Sharks and Technology: How science is giving sharks a new chance.

It’s long been known that a species that has survived for millions of years is very suddenly approaching extinction levels.

A zebra shark at the aquarium of the pacific

A zebra shark at the aquarium of the pacific

Due to over fishing, pollution, and habitat loss, sharks are becoming ocean ghosts, which is leading towards a massive imbalance in our ocean ecosystem.

While conservation and ocean preservation is best, sharp minds haven’t given up on other options.  Just recently, the Aquarium of the Pacific (one of my favorite places) has been successful with artificial insemination with Zebra Sharks.

What does this mean? Well, it opens a lot of options for shark reproduction. It means Shark DNA can be shared over the country and the world, to increase genetic diversity in captive populations.  It means, maybe we can increase wild releases of captive born sharks to the ocean if needed.  It means, someone found something to do instead of just asking everyone to please stop killing the sharks and the ocean PLZ THANKS.

Merbabe diving with leopard sharks at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Merbabe diving with leopard sharks at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Two juvenile zebra sharks are being moved onto exhibit this week at the Aquarium, the product of the successful artificial insemination.  The public will be able to admire and even gently caress them in touch tanks at Shark Lagoon by Valentine’s day this year.

This is a picture of a whale shark in Utila, Honduras. Baby steps like helping captive sharks with artificial insemination could leave to the future preservation of sharks who give live birth, like this whale shark.

This is a picture of a whale shark in Utila, Honduras. Baby steps like helping captive sharks with artificial insemination could lead to the future preservation of sharks who give live birth, like this whale shark.

Although Zebra Sharks are born from eggs,  Aquarists are now working toward black tip reef shark artificial insemination, who have live births.  Baby steps could leave to giant strides in shark populations.

Thanks for the hard work, AOP. You do you.



Dolphins are Chatty Cathys


Photo credit to the wonderful photographer Dudley McLaughlin

I’m sure you are familiar that dolphins and whales communicate underwater.  Maybe you are lucky enough to have heard them clicking, whistling and singing. Let’s talk dolphin.

Dolphins, talking. Talking dolphins. Photo Credit to Dudley McLaughlin

Dolphins, talking. Talking dolphins. Photo Credit to Dudley McLaughlin

Dolphins are highly intelligent mammals that use language to communicate complex information. They also use nonverbal cues and body language, like humans do.  Physically, they don’t have a larynx, but  scientists believe that sounds are produced in the nasal region, in a similar process.  Air is pushed through the nasal region, past “phonic lips” that vibrate and cause noise.


Dudley McLaughlin

This noise can be received by other dolphins through “acoustic sacks”, (located in the jaw) with thousands of receptors.  With more receptors than humans, dolphins get a full visual using sounds. Imagine having ears facing all directions: you’d be able to tell the direction of sounds faster, and by using echolocation, identify objects and barriers.

Photo credit to Dudley McLaughlin

Photo credit to Dudley McLaughlin

Dolphins are known to communicate with series of whistles and clicks. Impressively, they can use both clicks and whistles at the same time, having two conversations at once, or as James Nestor explains it in his free diving novel “Deep”, similar to talking out loud and chatting with a friend online at the same time.

Dudley McLaughlin

Dudley McLaughlin

It’s been observed that dolphins even identify themselves to other dolphins with a signature whistle, something they repeat  over and over upon coming to new pods or single dolphins.  This signature whistle is similar to announcing their name to each other.  Mother dolphins repeat this signature sound over and over, for days on end, after the birth of babies, to imprint this “name”  on them.

Echolocation, or the bouncing of sound waves helps dolphins navigate and avoid barriers.  They have been shown to use echolocation so effectively that they can navigate narrow mazes underwater while blindfolded.  But even more impressive than that skill (which many human have been able to develop to some degrees), scientists are starting to speculate that dolphins use sound waves to “see” 3d visions of objects and animals around them.

Dudley McLaughlin

Dudley McLaughlin

Dolphins are so awesome and so smart, many people get the wrong idea about them.  There is some woo-woo pseudo science about how dolphins can see people’s tumors or ails and can “heal them” in therapy sessions.  But dolphins aren’t therapists or doctors, they are wild, intelligent animals, who need to be left in the wild to hunt, explore, reproduce and live their lives unimpeded by bound servitude to humans.

