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Mark Ostrom

The head of the Farallones Island Sanctuary suggested that "this is like going to the Dentist for You and Me" .

She NEEDS TO BE FIRED. Her Absoulute disregard for the safety, comfort and near lethal treatment of these wonderful primal fish is staggering.

I would suggest to this myopic young idiot that being drug behind a pickup with a rope tied around her tongue would be more in line with what the Sharks feel.

This story makes me sick... it's nearly as hypocritical as the Japanese thin and sickening excuse for processing Whales into Tuna Cans in the name of Research.

This man needs to be Stopped and the FMSA people who gave permission for this need terminated immediately, and National Geographic needs to issue an Apology to the Animal Kingdom.


Mark Ostrom

my comment was deleted. Sickening.

Rod in SF

How sad this story is. I certainly do not condone any sort of animal abuse, But, in the current times where people are loosing their jobs then homes I find that this sort of story is simply not necessary.

Look for stories that can HELP people!

diana garrison

I'm in 100% agreement with the posted comments I've just read.
Watching this footage on tv a few days ago, I found myself wincing at what I was seeing and what I feel is clearly a cruel and traumatic experience for the Great white.

From what I've read in the investigation report,identical information is retrieved from the pole clipping method used in the past.

I'm hopeful there will be a provision made giving the public an opportunity to collect their signatures on a statement of protest to what clearly seems to be abuse and disrespect for an endangered species.

The woman responsible for permitting this to occur at the Farralon's Sanctuary, needs a reality check, and also needs to wipe that smile off her face.

Sean Van Sommeran

What is ironic is that the resident, long term researchers who have been tracking and mapping white sharks with transmitters for over a decade are not allowed to have film crews document their work.

Moreover this infomercial for big game sport fishing pretends to have a conservation motivation and that they are just now tracking white sharks for first time etc.

White sharks have already been tracked from Midway Island to the Goldengate and back by resident researchers using innovative and non-invasive methods (Lures).

Meanwhile the Dept of Commerce issues permits to a fishing expedition for fat cats, repleat with Nat Geo funds and actor to play the role of 'eco warrior'.

Enjoy the canned seafood,

S.R. Van Sommeran
Executive Director/CEO
The Pelagic Shark Research Foundation.
Santa Cruz California, Since 1990

Linda Reese

The lady at the Farallones needs to be fired! She can't really be that nieve......can she? I go out to Guadalupe every year and I see researchers gathering their information without harming or harrassing the sharks! This is a blatent disregard for the well being of one of God's most magnificient creatures. National Geographic needs to back away from this guy before their reputation is ruined!

N. Zarama

Shame on you Maria Brown! Next time you go to the dentist please make sure you ask the dentist for the Farallones special which will consist of you being hooked and pulled by your face for a few hours before they remove your teeth.

Fact is that there are far better was of tagging GWS for research and you have failed to use good judgement.

You should be FIRED asap!


this is her email if anyone wants to send her a letter:



Remember these tags last for 6 years. This is going to provide long term information on single individual white sharks that no one knows. Sure other people have tagged white sharks and tracked them for months - but not 6 YEARS! This is definatley going to reveal all kinds of new information about white sharks. Don't listen to the other territorial researchers whose toys aren't as big.


All of you have no right to criticize Maria Brown for issuing a permit to conduct scientific research. This is scientific research on a scale much grander than has ever been done on white sharks before. Stop pretending to empathize with white sharks because they are bigger than other sharks - its ridiculous. Do you think they would put a 6 year tag on the shark if it was going to swim off and die?


Shame on them – this must stop! Scientific research requires humane treatment of animals and you don't have to be a scientist to see that this is utterly cruel and inhumane to any living creature. This "scientist" should have their license revoked. And for the park official who equated the act as no different than going to the dentist - she should have a hook lodged in her mouth, struggle with all her might for one hour as if her life depended on it the next time she sees her dentist for a filling and tell us how if feels. She clearly is clueless of what meaning of humane is.

talk is cheap

Please keep in mind that the local scientists (and some who have not earned that moniker) complaining about this important research feel "ownership" of these animals. These long term tags provide much better locational information and have been put on white sharks in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Mexico by variety of researchers.
All you are witnessing is a public airing of sour grapes that is an attempt to stand in the way of good science. Do not think for a second that the scientists in question have not "tortured" or even killed "lesser" sharks for the sake of their own research.


As much as I disagree with Maria Brown's approval and permitting of this, we also must think about the bigger picture.

Think about the hundreds of thousands of sharks that are killed daily around the world (great whites and others) for shark fin soup and other products.

But yes, this type of cruelty is unnecessary as TOPPS (tagging of pacific pelagics) has less invasive and more effective ways of getting the same information.

Shame on Ms Brown AND on national geographic

friend of the GWS

I am a shark enthusiast that has visited Guadalupe on several occasions.

What has not been mentioned in this account is that the scientist and film crew in question have spent their entire episode worrying about going over the “20-minute” deadline. How was this time schedule determined?

In the previous interview of the scientist he specifically mentioned that the first 3 tagged sharks did not report any results and that the tags had failed. The manufacturer of these tags is a reputable company that has over 10 years experience making these high tech devices. The tags cost nearly 4k each and they do not malfunction, as they are tested religiously. What was not discussed is the possibility that these three sharks may be on the sea floor near the Nat Geo film site at Guadalupe.

Did this crew sacrifice the first three sharks to better understand the time able necessary for the episode?

