Sunday, March 28, 2010

60 Minutes - Swimming with Sharks

Tonight on 60 Minutes Anderson followed up on the segment on sharks he did for Planet in Peril-II. In his report, Anderson returned to South Africa for a more in-depth interview with Mike Rutzen aka "The Sharkman".

We begin with video clips from 60 Minutes.

The Intro



The Sharkman



Our puzzle tonight is a picture of Anderson on the ocean floor as he watches the sharks swim above him.

Click to Mix and Solve

Sharks 35a Jigsaw PuzzleSharks 35a Jigsaw Puzzle


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Thanks to Wonz for sending me a link to an article Anderson wrote about swimming with sharks. The article appeared today on the Daily Beast.

My Swim with the Great White Sharks
by Anderson Cooper


CNN's Anderson Cooper, on assignment for 60 MINUTES, writes about plunging into bloody water to swim with one of the world's most vicious—and endangered—predators.

It is an odd sensation, sitting with your legs dangling in bloody water, watching enormous great white sharks swim underneath you. It is an even odder sensation knowing that you are about to plunge your whole body into that water and swim with the sharks, who are searching for food. I kept thinking of that line in The Godfather, “Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”
I am not one to take risks unnecessarily. I don’t jump out of planes, or bungee jump. I don’t see the point. But I had agreed to dive with the great whites because I was doing a profile of Mike Rutzen, who in South Africa, where he lives, is known as the Sharkman. Rutzen is not a marine biologist; in fact, he’s not a scientist at all. He is a fisherman who has become fascinated by great whites, and has spent more time up close with them than just about anybody else on the planet.

Rutzen dives with the Great Whites to learn about them, and to prove the point that they are not mindless killers out to eat humans. He is not an aquatic version of Timothy Treadwell, the eccentric man who tried to live with bears in the wild, only to be eaten by them. Rutzen does take risks, but he is not under any illusion about what these sharks are capable of.
I’ve dived with Rutzen once before, and agreed to do it again because it is among the more thrilling and interesting interactions you can have with an animal in the wild. Great whites have been around for millions of years, and yet there is still a lot we don’t know about them. They’ve never been seen mating for instance, or giving birth. They can travel great distances, and getting close to them for long periods of time is difficult and obviously dangerous. Few people like great white sharks—or any kind of shark, for that matter—so the problem with that is that few people seem to care that some 70 million sharks are slaughtered every year to make shark fin soup, a delicacy in Asia. The sharks are caught in nets or long fishing lines, and their fins are cut off while they are still alive. Their bodies are dumped back into the sea. Rutzen believes if more people understood sharks and respected them and their role in the ecosystem of the ocean, they would work harder to protect them.
So what’s it like diving with great whites? In a word - terrifying. They are enormous. The sharks I could clearly see from the surface of the water were about 15 feet in length, but what you don’t realize until you are underwater and they are coming straight at you, is just how thick they are; their girth is massive, and what’s worse, they seem completely un-intimidated by humans. It turns out they don’t like scuba bubbles, which seem to make them nervous, and when they get nervous, they open their mouths and display their teeth. It is quite disconcerting. Mike Rutzen told me to try to “project confidence,” but I forgot to ask him how to do that underwater through a wetsuit.
I did ok in the end. I survived and did gain a new appreciation for sharks. I am glad I’ve done it, but I am not sure I need to do it again.


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An appearance of Anderson on 60 Minutes wouldn't be complete unless we included a few nice pictures clipped from the segment. I'll leave you with the "pretties"...oh, and some nice shots of Anderson too! Hope you all have a wonderful week and, for those of you who celebrate, a beautiful Easter weekend. Until next Sunday, take care of you!


















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All Things Anderson is a blog dedicated to CNN's AC360 and its host Anderson Cooper.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reading now. Big thank-you :)

judy said...

Em Thanks for the clips. Saw the show and was impressed with the way AC handled himself with the great white creatures. He says he doesn't take risks, but we know he does. I do agree with him, he shouldn't do it again. Let his fascination now wonder on to a new subject for 60 Minutes and his viewers.

ACAnderFan said...

