Would you eat a bowl of soup if you knew that is was made with minced endangered species? What about if it was also packed full with neurotoxins that can cause degenerative brain disease? Still hungry?
This is the case when it comes to shark fin soup, primarily a Chinese delicacy. The soup itself has no color, taste, or smell and requires addition of chicken, beef, or pork broth to add flavor. However, the cartilage from the shark fin provides texture to the soup. So, why consume it? Because it is a cultural sign of wealth and traditionally consumed at celebratory events including weddings.
Dear Shark Lovers,
Wow, August has been an exceptional month at Seal Island and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! Not only have we had intense predatory activity and awesome shark action around the boat but we have also seen a great array of other wildlife in False Bay. (Don’t get too excited, no Orcas this month!).
There have also been a few records broken and a number of interesting sightings …
South Africa provides excellent opportunities for shark cage diving with Great White Sharks all year round. Currently there are 3 areas of operation where permitted operations offer this unique eco-tourism experience, namely Seal Island, False Bay; Gansbaai and Mossel Bay.
Dear Shark Lovers
Finally the panic is over and the Great White Sharks are back at Seal Island going about their normal behaviour as they should be doing every winter! What a relief and we have been so excited to have great days with them again…The month still started out a little slowly but it has been building with good numbers of sharks around the boat and as of the last 2 weeks the intense hunting behaviour on cape fur seals has really started to pick up. Watch below for a couple of very interesting events we saw this month …
One of the most surprising and rewarding aspects of working with Great White Sharks is getting to know individual animals and their unique personalities and character.
The Great White Shark is an extremely rare animal and this is clearly displayed when we see the same sharks returning to Seal Island each winter, year after year. With the estimated worldwide population suggested to be 2,500 to 3,000 animals it make the life of each shark very important. Each year during our off season we spare a thought for the perils that the sharks face in our ocean today, and as you can imagine the relief and excitement when we see our regular sharks return back to Seal Island each winter is very real.
An Unusual Predation at Seal Island
Seal Island, False Bay is home to the most intense Natural Predatory behaviour between Great White Sharks and Cape fur seals. Since 1996 Chris & our team have collected various data points from each predatory event. These events now number close to 7,500 and the overall success rate for the shark is just under 50%, extremely high compared to other predators.
SHARK WEEK 2012 PROGRAMME SCHEDULE
It’s just a few days to go for Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week and this year will be the 25th Anniversary.
Also catch Chris Fallows on HOW JAWS CHANGED THE WORLD.
Here's the full lineup:
"AIR JAWS APOCALYPSE"
Premieres Sunday, August 12 at 9 p.m. ET
Photographer, author and shark expert Chris Fallows and legendary natural history producer Jeff Kurr embark on a quest to learn more about the great white sharks of Seal Island, South Africa -- and one shark in particular: Colossus is a massive 14-foot great white that dominates all other sharks in the area.
SHARK WEEK'S 25 BEST BITES
Premieres Sunday, August 12 at 10 p.m. ET
In 24 years of Shark Week, Discovery has been able to capture some incredible footage. In celebration of Shark Week's silver anniversary, count down the 25 best bites from the past as filmmakers attempt to get the bird's eye view of a breaching great white, i.e. the shot to top all Shark Week shots.
MYTHBUSTERS' JAWSOME SHARK SPECIAL
Premieres Monday, August 13 at 9 p.m. ET
The MythBusters, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, count down their top 25 shark myths of all time. They also show never-seen-before footage and reveal the No. 1 shark myth that will quite literally blow people away.
Premieres Monday, August 13 at 10 p.m. ET
Discovery is resurrecting the largest shark to ever swim in our oceans: the megalodon, which was 52 feet long, weighed 100,000 pounds and had 250 teeth, each six inches long, set in jaws six feet wide and eight feet tall.
HOW JAWS CHANGED THE WORLD
Premieres Tuesday, August 14 at 9 p.m. ET
The impact "Jaws" had on the oceans and their inhabitants was as big as the audience it found -- and just as surprising. In the aftermath of the film's release, great white sharks were vilified and killed, leading to their near-disappearance from the eastern seaboard. At the same time, public fascination with sharks led to a golden age of shark science and conservation efforts.
Premieres Tuesday, August 14 at 10 p.m. ET
Amazingly, shark attack victims around the world have devoted their lives to saving their attackers and have become some of the most powerful shark advocates on the planet. Meet the survivors.
GREAT WHITE HIGHWAY
Premieres Wednesday, August 15 at 9 p.m. ET
Dr. Barbara Block, professor of marine sciences at Stanford University, has made it her life's mission to learn all she can about the ocean and its inhabitants -- including the great white shark. She has created a pioneering new way to track the world's biggest great whites in real time.
ADRIFT: 47 DAYS WITH SHARKS
Premieres Thursday, August 16 at 9 p.m. ET
This is the truth story of a routine search mission over the Pacific in WWII gone wrong. An American plane crashed into shark-infested waters, leaving two war heroes to fend for their lives for 47 days at sea.
Tune in to the Discovery Channel this summer to celebrate 25 years of Shark Week, starting on August 12 at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.
JUNE 2012 SHARK BYTESDear Shark Lovers
In May I had a lot to share about our False Bay Orca sightings, but very little news of sharks. In this Shark Bytes I am very relieved to say that we seem to be back on track with regards to Great White Sharks at Seal Island.
You may all remember me writing in April last year regarding how we were on the lookout for Orcas in False Bay. In April 2009 and 2010 we had the very good fortune to see a number of pods in False Bay and as such we were really hoping to pick up on them again. These sightings were of 5 different pods and one pod in particular we had seen 3 times.