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Dolphins can make different sounds in air than they can underwater. These sounds are made by blowing air through their blow holes and using their muscles to control the sounds that emerge.  These sounds are different than how they communicate underwater….sounds underwater travel 4x faster than in air, and captive dolphins have been shown to practice sounds that are pleasing to humans, even teaching them to other captive dolphins around them.  They seem to reserve “air talking” for humans and underwater talking for other dolphins.

Dolphins are awesome!


New Years 2015

I am ringing in the New Year in one of the last places to reach 2015.  As I’m writing this, Moscow has just switched the calendar, but I am drinking morning coffee still and watching rain clouds deliberate opening over lava fields in Hawaii.

2014 was a great year.  I turned 28, Merbabe Adventures turned 3.  I reached a new goal in my diving instruction, made new friends and saw new things underwater.

Let the sun shine on you.

Let the sun shine on you.

But my hopes for 2015 are ever greater: greater for my blog ideas and prospects of my personal future in learning and education.  This year, I am writing a long list of new year’s resolutions, not as some sort of Type A get it done checklist, but with the hope that i’ll meet some and strive to meet others and in general, see how it went in 365 days time. It’s a wonderful thing, casting a wide net.  You may end up with a boat full of things you didn’t know you could catch, or that you’d even want to.

Thus far, diving off the big Island in the beautiful Hawaiian islands, I have seen one lonely shark in a lava cave, looking nervous and skittish at our presence.  I have seen spotted puffers, and moorish idols, and honeycomb eels.  I sat and looked out over the water where an ancient temple hid beneath the glassy surface: a heaiu, where sharks still cruised and lazily dragged their fins over the water.

Hawaiian Shark

Hawaiian Shark

Reading many books, as one does on vacation, I just finished “The Devil’s Teeth” by Susan Casey.  It is about the Pacific White Shark population and the research done on the Farallon Islands near San Francisco.  One of my favorite quotes from the story was from researcher Peter Pyle. “They’re animals. We’re animals. We have opposable thumbs and a brain but as far as life on Earth goes, no one thing is better than another…I hate the word anthropomorphism. It should be the other way around. Not how animals are like humans, but how humans are like animals” (pp. 132).

Pipefish in Kona

Trumpetfish in Kona

I tend to anthropomorphize a lot.  I imagine what animals are saying, what they are doing, how they are going about their day.  It’s my way of relating to them and seeing them in terms I understand.  I wonder if they’re doing it to me, when I see them underwater and look into their eyes, it’s a strange feeling to be registered by them and contemplated by them (and then usually disregarded by them). But it’s selfish.   This year, I am going to make an effort to do less anthropomorphizing and more to be like them.  Care less about how I look, more about my environment.  Less about the daily grind, more about the joy of being alive day to day. Less focus on me, more focus on family.

Don't forget to follow your heart :)

Don’t forget to follow your heart :)

happy new years! thanks for reading through another year with me


A little blog, 3 years later, a Merbabe grown

The Merbabe Adventures turns three years old today, and I am reflecting on the past years.

Before I had ever been SCUBA diving I was an empty cup.  I didn’t know I was missing anything, but I didn’t have a clear direction.

It wasn’t my first underwater breath that sparked my passion. Or my second.  It was a learned love that grew with every experience.  Each dive filled me with a new passion for what I was seeing.  Each new sea creature incited the desire to learn more, to take action, to have direction. Each year brought with it a wave of new people to surround me with similar passion.  A path emerged.

It’s been 3 years of Merbabe blogging.  Writing has inspired questions that have lead me to seek answers, which always leads to more questions.  Three years is only the beginning of this journey.

I close with some humor from my friend Chris and some of our mutual friends at the aquarium.  Happy Holidays to any readers who have found themselves here, and thanks for reading.



Dr Laurie L Marker, and how one person can make a huge difference.

Cheetah populations have dropped 90% in the last 100 years.  But they have not dropped 100%. Why haven’t Cheetahs gone the way of the white rhino, or Lonesome George?

Lonesome, lonesome George.

Lonesome, lonesome George.

The continued existence of Cheetahs can be attributed almost entirely to Dr. Laurie L Marker.  After years of research and work studying cheetahs, she founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund in 1990 in Namibia, the country with the largest cheetah population in the world.

Chewbakka, mascot of CCF.

Chewbaaka, mascot of CCF.

The mission statement of the Cheetah Conservation Fund is “to be the world’s resource charged with protecting the cheetahs and ultimately ensuring its future on our planet. CCF will work with all stakeholders within the cheetah’s ecosystem to develop best practices in research, education and ecology and create a sustainable model from which all other species, including people, will benefit.”

