Eco-Tourism

Trident gives boat and tour operators and their guests an entirely new dimension. Being able to see wildlife from the surface is one thing but getting face-to-face with the ocean’s top predator is another thing entirely. Read how Trident is helping David McGuire and the Shark Stewards introduce the general public to an entirely different world.

Why we use Trident at Shark Stewards

Why we use Trident at Shark Stewards

  • Be able to offer something unique to guests without diving or snorkeling
  • Engage on a more personal and emotional level
  • Be able to see wildlife close-up and in their natural environment, not just when the come to the surface
  • Have compelling recorded video to provide to guests to share or take home

Every fall Shark Stewards leads public education expeditions to the Farallon Islands, a 3-hour boat ride from the busy San Francisco piers. These field trips introduce students and the general public to marine ecosystems, marine life and management challenges for both.

David McGuire is the founder of Shark Stewards and leads these trips regularly. He is using Trident Underwater drone to provide a unique and unforgettable experience to his guests.

To me, Trident is an excellent tool to share the diversity and our impact on the ocean, to show how incredible our wildlife are and why it deserves to be protected. It’s really a whole new Farallon experience for me and for my guests. I mean, it’s incredible to be out here on the water but it opens up a whole new dimension under the water.

David McGuire, Shark Stewards

David and the Shark Stewards aren’t just out there for the guests’ enjoyment, either, they are doing real-time MPA monitoring at the same time. On each trip, they are collecting data using Trident. The footage is just as exciting for the guests as it is for the researchers. Each trip brings more discoveries and more data. This is especially important in areas like the Farallones where it is really difficult to study wildlife underwater.

It’s a challenging environment out here with rough swells, cold water, and especially around this time of year when the white sharks are congregating here to feed. It’s hard to get work done from a shark cage. But with Trident we can provide data regularly.

David McGuire, Shark Stewards

But what’s on everyone’s mind is seeing a great white shark. That’s what a lot of guests take the trip for the possibility of catching just a glimpse or evidence of (usually in the form of a “predation event” which is what they call the savage slick of blood-red water after a kill). Great white sharks are incredibly charismatic, even iconic. They are also a threatened species and there’s still a lot we don't know about them because they are so tough to observe. On any given day, there’s only a small chance to see them.

On the most recent trip David deployed Trident into the deeper channels surrounding the islands, called “shark alley.” Once the Trident was in the water everyone huddled closely around the monitor showing live video from Trident, hoping to see a shadow or a fin. Remarkably and suddenly, a male white shark swept by the motionless Trident in two meters of water. He was uninterested in the decoys but showed an interest in Trident. From several terrifying close passes Trident it could be seen that he didn’t have a tag but McGuire says that his many distinct scars and markings will be enough to enter him into the Block Lab's database in the Tagging of Pelagic Predators program.

Shark encounter
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Shark encounter
Shark encounter
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Exploring our Sanctuary at the Gulf of the Farallones is a gift of nature. Like many gifts, sometimes you get more than you ask for.
David McGuire, Shark Stewards

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