The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: crime

This Great White Feeding Will Give you Something to Ponder On Your Next Swim to Alcatraz.


Very crimson water, courtesy of a Great White, San Francisco Bay. Screen Grab from video by Chris Hindler. 

With the caption “Guess we know what happened to the few escapees…” YouTube user Chris Hindler captured the lingering fear of every swimmer who ever rounded Alcatraz Island or every surfer who ever paddled out at Fort Point. Yes, that’s a Great White shark eviscerating an unfortunate seal or sea lion near Alcatraz – inside San Francisco Bay. This may well be the first documented feeding of this kind in these waters, and it will probably give pause to the brave people who do this.


Photo: Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim

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16,000 Pounds of Cocaine in a Homemade Submarine and the Biggest Drug Bust in USCG History


The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton approach the suspected vessel on July 19th. Photo: Lanola Stone/Coast Guard via AFP – Getty Images.

$181 million dollars is the estimated value of the 300+ bales–16,000 pounds–of cocaine seized by the United States Coast Guard 200 miles off the coast of Mexico last month, what is apparently the largest confiscation of illicit drugs in the force’s history.

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Here’s What You Should Know About the Littlest Porpoise and What You Can Do to Help Them.


Above: The vaquita (Phocoena sinus). Photo: Flip Nicklin, Minden Pictures/Corbis.

The vaquita is a tiny endangered porpoise that exists within a narrow 1,500-square-mile patch of the Pacific Ocean around Baja, California with a dwindling population of less than 100 as of late 2014.

As is the case with many cetaceans that find themselves fouled in fishing nets, they’re not the target species. Oriental interest in the swim bladder of another endangered specimen, the totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi), has fishermen in Mexico setting nets in waters shared by the vaquita.

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10,000 Miles on the Trail of The World’s Most Wanted Fishing Vessel and the Laughable Response of the Maritime Industry to The New York Times’ Devastating Reporting.


Above: One of Sea Shepherd’s vessels limping through the tortured waters of the Southern Ocean somewhere south of Cape Town, South Africa. Screenshot: Animal Planet/Sea Shepherd Global, Selase Kove-Seyram for The New York Times.

The last segment of The New York Times’ “The Outlaw Ocean” series came out this week. This fourth and final installment, titled “A Renegade Trawler Hunted for 10,000 Miles by Vigilantes,” details the story of two Sea Shepherd ships which tailed one of the world’s most wanted illegal fishing vessels for over 10,000 miles – because not one national government or international maritime organization would bother to pursue the rogue vessel.

Over 111 days, the Bob Barker and the Sam Simon, vessels named after the T.V. game show host and “The Simpsons” creator (both investors)–followed the Nigerian-registered, Norwegian-built seine netter Thunder through the “furious fifties” and the “roaring forties,” latitudes where winds and waves are almost continuously in excess of 40 knots and 40 feet.

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A Patagonian toothfish, or Chilean sea bass from one of The Thunder’s 45-mile-long illegal nets which Sea Shepherd seized. (Ed’s note: Sea Shepherd’s seizure of the net was illegal, according to some maritime lawyers, but chances of prosecution are very low in the wake of The Thunder’s illegal activities.) Photo: Jeff Wirth/Sea Shepherd Global.

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He Swims with the Fishes off Grand Cayman Island. . . .


This guy (or gal) was neither the first nor the last to go out like Luca Brasi, if someone was in fact attached to the handcuffs. How long they were down there is now more or less irrelevant, but it was long enough. One can only imagine how many of these jury-rigged deathtraps haunt the world’s seafloors–or the murky bed of the Hudson River alone, which dissects New York and New Jersey. Photo: AP.

Last week, while snorkeling off Grand Cayman Island’s famous 7-Mile-Beach in front of the Westin Casuarina Resort and Spa (which, according to Google, has since closed), tourists made a gruesome discovery–a grim reminder of how the British overseas territory’s wanton luxury resorts and exorbitant offshore bank accounts came to be in the first place.

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The Astonishing Rise of the China’s Reef-Destroying Military Islands In High Resolution

Subi Reef – This reef has changed dramatically in recent months. The southern, western, and northern edges of the reef have been reclaimed and an access channel to the inner harbor cut out. Dredgers continued to operate here in June. Two cement plants are being built along the western bank. Image: Washington Post/AMTI. 

In April, we ran a story that tracked some of the troubling destruction China is wreaking on reefs in the South China Sea in the pursuit of miltary and commercial bases. They’re actually building islands out of atolls. 

Today The Washington Post published a stunning series of images collected by the Asian Maritime Transparency Institute that lays out in depressing detail, the level of destruction and the scale of construction that China is bringing to what otherwise once appeared to be beautiful, blue atolls in the South China Sea.

Can we do a damn thing about it? No, not really. Will the future conflicts sure to erupt over these disputed territorial waters one day bring war back to South Asia? That remains to be seen.

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A 20 Foot (Great White?) Shark Was Mysteriously Delivered to a Backyard in Qingdao, China


Just another day in the neighborhood. Photo: ImagineChina/REX Shutterstock.

Identified as a great white, the 6 meter shark was delivered by crane to a man in a Tuhao (“provincial rich”, or “uncivilized splendor”) neighborhood in China’s port city of Qingdao.

One neighbor reported that he caught the gigantic fish “very far out at sea”. Another explained that the resident in question bought the shark, as he had a sizable shark delivered the previous year as well, which he shared with the neighborhood. Apparently the man enjoys skinning, dressing and butchering the endangered animals in his backyard.

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Rest in Peace Anne Bonny: A Tribute to the Pirate Queen of the Caribbean on This Day of Her (Supposed) Death


Anne Bonny dressed in men’s garb for battle, but was known for considerately slipping her enemies a glance at her breast before finishing them off, just to reveal that they were being done in by a woman. Image: Public domain.

While yes, it may be Earth Day, April 22nd could also be remembered with intrigue in nautical history as the day that, by some accounts at least, the infamous, scandalous pirate queen of the Caribbean Anne Bonny made the grave.

Anne Bonny was brazen, ruthless, seductive, self-empowered, and a woman way, way ahead of her time. She was also said to be something of a catch, with her blazing red mane. Still, she was no daisy. Bonny took to buccaneer’s duty in men’s attire and was just as much of a brute, if not more so than her male counterparts.

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