Oceana Announces Partnership With Discovery Channel's Shark Week, Urge Passage Of Shark Conservation Legislation

From: underwatertimes.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Oceana, the world's largest international conservation organization focused solely on protecting and restoring the world's oceans, announced today its partnership with Discovery Channel's Shark Week, which premieres Sunday, August 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

"Sharks deserve widespread attention not only because they are fascinating but also because they are in terrible trouble – each year industrial fishing kills more than 100 million sharks a year ," said Andy Sharpless, CEO of Oceana. "We applaud Discovery Channel's efforts to make Shark Week's millions of viewers know about the threats to sharks, and the need for better policies to protect sharks."

Discovery is helping Oceana educate the American public about the plight of sharks – and what people can do to help – through blogs, social media outlets and public service announcements that will air each night during primetime. Viewers can look for a PSA for Oceana featuring Craig Ferguson, host of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

"Shark Week, now in its 23rd year, has become a perennial favorite among viewers who are fascinated by this powerful and often misunderstood creature," said Clark Bunting, President and General Manager of Discovery Channel and President of Science Channel. "With shark populations in serious decline, Discovery Channel is partnering this year with Oceana on a PSA campaign as well as joining them in support of legislation to help strengthen the U.S. ban on shark finning and ensure the U.S. is at the forefront of shark conservation."

You can follow the shark week via their facebook fan page. There are many options for those who would like to get involved in shark conservation.Personally, I think this is a good initiative, a bit overdue but good in the end. Just a word of advice for the Discovery Networks: If you want to de advocates for shark conservation you might need to stop marketing and broadcasting shark week as a synonym for shark attacks and how fierce and ruthless these predators are. 


Wesley C. Skiles (March 6, 1958 – July 21, 2010) was an active cave diving pioneer, explorer, and underwater cinematographer. Skiles lived in High Springs, Florida and died while on a dive off Boynton Beach, Florida, on July 21, 2010.

He signaled to the other divers that he was ascending because he was out of film. His body was found on the reef, shortly after that. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was subsequently pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Skiles conducted film projects for many groups such as National Geographic. The National Geographic Antarctica expedition allowed him to be the first human to set foot on the Iceberg B-15. His expedition to record deepwater sharks had him diving to a depth of 700 FSW for 11 hours in a Newtsuit".

Skiles created, directed and was the cinematographer of the PBS series, “Water's Journey”. The project was an effort by Skiles increase public awareness of their groundwater and the hydrogeological cycle. In addition to still photography, Skiles work includes more than one hundred films for television that he filmed, directed and produced.

Skiles is survived by his wife Terri, and their two children Nathan and Tessa Skiles. His family has distributed a statement on his death and a memorial service will be held on July 28, 2010 at Ginnie Springs followed by a celebration of Wes’s life.

Ginnie Springs will be open all afternoon. The celebration will last into the evening. Please remember him for all his passion for our crazy community and honor him through your own stewardship. He would have wanted that.


First PADI Tec 40 course taught in Ecuador

From July 13 to 18 Ronald Zambrano and Javier Mahauad, both PADI Rescue Divers participated in the first PADI Tec 40 course taught in Ecuador by PADI Master Instructor Jorge A. Mahauad. 

The course started with the Enriched Air Diver Specialty Course. Right after the specialty the course moved into the introductory section of the Tec 40 course. After completing the regular paperwork, section one of the course and a presentation of the standardized technical rig merged into the proper hands on experience with a great amount of questions and answers.

Then, knowledge review one and into the water with full sets of double manifolded cylinders. 



The first couple days were spent making sure they got the skills and the mastery needed, spot checking after every skill and bringing up “surprises” to make clear what, when and why some mistakes were made underwater.

The students followed the same structure for knowledge development and practical applications two and three. Then dive 2. After successfully completing the final exam training dive three and four were completed successfully. 

The last dive was a most amazing experience with a maximum depth of 40 meters and 10 minute decompression at 6 meters using air. Underwater we experienced a very pleasant narcosis that was mixed with manta rays, the chanting of humpback whales and a huge school of big wahoos while decompressing. 

Ronald and Javier are the first entry level technical divers fully trained in Ecuador. Their Tec 40 course was the last module of an internship that they completed between from July 1st to July 20th. In the first days of their internship the students developed the skills and knowledge required for qualifying them as PADI Divemasters.