Dr. Marker asked questions, and sought answers. She found this: loss of habitat, human interaction, and lack of genetic variation are the greatest threat to the existence of cheetahs. Each problem needed to be approached separately. Here’s how she found an answer to one…

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How to help Cheetahs and people coexist in Namibia?  One of the biggest threats to Cheetahs, Dr Marker found, was that farmers saw Cheetahs as a threat and would shoot them to protect their cattle.   How could she convince farmers that cheetahs were actually good for the local environment and good for farmers? How could she remove the threat?

The answer was pretty straightforward.  Cheetahs are predators, but they happen to be fairly skiddish and shy creatures.

Kangal Shepherd, guarding livestock very successfully.

Kangal Shepherd, guarding livestock very successfully.

Using this  information, Dr Marker sought to encourage environmentally friendly livestock protection by pairing farmers with Guardian Dogs.

Livestock protected by Guard Dogs discourage cheetahs from even coming around, and remove many opportunities for cheetahs to be killed.  Guard dogs proved to be such effective protectors of livestock that the program is growing.

By approaching each problem separately and thinking creatively with information gathered through research, cheetahs aren’t disappearing, and are in fact increasing in numbers.

It takes a big heart, a lot of devotion, and unyielding perseverance, but one person can make a HUGE difference.

Be inspired! Be Thankful for people like Laurie Marker! Make a difference yourself! Can you imagine if each endangered species in the ocean had someone as dedicated as Laurie Marker on their side?


Halloweeeeeeen in the ocean!

It’s Halloween, Merfolks, and Halloween parties abound.  In the spirit of spookiness, I imagined a Halloween party under the sea, and gave out awards for the spookiest sea creatures.

Creepiest teeth: Pacific Viperfish

Sloane's Viperfish holds the world record for largest teeth to head ratio.

Sloane’s Viperfish holds the world record for largest teeth to head ratio.

Viperfish certainly look intimidating, but it’s not just a costume.  Viperfish impale their prey on their long teeth by swimming at their prey with their jaws open.  When they close their jaws, their teeth overlap and curl behind their head.  It is widely believed that viperfish lure their prey by a light on their dorsal spine, which they flash on and off while waving back and forth as they remain motionless IN THE DARK.

Best disguise: The Mimic Octopus

Octopus? There's no Octopus here.

Octopus? There’s no Octopus here.

You probably already knew that Octopus can change their color and their texture (even though they are widely considered color blind), but the Mimic Octopus actually disguises itself by pretending to be other fish! Instead of running and hiding, this Octopus hides in plain sight.  It can disguise itself with 15 different fishes, including banded sea snakes. Which is why I gave the Mimic Octopus the prize for Best Disguise.

Cutest Baby: Juvenile Yellow Boxfish

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Every good costume contest has a category for cutest kids, and I nominate the Juvenile Boxfish.  Because who doesn’t love floating polka dot yellow peas? Although, Juvenile Boxfish also grow up to be one of the cutest fish in the sea too.

Darkest Dwelling: Lanternfish

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Lanternfish live down down down deep in the ocean.  In fact they comprise 65% of all biomass of deep sea fishes.  Lanternfish use bioluminescence to communicate with each other, and swim up the ocean column once the sun sets to follow the yummy zooplankton, only to return to the depths when the sun rises.  Meaning that Lanternfish don’t ever see the light of day!

Sea Creature You’d Least Want to Run Into Down A Dark Alley: The Anglerfish

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Commonly agreed as the most intimidating looking fish, and the fish that can’t seem to ever close their mouths all the way (due to the abundance of TEETH), the female anglerfish is the fish you’d least want to ever run into in a dark alley.  Which, coincidentally, is the only place you’d ever find an anglerfish, as most anglerfish are deep sea dwellers.

Anglerfish use a fleshy growth on their head’s as a lure for prey, that can light up in the dark.  Coincidentally, Anglerfish actually mate for life: as the male anglerfish are tiny, and upon mating, end up fused to the side of the female anglerfish (FOREVER), so maybe they might also be the most romantic fish?

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Who do you nominate?

recognize this fish from Finding Nemo?

recognize this fish from Finding Nemo?

Happy Halloween!!


A White Rhino’s Sad Message

You may have read in the news recently that one of only seven remaining white rhinos died last week.  There are now only six known white rhinos alive in the entire world.  White rhinos are functionally extinct.

