Whatever your feelings on the matter, the event does make for a compelling photograph. | Photo: Port Hacking Game Fishing Club

Ocean lovers mourn “execution” of half-ton Tiger Shark by sports fishermen just off popular Sydney surf beach: “This animal was one of the important fishes in the sea!”

“I felt sick, because sharks have been around for 400 million years and it’s only in the past 50 years that humans have been doing such a great job of getting rid of them."

Four days ago, a group of sports fishermen from the Port Hacking Game Fishing Club, competing in a contest off Cronulla in Sydney’s south, hooked an almost half-ton Tiger shark as big as their boat.

The men wrestled the fish for almost an hour before killing it and bringing it to shore for the obligatory victory photos. 

Tigers aren’t protected in NSW waters so a fisherman can do pretty much what he wants. 

Catch ‘em, drag ‘em board, belt ‘em over the head. Take selfies.

Death ain’t pretty, of course. 

And, ocean and wildlife lovers lit up, as you can imagine. 

“I had two reactions,” University of WA Professor Jessica Meeuwig, who is the director of the uni’s Centre for Marine Futures, told The West Live. “I felt sick, because sharks have been around for 400 million years and it’s only in the past 50 years that humans have been doing such a great job of getting rid of them. And the other thing is, I felt sad, because a lot of recreational fishers truly love the ocean and they love the wildlife that’s in the ocean, and they’re probably not aware that killing animals like that is basically ocean vandalism.”

Two years earlier, a ninety-pound eight year old boy from the same club spent an entire day reeling in a nine-hundred pound Tiger twenty miles off Bondi.

“The majority of sharks that are caught are let go,” he said. “With this one, fisheries will take samples for research, and the jaws will get moulded into in a plaque on the wall for Jayden. The rest is fish and chips.”

Sub-bantamweight boy vs ultra-heavy Tiger.

He that is without sin, of course, throw your rocks. 

Know, 

All those pretty little lambs, mewing like the babies they are, throats hacked open, roasted in ovens, presented as happy family meal; the calves torn from mammy at birth for veal, described as “the pale and tender meat of a very sick baby cow who was tortured to death.”

All the happy salmon and tuna we mow through, gasping on the decks of fishing boats or living miserable lives in filthy pens before getting the knife through the head.

The male chicks thrown into slicing machines, useless, mostly for any commercial purpose. 

And on and on.


Photo: Steve Sherman @tsherms.
Photo: Steve Sherman @tsherms. | Photo: @tsherms/Steve Sherman

Opinion: History will now officially remember world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater as the seventh or maybe eighth best athlete of his generation!

Not the B.O.A.T.

The world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater is, without any shade of doubt, a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. Handsome, well-spoken, ridiculously talented, driven. He holds 11 World Titles, the most in history and by far, winning his first in 1992 and his last in 2011.

This year, ranked 3rd after an eye-opening performance at Pipeline, he was in position to defy all odds and take home his 12th crown, cementing his place as the best of all time, or B.O.A.T. but alas, a four-year-old injury and maybe the prospect of spending two weeks locked in an Australian Ibis has halted his campaign.

What does this mean?

He will not be the B.O.A.T. but rather the seventh or eighth best of his generation.

Let’s count Kelly’s contemporaries who are now forever above him.

1) Wayne Gretzky

2) Serena Williams

3) Roger Federer

4) Tom Brady

5) Lebron James

6) Bo Jackson

7) Kelly Slater?

I know you think Wayne Gretzky is too old to belong but with a face like that oooooooee. How can he not be included amongst his youngers?

Anyhow, do you agree or should we nitpick?


Inspiration: Honolulu boy paralyzed in rare surfing accident becomes card trick master, president of Hawaii’s Society of American Magicians!

Wonder and amazement!

We, each of us, know that this surfing life, while very fun, is otherwise worthless. Getting up, paddling out, bogging a cutback, paddling in, rinsing, washing, repeating, though I rarely rinse or wash. The salty crust that builds up is one of the great, albeit worthless, surfing life pleasures.

