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ABOUT ELASMODIVER

ANDY MURCH ELASMO GEEK

 

WHAT IS ELASMODIVER?

Not just a huge collection of Shark Pictures: Elasmodiver.com contains images of sharks, skates, rays, and a few chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web based shark field guide to help divers find the best places to encounter the different species of sharks and rays that live in shallow water but it has slowly evolved into a much larger project containing information on all aspects of shark diving and shark photography.

There are now more than 10,000 shark pictures  and sections on shark evolution, biology, and conservation. There is a large library of reviewed shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a monster list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are numerous articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is now so difficult to check for updates, that new information and pictures are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be accessed here:

WHAT'S NEW?

Shark picture - green sawfish

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Call it a newsletter, an e-zine, or a blog. SHARKBAIT is half update and half journal from Elasmodiver.com. It is designed to let everyone know about new changes and additions to the Elasmodiver database, as well as provide information on recent, and ongoing Elasmodiver projects. If you have any comments on this newsletter please reply to elasmodiver@gmail.com. Feedback of any kind is always welcome.

 

Enough said. Here are the changes...

 

SPINY DOGS

On a recent trip Ďup islandí with renowned underwater photographers Doug Perrine and Maris Kazmers, I was able to get closer than ever to some curious Spiny dogfish resulting in the cutout that you see above in the title and many more beautiful shots that can be viewed in the Shark Pictures Database image bank by following the Ďspiny dogfishí link.

 

GHOST SHARKS

Although we struck out on our target species (the elusive Bluntnose sixgill shark), while skulking around in the mud at Tahsis Inlet, we came across a large aggregation of Spotted ratfish. Normally seen in ones or twos, it was a rare treat to find so many in one place. This picture illustrates just how many ratfish were there. It has been added to the Spotted ratfish page on Elasmodiver and to the many new images of ratfish available in the Shark Pictures Database.

 

Why so many ratfish were present remains a mystery. We witnessed them plowing for food in the mud but they may have congregated to mate. Next year Iíll check to see if they have returned.

 

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Earlier this year I was in Western Australia shooting Whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef for SharkDiver Magazine. As well as some wild Whale shark encounters, I was able to get some great new images of Tasseled wobbegongs. Wobbies can be hard to spot so I enlisted the help of my good friend Sharon Richards from Exmouth Dive Centre. Not only was she able to find some picture perfect Tasseled wobbies for me but she also found a rarely seen Wards wobbegong. This little guy was deep inside a cave and after lots of scooping out sand I was finally able to slide my housing in far enough to snap some head shots that Iím very happy with. Next I headed south to look for Spotted wobbies. Ewe from Albany Diving took me to a spot covered in baby Port Jackson sharks. It was another great experience that I wasn't expecting. Also in Albany I did manage to find a spotted wobbie and two new species of stingarees: Spotted and Striped. All of the Australian pictures are up in their respective sections of Elasmodiver and location reports for Ningaloo and Albany have been added to the Shark Diving Hotspots pages.                     

                                                                                                    Wards Wobbegong

 

GALAPAGOS SHARKS

On route from Oz I snuck in a quick cage dive at Haleiwa (Hawaii). The Galapagos sharks on the North Shore are feisty! Chris Lolley, a young entrepreneur who runs Hawaii Shark Encounters has been chumming for them for four years and the sharks never disappoint. Even with just a few minutes in the cage I had some pretty good shots including the ones below. Theyíre all posted in the Shark Pictures Database gallery.

 

 

MORE SHARK IMAGES

After Hawaii I joined up with Eli for the annual SharkDiver Mag Sandtiger trip in North Carolina which resulted in some new sandtiger images.

 

Finally back on the island I had a run in with a large Sixgill that resulted in the image displayed here.

 

 

COCOS ISLAND

Last month I went to The Island of the Sharks. Sadly I was not there to photograph the many shark species but to fly a new submersible named DeepSee. She is a Triumph class, prototype Sub built by SEAmagine Hydrospace in California. Sheís an amazing vessel and Iím sure that many more Triumphs will soon be commissioned. Although my job is pretty amazing, it was tough to sit in the sub all day without my camera while shark after shark swam by. I did manage one dive on scuba while I was there which resulted in some new Marble ray images. Check out the link in the Shark Pictures Database to take a look. Iíll be back in Cocos to continue piloting during October and I hope to return with far more images this time - maybe even some deep ones shot from the Triumph.

 

ELASMO PLANS

Soon I have some more ray hunting to do and then In December Iíll be back in the Bahamas with Eli and SharkDiver Magazine for what Iím sure will be the most spectacular trip of the year. Next year is shaping up well with many trips already pencilled in, more improvements planned for Elasmodiver including sections on shark diving with rebreathers, Shark and ray photography, and an expansion of Elasmodiver's biology and evolution sections.

 

Any ideas?

Do you know where to find an elusive shark or ray species?

Got any questions?

 

Iím all ears: elasmodiver@gmail.com

 

Happy shark diving,

Andy Murch

 

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