One of the remaining white rhinos, in captivity at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido.

One of the remaining white rhinos, in captivity at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido.

Most people think of extinction as NO LONGER ALIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. But functionally extinct is a sort of twilight version.  It means that there may be remaining individuals in the wild or in captivity, but there are not enough individuals to provide their function in their eco system, or their breeding population has dwindled to the point of no return.  Although there are 6 remaining Northern White Rhinos in the world,  the number will only go down.

South China Tiger: Functionally Extinct.

South China Tiger: Functionally Extinct.

It’s shitty when you realize that a species exists now, but it will never bounce back.  Like somebody coming to their own funeral.  You hope it’s a wake up call to people around that species can so easily vanish for ever. Scientists estimate that as many as 200 species go extinct every 24 hours. So what message do White Rhinos have for us now that their days are literally numbered?

Golden Toads: Functionally Extinct.

Golden Toads: Functionally Extinct.

It may be too late for Northern White Rhinos, Golden Toads, China’s Yangtze River Dolphins Baiji, and Wild Ocean Oysters.  But there are 100 species alive right now that could be gone tomorrow.  There are 700 species alive right now that could be gone in a week.  How can we stop this loss?

China River Dolphins: Functionally Extinct.

China River Dolphins: Functionally Extinct.

The number one cause of extinction is loss of habitat.  This is why Marine Protected Areas are so important.  We can stop the destruction of wild habitat for logging and farming.  We can change our personal habits to consume less and prevent future expansion.  We can stay mindful. Take a minute and let your heart break, and then decide what you can do to help.

Next week’s blog, One Person Can Make A Difference. (…Dr. Laurie L Marker shows us how)


Lobster Season Opens: why are 5 people dead already?

Lobster season has opened in southern California and already 5 people have died while lobster hunting.  Why are people making such poor decisions when it comes to hunting for lobster, and ultimately willing to sacrifice their lives?

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That sentence sounds extreme, but everyone who is trained in scuba knows that there are inherent risks involved.  I acknowledge them, and then work to prevent them by being prepared and well trained.  Anyone who puts scuba gear on without being fully prepared and fully trained in what they are planning on doing is taking a hugely increased risk.

How can lobster divers better prepare themselves?

1) Dive the sites they want to hunt during the day to get a good feel for the lay out. Duh.  Why try to feel it out at night without having a feel for it during the day? See it in daylight.

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better check out a dive site during the day so you’re not surprised at night.

2) Keep gear serviced and well maintained.  For some reason, a lot of lobster divers cheap out on their life support equipment.  But scuba equipment is just that: life support. Don’t put your life in the hands of equipment that hasn’t been maintained since you bought it.

3) Keep in shape.  Dive healthy.  Only dive while you’re not sick.  Only dive when you’re physically fit.  A lot of dive fatalities have been from heart attacks.  Scuba puts you under pressure….literally.  Your heart needs to be in the best possible shape at sea level to give you a fighting chance at depth.

4) don’t push your limits.  When you are low on air, it’s time to come up.  No excuses.  When you lose your buddy, it’s time to come up and find them. When you get lost: it’s time to come up.

done safely, lobster diving can be rewarding..

done safely, lobster diving can be rewarding..

Ultimately, why risk your life for something that is sold at wholesale for $19.50/lb.  Obviously not worth the ultimate cost of your life.

Stay safe SCUBA divers.  As always, practice makes perfect. If you are not comfortable scuba diving without a task, then what makes you think you’d be comfortable scuba diving WITH a complex task like hunting for lobster?


Ducks, Plastic, The Ocean, and California

California is on track to become the first state to ban plastic bags completely, which is a huge accomplishment.

I don’t need to tell you that plastic and the ocean don’t mix well.  But with the the bill to ban the bag waiting approval on Jerry Brown’s desk now, and The Giant Rubber Duck being towed out of San Pedro Harbor, I thought it would be a nice time to remind you. (More on the duck later)

Being a bystander doesn't save you.

Plastic takes a very long time to break down.  In a way, it never really breaks down completely.  So when plastic is in the ocean, its process is that breaks down into small enough pieces but it never actually disappears.  They mass together due to currents and the ocean movement, and get trapped in limbo. These tiny pieces of plastic that float in the ocean get into the food chain, and then they get into us.

