Archive for bull shark

Aqua-Trek Ultimate Shark Encounter Project

Posted in conservation, news, production, travel, video with tags , , , , , , , on September 30, 2008 by shawnheinrichs

Aqua-Trek runs a unique shark diving and eco-tourism operation in Pacific Harbor Fiji. As pioneers of shark eco-tourism in Fiji, they have years of experience introducing guests to some of the “fiercest” predators in the ocean. The dive has been popular with some of the biggest names in the dive and underwater film community. That said, it was time to bring the Aqua-Trek brand to the larger adventure dive community. That’s when they called Blue Sphere Media, specialists in big animal encounters.

My mission was to capture the energy and excitement of the shark dive while showcasing the incredible diversity and numbers of sharks and fish. The final product was a show reel for trade shows, customer DVDs and website delivery.

The dive was incredible and surely the most diverse  and energized shark diving experience in the world. On a single dive I filmed 8 species of sharks including massive bulls, tigers and silver tips charging through a swirling tornado of giant trevally, rainbow runners, snappers and more. The sheer volume and variety of sharks and fish was incredible. Perhaps most exciting of all, Aqua-Trek established a marine protected area where the sharks are protected and the reef restored.

Bahamas West Bank – Jim’s Tigers

Posted in travel, video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2006 by shawnheinrichs

Ever since I had seen the stunning images of the great hammerhead in close proximity with divers in an issue of the UK magazine “Dive”, I knew I would have to take this trip.

Jim Abernethy runs what is perhaps the most unique and “real” shark diving expedition in the world. Nowhere else in the world do you spend the majority of your day underwater with some of the oceans largest predators with no cage, no chain mail, in fact nothing but a skinning pvc rod between you and these huge sharks, all in the incredibly blue waters of the Bahamas. On several occasions, we had great hammerheads, tiger sharks and bull sharks jostling for position to get a chance at the bait.

Jim’s promises nothing on his trips as nature ultimately decides what will be served up on a given day. That being said, Jim delivers like no other. I can only count one dive where we were not in the water with large predatory sharks. Tigers were the most frequent, followed by lemons, great hammerheads and bull sharks. Caribbean reef sharks were present on many dives but we considered these little sharks as merely pests getting in the way of the big boys. Most other places in the world are delighted by a reef shark.

Over the course of the trip, our comfort level in the water certainly increased as our emotions transformed from fear to respect for these great creatures. That being said, not once underwater did I underestimate these predators…especially the tiger sharks. Second to the great white, these sharks are the largest and most powerful sharks in the ocean. In an instant, they could turn me into a meal. It is astounding that the decide otherwise. It was this fact that left the greatest impression on me.

We fear these great tigers and the world celebrates the fishermen who capture and kill them. We have virtually wiped them out of existence in most of our oceans. Yet when I entered their realm, completely unprotected and exposed, they investigated me with curiosity but did me no harm. These are creatures to be appreciated and predators to respected…these are Jim’s tigers.