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Record-Breaking Hammerhead Landings Deadly And Possibly Illegal, Says Marine Biologist



Last month a 21-year-old man in Florida made international headlines for snagging a 13-foot hammerhead while fishing off the pier at Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. After his friend’s line bent hard and the huge fish was pulled in closer, Ryan Bolash dragged the shark onto a beach full of stunned onlookers.

“It was flailing around, everything like that,” one witness later said. “It was really cool.”

The famous snag was only the latest in a spate of recent high-profile hammerhead catches. But according to one marine biologist, the sharks’ lives were in danger and the fishermen were probably breaking the law.

In March a group of Florida Atlantic University students made headlines when they caught a 14-foot, estimated 700-pound hammerhead (and posted a YouTube video of the ordeal, now viewed more than a million times), and in February a man was featured on local television after winning a South Florida fishing tournament with his hammerhead catch.

All the fishermen expressed concern for the animals’ well-being and released the sharks. “They’re an amazing creature,” Bolash said. “I don’t know why anyone would want to hurt them.”

But the fishers also struggled for an hour or more with the animals to reel them in — hammerheads are renowned fighters — and took photos and measurements before releasing the sharks. Keeping the animals on land even for a few minutes can prove fatal, says a University of Miami marine biologist. And thanks to a 2012 law aimed at protecting the species — which is endangered — it’s also illegal.

“Think about if we were holding your head underwater for several minutes while scuba divers were taking a picture,” says David Shiffman, the biologist. “You’re not adapted to survive in that world.”

Of shark species, Shiffman says, hammerheads have among the highest stress responses to being caught. They fight instantly and vigorously, which makes the shark popular with fishermen looking for an adrenaline rush. But it also means hammerheads are more likely to die from the stress and fatigue of a protracted battle with a fishing line, even if they’re released promptly once they’re finally reeled in.

Shiffman is particularly miffed at those who brag of hours-long “epic fights” to bring in the hammerheads. “The ‘fight’ is the animal literally trying not to die,” he says. “[It’s] putting every bit of energy it has into not being killed.”

There’s no reliable hammerhead count available, Shiffman says, but he estimates the shark’s population has declined by as much as 90 percent since the 1970s. In 2012 the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission passed a regulation prohibiting the killing of three varieties, including the great hammerhead, the largest. But the law also prohibits “landing” of the sharks, meaning it’s illegal to bring them ashore unless they are “immediately returned to the water free, alive, and unharmed.”

Keeping the hammerheads on the beach to measure them or pose for a picture, Shiffman contends, means the animals aren’t being immediately released, and the stressful fight to reel them in means they’re not left unharmed.

The biologist estimates that in recent years hundreds of hammerheads have been pulled ashore, often during the night or in unpopulated areas where the practice can go unnoticed.

“‘Oh yeah, of course we released it. We don’t want to hurt the animals,'” he said, mimicking the fishermen’s typical response. “But they’re using illegal actions that hurt the animals. Their heart’s in the right place, but their actions need to match it.”




Murex Bangka Announce New Oceanfront Cottages & Beachfront Dining



dive resort indonesia

Located on a private, palm-fringed, white sand beach and surrounded by kaleidoscopic coral reefs that are bursting with colour and teeming with life, Murex Bangka Resort is a haven for scuba divers. A stay at Murex Bangka gives divers the opportunity to experience a virtually untouched, Indonesian tropical island paradise.

This stunning resort that harnesses solar power, is committed to sustainability and marine conservation – is now offering divers even more home comforts with the completion of its new Premium Oceanfront Cottages and a new restaurant offering exciting indoor and al fresco dining experiences.

NEW Premium Oceanfront Cottages

Murex Bangka Resort offers a duplex style and two detached Premium Oceanfront Cottages which are positioned close to the ocean and are just steps away from the beach.

These tastefully appointed and spacious air-conditioned rooms offer comfortable indoor living and large verandas with outdoor seating. Double and twin bed sleeping configurations are available and all Premium Oceanfront Cottages feature large ensuite bathrooms with twin basins.

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As well as the detached cottages, the duplex option offers two more individual premium living spaces. For families and groups of friends, the two adjoining duplex cottages and the shared adjoining common living room area may be opened up – making this an ideal and generously proportioned for option for families and groups who prefer to stay closer together.

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  • Large verandas with ceiling fans
  • Ensuite ocean view bathrooms with hot water rainfall showers
  • AC throughout the night
  • Minibar
  • Dressing table/desk area
  • Ample storage
  • King size or twin beds with mosquito nets
  • Complimentary drinking water
  • Floor to ceiling windows
  • Ample wall sockets for charging accessories
  • Comfortable indoor and outdoor seating
  • Shared common/living area (Duplex Cottages)

dive resort indonesia

New Beachfront Dining

After a day of diving, guests can now kick-back, relax and enjoy flavours from around the world in Murex Bangka’s new beachfront restaurant. As well as serving a la carte dishes from the inspiring menu, diners can enjoy both buffet and family-style offerings.

Dishes combine the freshest of local ingredients and include options for a range of dietary preferences and restrictions. Bangka’s new menu has been carefully curated with the assistance of an internationally renowned food and beverage consultant and there is a focus on combining traditional classics with more contemporary international plates.

dive resort indonesia

The new and impressive free standing main restaurant allows guests to dine just meters from the shore while enjoying beautiful beach and sea views. Three meals a day are on offer as well as an enticing selection of specialty coffees, teas, mocktails and cocktails. A wine menu is also available and a cold beer (or beverage of your choosing) makes for a perfect way to end the day while watching the sunset over the ocean.

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Book Your Stay

If you would like to find out more about Murex Bangka or to make a reservation, contact: or take a look at the Murex Resorts website:

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Gear News

Oceanic+ Dive Housing Awarded the Red Dot Product Design Award 2024




Oceanic, a pioneer in scuba diving technology for over 50 years, announces that its Oceanic+ Dive Housing has been honored with the prestigious 2024 Red Dot Design Award. This esteemed recognition underscores Oceanic’s commitment to innovation and excellence in product design.

The Red Dot Award is an internationally renowned accolade, celebrating exceptional design quality and innovation across various industries. Each year, thousands of products from around the globe undergo rigorous evaluation by an expert panel of judges, with only the most outstanding designs receiving this esteemed award.

The Oceanic+ Dive Housing impressed the jury with its sleek and functional design, seamlessly integrating with both Apple Watch Ultra and iPhone devices to transform them into fully functional dive computers. This innovative product not only enhances the diving experience but also exemplifies Oceanic’s dedication to providing cutting-edge solutions for divers worldwide.

“We are thrilled to receive the 2024 Red Dot Product Design Award for the Oceanic+ Dive Housing,” says Mike Huish, CEO of Huish Outdoors. “This accolade is a testament to our relentless pursuit of excellence in design and technology in the dive industry. We are immensely proud of our team’s hard work and commitment to innovation.”

The Oceanic+ Dive Housing joins the ranks of previous Red Dot Award winners, reaffirming Oceanic’s position as a leader in the dive industry. This prestigious recognition further solidifies Oceanic’s reputation for delivering exceptional quality and performance in its products.

About Oceanic

Founded in 1972 by industry-pioneer Bob Hollis, Oceanic is a global dive leader committed to providing innovative, reliable, accessible and easy-to-use dive equipment to recreational divers so they can focus on what matters most: exploring the underwater world and appreciating the wonders of marine life. For over 50 years this philosophy has been woven into everything Oceanic does and is the foremost reason the company is considered a best-in-class, recreational dive brand. Oceanic is one of Huish Outdoors’ premier dive brands. To learn more, please visit

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