So how does a giant duck have anything to do with ocean plastic and ocean current? In 1992, a shipment of plastic bath toys was en route from Hong Kong to Washington state, but got washed into the sea during a storm.  The cardboard casing around the shipment quickly deteriorated and set the Friendly Floatees (the brand of bath toy) loose in the Pacific.  Oceanagraphers were already using shipments washed into the ocean to track currents, but the sheer volume of rubber  bath toys released all at once provided a good opportunity.

Is there something behind me? What?

Is there something behind me? What?

The recovery rate of items tracked through the ocean is about 2%, so of the 28,800 ducks released, scientists were expecting almost 600 ducks to be recovered. It took 10 months for the first  Floatees to reach land, hitting Alaska.  Over the next 20 years, ducks turned up around the world, even reaching Newfoundland.

By recording where and when the ducks touched land, and the state of them, a lot of information was gleaned about how the water in the ocean and moved, and how plastic deteriorated (or didn’t). So one positive aspect was learning the ocean currents, one negative was releasing unrecoverable items into the ocean.

Big Duck making a BIGGER statement.

Big Duck making a BIGGER statement.

Only about 2% of the ducks were recovered, which means, the other 98% are probably still out there,  likely stuck in one of 11 different gyres, which are essentially swirling plastic traps in the ocean.  This is just a minuscule example of ocean debris.  These Floatees are the cutest possible face of plastic pollution.  With plastic bags being their evil, ugly cousin.

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“Each year approximately six billion single use plastic carryout bags are consumed in the County of Los Angeles, the equivalent of 600 bags per person per year. Plastic bag litter makes up as much as 25 percent of the litter stream and significantly impacts our communities and the environment.

Due to their expansive and lightweight characteristics, littered single use plastic bags are easily carried airborne by wind, where they end up entangled in brush, tossed around along freeways, and caught on fences.

In addition, within the County’s extensive and diverse watersheds, many littered single use plastic carryout bags find their way onto local beaches and eventually into the ocean, where they have been known to impact marine life that ingest them in the following unintended ways:

  • Clogging the throat, thus choking the animal.
  • Artificially filling the stomach so that the animal cannot consume food, depriving them of nutrients.
  • Infecting them with harmful toxins that can poison the animal.
  • Entangling the animal, leading to choking, cuts, and even restricting growth.”

Information was cited from “

So, While we wait for the plastic bag ban to be signed into law, please consider forgoing their use completely anyway.  Convenience does not have to dictate your life: keep a spare bag in your car or your purse, or rethink using a bag at all for just a few items.  It’s only convenient NOW.  It’s not convenient to the environment  LATER.

***The average use lifespan of a plastic bag is 12 minutes.  It will take anywhere between 400 and 1000 years to break down.  ***


The Tipping Point of Shark Week

Shark Week on Discovery Channel hit a tipping point this summer.  It’s become a very popular and anticipated media event in past years, and Discovery has worked to exploit that to the fullest. I do not begrudge Discovery Channel from trying to capitalize on sharks, but I do have a few problems with their technique, and I’m not the only one.


The twins out cruising-Sea in Focus, Michael Zeigler

The twins out cruising-Sea in Focus, Michael Zeigler


It’s no secret that Sharks have a Public Relations problem, and the exploitation Discovery uses to attract viewers is simply put, fear mongering. This year, more than ever, I saw scientists and divers alike speaking out against this fear mongering and blatant lying that Discovery Channel uses to attract views. We’ve reached the tipping point for shark week: enough people are sick of the lies and want truthful information spread instead of what we’re being fed.

How many sharks do you see like this Horn Shark represented on Shark Week? None.

How many sharks do you see like this Horn Shark represented on Shark Week? None.

Sometimes, they’re just flat-out lying.  (Read this excellent article on IFLS for more details) Scientists are being misquoted, and their words used against them.  As all reality shows do, words and phrases are used out of context and speakers are baited into saying things.  Like this “Will you please say “60 foot great white shark to the camera?” “Did you say 60 foot great white shark? That is unheard of my dear boy!” Can easily turn into SIXTY FOOT GREAT WHITE SHARK? HE ATE MY DEAR BOY. But why call a myth a documentary? Why put a myth on a channel called “Discovery” with the reputation of…..learning shit?


