Author Archive

Ocean Action: Help Save Sharks with the Whale Shark Research Project

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
Underwater Photo Whale Shark Chasing Fish

Brandon Cole

Volunteer and help protect these gentle giants.


MISSION Generating marine conservation through researching whale sharks, preserving the marine ecosystem and encouraging the sustainable use of Mexico’s natural resources

HQ Baja California, Mexico



PROJECT Spanning up to 40 feet and weighing over 45,000 pounds, whale sharks are the ocean’s largest living fish. The Whale Shark Research Project is committed to conservation, scientific research, public awareness and education for these gentle giants.



WSRP participants have the opportunity to spend between one and 10 weeks making a difference while exploring La Paz Bay, Espiritu Santo Island or Los Cabos in the Gulf of California. During your time volunteering, you’ll have the opportunity to learn data-collection techniques, monitor juvenile whale sharks, participate in field research and immerse yourself in Mexican culture.


Akin to a human fingerprint, distinct spot patterns can be found around the shark’s gill area. Divers can upload whale shark photos to an online global identification database at After photos are submitted, spot-recognition software identifies the whale sharks, allowing scientists to follow their travels and analyze shark-sighting data to discover more about these mammoth fish.


Support WSRP’s eforts by adopting your very own whale shark. Your shark won’t be coming home with you — instead it will remain wild and free while you receive updates on its journey through the ocean. After choosing either an annual adoption basis or a lifetime option, adopters are offered a life history of the shark along with a professional photograph of the newly adopted family member.


Save coral reefs in Little Cayman

Take a bite out of invasive lionfish

Get trashy with marine art

Maritime History: See What Wrecks Were Discovered in 2015

Friday, October 2nd, 2015
Corsair wreck at Marshall Islands

Brandi Mueller

Corsair wreck at Marshall Islands

New wrecks are being found around the world, and we’ve got the scoop.


Exploring one plane wreck is good — but 150 is better. That’s what awaits divers in the Pacific Ocean’s Marshall Islands, where more than 150 WWII aircraft were found in 130 feet of water. “They should have flown more, lived longer, but they were sunk in perfect condition,” Brandi Mueller tells She discovered the site while diving of the coast of Roi-Namur in May 2015. Although this site is called a “graveyard,” these planes did not crash — rather they were pushed of a reef and into the ocean after the war.


Lost off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, in 1794, this Portuguese slave ship drew the attention of researchers who spent years searching for it — recently, the authenticity of the São José-Paquete de Africa was confirmed by the Slave Wrecks Project, which educates the public about the global slave trade. Now over 200 years old, the São José-Paquete de Africa sank after it ran into submerged rocks about 300 feet from shore, killing more than half of the 500 enslaved people on board, while it was on its way from Mozambique to Brazil. Surviving slaves were sold shortly after the tragic wreck incident. Divers can also explore nearby reefs.


After more than 60 years on the bottom, the “amazingly intact” USS Independence has been discovered of California’s Farallon Islands, though its depth — 2,600 feet — makes it undivable. Using an autonomous underwater vehicle and a 3-D-imaging sonar system, researchers created a detailed image of the 623-foot vessel. Independence was an American aircraft carrier during World War II; it was a target ship in atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll.


Two hundred feet down on Lake Superior’s bottom lies a 115-year-old ship with its name still legible — Nelson. Found intact, the 199-foot three-masted schooner sank during a storm in 1899 while transporting coal to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. While conducting a side-scan sonar search of the area, Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society researchers discovered the wreck in August 2014.