This half-hour documentary about the Gombessa IV expedition to Fakarava is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It features what is likely the most exciting hunting-shark video ever captured, and also will give you a glimpse into the sort of dedication that is required to get it.Read More
'm being asked about the kid who rode a whale shark recently, and I have mixed feelings about it. I am, however, sad that there is a witch hunt by so-called conservationists and animal lovers whenever something like this happens.
Whale sharks are listed as Vulnerable by CITES—they are not endangered, nor are they protected in many places of the world...Read More
I'm back from Papua New Guinea, and finally downloaded and watched "[All for a Bowl of Soup](http://www.hd.net/blogs/all-for-a-bowl-of-soup-january-24-2012/)," an episode of [*Dan Rather Reports*](http://www.hd.net/programs/danrather/) which aired Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 8pm ET on HDNet (strangely, I had to watch iTunes' SD version of "HD"Net). "All for a Bowl of Soup" is the most no-nonsense piece I've seen about the global shark finning problem. It combines facts with awe-inspiring footage of thousands of shark fins being pulled into a single fisheries facility in a single day.
The show features my friend, [Shawn Heinrichs](http://www.bluespheremedia.com/bio.html), and a significant amount of his investigative footage showing huge numbers of shark fins in processing facilities, as well as footage of a live, finned shark suffocating to death. It also includes about a minute of my shark footage shot in the wild.
"All for a Bowl of Soup" hatched as a plan between me and [Derek Reich](http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=23216717), a freelance cameraman who does a lot of work with HDNet. We had been talking about it for awhile, but finally hashed out a proposal when we happened to both be [stranded in New York](http://www.flickr.com/photos/echeng/sets/72157627542213380/with/6090913201/) during Hurricane Irene last year.
If you have half an hour to spare, please [download and watch "All for a Bowl of Soup" from iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/dan-rather-reports-season-7/id485436827). If you are moved by the piece, please [donate to Shark Savers](http://sharksavers.org/)—my conservation organization of choice—or to your chosen shark conservation organization, and spread the word![^1]
[^1]: Disclaimer: I am on the Board of Directors of Shark Savers
Support us: [download the podcast on iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/divefilm-hd-video-hd/id214353624) ( find "Shark Diving French Polynesia!")
Links to podcast: [DiveFilm HD on iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/divefilm-hd-video-hd/id214353624). The episode is called "Shark Diving French Polynesia!"
Special thanks to [Fabrice Charleux](http://plongeur.com) (gracious host and organizer; translator; subtitling), [Mary Lynn Price](http://mlptravelvideo.com/) (editor; podcast goddess), Don Kehoe (grumpy photo assistant), [Dave Patchen](http://davidpatchen.com) (supporting friend), [Adam Tow](http://tow.com) (interview camera assistance) and Rae Chang (interview assistance). This would not have been possible without all of you!
Footage taken with Canon 7D, Canon S95, and [GoPro](http://gopro.com) Hero camera in [Eye of Mine](http://eyeofmine.com/) flat-port housing.
Performance artist Alice Newstead hangs herself from shark hooks at LUSH Cosmetics in San Francisco to draw attention to the plight of sharks and to garner support for AB 376, a proposed bill that will ban shark fins in California. Event organized and sponsored by [LUSH Cosmetics](http://lush.com) and [Shark Savers](http://sharksavers.org).
More information from Shark Savers:
- [California AB 376 shark fin ban Mid-August update and action alert](http://www.sharksavers.org/en/blogs/778-california-ab-376-shark-fin-ban-mid-august-update-and-action-alert.html) - [California AB 376 Talking Points](http://www.sharksavers.org/en/blogs/783-ab376-talking-points.html)
Photo gallery follows:
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Here is a 3D video of a whale shark feeding at the surface during a huge whale shark aggregation in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. I shot it on August 15, 2011, using a [GoPro 3D HERO System](http://gopro.com/3D) and an [Eye of Mine 3D flat lens housing](http://www.eyeofmine.com/gopro/order-gopro-hero.html#euwl3d) (a flat-lens solution is required for a GoPro to focus properly underwater). The video is best viewed at 720p in some sort of 3D mode.
If you own a 3D display at home, you can [download a higher-quality side-by-side version](https://www.yousendit.com/download/ZUd2K0d1ZDVBNkUwTVE9PQ) for local display (~99MB; link is good for 500 downloads; if it fails, please [let me know](/contact)). The downloadable video is still highly-compressed and doesn't quite convey the same 3D coolness that original version does, but it is still effective!
