Editorial by Dave Moran
Inspirational Fishing Icon – Guiness World Records – Shark Fins
New Zealanders will recognize the name Graeme Sinclair, the presenter and producer of the television series Gone Fishin. A couple of days before going to press I was honoured to be invited to Graeme and Sandy’s home to celebrate with them, their business partners and friends, an outstanding achievement. Earlier that day at a ceremony in Government House, Auckland, the Governor General, the honourable Anand Satyanand, pinned to Graeme’s suit the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit medal, in recognition for his services to television. It was a proud moment for Graeme, his family and the crew assisting him in his television productions.
I’m not sure when I first met Graeme but it must be some 20 years ago. He was a fit young guy who was loving life and the outdoor adventures that were on life’s menu: fishing, diving and hunting were his passions. Then at a marine function in 1997 Graeme told me he had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Most people would have hung up their fishing rod, fins and gun and kissed an adventurous, active life goodbye. Not Graeme.
What he has produced is amazing. He has recently released his 17th series of Gone Fishin. Usually these series contain 26 episodes. That’s 442 episodes! Somehow he also found time to write eight books and is working on two more.
His shows have brought New Zealand’s ‘outdoors’ into the homes of people throughout the world, due to international television networks distributing the series.
For Graeme MS is a pain in the butt but he sees absolutely no point in feeling sorry for himself. There are too many projects to get on with, too much fun to be had. He has commented, ‘As long as I can be winched into a boat, I’ll go fishing.’ And he does. He is an inspiration for all of us and our children. Everyday is a gift to be enjoyed – grab it with both hands and a chair with two wheels if you have one.
Congratulations Graeme from all our readers. Stand proud mate.
Visit Indonesia Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the city of Manado in North Sulawesi, Indonesia for the Sail Bunaken /Independence celebrations. One event was an attempt to establish a new Guinness World record for the Most People Scuba Diving Simultaneously turn to page 72.
Indonesia is very conscious of the effect that recent terrorism actions can have on tourism and are vigorously putting in place measures to prevent such atrocities. As we go to press a delegation from Indonesia is visiting New Zealand (page 75) meeting with tourism and business partners and reasuring them that it’s business as usual throughout Indonesia. Which is the impression I had during my visit.
His Excellency Mr. Amris Hassan the Ambassador of the Republic based in Wellington.
Shark Finning is big business I guess we all know that. New Zealand’s Fishing Industry magazine, Seafood New Zealand, runs advertisement for fisherman to supply shark fin dealers with fins – cash in the hand is always good!
So while New Zealand is supporting the shark fin trade it is very difficult to criticize other countries and cultures for the same practice. My daughter who is based in Vancouver, Canada has commented to me that if I saw the size of the shark fins on display in the fish markets I would be amazed and shocked. I think traders in the market know that the current consumption is not sustainable but as long as there is a dollar to be made they will take it. As supply becomes harder the price will increase thus compensating for the amount being sold – good dollars to be made! Governments need to take on board what fisheries scientists are telling them and put in place strict and enforceable measures to ensure the fins of the last shark in the ocean do not end up as a bowl of soup!
Underwater Hockey Guinness Record The 25th anniversary of New Zealand Secondary School Underwater Hockey championships were recently held in Christchurch. An amazing 62 teams (769 players) participated. Organizers are confident their application for the Guinness World Record for The Greatest Number of Players in an Underwater Hockey Competition will be accepted. Opportunities for the dive industry to tap into this huge base of ‘water confident’ people is obvious but sadly missed by many in the Industry who are wearing dark coloured shades.Congratulation to all those involved, you are now all World Champions!
Winter is retreating, if you haven’t dived for a while, grab you dive gear and get it checked before the summer servicing rush. At the moment the scallops are just succulent!