Monday, June 17, 2024

What’s with all the sharks?

Thursday August, 16 2012
What’s the deal with all the great white shark sightings, encounters and incidents lately? It seems more and more great white sharks are showing up on local news channels, youtube videos and in pictures than ever before.

Recent news has seen a man killed by a great white shark in Australia, a photograph of a man in a kayak being tailed by the fin of a large white shark in cape cod followed in a short time span of a man getting his legs bit in the vice like grip of a great white shark on the east coast of the US.

On the west coast a larger than usual great white shark was caught on home video and showed up on the evening news in Venice beach. The shark was larger than the fishing vessel whos occupants filmed it. Not long before this a female lifeguard had a close encounter with a white shark while exercising on her paddleboard just past the break line at La Jolla shores beach in San Diego.

There is also the photo that surprised the surf photographer who was reviewing his film after shooting a surf session at a popular Encinitas beach and found what was confirmed to be the tail fin of a large white shark in the wave with the surfers.

A couple years ago in southern California viewers were surprised with a sup riders go pro video sensation of two white sharks swimming under his board. In 2008 the Solana beach community mourned the loss of a local resident who was fatally bitten by a large white shark closer to shore than was reported.

In southern California from Imperial Beach, Cardiff, Huntington beach to LA there are pictures and accounts from witnesses on the Shark Research Committee’s pacific coast shark news page.

The increase in white shark sightings is due to a number of factors, the main being that California law passed in 1994 making it illegal to fish or hunt the great white shark. After the late 70’s hit movie Jaws it became more popular than ever to hunt and kill the shark for trophies found in the fins, teeth and jaw-bones that could bring in thousands of dollars.

The sharks were less likely hunted to near extinction as was once believed but rather flee and give a wide berth to an area when the smell of one of their own is killed. In recent years whale watchers observed an orca or “killer whale” eating a great white shark after ramming it and turning it over forcing it into a catatonic state before feasting on the sharks liver. Researchers observed that this particular orca has a taste for sharks and others in the pod and other pods have learned to do so as well. Researchers also observed that tagged white sharks in the area fled the area of the orca attack on the white shark. Great whites in the area dove deep and traveled a sizable distance from the area after apparently smelling or sensing the incident even from miles away.

It is still not illegal to hunt, fish or kill the white shark in other areas of the world and the jaw bone trophies still fetch thousands of dollars.

Australian officials have considered lifting the ban on hunting the white shark as a way of dealing with the increase in attacks in the region.

There are some in California who would like to go against the ban and hunt the white shark again.
A more peaceful and eco friendly way to have more piece of mind and prevent sharks and humans from interacting in the wrong way is for more swimmers, surfers and divers to invest in the SharkShield ™ technology which has been tested and filmed turning sharks away including the great white due to the sharks sensitivity to a three directional wave form impacting its Ampullae of Lorenzini causing non damaging but uncontrollable spasms in the AL that cause it to flee the area.

The increase in incidents with sharks is also possibly due to the increase in human population and increase in humans in the water.

On a positive note for surfers, all the shark news may thin out the crowds and thin the line up for more un-crowded waves. One can only hope.

This years pacific shark records

2011 pacific shark news

2010 pacific shark news

How a Big Mac was healthy for me.

big mac Well, I used to think that if one is active enough and works out allot you can pretty much eat anything once in  a while outside of the obvious wrong of deep fried butter and the likes at the state fair and still be in good shape. With surfing being an active sport and being a surfer I felt I fit this category.  The fact is that it is more important how we nourish ourselves than almost anything else.

Obviously I was overlooking the fact that I am getting older, do not surf nearly as much as I did when I was a grom or in my twenties, live a bit inland now with the busyness of having a young family of toddler & grom. I also was fooling myself into thinking I had bought myself allot of leeway from my earlier years of  surfing allot.

*See cholesterol chart range for men and women in mg/dL U.S. and mmol/L Canada and most of Europe at the bottom of this article*

I have been lucky and active enough to always have had blood pressure, resting heart rate and other vital signs testing out  in the very good or top athlete range and on my most recent trip to the doc this was no exception.

However, my cholesterol blood test this time produced results that showed my low density lipoprotein’s (LDL cholesteral) were slightly elevated and my total cholesterol was just over 200 (desired results for a man are under 200). This was a fasting blood test and I did adhere to the fasting guidelines but the last thing I ate the night before at about 8 pm was a Juicy McDonalds big mac and some french fries.

