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Member Since 10 Aug 2007
Offline Last Active Apr 24 2010 10:57 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Spear fisherman kills tiger shark

17 March 2009 - 03:53 AM

so its clear, this is D.J. Struntz...the photographer who was in the water...hmmmm...i've been watching these threads for a few days thinking if i wanted to post...as a photojournalist, my job is to document events where-ever, when-ever and what-ever without bias...i find it interesting that photographers document war, famine, and all types of attrocities against other humans without being demonized...if anything, i think its a sad commentary on humans that this story draws such reaction when so many more terrible and wonderful things are taking place in this world. The photos were originally released to Outside magazine for a feature that was to focus on the incredible diving on the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico...Obviously, the photos of the tiger encounter have quite an impact so they were included by the magazine which touched off this whole thing. The account that ryan gave of the incident is true...there was no chum or dead or dying fish in the water at the time of the encounter...I've been diving with sharks sans speargun for 29 years, and have never had an encounter like this one...if getting into the boat had been an option at the time I would have gladly taken it as would have everyone else involved...Craig had to make a split second decision and it is what it is. He didn't do it for the camera, the are always video cameras in the water when these guys dive so if he had wanted to shoot a shark on film, he could have done it a thousand times over on past trips...he finished it, so he didn't leave a large mortally wounded animal to die over an extended period...Yes there are photos with the jaws...I took those to show scale and if craig is smiling, imagine how much adrenaline was draining from his system at the time...Craig made the best decision he could at the time...Did anyone involved want the sitiuation to end the way it did-NO...If we wanted "fame" it would have gone to press instantly-not 9 months later--the magazine article was supposed to provide an accurate account and had they not included the shark photo, it never would have gone public...at that point, with so much outcry, we felt that a true account of the events needed to be clarified...what kills me is that when I have tried to get photos of shark finning or fisheries bycatch published in the past no one cares, but since this was a one on one encounter, there is outcry...wholesale slaughter seems to be the way to go in our society-no one notices or wants to get involved...I was documenting the cleanest fishery of them all because it is so selective and unfortunetly on this trip, a shark was killed. Hopefully, if the images are as they emotive as they seem to be, it starts a dialogue that both educates spearos and brings focus among the general public on the fate of sharks in the oceans...spearfishing isn't a viable threat to shark populations -commercial overfishing of prey stocks and shark stocks combined with man-made environmental contamination are the real dangers...i would love to see less emotion and more science in this discussion...i spent over 10 years of my life as a dedicated marine research biologist and remain hopeful that my collegues who continue to work day in and day out to protect and conserve our oceans can and will make a difference...