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Groups Team Up To Launch GuadalupeFund.Org To Protect Great White Sharks Off Isla Guadalupe, Mexico

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SAN DIEGO, California -- Isla Guadalupe, Mexico has become the internationally recognized destination for divers seeking unprecedented encounters with Great White sharks (Carcharodon carcharias.) The 90 square mile island located in the Pacific is also home to many rare endemic species of animals and plants.

In 2005 Mexico declared the island a Bio-Sphere Reserve under the watchful eye of CONANP the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. As is the case with many watch dog and eco enforcement organizations world wide, long term funding for actual on site protections of this resource and the Great Whites that seasonally inhabit these pristine waters do not exist at this time.

Globally, shark aggregation sites like Isla Guadalupe have been decimated in the past few years by poaching, over fishing, and an uncontrolled trade in shark fins that takes an estimated 70 million sharks a year.

Recently a concerned group of shark diving operators, vessel owners and researchers stepped in to create and launch the Guadalupe Fund 501(c)3. Its stated goal is to move much needed cash and donated equipment into the Bio-Sphere for park staff and continued funding for long term white shark science/monitoring.

"The timing for the Guadalupe Fund couldn't be better", said John Conniff, owner operators of the MV Islander, which runs white shark diving expeditions to the island. "I've been fortunate enough to spend the past 8 years working at Isla Guadalupe. Over that time I've marveled at both the diversity and uniqueness this island has to offer. This fund, in conjunction with a robust effort from the Mexican government will insure that future usage is managed in a way that maintains the island's integrity and protects its many resources; this island is truly one of a kind. Our goal is to make sure it stays that way for generations to come".

Nicole Nasby Lucas from the Marine Conservation Science Institute has been involved in ongoing white shark tagging and photo identification research at this site for the past six years. "Our tagging and photo-ID research have shown that the Guadalupe Island white sharks aggregate here in large numbers during the fall and winter, leave the island and travel as far as Hawaii and then come back to the same spot. This makes Guadalupe Island a critical habitat for the white shark in this region and demonstrates the importance of protecting the island and its sharks".

The diverse and often contrary nature of this coalition of dive boat operators, researchers and eco-tour operators is a testament to the immediate need for a long term funding source for this unique Bio-Sphere Reserve and all its inhabitants.

The Guadalupe Fund is being managed by Marinebio.org with assistance from shark diving operator SharkDiver.Com and hopes to generate a minimum of $100,000 a year from concerned divers and shark lovers world wide. All donations to this fund are tax deductible and gifts ranging from free trips to the island and the opportunity to name a Great White shark after donors exist for interested parties.

For more information visit: Guadalupe Fund- GuadalupeFund.Org

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of UnderwaterTimes.com, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

9 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

I have had the opportunity to visit Gudalupe and dive with the Great Whites. They are the absolute most beatiful and magnificent creatures I have ever seen underwater. They must be protected for future generations and their place in the marine eco-system. They are not the 'Jaws' creature the public envisions. Great Whites are intelligent, smart and to me even sometimes whimsical as they look at you and smile almost saying, 'your mine, if I wanted you'. This is a great opportunity to help sharks of all kinds and especially the Great Whites. Awe-inspiring, Magnificent, Graceful, Perfect and Tremendous are the words I use to describe the Great Whites. Please help protect the Great White Shark. Thanks,
   comment# 1   - Randy Saffell · Oklahoma · Jun 11, 2007 @ 12:54pm

I agree some shark species and other marine life species should be protected to some degree. I also believe there should be regulations and size and bag limits on other sharks and fish. But sharks including great whites are predatory fish and they will eat you given a chance. Just ask the girl swimming with co-workers in the pacific by their boat, it swam up, eyed them all then ripped her leg off as others were pulling her into the boat, there was no mistake for a seal or any other prey the shark is used to feeding on, it was hungry and took a bite. Yes they have their place in the marine eco system but don't be fooled into complacement.
   comment# 2   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska Texas · Jun 12, 2007 @ 3:42pm

Sorry Robert you really are a drama queen, these magnificent creatures deserve our admiration and protection. Yes they are preditors and very very occasionally will take a human, I think the count was 8 last year but please put it in prespective, more people were killed by both blow up ballons and falling coconuts in 2006. Want to chop down every palm tree out there? Every thing in life is a risk, including swimming in the sea, just think how boring life would be if everything was risk free ? Even the girl who was attacked in the pacific was courageous enough to admit she was in the sharks environment and wished sharks no malice. Sharks are some of the oldest creatures currently on our planet and to wipe them out just for sport or to make a bowl of soup is disgusting. These animals need our help & protection urgently.
   comment# 3   - Paul · Reading · Jun 14, 2007 @ 2:06pm

