)
ashore.” He went on to describe the rescuers as courageous. Kurt Morris, a man
eating lunch at Bunker Bay Café, saw the chaos erupt on the beach. Once pulled
from the surf, what was left of Kyle Burden lay in the sand, his upper torso
only, his liver, intestines and lower spinal cord strewn about the sand.
Visibly shaken, both surfers ran along the shore, clearing other surfers from
the water for fear of another deadly shark attack.
In the aftermath of this horrendous attack, “shark experts” (protectionists) pleaded
for calm, claiming one still is more likely to be struck by lightning or hit on
the head with a falling coconut. Yet Kyle Burden was only one of nearly 60
other shark attack victims of the last six months. From Africa, Australia,
Russia, West Indies, Hawaii, Coastal US, Red Sea, etc., the list is growing in
2011. Another year of vicious shark attacks. Stil,l more calls from Humane
Society International, the Pew Foundation, Save Shark Society, Wild Aid and
countless animal rights organizations would have the public believe the world
NEEDS all its sharks. These groups of lunatics would expect the protection of
dinosaurs if they still stalked the earth. Heads of many of these animal
protection sites often refer to predator sharks with pet names like Tiger Girls,
Elsa, Sabine and Matilda. (These people make me want to puke!)
The Australian Department of Fisheries is assisting local police, doing flyovers
above the beaches, searching for the giant killer shark, yet uncertain what to
do once they find it. Great white sharks have been protected in Australia since
1997 thanks to those eco-loons and their well-oiled propaganda claiming
declining shark stocks. Today’s shark protectionists say humans are invading
their territory (open water—the ocean). Fact is, humans use the earth’s beaches
and shores for fun, swimming, surfing, diving, boating, fishing, exploring,
etc. Human preservation necessitates a rational approach for self-preservation.
This past August, tiger sharks claimed the lives of tourists in two separate attacks. Experts from the Kwa-Zulu Natal Shark Board in South Africa recommended
anti-shark nets be installed at both attack sites. In France, Seychelles Home Affairs
Ministry stated, “We MUST prevent further shark attacks on our beaches.” And
after the attacks, forty sharks were hunted and killed. One of the victims was
newlywed Ian Redmond who was fatally attacked off Anse Lazio Beach while his
wife helplessly witnessed the carnage. One of the captured sharks, an eleven
foot tiger, had in its stomach a human arm and hand with a wedding ring on the
finger. Positive identification has yet to be determined.
The day after Australian Kyle Burden’s death, calls flooded authorities for reasonable
action (kill the shark before it kills again.) Shire of Busselton President,
Ian Stubbs said the shark should be killed but due to the white shark’s
protected status, it may take some time to get an approval. By then the shark
may be far from their shore, and on to another.
Surfers and others from the beach community are demanding protection beyond the surf breaks by using baited hooks and drums to remove the sharks. Department of Fisheries
Scientist and “Shark Expert” Rory McAuley claims there are many complexities involved in catching and killing a shark. There’s a lot of speculation as to what species of shark may
have been responsible, he stated. (The victim was bitten in half. Only a shark
16 foot plus could’ve done this. Shortens the list to great white or tiger, I
would think. And tigers are not yet protected.) Rory continued: “Approval (to
kill a great white shark) is only given if the shark is deemed to pose a threat
to public safety. And I don’t see a practical benefit in taking a shark.” Let’s
see, we’ve got half a corpse bleeding on the beach! Hmmm… I would think that’s
As to practicality, it seems the South Africans wasted no time in killing their
offender. In my book: Sharkman of Cortez, flawed science is NO science but then
I’ve only hunted sharks for over four decades. I wonder if anybody was able to
bring comfort to the young surfer’s mother after she arrived from Queensland to
collect his remains.
In America, along our South Atlantic, from the Carolinas, Florida, up the Gulf Coast to
Texas, we’ve had our own shark attacks. Nearly a dozen in less than four
months. Several of the victims were children whose lives were saved thanks to
parents fighting off the attacking sharks and expert medical attention before
they bled to death. A five-year-old girl standing in two feet of water was
saved by her mother. She was lucky. A five-year-old would’ve been no match for
a 250 pound shark. September 2nd and 4th saw the most recent attacks against two surfers, both 19 and both along the coast of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Coincidentally, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) plans to add tiger and hammerhead sharks to their already bloated Protected Species list. In Florida, fishermen may legally catch one shark per person or two per boat. But if all shark species (about 14) end up on FWC’s
Prohibited list, it kind of defeats the purpose of this allowance. Smells like
more “protect sharks” agenda to me. Rather, a “justify jobs” agenda. What new
bogus laws will be left to create in order to keep them employed?
In the United States, the Eco-Con game has succeeded in protecting most shark species,
including the great white, for two decades. Whites have claimed lives off
California and Baja. Shark sightings and tagging have increased dramatically
from the Atlantic, Gulf Coasts and the Pacific, providing credible evidence of
healthy shark populations. With all the government regulations protecting them
from humans, I say it’s time we ask our elected officials, “Why?” Could it be
that animal rights organizations and lobbyists are putting money in the coffers
of those who make the rules? Even the Press has become unlikely supporters of
the Shark vs. Man agenda. The Sarasota Herald Tribune, my local newspaper,
often features articles about the Mote Marine Aquarium, a major shark
protection group connected to the FWC and contributor to save sharks agenda.
After the Australian surfer died, the paper’s World news briefs feature story
was about MacDonald’s hamburger chain listing their calorie count in London. Not
one sentence about poor Kyle. Very little in our paper about Florida shark
attacks also (a token one thrown in every few months). I find the St.
