Archive for the ‘Shark’ Category

Unfortunately as the title alludes to this is an uncomfortable post for many people.  If you are not a local to Clearwater Florida then you did not hear of what happened to an Atlantic bottle-nose dolphin named Dunham this past Tuesday.

In December of 2008 a sick juvenile male dolphin was discovered stranded on Anclote Key.  He was acting listless, the skin dotted with shark bites, and a  long cut to the tail further sapped him of energy.

He was roughly 6 years old and was transported to the Panhandle research lab.  The staff at the Gulf World Marine Park named him Dunham and discovered he was also suffering from pneumonia.

For almost eight months, the staff worked to nursed him back to health with the help of donations and other private funding. Come June he was hunting down live fish with great speed in his 50-foot pool.

On Tuesday he was ready to leave the helping hands and reenter nature.  He was outfitted with a radio transmitter.  The transmitter was designed to further research into dolphin life.  And all was good, for three hours.

He might have been hungry and that is why he headed towards a spoil island in the Intercoastal Waterway.  That shallow water is known for great fishing.  This is July and the shallows are also known for something else.  Shortly Dunham broke the surface of the water revealing the unexpected.  Between the pectoral fin and tail was missing flesh.

He had been bitten.  He surfaced a second time with a larger bite in his belly.  Reports are varied to the length of the shark (8 to 9 foot).  But all agree that it was a tiger shark. This region is commonly known for an increase in the shark population.

The people then euthanize Dunham.

After the event a shark expert for Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute took a moment to examine photos of the wounds.   Brent Winner of the research institute surmised that the dolphin was most likely attacked by several sharks of different species.  And the fatal bite was consistent with a medium-sized tiger shark.

I personally have mixed feeling about this event.  What is natural?  What is our roll as humans?  When do we interfere with the natural cycle of life?  How do we value life?  I have read many peoples opinions on other blogs and my head hurts.

I guess what I want to know is, is the life of a hungry dolphin equal to a hungry shark?  Both are equal in nature.  Why do we elevate one and demonize the other?

If we want to be good environmentalists all of God’s creatures should be equally respected, loved, and protected.


Hey Paddlers,

After writing my previous blog on Sea Urchins titled Search’in For Urchin, I promised to write a blog about First Aid for Marine Animal Bites, Stings, and Punctures. But first we need to put up the dreaded DISCLAIMER: By no means is the information here supposed to be considered THE LAW, and is not to take the place of PROPER MEDICAL TREATMENT BY A LICENSED AND CERTIFIED PHYSICIAN, or other Qualified Healthcare Provider. The info here is for informational purposes only!!!!

Whew!!, Now that we got that out of the way lets cover the animals that could give you a bite, sting, or puncture wound! First the BITERS: These would include the Shark, Barracuda, Moray Eels & their cousins, and just for the sake that they do live in the Keys: Alligators & Crocodiles. All of these animals can deliver quite a nasty bite ranging from just a nip to full on Critical Situation!!!

First and foremost get the victim out of the water. Second, keep the victim calm and still. Third, STOP THE BLEEDING with pressure to the wound site with either towels, wetsuits, or any thing that might be in your first aid kit. YES YOU SHOULD PADDLE WITH A FIRST AID KIT! I recommend Adventure Medical Kits, which can be purchased in sizes from Ultralight to You Too Can Do Surgery(Ha Ha Ha)!!

Finally get on a phone or VHF Radio and contact Emergency Medical Services immediately and have them standing by or in route to your location!! Regardless of the wound size you should seek Medical attention because most of these animals have Bacteria that live in their mouth and you will need a strong dose of anti-biotics!!! It would suck to survive the bite only to DIE from infection!! I almost forgot some Eels can deliver a BAD SHOCK to you! The treatment for this is to lie down and elevate your feet for 20-30 minutes or until you feel better!

Now lets discuss the STINGERS; which when stung usually leave a PUNCTURE WOUND: These would include Sea Urchins, Stingrays, Scorpion Fish, Lion Fish, Stone Fish, all which would leave behind a nasty puncture wound and possibly a piece of the spine! OUCH! Now we must also include Jellyfish, Man O’ War Jelly Fish(which is not actually a true Jellyfish- but a group of Zooids: 4 types to be exact.) and last but not least some types of Corals – i.e. Fire Coral! While these would not leave a puncture wound they would still leave behind tiny stinging barbs called Nematocyts. If as the first responder you were to touch the same site the victim had been stung at, you too would NOT BE HAPPY! Also the above mentioned Stone Fish, Scorpion Fish & Lion Fish all carry venom that can be FATAL! ONCE AGAIN SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL HELP!!

doctorFIRST AID should be as follows for Puncture Wound Type Stings: First, wear gloves to remove any part of the Stinger/Spine left in the wound and rinse with SEAWATER! Second, soak affected site in HOT WATER for 20-30 minutes at 110-114 degrees Fahren- heat breaks down venom and relieves pain!

SEEK IMMEDIATE PROF. MEDICAL ADVICE IF:: Cant remove spine or victim starts to show signs of ALLERGIC REACTION- Diff. Breathing/ Uncontrollable Bleeding/ Body Wide Symptoms.

FIRST AID should be as follows for Nematocysts Type Stings: First, Keep victim quiet and still. Second, where gloves (if possible) and try to gently scrape of tentacles with a credit card or or towel. Third, wash area with SALTWATER- freshwater will make the nematocysts fire more toxin. Fourth, Soak affected area in Hot Water for 30-90 minutes. Also can spray affected area with Vinegar- neutralizes the nematocysts/toxins! There are too many variables to use the URINE TRICK- besides we all get p-s-e- on enough in the world!!!! As mentioned before IF THERE ARE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT VICTIMS CONDITION SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION!

Hope You ALL Enjoy the INFO!! Sea Turtle Sean

There are always cool things we as boaters can experience from the water.  Below is a video of an interview of two men who were out on their power boat 35 miles off the coast of Tarpon Springs Florida and came across a whale shark.  I have never paddled that far off of our coast into the Gulf of Mexico.  Nevertheless, it is great to know that that type of wildlife is alive and well.

Did you know that our Florida House of Representatives is debating on opening our waters to oil drilling between 3 and 10 miles off of Florida’s Gulf coastline?  I think this will harm our healthy environment.

I live in a part of Florida, USA where tourism generates the majority of our revenue. People come to enjoy the manatees/seabirds/dolphins/big game fish/and plants. Unfortunately, in the pursuit of improving economics our policy makers are creating policies that are damaging the things tourists are paying to see. It is madding. I think Pope John Paul II said it best that “Modern Society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyles”.  And Pam in Argyll Scotland has reminded me that Rachel Carson wisely said, “man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”

I think the pursuit of profit is killing what people yearn to see. – Jeff

Check out these three articles…

The Florida House of Representatives celebrates Earth Day… by passing a bill allowing off-shore drilling” April 22nd, 2009 by Susan Nilon

House OKs Florida drilling but bill stalled” Wire reports, Tuesday, 28 April, 2009

Oil drilling proponent mum on the trade-offsHerald-Tribune, Sunday, 31 May, 2009, By GLENN COMPTON Guest Columnist about the possibility of drilling for oil ten miles off of our Florida coast.


Posted: March 19, 2009 by Jeff Fabiszewski in Shark
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It is a cliche to say “a picture says a thousand words”…


I was out paddling and this is what I saw floating next to me.  A dead Bull Shark.  I have no problem with people fishing for sport as long as they carefully practice safe release techniques.  I personally like to catch fish after a long day of paddling.  But to kill a shark for its fins is maddening.