I am not supportive of this potentially lethal research that sacrifices protected species for ratings. Further, these research endeavors will likely only lead to similar conclusions that have already been discovered by other scientists.


I love the opening statement: "Managers from the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary came to Peter Klimley in May, asking him to **share his permit for the study of Great White Sharks with a researcher from San Diego, Michael Domeier. Klimley turned them down flat because he is critical of Domeier's techniques."

**Sounds like one researcher not wanting to collaborate with another...Happens all the time in scientific research.

And this: "Klimley and **other researchers say the treatment amounts to animal cruelty,..."

**All other researchers, or just a select few?

And this: "Great Whites are listed as an endangered species under **CITES,..."

**Excuse me, but is someone here engaged in the international trade of sharks?

This iTeam report is skewed toward the sensational and the shame should go to KGO for publishing it as is.


I am not a shark expert, and cannot comment on the value of the science purportedly being done here. However, it is almost impossible to believe that 20 minutes is needed for the procedure. At least half the time appears to be spent on guesswork for where to stick a needle to take blood, a superfluous anatomy lesson on the poor animal's sex organs (do you get that treatment in a dentist's chair lady?), and various high-fives and posing by a quasi-thrillseeker crew who can hardly be said to come across as either scientists or professional fishermen. The focus is not where it should be. On getting the animal back in the water and minimizing trauma. We need more careful stewards. These guys should not be getting permits.


FYI, the CA Dept of Fish and Game permits the research, catch and release of sharks. The Gulf of the Farallones only permits the "attraction" of white sharks.

This short media segment does not portray both sides of the issue well.

Recently, so much important information has been gained from tagging sea turtles, sharks, elephant seals, dolphins and other large pelagic animals. Similar tagging techniques are used for many of these critters.

Dave Nothhelfer

I think research on white sharks is fundamental to our understanding of marine ecosystems. We still have no idea how many white sharks even live off our coast. Researchers have been studying white sharks off the Farallons for decades without using stressful methods of tagging which endanger the animal.

If we don't know how many white sharks exist, but we do know there are not great numbers of them, then why are we allowing such great risks to be taken to capture them and obtain data which we already have. I wish NOAA would take a more critical look at how they manage large mega fauna. I think this problem of how NOAA manages large species is more abundant than just white sharks. Similar controversial management strategies occurred with the Hawaiian Monk seal and with the management of tiger sharks in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. I think more pressure needs to be placed on NOAA to review it’s management strategies and to truly consider specie conservations as a priority.


Dan, I was grateful to see your story on the news last night to help clear some things up on this issue. It is gratifying to hear that others are concerned with the invasive research approach used on these endangered sharks. I remain unclear on how this research will help to conserve a protected species by fishing for them in a national marine sanctuary with gigantic hooks baited with mammal parts. In this day and age I am appalled that the media would glorify these invasive techniques considering all of the information that has been collected on white sharks in the past using validated methods. Sure puts a bad name on science out to the public.


What I think people don't realize is that these types of tags allow the scientists to track the shark for up to 5 years, which is longer than any shark has been tracked before. Other tags usually only last for one year before they no longer work or fall off, not giving us the complete picture of the migration of great whites. Understanding the full scope of the sharks' movements is invaluable and allows us to better protect them and the critical areas they need.

In the years he has done this, none of the sharks tagged by Dr. Domeier have died. And it's true, very similar techniques are used with other large pelagic animals- this research in particular seems to be sensationalized because it's great white sharks.


The only thing that will be "rewritten" as a result of this research is the permitting approval process for manipulating protected species within a sanctuary.


I believe that anyone whining about the way the sharks are being treated has a real problem. I don't seen anything wrong with what the Dr is doing. They are being as careful as possible & are commited to the sharks well being. We need to know in order to better protect them. I would give anything to be able to be on that boat and be a part of that research. I am thankful that the Maria Brown had the guts to stand up for these Sharks and their well being. Should it be considered overly intrusive when the doctor goes in with forceps to help us have a baby. Sharks have been found with some unusually large objects in there stomachs. I have always wanted to be able to go out to the Farallones and observe first hand there majestic beauty. I hope that Dr Domeier keeps up the good job & people quit belly aching about his work they are just jealous because he was able to get the funding to do this.

Frank Soloman

Several other blogs have clearly illustrated the financial motives behind this groups actions. This so called research team has no concern over the welfare of this protected resource, a resource that generates millions in revenue for both Mexico and the Farallon-based cage operations.

Media-driven pseudo research projects, such as this one, only attempt to re-invent the valuable studies that have already been performed by respectable scientists. This work is obviously performed just for the ratings and deserves no respect in my book.

Tell me what respectable researcher uses a team of Hollywood actors to help conduct his field research. What a sad day for the scientific community.

Here is a good read on this teams antics a disgusting image of one of the sharks that was severely injured at Guadalupe by this so-called research team.

They need to be stopped before they injure more of these valuable sharks!



A simple way to diffuse all the emotion here would be for Dr. Domeier to make the tracks obtained from the sharks available in real time.

Since SPOT tags talk to the satellite in real time, results could be posted as they arrive. Seaturtle.org, for example, has the capability to make this happen. All that is needed is Dr. Domeier to allow access the data. Although this would not address concerns for the general health of the sharks, it would help allay concerns post-release behavior and survival.

This could be used to educate school children and the general public on the habits and seasonal whereabouts of these amazing animals.


www.seaturtle.org for those interested...

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