Loved Anderson's 60 Minutes piece,one of his better ones. Its nice to see him doing serious pieces and not fluff ones. I wish he'd do more reporting on 360. He's so good at it. He seemed to enjoy swimming with the sharks, but I was glad when he said he probably wouldn't do it again.

aries moon said...

Rutzen's theories about sharks and why they sometimes attack humans were really interesting and possibly correct and while I wouldn't want to test them out, the report did give me a better sense of them and lessened the idea that they are these ruthless monsters out in the ocean, they are much more complex than that--it was a really good report. Thanks for posting the pics and the Daily Beast article.

VeganCore said...

Huh, no one cared about or is talking about how some sharks have their fins cut off, thrown back into the ocean to drown a miserable death, just for some "shark fin soup??"


"The love for all living creatures is the most nobel attribute of man." -- Charles Darwin

Phebe said...

Great post Em, thank you.

@VeganCore, good point. I had to look away at that part of the report, just couldn't watch. I'm ashamed to say I've eaten shark's fin soup many times while we lived in SE Asia. Never again!

VeganCore said...

@Phebe: I had to do the same thing when that came on. I turned back when they were kicking the shark back into the water like it was a banana peal going into the trash. Unfortunately, I have seen that sight before. When I was doing my research on becoming a Vegetarian 3 years back (ultimately going Vegan) it was amazing the torchers you will stumble across, and that Shark thing was one of them. Actually, there is cow, pig, chicken, horse, sheep ect slaughters right on YouTube. I have eaten plenty of stuff in the past that I am not proud of myself, I hear you. Some people say that me being a Vegan is weird or whatever. But I don't see what's so weird about not depending on the suffering of animals to get get by on. It works for me, it might not work for all. Ahhhhhh! So much to say on this subject that I'm just going to stop it here for I don't want to be stray any further from the post at hand. It's just that I love all animals and pieces like the one AC did makes me even happier to have a Vegan lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Is the clip about shark or AC?

Of course it's about AC.

It's always about him.

Lynn said...

AC and Rutzen (who does it on a daily basis) were brave to do swimming with the shark. They look cool from afar but I certainly wouldn't swim with them. Rutzen seems to think its safe but it would be just my luck I would be diving with an angry one.

@Anonymous 5:54 -
Did you even watch the segment at all? Yes AC was featured in it. He was doing the interview and he was swimming with sharks. That was kind of the point of the segment. Swim with sharks so you can see that they are not as dangerous as they are made out to be. If you don't like seeing the guy perhaps you should stay away from future reports.

Em said...

Thank you all for your comments and perspectives.

@Vegan Core, when I watched the portion of the clip about "shark finning," all I could think of was the entire PIP-II report Lisa Ling did and the discussion about how they drown. I was in a terrible water skiing accident in college...stupid kids doing stupid things. I really thought I was going to drown before the coast guard was able to retrieve me. It was a horrifying experience. Now, one of my greatest fears is drowning. Needless to say, the thought of what that shark was suffering was beyond disturbing. Now, I will be nice and spare you all by not getting started with my spiel on our attitudes when we invade another species habitat and are shocked when they react!

I am glad Anderson did this follow up. It was interesting and informative. I'm not about to go run out and jump into shark infested waters but I do believe people are endangered more by what they don't understand than what they do. IMHO increasing understanding is always a positive.

Jacq said...

I also liked the segment. Anderson is truly brave. The theories about shark behavior are interesting, but I agree I would not like to test them out myself. Moreover, I was also sadden by the treatment of the sharks that were killed for their fins. What type of person cuts a part off of a living animal and throws it back into the ocean to suffer for who knows how long?

Anonymous said...

A great piece with a point well made. As one becomes more familiar with the habits of wild creatures, it's easier to see how closely they resemble our beloved pets. Pieces like this one, serve to gently nudge our opinions from indifference to compassion.
Which I think is the point of much of what Anderson does - to bring familiarity and understanding.
Not to sound high-minded. I still lingered over his lovely pictures :-)

judy said...

TO ALL: I too am an animal lover and I was remiss in not posting about the shark fin segment and then thrusting the poor animal back into the water. What man will do to innocent animals, including puppy mills and the like, is despicable, but is it any different than throwing a live lobster into boiling hot water just to satisfy our desire to follow in the footsteps of Julia Child?