Magic, on the other sleight of hand, is not worthless as it brings great joy to many. Groups of children, Las Vegas convention goers, people waltzing down Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade etc. Smiling faces alongside general amazement and let us learn the completely inspiring story of Hawaii’s Mycah Muranaka,

The young man lived a very active life in paradise, hiking, camping and surfing. One day in January, 2016 he was out at a well-known spot when his back started hurting and his knees became weak. He quickly paddled to shore but by the time he got there he could no longer stand up.

After being transported to the hospital and examined, the doctors declared he had suffered surfer’s myelopathy, a very rare sort of paralysis when blood vessels leading to the nerves in the back become restricted.

Paralyzed from the waist down, he was told he would never walk again and became very sad but he did not give up and focused his attention on what he could do, including mastering the art of magic.

He is now president of Hawaii’s Society of American Magicians and works for the Honolulu Magic Company, inspiring many and bringing joy to many more. He says he hopes others facing difficulties can learn from him by finding something that absorbs them too.

Completely anti-depressive.


Sayonara champ and thanks for the laughs. | Photo: @tsherms/Steve Sherman

Greatest surfer ever Kelly Slater announces shock withdrawal from Merewether CT and, likely, Narrabeen, effectively ending chance for world title surf-off in September; cites four-year-old injury as reason: “I’ve been struggling…constant pain!”

Hip, foot in mess, unable to surf etc.

In pretty substantial, but altogether unsurprising, news, the eleven-time world champ Kelly Slater has announced he ain’t gonna be on the WSL’s  bird to Australia in two days. 

Slater said, “I’ve been struggling with recent and ongoing injuries in both ankles since the Pipe Masters event and I had a separate injury in my right hip (and maybe previously broken foot) this past week which has left me unable to surf. It’s a tough one for me because I love Australia so much and miss the time I usually get to spend there each year. I’ll just have to use the time to get myself up to a level physically I never really got back to after my broken foot (in Jeffreys Bay in 2017) and get myself out of constant pain. Good luck to all my fellow competitors and I hope to see everyone back on tour soon.”

Maybe he just ain’t into doing two-weeks in a crummy hotel with the windows bolted shut and living on takeaway food or maybe he isn’t into jerking his forty-nine-year-old bones around, likely, unspectacular waves at Newcastle and Narrabeen made for Medina, Ferreira, Toledo and co. 

Or

https://www.instagram.com/p/CMBgmKcHBlO/

Whatever the reason, missing part or all of the Australian leg will make it real difficult, maybe impossible, for the Champ to confect a miracle, greatest-ever-title win at Lowers in September. 

I’d suggest the sands of time have finally run out for a man whose invincibility and longevity singlehandedly kept pro surfing alive. There will be no runs at the title as a fifty year old.

An end that whimpers, no bang.

Unless Tahiti lights up.


Listen: It is time for one brave male QS warrior to rise up, self-identify as female, qualify for the women’s championship tour and bring home the title!

History is calling, Tomas Hermes. Will you answer?

On January 20, 2021, United States President Joseph R. Biden, by the authority vested in him as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, hereby executive ordered to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation and beautiful.

A gorgeous utopia floating just over the horizon.

We surfers, we wave sliders, know that our governing body, the World Surf League, is one of the wokest in all professional sports and there is a fabulous opportunity for one brave male Qualifying Series middle-dweller to rise up, self-identify as female and qualify for the women’s Championship Tour likely winning the title and becoming a feel-good story along the way.

Six-part documentary series co-starring CEO Erik Logan certainly to follow.

Who should this courageous boy be?

Well, I think Tomas Hermes.

The Brazilian, 30, currently ranked 218 in the world, could firstly become sponsored by Hermès and bring his wax, extra leashes, etc. to the beach in a work-of-art Birkin.

He could then smash all-comers, using experience, a tireless approach to li’l whacks off the lip and extra-helpings of testosterone to vault himself to a historical crown.

Loud cheers, etc.

A wonderful opportunity, don’t you think?

Enlightened?

David Lee Scales and I discussed today alongside my wife Circe Wallace who happens to be a famous agent. She mostly glared as I presented this particular brilliance, but otherwise provided insight and perspective gleaned from over 30 years in the action sporting game.

She will be sharing this knowledge with you as part of a new series (sign up here). In the meantime enjoy the rest of the conversation now or later.