Category

Sharks

Shredder

Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife

This is “Shredder”, aka “Scar”, a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) often seen at Guadalupe Island. In 2003 Shredder bit the anchor line of the Ocean Odyssey clean through, severing the boat from its anchor. He is named for his shredded dorsal fin. Shredder is about 13-14 feet long. Note that in this photograph he is sporting three satellite tags on his left flank just below his dorsal fin. They are covered with algae but are probably still operational. These tags collect information about his diving habits and water temperature and transmit this information to a satellite for use by researchers.

A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Mexico's Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and use it as a staging area before journeying farther into the Pacific ocean, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Mexico’s Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and use it as a staging area before journeying farther into the Pacific ocean.
Image ID: 19470
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

See more photos of great white sharks.

Guadalupe White Shark Trip 2007

Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife

Just back from a quick trip to Guadalupe Island to photograph great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). I had heard that this season has been a particularly good one for white sharks at Guadalupe, and I managed to get a few days off to get down there for a look on my favorite dive boat, the Horizon out of San Diego. (Patric Douglas at Shark Diver runs a series of trips each fall aboard the Horizon to see white sharks at Guadalupe.) Guadalupe is my favorite island, I love the place. I think I have made 15 trips to the island now, most for diving but at least five for white shark photography. I am always looking for an excuse to visit Isla Guadalupe as it never fails to offer up something extraordinary. This time was no exception. During three days at the island and about 18 hours in the cage, I saw probably 15 different white sharks ranging from about 8 feet to 13 feet or more in length, a mix of males and females, some I had seen and photographed before and some that were new to me and perhaps new to the white shark photo identification project. We’ll see on the latter once I submit the images to the researchers. We had only about one hour total where there were no sharks around the boat. We often had two at the boat, and on a few occasions had four within sight at once and six at the boat during a dive. There are a lot of white sharks at the north end of the island right now and from the sounds of it there have been for at least a month. It will take me a few weeks to sort through the 1700+ photos that I shot, select the keepers and get them processed for the web. Since I was using a new camera housing and lens, I was not entirely certain of how sharp the combo was so I pulled a few shots up on the computer between dives on the first day to check sharpness and exposure. Here is one:

A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Mexico's Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and use it as a staging area before journeying farther into the Pacific ocean, Carcharodon carcharias, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

A great white shark swims through the clear waters of Isla Guadalupe, far offshore of the Pacific Coast of Mexico’s Baja California. Guadalupe Island is host to a concentration of large great white sharks, which visit the island to feed on pinnipeds and use it as a staging area before journeying farther into the Pacific ocean.
Image ID: 19473
Species: Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

See more great white shark photos.

Caribbean Reef Shark Photo

Bahamas, Sharks, Underwater Photography

This Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) was shot late afternoon on a seamount in the Northern Bahamas. There were so many reef sharks it was crazy. They smelled the small bait box that I was sitting on and were quite bold, bouncing off my shoulders, tank, my head and arms and strobes, the whole bit. I shot machine gun style, hoping the strobes would recycle fast enough to keep up, in this shot only the top strobe fired which left some pretty deep shadows. I was not even certain if the shots were in focus as it was getting dark, hard to see, and I was not as thoughtful as I would have liked to have been in composing the images. This was my favorite shot of the bunch.

Caribbean reef shark, ampullae of Lorenzini visible on snout, Carcharhinus perezi

Caribbean reef shark, ampullae of Lorenzini visible on snout.
Image ID: 10550
Species: Caribbean reef shark, Carcharhinus perezi
Location: Bahamas

Blue Shark Photo

Sharks

In the late 80s and 90s we used to leave the docks really early on summer mornings, motor 10-20 miles offshore in our little boats, far enough to get into really blue and bottemless water, drop a bucket of chum in the water, and make bets on when the blue sharks (Prionace glauca) would show up. When they arrived we would hop in and spend the day swimming around trying to photograph them, sometimes on a tank and sometimes just freediving. It was great fun. The last few times I did this, though, there were very few sharks, and none of the big ones we used to see. I hear talk nowadays that most of the blue sharks have now been fished out, presumably by longliners. This was shot about 3′ deep at sunset — bits of plankton are seen in the shot, they rise to the surface at nightfall. This is a juvenile, and shows none of the scarring acquired during mating that the mature males and females tend to exhibit.

A blue shark swims through the open ocean in search of prey, backlit by the sunset, Prionace glauca, San Diego, California

A blue shark swims through the open ocean in search of prey, backlit by the sunset.
Image ID: 02286
Species: Blue shark, Prionace glauca
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Guadalupe Island White Shark ID Project

Great White Shark, Guadalupe Island, Mexico, Sharks, Wildlife

I had an interesting conversation with Nicole Nasby Lucas of the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research yesterday. Ms. Lucas and PIER co-founder Michael Domeier PhD have been conducting a capture/recapture study on great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) at Guadalupe Island, Mexico, building a database of identification photos and video of white sharks that inhabit the island. To date PIER has 73 individual sharks in their database, and the count increases each season. PIER also places a small number of satellite tags on Guadalupe white sharks to learn where they are going once they leave the island. Interestingly, some of the sharks tagged at Guadalupe Island swim all the way to the Hawaiian islands, including two of the sharks tagged during the most recent season. By observing the white sharks in this way, the PIER researchers are able to collect evidence about how the sharks utilize the island habitat and their migrations to and from the island.

I have had the good fortune of naming five of the PIER sharks by virtue of being the first photographer to capture each of them on film. The three females are named after my two daughters and my mother (you don’t think I am stupid enough to name one after my wife do you?). The two males are named after the notorious bachelors on Sex in the City: Big and The Russian.

