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‘Shark Men’ Search For Great White Nursery

14th April 2011

The television series, Shark Men - aired on the National Geographic Channel, has just returned for its second season of shark sagas. Don’t miss these great programmes filming a team of ocean lovers as they track the feared great white sharks that cruise California’s coast in an effort to find their breeding ground.

This year, the team travels from Guadalupe Island about 150 miles off the Mexican coast, to Malibu and the Gulf of California. The expedition is lead by Chris Fischer of OCEARCH, a nonprofit ocean conservation group based in Washington, D.C. He says; “There are some fundamental puzzles of the great white sharks, the really big one is finding out where female ones are going to have their pups”.

Fischer and his team, which includes shark biologist Michael Domeier of the Marine Conservation Science Institute in Fallbrook, California, set off in 2009 to try to discover the answer. The main object of the expedition is to tag the sharks in order to track them. The series kicks off with the team catching sharks off Guadalupe Island, a marine reserve. The drama of trapping them provides great viewing as the sharks are not happy to find themselves trapped in a special fork-lift style loading deck!

Although great whites are well-known thanks largely to Jaws fame, relatively little is understood about shark biology. There is virtually no knowledge of how they spend their lives, where they breed and hunt and how they migrate. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources lists great whites as “vulnerable,” and around a third of all ocean-going shark species are threatened with extinction. This threat comes largely from overfishing.

During the course of the season the team track three females back to an unknown breeding ground in the Sea of Cortez, or Gulf of California, far from the deep ocean where the sharks are mostly found. Fishing is currently legal in this area so Fischer is now calling for protection from fishing in some parts of the nursery zone.

For the survival of sharks it’s important to protect the juveniles as they are the key to a healthy population. Young sharks are often hunted as trophies too so there is a need for conservation efforts to protect nurseries from both fishing and from sports boats. Find out more by watching Shark Men on the National Geographic channel now.

Unlike the fearsome great white, many species of shark pose no threat to divers. You can dive with sharks through Dive The World here:
Leopard sharks Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives, Australia and Fiji.
Hammerhead sharks – Australia, Fiji, the Red Sea, the Maldives, Indonesia, Cocos Island, the Galapagos Islands and Layang Layang in Malaysian Borneo.
Whale sharks Thailand, Burma, the Maldives, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cocos Island, the Galapagos Islands, and the Red Sea.
Bull sharks, lemon sharks, tiger sharks, tawny nurse sharks, silvertips, whitetip, blacktip and grey reef sharks – Shark feed dive off Shark Reef, Fiji.

For more information about diving with sharks around the world send us an email or call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794.


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