Archive for March, 2009

Mar 13 2009

Diver Fights and Kills 12 ft. Tiger Shark (Photos & Video)

Published by under Sharks,Videos

Diver Craig Clasen grapples with a 12ft tiger shark to protect a friend

Diver Craig Clasen grapples with a 12ft tiger shark to protect a friend

Craig Clasen was hunting yellow fin tuna with fellow fisherman Cameron Kirkconnell, photographer D.J Struntz (DJ Strunz’s portfolio) and film maker Ryan McInnis in the Gulf of Mexico when a 12 ft. Tiger Shark aggressively approached and circled Ryan McInnis in deep waters south of the Mississippi River’s mouth. Regarded by many as two of the world’s best free diving spearfishermen, Craig and Cameron have come into contact with thousands of sharks.

Craig Clasen immediately swam to his friend with his spear gun.

‘I positioned myself between Ryan and the shark and I tried to watch it for a second, hoping it would pass us by,’ explained 32-year-old Mr Clasen.

‘I noticed that the shark was getting tighter and tighter and just kept trying to get a back angle on us and behaving in an aggressive manner.

‘The shark made a roll and looked like it was going to charge us so I just went ahead and took the conservative route and put a shaft through its gills.

‘Cameron and I have been around sharks for years and we all have a lot of experience with them but this encounter had a different feel to it.

‘Down in my core I really felt the shark was there to feed. I didn’t want it to come to that.’

Craig spent nearly two hours wrestling with the giant 12ft shark, spearing it seven times and even attempting to drown the beast before eventually finishing it off with a long blade knife.

Craig Clasen uses his knife to kill a 12 ft. Tiger Shark

Craig Clasen uses his knife to kill a 12 ft. Tiger Shark

‘Once I shot it in the gills I felt a moral obligation to finish the job,’ says Craig.

‘I didn’t want it to go on any longer than it had to. I shot the fish like I would do any other fish and worked it up closer and did my best to kill it as humanely as possible.

‘I speared it in the gills which I knew would kill it and from that I tried to put a shaft into its brain as quickly as possible.

‘I shot it six times in the head with a spear and I wasn’t having much luck – it was a slow drawn out process.

‘Sharks are so resilient and so tough from millions of years of evolution they are just survivors.

‘The best way and quickest way to finish the job and kill the shark and recover it was to get a rope around its tail, drag it from the back of the boat and attempt to drown it.

‘In the end we had put a knife its skull once I got lose enough to it and use a long blade knife even after trying to drown it.’

Story at Transworld Surf


When I wrote this post over a year ago, I had no idea it would garner such a big reaction and so strong opinions. Ryan McInnis, the photographer at the incident, recently discovered the post and left a comment and his reaction. As for everyone else, please keep it civil. I will delete any flame comments, so far I’ve had to delete multiple comments. Ryan, thanks for your comment and for clarifying the story.

Here’s Ryan’s comment reprinted from below:

Wow… I stumbled across this thread today and am amazed that 2 years after the incident there is still discussion about it. I’ll try to be brief:
– Spearfishing is the most ethical and sustainable way to provide seafood for oneself. We were there to take tuna and wahoo.
– We were also there to capture video and images of a new product line for a company. Businesses need promotional material of their gear in action.
– There was a combined 100 years of ocean experience in the water at the time this happened. 2 of us are from North Carolina where sharks are present on EVERY dive. I personally have spent hours outside a cage with big great whites. In other words, we know sharks.
– Our boat was over 50 yards away when this happened, getting out of the water would have been the first option of course. But this event happened faster than the boat could get to us, and swimming away from an aggressive sharks is the last option.
– Once the decision had been made and the first shot fired (which was a mortal shot), there was no other choice but to finish the fish. They are tough and yes it took many more shots to end the struggle. We took pictures and video because the initial danger was over.
– The mood was more than somber and the event cast a dark shadow on what was otherwise a great trip. Killing a shark is an awful thing, and this was the first time in all of our years that it had been necessary.
– One of us was working on a story with Outside Magazine, they ran a photo as ‘what you hope never happens’… then the national media caught it (10 months later) and before we knew it wild rumors and lies about the event began to spread.
And here I am today, still trying to explain why this happened. What got lost in all of this is that I was nearly attacked by a fish twice my size and my buddy came to my rescue. It’s no different than a grizzly bear in Alaska being shot for charging a hiker. It’s terrible but it’s part of sharing the outdoors with the natural residents.
We don’t hate sharks but we do love spearfishing. We did not benefit from this event at all, quite the opposite.
RM, underwater videographer

Check out all the latest shark news on here.

262 responses so far

Mar 13 2009

Ocean Expected to Rise 5 ft Along Coastlines by End of Century

Published by under Environment,Oceans

Mavericks may be the only surf break that survives the sea level rise from global warming. Sure there will be new breaks that fill in, but my guess is that landowners won’t cede their land easily to the sea level rise. So we’ll have levees and seawalls all over the coast and basically be left with no beach. (SF Gate)

Scientists worldwide forecast that sea levels will rise for centuries even if greenhouse gas emissions are halted immediately.