I agree with most of your post Paul, if you read mine you would have all ready seen that but it sounds like your another fanatic that puts human life on the same plato as animal life. Calling a Great white intelligent and whimsical, like they are a pet dog, they are eating machines driven by instincts and hunger.Their brain is quite small especially relative to their size. You are right about their age on our planet and they will be here most likely after we are gone.
   comment# 4   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska Texas · Jun 14, 2007 @ 8:53pm

Now dolphins they are intelligent and whimsical, I've seen them swim around our boat and make sure there's no hook in the fish before they eat it, swim up to the boat almost close enough to pet, and they look at you with thoughful eyes but sharks cold, blank eyes of a predator looking for something to eat.
   comment# 5   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska Texas · Jun 18, 2007 @ 9:56am

Good afternoon Robert, I trust you are well ? I'm glad you like dolphins, you are almost half way there ! The problem is its "easy" to love and wanna protect dolphins and whales for that matter. Sharks have a bad rep but need just as much, if not more, protection & understanding. Fifty years ago you could kill, string up and pose next to a lion or tiger, rifle in hand. You couldn't do that today(quite rightly) but its still acceptable to string a large fish or shark up at the docks and I think thats very wrong. As for being a fanatic, well I do prefer to donate to marine conservation charities rather than poverty in Africa, if thats what you mean. I'm a very keen diver and love all marine life and the thrill of seeing a shark in the wild is unbelievable. These creatures are getting rarer and rarer and maybe in 20 years time our children will only be able to see them in books or stuffed in a museum and that would be a terrible shame.
   comment# 6   - Paul · Reading, UK · Jun 19, 2007 @ 10:02am

Doing great Paul, thanks and I hope you are as well. Glad to hear you are donating to marine conservation Paul! If I were a gambling man I would wager a large sum that most people putting down fishermen don't donate or do anything for our environment. I not only donate to marine conservation but also to state & federal wildlife org's. I also hunt and fish and believe we have the right to keep and eat fish and game thats not endangered. I would like to say all sport fishermen and hunters are ethical & moral people but we all know thats not true. As in all areas of life even in the tree huggers world there are individuals that make us all look bad.If you read my posts objectively you would see that I agree in marine conservation but also I am a realists when it comes to wild animals, fish or mammals, and listening to some bio fanatics they would have you believe that sharks are friendly non threatening creatures, that is why I stated don't be fooled into complacement, they are by nature predatory and opportunist's.I also know that great whites have their place and should recieve protection & it would be a shame for them to be fished to the point of extinction as would any species. I also hike and snorkel haven't tried scuba yet, but I love to spot widlife of all types in the rockies and marine life in the carribean they all have their place on this turning rock.
   comment# 7   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska Texas · Jun 19, 2007 @ 5:52pm

And Paul they do hunt down and kill lions that are preying on people in Africa, and they hunt down tigers in Siberia and India that are killing people for food. Here in the states they just killed a black bear that killed an 11 year old boy and they kill grizzlies and polar bears that kill people. They tried this tactic in Hawaii for Tiger sharks after a fatal attack but determined after quite a few sharks were killed thats it's simply pointless and does more harm than good. I agree with this decision on sharks but I still put people first .
   comment# 8   - Robert Rolin · Onalaska Texas · Jun 20, 2007 @ 8:10am

I was referring to lions & tigers being shot for "sport" like the empire builders in India & Africa did all them years ago. Killing a rogue wild animal that has a taste for human flesh is different, especially as most of those animals you mention turned out to be sick and unable to catch their normal prey. The situation with the Tiger sharks in Hawaii is interesting as afterwards it was shown these wide ranging preditors were quite likely to be 75 miles away within 24 hrs of an attack. Obviously the main difference between a lion/bear/tiger and shark attack is your in its environment when you enter the sea, when one comes crawling up the beach to attack a sunbather then by all means call in Quint to hunt it down. When I go diving I fully understand I'm in an alien environment and could come face to face with a number of creatures that could do me serious harm but I guess thats half the thrill of it. Anyway cheerio !
   comment# 9   - Paul · Reading, UK · Jun 20, 2007 @ 2:55pm
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