In this case Ms. Lucas was able to link the right side and left side photographs by finding a common element between them: a notched tip on the left side ventral fin. Here she is, Guadalupe Island great white shark #57, “Leslie”:

For more information about PIER’s white shark research at Guadalupe Island, how the identification process works and what scientific publications have resulted from the study, visit the PIER website and see the online catalog.

Keywords: great white shark photos, Carcharodon carcharias photos, Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research

Galapagos Photos

Galapagos Diaries, Sharks, Underwater Life

I have posted 575 new images shot on my latest Galapagos Islands diving trip, a 15-day run on the liveaboard M/V Sky Dancer. We had phenomenal encounters with schools of hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini), literally by the hundreds and thousands on nearly all dives at Wolf and Darwin, not to mention good luck with Galapagos sharks (Carcharhinus galapagensis), Galapagos penguins (Spheniscus mendiculus) and brief looks at marine iguanas underwater. Diving in the central islands was OK, not great, although we did have good fish displays at Cousins and clean water and sunlight at Gordon Rocks.

Scalloped hammerhead shark swims over a reef in the Galapagos Islands.  The hammerheads eyes and other sensor organs are placed far apart on its wide head to give the shark greater ability to sense the location of prey, Sphyrna lewini, Wolf Island

Scalloped hammerhead shark swims over a reef in the Galapagos Islands. The hammerheads eyes and other sensor organs are placed far apart on its wide head to give the shark greater ability to sense the location of prey.
Image ID: 16246
Species: Scalloped hammerhead shark, Sphyrna lewini
Location: Wolf Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Galapagos shark, Carcharhinus galapagensis, Wolf Island

Galapagos shark.
Image ID: 16239
Species: Galapagos shark, Carcharhinus galapagensis
Location: Wolf Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Hammerhead sharks, schooling, black and white / grainy, Sphyrna lewini, Darwin Island

Hammerhead sharks, schooling, black and white / grainy.
Image ID: 16254
Species: Scalloped hammerhead shark, Sphyrna lewini
Location: Darwin Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Galapagos photos (July 2006)
Galapagos photos (all trips: 1996, 1998, 2006)

Lemon Shark Photo, Northern Bahamas

Bahamas, Sharks, Underwater Photography, Wildlife

On our recent trip to the Northern Bahamas in search of sharks, we encountered lots of lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) alongside the tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier). The lemon sharks were comfortable coming in for a close look and afforded literally hundreds of good photo opportunities on a single 90 minute dive. Some of the lemons were accompanied by up to a dozen live sharksuckers (Echeneis naucrates), a type of remora. Once in a while one of the sharksuckers would peel of its lemon shark host and swim around us for a while. After a while we began to ignore the lemons in an effort to keep our eyes on the considerably more impressive tiger sharks. Here are a few shots of the lemons:

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers.
Image ID: 10752
Species: Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates
Location: Bahamas

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers.
Image ID: 10753
Species: Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates
Location: Bahamas

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers.
Image ID: 10754
Species: Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates
Location: Bahamas

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers.
Image ID: 10756
Species: Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates
Location: Bahamas

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates

Lemon shark with live sharksuckers.
Image ID: 10757
Species: Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris, Echeneis naucrates
Location: Bahamas

Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris

Lemon shark.
Image ID: 10758
Species: Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris
Location: Bahamas

Lemon shark and photographer Jim Abernethy, Negaprion brevirostris

Lemon shark and photographer Jim Abernethy.
Image ID: 10760
Species: Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris
Location: Bahamas

Keywords: lemon shark photo, Negaprion brevirostris, Northern Bahamas, lemon sharks, lemon shark pictures, unde

Tiger Shark and Keith Grundy, Northern Bahamas

Bahamas, Sharks, Underwater Photography

We recently spent 8 days on the MV Shearwater in the Northern Bahamas, in search of various species of sharks to swim with and photograph. The most impressive of the ones we encountered were the tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier). They ranged in size from 9 feet to perhaps 14 feet, big enough to be quite intimidating. One large one in particular made a good photo subject as it was willing to approach the divers closely. Here is underwater photographer Keith Grundy being treated to a close look at a 13 foot tiger shark that Shearwater skipper and owner Jim Abernethy named “Emma”:

Tiger shark and photographer Keith Grundy, Galeocerdo cuvier

Tiger shark and photographer Keith Grundy.
Image ID: 10649
Species: Tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier
Location: Bahamas

Keywords: tiger shark photo, Keith Grundy, Bahamas, underwater photograph, Caleocerdo cuvier.

Caribbean Reef Shark Photo

Sharks, Underwater Life

These Caribbean reef sharks (Carcharhinus perezi) were photographed a few weeks ago in the northern Bahamas:

Caribbean reef shark, ampullae of Lorenzini visible on snout, Carcharhinus perezi

Caribbean reef shark, ampullae of Lorenzini visible on snout.
Image ID: 10550
Species: Caribbean reef shark, Carcharhinus perezi
Location: Bahamas

Caribbean reef shark, Carcharhinus perezi

Caribbean reef shark.
Image ID: 10549
Species: Caribbean reef shark, Carcharhinus perezi
Location: Bahamas

Caribbean reef shark swims over a coral reef, Carcharhinus perezi

Caribbean reef shark swims over a coral reef.
Image ID: 10552
Species: Caribbean reef shark, Carcharhinus perezi
Location: Bahamas

Caribbean reef shark, Carcharhinus perezi

Caribbean reef shark.
Image ID: 10555
Species: Caribbean reef shark, Carcharhinus perezi
Location: Bahamas

Nikon D100, 12-24mm f/4 lens, submersible housing, two Sea and Sea YS90 strobes, bait.

Keywords: Caribbean reef shark photo, Carcharhinus perezi, underwater phot