The study was conducted by the internationally known Pacific Institute, a nonprofit research group in Oakland, and was paid for by the California Energy Commission, Caltrans and the state Ocean Protection Council.

With California leading the nation in regulating greenhouse gas emissions, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005 ordered state agencies to form a Climate Action Team to research and plan for global warming. Three dozen studies are expected this year, on air quality and health, frequency of wildfires, the use of energy and fresh water supplies.

“No other state has done this kind of assessment of coastal risk,” said Peter Gleick, president and founder of the Pacific Institute and a leading water expert. The new assessment, he said, puts the state “far ahead in our ability to both identify possible impacts and implement effective policies to prevent them.”

Although large sections of the Pacific Coast are not vulnerable to flooding, sea-level rise is expected to accelerate erosion, resulting in a loss of 41 square miles of the coast and affecting 14,000 people, the study said.

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Mar 06 2009

French Surfer Killed By Shark in New Caledonia

Published by under Sharks

A 19-year-old French surfer was killed by a shark today as he surfed off New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific. The surfer’s arm was torn off and his leg bitten as he tried to board a boat with his friend. The man’s friend managed to get him to shore, but he was dead by the time emergency workers reached him.

The surfer, who was studying in the New Caledonia capital, Noumea, died shortly after being transported to shore. It is not known what type of shark was responsible.

The incident took place in an area popular with surfers and was the first fatal shark attack in the territory since September 2007, when a young nurse was killed.

New Caledonia is an area of islands located in the Melanesia area of southwest Pacific. It catches the same South swells that hit Tahiti and Fiji as they travel up from Australia and New Zealand. Map and guide to breaks on Wavehunters. And more on WannaSurf.

Check out all the latest shark news on here.

See Other Top Posts:

Most Amazing Photos You’ll Ever See of Waves

Diver Fights and Kills 12 ft. Tiger Shark (Photos)

Your Chances of Dying of a Shark Attack – Pretty Slim

Incredible HD Footage of Surfer in the Barrel

9 responses so far

Mar 05 2009

Kelly Slater Gets Deep – Talks About His Deep Six Board

Kelly Slater talks about his Deep Six Shortboard, the 5’6″ Al Merrick that he won the Pipeline Masters this year on in 8-10 ft. Hawaiian Surf. Kelly’s been pushing new boundaries with board design and finding smaller and shorter boards to ride in bigger surf. The video of him at Pipe with this board is worth the watch.

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Mar 04 2009

Plantation Trailer – The Story of Making and Riding Alaias

Alaias are ancient wooden surfboards used by Polynesians and Hawaiians when they first started surfing. A few shaper including Thomas Campbell and Tom Wegener have started shaping the boards again and re-introduced them to the surfing community. In the second video clip Tom Wegener talks about how he grows the materials used to shape the board sustainably. It’s incredible to see surfers like Dave Rastovich and Dan Malloy ripping on these boards.

Tom’s Creation Plantation Trailer from Cyrus Sutton on Vimeo.

Worth watching a the video of a talk Tom Wegener gave at Patagonia in Cardiff on shaping and riding Alaias. Video clips of Dave Rastovich absolutely ripping on a 5’5″ alaia.

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Mar 02 2009

Giant Stingray and Fish With Transparent Head

Published by under Oceans,Photos,Sealife,Videos

No, not surf news. But two cool stories from National Geographic last week. A man caught the largest freshwater fish in the world, a freshwater stingray in the Mekong River in Thailand. The stingray weighed between 550 and 990 lbs (250 to 450 kilograms). The stingray’s body measured 6.6 feet (2 meters) wide by 6.9 feet (2.1) meters long. The tail was missing. If it had been there, the ray’s total length would have been between 14.8 and 16.4 feet (4.5 and 5 meters).

The Largest Freshwater Fish

The Largest Freshwater Fish

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) photographed for the first time a surreal fish with a transparent head. With a head like a fighter-plane cockpit, a Pacific barreleye fish shows off its highly sensitive, barrel-like eyes–topped by green, orblike lenses–in a picture released today but taken in 2004. The fish is the first specimen of its kind to be found with its soft transparent dome intact. The 6-inch (15-centimeter) barreleye (Macropinna microstoma) had been known since 1939–but only from mangled specimens dragged to the surface by nets.

The Barreleye Fish Photographed Off the Coast of California

The Barreleye Fish Photographed Off the Coast of California

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19 responses so far

Mar 02 2009

Clark Little Surf Photography – Stunning Images of Waves

Published by under Hawaii,Photography,Photos

Clark Little at work photographing the Waimea Shorebreak from the impact zone

Clark Little at work photographing the Waimea Shorebreak from the impact zone

Photo Credit: Eric Minugh (Flickr)

Clark Little (website), pictured above photographing the reknowned Waimea Shorebreak, started his career surfing the heaviest shorebreak in the world at Waimea. When he picked up photography, he naturally gravitated toward the impact zone and producing stunning images of the barrel from the shorebreak. Clark’s profile on Club of the Waves.

