Giant great white shark swims with Hawaii divers

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In this Jan. 15, 2019 photo provided by Juan Oliphant, Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher and advocate, swims with a large great white shark off the shore of Oahu. (AP)
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Diver Ocean Ramsey (@oceanramsey) swims next to a female great white shark off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii on January 15, 2019. (AFP)
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Diver Ocean Ramsey (@oceanramsey) swims next to a female great white shark off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii on January 15, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 19 January 2019
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Giant great white shark swims with Hawaii divers

HALEIWA, Hawaii: Two shark researchers who came face to face with what could be one of the largest great whites ever recorded are using their encounter as an opportunity to push for legislation that would protect sharks in Hawaii.
Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher and conservationist, told The Associated Press that she encountered the 20-foot (6-meter) shark Tuesday near a dead sperm whale off Oahu.
The event was documented and shared on social media by her fiancé and business partner Juan Oliphant.
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said it was aware of photos of the great white and that tiger sharks also have been feeding on the whale.
Oliphant, who photographed the now-viral images, said it’s unclear if the shark is the famed Deep Blue, believed to be the largest great white ever recorded.
“She looks the part right now,” Oliphant said about the shark spotted Tuesday. “Maybe even more exciting that there is another massive, you know, super-size great white shark out there. Because their populations are so dwindling.”
Ramsey, who operates Oahu-based One Ocean Diving and Research with Oliphant, said she has been pushing for several years for a bill that would ban the killing of sharks and rays in Hawaii, and hopes this year the measure will become law.
She said the images of her swimming next to a huge great white shark prove the predators should be protected, not feared.
Still, the veteran shark diver doesn’t think the general public should recklessly get into the water with the giants, especially around a food source like a rotting whale carcass.
Ramsey said extensive training and time spent studying shark behavior has kept her team and customers safe. She teaches people about how to act and, more importantly, not act when they encounter a shark in the water.
Ramsey and her team observe behavior, identify and tag sharks and share that data with researchers as well as state and federal officials. She said she previously swam with the huge shark on research trips to Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
She also leads cage-free shark diving tours.
Unlike many marine mammals, sharks are not a federally protected species, though there are laws against the sale of their fins.
“There’s not a lot of sympathy for sharks because of the way they’re portrayed in media and they don’t have the cute cuddly appearance,” Ramsey said. “You can’t hate them for being predators. We need them for healthy marine ecosystems.”
Ramsey and Oliphant want to make sure that people realize that shark bites are uncommon.
“The idea that they see people as a food source, that is rubbish and that needs to go away because really that’s ultimately leading to the demise of these animals,” Oliphant said.
State Sen. Mike Gabbard sponsored the shark protection legislation last session and plans to reintroduce it this year. The bill died in the House when it wasn’t heard by the House Judiciary Committee.
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said the decomposing whale carcass had drifted to about eight miles (13 kilometers) south of Pearl Harbor after being towed 15 miles (24 kilometers) offshore days earlier.
Officials say there have been reports that people are climbing onto the carcass to take its teeth as souvenirs, which may be a violation of state and federal laws.
The agency’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Chief Jason Redull said people should stay out of the water around the dead whale.
“Understandably, some people want to get into the water either out of fascination or to get photographs, but it is truly dangerous to be around this carcass with so much shark activity,” he said.
Ramsey said it’s impressive that the great white has survived a “gauntlet of human death traps.”
“I don’t know how old she is,” Ramsey said. “But for her to survive through so many longline fisheries and,. you know, gill nets and team nets and fishermen who might just kill her because they think that she is a monster ... it’s very special.”


Get swole: Merriam-Webster dictionary bulks up with new entries

Updated 38 min 54 sec ago
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Get swole: Merriam-Webster dictionary bulks up with new entries

BOSTON: Get swole, prepare a bug-out bag, grab a go-cup and maybe you’ll have a better chance of surviving the omnicide.
Translation: Hit the gym and bulk up, put a bunch of stuff essential for survival in an easy-to-carry bag, grab a drink for the road, and perhaps you’ll live through a man-made disaster that could wipe out the human race.
Swole, bug-out bag, go-cup and omnicide are just a few of the 640 additions to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary added Monday.
Deciding what gets included is a painstaking process involving the Springfield, Massachusetts-based company’s roughly two dozen lexicographers, said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large.
They scan online versions of newspapers, magazines, academic journals, books and even movie and television scripts until they detect what he calls “a critical mass” of usage that warrants inclusion.
The words are added to the online dictionary first, before some are later added to print updates of the company’s popular Collegiate Dictionary, which according to company spokeswoman Meghan Lunghi, has sold more than 50 million copies since 1898, making it the “best-selling hardcover book after the Bible.”
“So many people use our website as their principal dictionary and we want it to be current,” Sokolowski said. “We want to be as useful as possible.”
The latest additions include mostly new words, or phrases, but also some old words with new meanings or applications.
Take unplug and snowflake, for example. Unplug means to literally tug an electric plug from a wall socket, but now, it also has a more metaphorical meaning, as in to disconnect from social media, he said.
And yes, a snowflake is still a beautiful ice crystal that floats from the sky during winter, but it now also has a usually disparaging meaning of “someone who is overly sensitive,” according to Merriam-Webster’s definition.
Some of the words have been around for decades, but are included in the dictionary because of increased usage.
Omnicide, which means “the destruction of all life,” dates to the Cold War and was used in reference to the threat of nuclear annihilation, but lately it has been used to define the risk of other man-made disasters, primarily climate change.
Popular culture — movies, TV and sports — is a common source of new words, such as buzzy, an adjective that literally means creating a buzz, such as a “buzzy new movie.”
And then there’s EGOT, a noun that refers to an entertainer who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg are among the elite group.
Garbage time, those painful final minutes of a game when one team has an insurmountable lead and both teams empty their benches, has been around since 1960, but is on the latest list of new words.
With the rapid advance of science, many new words come from the fields of technology and medicine.
In the Internet age when it’s sometimes difficult to determine whether the vast amounts of information we’re exposed to is accurate, the dictionary is a rock, Sokolowski said.
“We need the dictionary more than ever now that we have information flying at us from all directions,” he said.