Petersburg Times has a more open-minded view of the World’s news.
Environmentalist and self-proclaimed shark experts refer to American sharks as “misunderstood”, dwindling in numbers due to over-fishing (although there is no American commercial shark fishing any more), and these poor sharks only attack humans
when they are provoked. We need to ask the parents of those kids attacked in
Florida and Carolina if they bothered the sharks. One idiot biologist claimed
more people die from electrocution using toasters. I find these people pathetic.
Last night I watched a documentary about the aftermath and destruction in New York on 9-11. Nearly five hundred fire-fighters and volunteers found human survival so important
that they risked their lives digging through tons of rubble just to save two
policemen buried alive. What a nightmare. But like the two surfers who paddled
through blood-washed water to pull Kyle Burden to shore, those volunteers in
New York were also courageous. Maybe there is hope for humanity if Man’s life
is recognized as more important than a fish.
During the month of June, Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) held 5 public meetings across
the state to announce their plan to protect tiger and hammerhead sharks, and to
require the use of Circle (Japanese Tuna Hooks) Hooks when targeting all sharks. These underpublicized meetings were meant to inform as few anglers and general public of this animal protection nonsense. FWC doesn’t care what anybody thinks, because they have an agenda and, like most government agencies, they are out of control.
Today, the FWC, The National Marine Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), etc. , are over-run by pro animal fanatics. These people in decision-making positions align themselves with lobbyists and well-financed organizations, like PEW, American Humane Society, Wild-Aid, Mote Marine Lab., etc., and their agenda is clear: Stop the Killing! They don’t like fishermen or hunters and they don’t believe in the sustainable use of our natural resources. If they could mandate that hunters use blank cartridges in their guns they’d do it! But for now fishermen, especially sports fishermen are the present target. This is why “catch and release” is acceptable. But you guys with guns…baby you’re next!
What most Americans should find troubling is how easily our tax dollars are appropriated
to further the CON-servation agenda. Two months after the FWC meetings, NOAA
awarded Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota (my backyard) a $192,000 grant to
study how sharks fare after “catch and release” using Circle and J- Hooks. They
plan to mount accelerometers or tags with motion-sensing technology to the
dorsal fins of their hooked sharks. They seem to think that the American
tax-payer might be concerned about the trauma those poor sharks deal with after
catch and release. I don’t think the American tax payer gives a rat’s ass about
predator sharks. Read the news lately? (Last time I checked the papers a 5 year
old was attacked off an Atlantic Beach!) It’s the economy, it’s jobs and wasted tax
dollars. This upsets most rational people.
Seems today’s marine biologist wants to ignore the work of past fishermen and scientists who have already published similar studies—studies that don’t gel with their agenda, so they get grants to re-research what is already available. The works of Captain Bill Gray, Director of Collections for both The Miami Seaquarium and Marineland, Captain Charlie Buie, also from The Seaquarium, Garret Klay, who captured thousands of sharks for Aquariums like Seaworld worldwide, Dr. Stewart Springer, or myself, Captain Bill
Goldschmitt, a commercial fisherman for 4 decades, are irrelevant. Hell, if NOAA was really serious in evaluating the effects on catch and release, they could’ve purchased my book, SHARKMAN OF CORTEZ for $24.95 and saved the American Taxpayer $191,975.00!
Maybe we need to ask our elected officials in Washington, “Who’s minding the bank?” This
over-sized, tax-payer-funded grant to Mote sounds like the story a few years back about tax dollars spent on $500 hammers and $1000 toilet seats for government awarded contracts. Heads rolled after that one, remember?
Now for Circle Hooks. Nearly 60 years ago, these hooks were designed by the Japanese as
a quick way for tuna fishermen to drop fish off their lines as they swung the fish over their shoulders and into the ice vats behind them. J-hooks deeply imbed in tunas’ mouths and become time consuming to remove. The exaggerated curve in the barb of circle hooks prevents the hook from penetrating the tuna’s mouth, enabling a quick release. Circle hooks were NOT designed to replace conventional J-Hooks for other methods of fishing. This is not rocket-science and the FWC knows this; it’s save the fish agenda. They know that any angler who uses circle hooks will lose far more fish than he catches. (Remember, Stop the killing…) And “catch and release”? Well, fishermen have known for a 100 years that only smaller fish that can be landed quickly, are most likely to survive.
To quote Captain Bill Gray, who wrote the fisherman’s bible and was the pioneer of
today’s fishermen, “ It is difficult to catch and release most game fish or any large sharks as their violent twists, furious jumps or shaking is unnatural to them. Their bodies tend to severely strain their vertebrae and often rupture their internal organs. After release,
they tend to drift to the bottom and fall prey to other predators. With sharks,
they have no true bones and the cartilage tears with the trauma of getting
hooked. If I can eat it, I do so. I never waste a fish.” (CREATURES OF THE SEA;
Wilfred Funk Inc., New York; 1960).
God bless Captain Gray, he was my mentor.
In the 60’s and 70’s, “catch and release” wasn’t a big deal. We ate nearly everything we
caught. Today’s conservationists claiming to be sportsmen, use the term as a feel
good about yourself; kind of a pat on the back. “See, I didn’t kill the fish, I‘m not so bad.” Awww… the con game of today’s protect-the-fish-fanatics, their propaganda never ends!
I think Mote should return the $192,000 — our hard-earned dollars. I’m going to write a
letter to President Obama or maybe Governor Rick Scott. Got to stop that
wasteful spending you know…I understand Mote just bought a new boat.