Got my eye on you: Credit and copyright Dudley C McLaughlin


Fear mongering: Doesn’t it seem like everybody and their mother is bit by sharks on Shark Week? Shows that focus on the small amount of people who do get bit incorrectly tip the balance into making it seem more likely, more possible, more common. In reality, You are more likely to get in a car accident/bit by a dog/get malaria/think perms are a good idea than you are to get bit by a shark, but I don’t see sensationalist TV shows about THOSE monstrosities. Seeing “Top 20 Shark Attack stories” on repeat does make it seem like stepping into the ocean is akin to walking across a busy street.

Related: Humans kill 100 million sharks per year.  Due to shark finning, commercial fishing, trophy fishing,  and drift nets, sharks have a lot more reasons to fear us than we have to fear them.

The plight of sharks is a black and white problem, they don't need shark week coming in and confusing everyone.

The plight of sharks is a black and white problem, they don’t need shark week coming in and confusing everyone. Credit and Copyright to Dudley C McLaughlin

Because here’s the thing: Sharks are AMAZING on their own without lies.

Here’s some things Shark Week could focus on that sticks to the facts:

How sharks have evolved SINCE BEFORE  THE DINOSAURS.

The decline of shark populations in the ocean.

Illegal shark finning.

What happens to the oceans when sharks disappear: (hint, bad stuff)

Comparing endangered shark statuses to other more conventionally cute animals: For instance, Short Fin Makos (the fastest sharks in the ocean) are considered threatened. This is the same  status as Polar Bears.

If all sharks are maneaters, as Discovery would have you believe: how did this photographer get out alive? Credit and copyright Dudley C. McLaughlin

If all sharks are man-eaters, as Discovery would have you believe: how did this photographer get out alive? Credit and copyright Dudley C. McLaughlin

The Extremes of sharks: the fastest sharks, the slowest sharks, the biggest sharks, the smallest sharks, the sharks that dive the deepest or travel the farthest, the sharks that live in the coldest water, the sharks that can swim in both salt water and fresh water, the sharks that hunt together, the sharks that hunt alone. I’m not talking about mythical shark creatures here, like a 60-year-old hammerhead in the bayou (spoiler alert, false), I mean, using facts, the reality of amazing sharks!

Extinct sharks: lots of species have gone extinct, and continue to do so daily. Let’s see some shark fossils and artist rendering of awesome extinct sharks.


Cuz the thing is: people love sharks! People are fucking crazy for sharks! They’re big wild animals, they appeal to our basest survival instinct and our love of storytelling! They live in a place that we DO NOT.   They are EXTREME on the spectrum of apex predators! We don’t get to SEE THEM THAT MUCH! Why does the story even need to be fabricated to make it interesting? It certainly does not need to be.

This year, I watched one show on Shark Week.  Shark after Dark.  A talk show.   It consisted of two celebrities promoting a movie about being pretend cops and a very uncomfortable looking marine biologist who kept spacing out (probably because everyone was ignoring him). When they finally DID ask him a question, he looked so stunned at the attention, he botched his answer.  It was like “TOKEN SHARK SCIENTIST (SHARKENTIST?)” on a show that was named for sharks on a Channel that was dedicated to sharks for the week. I was forced to turn the tv off.

And head to the ocean in my personal attempt to humanely interact with the sharks that actually are left in the ocean.

Please, take Shark Week with a grain of salt, and encourage others to learn the amazing truth about sharks in the hopes that the Discovery Channel will shift Shark Week in the right direction.

-Merbabe & Tibby (Tiburon)

PS: Notes from Malcolm Gladwell, “The Tipping Point”. “What must underlie successful epidemics, in the end, is a bedrock belief that change is possible, that people can radically transform their behavior or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus. …

…that’s why social change is so volatile and so often inexplicable, because it is the nature of all of us to be volatile and inexplicable.

But if there is difficulty and volatility in the world of the Tipping Point, there is a large measure of hopefulness as well.  Merely by manipulating the size of a group, we can dramatically improve its receptivity to new ideas.  By tinkering with the presentation of information, we can significantly improve its stickiness. … Look at the world around you.  It may seem like an immovable, implacable place.  It is not. With the slightest push-in just the right place-it can be tipped.”

Afterword: All pictures stamped Sea in Focus are from underwater photographer Michael Zeigler at Sea In Focus.


All photos marked as Dudley are Credit and copyright to Dudley C. McLaughlin and on FB, Studley McDiver.

LP1 1

Dudley’s alter ego, photo credit to Dudley McLaughlin

Thanks to these amazing photographers for sharing use of their images free of charge in the movement to Tip the public’s perception in favor of shark conservation and in the general idea that Sharks are Awesome.