Mind you I am not bashing the burger chain and actually like the McDonalds organization. Yes I know it is almost as though I was trying to skew the results of the test. My last few tests in recent years the docs said everything looked just fine. I have learned that eating fatty foods or red meats in the days before a lipid panel can skew the results but I am not blaming the big mac though I am sure it did not help. That week I had been eating more back yard barbeque and red meat than usual as well.

Well I all but stopped eating red meat and changed my deli meat lunches to skinless plain chicken that I would cook up in one night and store in the fridge to last all week. My lunches consisted of hollowed out bell peppers filled with chicken and some fruit & veggies on the side. I also decided to try a glass of some red wine about once a week. I found that the pinot noir type of red wines are best for all the health benefits that come from red wine and not to even bother with white wine. I also did some short little sprint workouts when I could squeeze them in.

Well, two months later my tests showed a big change with my LDL cholesterol dropping over 25 points, my total cholesterol under 200 and even my good High Density Lipoproteins (HDL “good cholesterol”) up 1 point.  (Good HDL’s patrol the blood stream and push the LDL along to prevent them from conglomerating and loitering in any spot along the stream).


Well I thank the Big Mac for changing my habits as had I tried to eat really healthy the week before the test I might have had different results and not changed my diet much. I think I will enjoy a good loco moco plate lunch only after a big exercise  if I’m lucky enough to be in the islands again or eat at one of the Hawaiian barbeque chains in southern California.

JamesDelMar Contributed by H.J. Dalton

How to tell if a fin above the water belongs to a shark or dolphin

A sharks dorsal fin will have a straighter trailing edge while the dolphin and porpoise have a very curved trailing edge dorsal fin.
You can also feel confident in being able to spot a shark fin by knowing the sharks tail fins are vertical and sometimes break the surface ever so slightly behind the dorsal fin. Dolphins, porpoises and whales tail fins are horizontal. Many shark species also have the second small dorsal fin close to the tail that may be seen protruding from the water. See descriptive drawing below.

Dorsal fin of dolphin

Dolphin dorsal fin

Shark dorsal fin

Shark dorsal fin

shark or dolphin

Shark or Dolphin fin?

Shark protection device

Shark protection device

Ventusky InMeteo surf forecast tool

The Ventusky web application has been developed for you at our company, InMeteo, in collaboration with Marek Mojzík and Martin Prantl. We are a Czech meteorological company based in Pilsen. At our company, we focus on weather prediction and meteorological data visualisation. We have a wealth of experience in presenting weather data from our portal, In-počasí, which was founded in 2006 and is now one of the highest-traffic servers in the Czech Republic. We decided to take advantage of our knowledge and experience and create a top-quality application that clearly displays meteorological data from around the world and allows you to monitor weather development for any place on earth.

The Earth’s weather functions as an interdependent system. For example, a hurricane in the Atlantic has the ability to influence the distribution of pressure formations in Europe. Occasionally, it may even make its way to Europe itself as a post-tropical storm. The Ventusky application allows for the illustration of the interdependence of the entire system, displaying the development of pressure, wind, cloud cover, precipitation, and temperature on the map.

For visualisation of wind data, we utilise current lines that are used to illustrate the movement of particles in liquids. Air and liquid have many similar physical properties, and, as published by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenber (, 2012), current lines are suitable for illustrating wind as well. Because of this, the map depicts wonderful formations illustrating pressure lows that draw in the air around them. We have created an entirely new system of displaying waves. Through the use of animated arcs, our visualisation clearly differentiates the direction of movement and height of both wind waves and swells. For the other meteorological elements, we chose colour scales that appropriately illustrate precipitation, air pressure, and temperature. The colours correspond with the feeling that the given weather phenomena evokes in us. For temperature, blue illustrates cool weather while dark red depicts hot desert air. For precipitation, we concentrated on the danger associated with it. Blue colours represent low precipitation totals that will not result in floods. Orange and red hues, on the other hand, are dangerous and may bring flooding.

The name itself, Ventusky, is a combination of two words. The first is the Latin word, Ventus, means wind, and the second is the English word, Sky.

The Ventusky application is accessible to anyone around the world, aimed at improving awareness about meteorological events in our atmosphere. Images from the application can be redistributed with source and thus help us achieve our goal.

Nutrition and health for surfers

Nutrition and health for surfers
Everything you need.

health food lists for surfers

Click this link or the picture to access nutrition info, shopping lists, food lists, videos and recipes