Clark puts himself in the critical point of the waves and gets rewarded with stunning images. His images are unlike any others. Taken from the heart of the barrel as the wave is balanced between motion and sculpture. Here are a few of his stunning images. (Daily Mail UK post on Clark Little) See Clark’s recent Interview on Good Morning America, Youtube Video of the interview at the end of the post.

Clark Little Putting Himself in the Line of Fire for the Shot

Clark Little Putting Himself in the Line of Fire for the Shot

A View Only a Surfer Sees

A View Only a Surfer Sees Clark Little Capturing the Wave Dance

Clark Little Capturing the Wave Dance

Clark Little Capturing the Wave Dance

Continue Reading »

42 responses so far

Mar 01 2009

Recession Likely to Result in Fewer Shark Attacks?

Published by under Sharks

Although the recent shark attacks in Sydney do not seem to be any indication of the trend, a reknowned shark researcher, George Burgess, has suggested that the recession is resulting in fewer shark attacks. (link) In spite of all the hype and string of attacks in Zihuatanejo, New Smyrna Beach, and San Diego last year, shark attacks have been the lowest in a decade.

Sharks attacked 59 people in 2008, the lowest number of attacks since 57 in 2003, according to George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File, part of the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. There were 71 attacks in 2007.

Fewer people, especially outside of the United States, have the resources to go to the beach, he said.

“To have a shark attack, you have to have humans and sharks in the water at the same time,” Burgess said. “If you have a reduction in the number of people in the water, you’re going to have a reduction in the opportunities for people and sharks to get together.”

“We noticed similar declines during the recession that followed the events of 2001, despite the fact that human populations continued to rise,” the ichthyologist said.

Sharks killed four people in 2008, Burgess said: one in California, one in Australia and two in Mexico.

Forty-one of the 59 attacks worldwide came in the United States, and 32 of those occurred in Florida.

Surfers accounted for 57 percent of shark attacks, swimmers and waders were the targets in 36 percent of the attacks, and divers the rest, he said.

Check out all the latest shark news on here.
See Other Top Posts:

Most Amazing Photos You’ll Ever See of Waves

Diver Fights and Kills 12 ft. Tiger Shark (Photos)

Your Chances of Dying of a Shark Attack – Pretty Slim

Incredible HD Footage of Surfer in the Barrel

2 responses so far

Mar 01 2009

Teenage Surfer Attacked by Shark in Sydney: Third Attack in Less Then Three Weeks

Published by under Australia,Sharks

They say bad things happen in groups of three. Seems like this has been the case with shark attacks in the last year. In April last year, Zihuatanejo was hit by a string of shark attacks over the course of three weeks including one fatal attack (link).

Now, sharks are striking fear in the surfers and swimmers at Sydney. A 15 year old boy has been mauled by a shark on Sydney’s northern beaches, in the third shark attack in Sydney in less than three weeks. (Times UK Article)

The boy was surfing off Avalon Beach early on Sunday morning when the shark attacked, inflicting severe lacerations to his upper left leg. He underwent four hours of surgery to repair the injury (link).

Nick Miller from the Avalon Surf Lifesaving Club said the surfer was in the water with his father when the shark attacked.

“The father and son were out surfing this morning,” Mr Miller told ABC Radio.

“It got him around the top of his leg and his calf muscle and the father came in and dragged him in. ”

Witness Dylan Cram told Sky News: “I saw the two of them paddling in and frantically screaming ‘shark’. It was a pretty bad thing to witness.”

Other beach-goers said the boy, who had bites to his calf and thigh, was able to walk out of the water. His father used his t-shirt as a tourniquet while an ambulance was called, and he was airlifted to Royal North Shore hospital.

A hospital spokesman said he had wounds to his upper left leg, and he was in a stable condition. His leg had not been severed.

It is believed the shark is around five to six feet, but it is not yet known what type of shark it is. Helicopter searches of Avalon and neighboring beaches, which are popular with Sydney surfers have failed to spot the shark.

Richard Andjelkovic of Sydney Surf Lifesaving told The Times the number of shark sightings on Sydney beaches had increased recently. “Last weekend we closed a large number of beaches after a shark was spotted,” he said. “The number of shark sightings have been up in the last while. We’re not sure why, it might be because the waters are cooler and there are a lot more fish around.”

Nearly three weeks ago, navy clearance diver Paul de Gelder was mauled by a 2.7-metre bullshark in Sydney Harbor, causing him to lose a hand and leg.

Just a day later, in the first attack off Bondi beach in nearly 80 years, 33-year-old surfer Glenn Orgias was attacked by a 2.5m great white that shook him and nearly severed his left hand.

Check out all the latest shark news on here.

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