Day 3 of the 3rd Wetpixel whale shark expedition in Isla Mujeres, Mexico: We've had 3 days of whale shark action so far, and each day has given us something different (but spectacular). The first day, a couple hundred whale sharks were spread out in a rather long stretch of the glassy-calm ocean. The water was relatively clear, considering that it was completely full of transparent tunny eggs from the mass-spawning event three nights earlier. Whale sharks gulped down eggs around us from 8am until our boat left (at 1:30pm). On the second day, we discovered a small patch of ocean with hundreds of tightly-packed whale sharks. They were so dense that they were forced to feed in layers, and we saw as many sharks ascending and descending as we did on the surface of the ocean (very rare). Our guides were totally excited, saying that the ocean was infestado with whale sharks. After thirty minutes of total whale-shark insanity, the sharks vanished in a coordinated descent into the depths—it was totally bizarre. One minute, we were surrounded by literally hundreds of sharks, and the next, there were only a few left on the surface. All of us, including the local guides, were totally dumbfounded by the strange behavior.
Today (day 3), we found the sharks 4 miles east and 2 miles south of where they were yesterday. It took a coordinated search effort by multiple boats to find them (which took 3.5 hours on the water), and we weren't in the water until 9:45am. The action was fantastic, with botellas almost literally everywhere we looked (a botella is a stationary whale shark that is vertical in the water, "gulping" water constantly to feed.
I've been shooting with both a Nauticam-housed Canon 7D with Tokina 10-17 fisheye zoom lens, and with a 3D GoPro HERO setup (with Eye of Mine 3D underwater GoPro housing). The 3D GoPro setup has been yielding some very interesting footage because I can get the camera in places where a big housing can never go (e.g. right in front of a whale shark that is cruising at speed). I have some interesting 3D footage that I'd love to present, but two failed upload attempts to YouTube are enough; I'll upload when I return to the States.
In the meantime, here's a 3D screen-grab from the video (red/cyan 3D glasses required):
I also have cute / precious footage of Kieran Liu (the 5-year-old son of my friends Kenny and Lori) swimming madly after a whale shark (and managing to get really, really close). He is fearless!
**Update:** here are links to the videos:
- [Kieran Liu swims with a whale shark](/journal/2011/08/20/kieran-liu-age-5-swims-with-a-whale-shark/) - [3D whale shark feeding video](/journal/2011/08/20/whale-shark-feeding-in-3d/)
This is a screen grab from a video I took while diving the south pass of Fakarava (Tumakohua). There are hundreds of gray reef sharks there, just hanging out in the current. It was every bit as incredible as it was [the last time I was there](/travel/frenchpolynesia2005/).
We did two shark dives in Tahiti hosted by [TOPDIVE-Bathys](http://www.topdive.com/tahiti-diving.html) dive center. I've done shark dives all around the world, and was really impressed by the number of gray reef sharks in the area. We had approximately 50 gray reef sharks, a few black-tip reef sharks, and a couple lemon sharks. A tiger shark has been at the dive semi-regularly, but it didn't show up for us.
Given that Tahiti is an easy, 8-hour flight from LAX, the shark dive at TOPDIVE-Bathys might be the most accessible dive with lots of sharks for those of us who live in California.
I'm told that the baited dive is both new and controversial here on the island, and interestingly, the Tahiti shark dive isn't even highlighted on the TOPDIVE-Bathys website (but the [Moorea shark dive](http://www.topdive.com/shark-diving.html) is). But given the quality of the local shark dive, it will no doubt attract a good number of divers in the shark diving community.
A Russian TV station used my [GoPro Underwater Shark Experiment](http://vimeo.com/15071840) in a news piece about a shark attack.
It's no wonder videographers use huge watermarks in the middle of their videos (like I do with my [stock video](http://vimeo.com/9790737)).
Shark bite! Lemon shark at the surface (Negaprion brevirostris). Bahamas "lemon snap."
Lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris) at the surface, Bahamas (the so-called "lemon snap")
Lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris) at the surface, Bahamas
Lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris) at the surface, Bahamas
DiveFilm is an underwater video podcast put out by Mary Lynn Price and sponsored by [Wetpixel](http://wetpixel.com). We are very excited because it is currently (as of today) the #1 Sports & Recreation Podcast on iTunes! Since the iTunes ranking is based on downloads, I encourage you to [watch the video through iTunes](http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/divefilm-hd-video-hd/id214353624#) even if you streamed it from this post. Support DiveFilm! :)
Emma the tiger shark and a bunch of reef sharks and lemon sharks feed on a bit of fish bait (bones, mostly) in the Bahamas.
This is probably the most effective blue-water 3D video I've posted to date. It is a bit bright, but it's hard to do color correction for anaglyph 3D. I need to find a way to preview my work on proper 3D displays!
**UPDATE**: I just looked at this video, and the Vimeo upload's compression has made the 3D anaglyph effect much less pronounced. At 1080p pre-Vimeo compression, the 3D effect is tremendous. I need to upload a better version...
Reef sharks, lemon sharks and nurse sharks investigate a gorgonian, where an injured fish must be hiding. Bahamas.
The [Eye of Mine underwater housing](http://www.eyeofmine.com/gopro/) for GoPro cameras is simple: it's a stock GoPro housing with a replacement flat port. Although the standard GoPro housing is waterproof and rated to 60 meters, it won't focus underwater because of its tiny little dome port. Eye of Mine's simple solution lets you capture sharp images underwater using a GoPro Hero HD camera. I took an Eye of Mine-housed GoPro Hero HD camera to the Bahamas a few days ago and played with sharks:
Although I'm used to cameras many times the cost of a GoPro, and I was really impressed by the footage I managed to capture. Specifically, I can't imagine putting any other camera inside a shark's mouth! (Also, the footage does actually look pretty good.)
Special thanks to Russell Latimer of [Eye of Mine](http://www.eyeofmine.com/gopro/) for the loaner housing (which is still in relatively good shape, considering the abuse I put it through); to [Jim Abernethy](http://scuba-adventures.com), my good friend and shark guide in the Bahamas for 9 years now; to [Sterling Zumbrunn](http://sterlingz.net) for providing third-party camera footage, and to [Ultralight Control Systems](http://www.ulcs.com/news.html) for providing the AD-GO ball adapter to connect the GoPro housing to my rig.
Indonesia at the same time one of the most biodiverse ocean environments on the planet and the world's largest shark fishery. [Shark Savers](http://sharksavers.org/) is working with [Misool Eco Resort](http://misoolecoresort.com/), [Conservation International's Indonesia Marine Program](http://blog.conservation.org/tag/indonesia/), [WildAid](http://wildaid.org), and other NGOs and eco-tourism companies on a new initiative to convince the Raja Ampat government to prohibit all fishing of sharks, mantas, and mobulas. This is not a "feel good" petition. The petition is one piece of a comprehensive initiative to show the Raja Ampat Fisheries and Tourism Depts. that sharks, mantas and mobulas are very valuable to their local economy - ALIVE! [Sign the petition now -- we need your support](http://www.sharksavers.org/en/get-involved/sign-these-petitions/664-petition-to-protect-sharks-in-raja-ampat.html).
Spread the word!
Note -- I wanted to post an image of a shark photographed in Indonesia, but I realize that I've pretty much NEVER SEEN A SHARK in Indonesia. If this partnership of conservation groups can help to get a new marine park set up, maybe that will change...
Video footage of bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) in murky water
The exceptions were encounters at Beqa Lagoon in Fiji, and at Walker's Cay in the Bahamas, which were prolonged and close. This footage is all from Walker's Cay, where the water can get quite murky when stirred up. It was shot in 2006 with a Sony Z1u HDV camcorder in a Light & Motion Bluefin underwater housing and was one of the first times I took a video camera into the water.
The sixgill shark segment on Oregon Public Broadcasting's Oregon Field Guide is now online! The OPB folks filmed this segment during our charter with Team Hydrus [original trip report].
> *Sharks which normally spend their lives at the bottom of the world’s oceans have been found living in the relatively shallow waters of Puget Sound. Recreational divers and researchers lure sixgill sharks in for up close encounters. It’s believed Puget Sound is a sixgill shark nursery: a safe place to give birth and raise hundreds or perhaps a thousand or more young sharks. There has never been a report of a sixgill attack on a human.*
> *First Broadcast: 2009* *Producer: Vince Patton* *Videographer/Editor: Michael Bendixen* *Video & Stills Courtesy of : Eric Cheng-WetPixel.com and the Seattle Aquarium*
> *Appeared in episode: Boat Building, Sixgill Sharks, Tsunami Update*
Unfortunately, Andy Letourneau, a crew member with Team Hydrus, recently passed away in a diving accident. Vince has posted a tribute to Andy on the OBP website.