My name is ALEX BUTTIGIEG, better known to all my friends as “The Sharkman”
Why?? Well it is because of the Love and Deep Passion that I share for this Magnificent Creature. I am 63 years old and come from the tiny Mediterranean Island of Malta.
I am a retired Professional Scuba Diving Instructor with a great passion for sharks and marine conservation that started in the early 70’s. Since then I have been collecting as much data as possible about sharks. Having started scuba diving at a very young age, it is no surprise that I would make it my profession.
In 1997 I set up this web site “Sharkman’s World” dedicated to the education, conservation and protection of Sharks, and also initialized and spearheaded the campaign for the Great White Shark protection in Malta, a campaign that lasted for two years until September 1999, when the Maltese Government issued Legal Notice (L.N. 161 of 1999) that gave protection to the Great White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) and also the Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus).
I have dived with and studied sharks in many parts of the world including South Africa, Fiji and in Malta. I also take an active part in many international campaigns for shark protection. In 2001 “Sharkman’s World” won the Best Personal Website Award in the Malta Web Awards.
In 2007, I set up The Shark Group, an internet based forum and also in the same year, Sharkman’s World became a member of the international Shark Alliance. In 2008, I was also the co-founder of the Let Sharks Live network, and initiated the International “Year Of The Shark – 2009” campaign. This campaign had a global success and was repeated in 2019.
I was also a regional investigator for the Mediterranean Sea and collaborated with the Global Shark Attack File (Shark Research Institute, USA), Shark Research Committee (USA), The International Shark Attack File (USA), Australian Shark Attack File, and The Fishbase database.
I have written various articles and contributed data and information for T.V. documentaries, scientific publications and books.
In 2021, Sharkman’s World became officially integrated with Sharklab-Malta website.
Sharks Within Our System: South Africa – The Great White (Malta 2005)
The Track of the Tuna (Germany 2007)
“HAMMERHEAD SHARKS” A.De Maddalena & A. Buttigieg (Ireco 2008)
“Sharks: Fact not Fiction” A. Buttigieg: Medwater News Issue 3 July (1998)
“Diving – An unforgettable experience for all.” A. Buttigieg: Malta & Gozo:8-9 (2000)
“Hammerhead sharks: The functions of the cephalofoil or the ‘hammer’”. A. De Maddalena & A. Buttigieg : Dive New Zealand 87: 46-48.(2005)
“The social lives of hammerheads.”A. De Maddalena & A. Buttigieg : The World & I Online, June.(2006)
“Ancient inhabitants of our seas”. A. Buttigieg & N. Vella :Boats & Yachting, 68: 50-54.(2006)
“Diving at Cirkewwa”. A. Buttigieg : I Dive Malta. Issue 1, October (2008).
“The Shark’s World – Hammerheads”. A. Buttigieg & A. Schwartz: Issue 2, Dec. 2008.
Articles I have contributed to:
“Spatial–Temporal Distribution of Megamouth Shark, Megachasma pelagios, Inferred from over 250 Individuals Recorded in the Three Oceans” Chi-Ju Yu, Shoou-Jeng Joung, Hua-Hsun Hsu, Chia-Yen Lin, Tzu-Chi Hsieh, Kwang-Ming Liu and Atsuko Yamaguchi 2021 Animals 2021, 11, 2947.
“Profile and consumption risk assessment of trace elements in megamouth sharks (Megachasma pelagios) captured from the Pacific Ocean to the east of Taiwan” Yun-Ru Ju, Chih-Feng Chen, Chiu-Wen Chen […] Cheng-Di Dong Article Jan 2021 Environmental Pollution.
“Distribution, body size and biology of the megamouth shark Megachasma pelagios” Yuuki Y. WatanabeYannis P. Papastamatiou Article May 2019, doi: 10.1111/jfb.14007
Distribution, abundance and biology of the smalltooth sandtiger shark Odontaspis ferox (Risso, 1810) (Lamniformes: Odontaspididae) Ian K. Fergusson, Ken J. Graham, Leonard J. V. Compagno 2007 Environ Biol Fish (2008) 81:207–228
“Interaction between killer whales (Orcinus orca) and hammerhead sharks” (Sphyrna sp.) in Galápagos waters”. Sorisio, L.S., De Maddalena, A. and Visser, I.N., Latin American Journal of Aquatic Mammals, 5(1), pp.69-71. ISSN 1676-7497 (2006).
“An analysis of photographic evidences of the largest great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias), Linnaeus 1758, captures in the Mediterranean sea with considerations about the maximum size of the species.” Alessandro De Maddalena, Marco Zuffa, Lovrenc Lipej, Antonio Celona (2001)
Book Contributions include:
“Marine Life Around The Maltese Islands” by the Marine Life Care Group Malta (1998).
“Most Common Sharks Found Around The Maltese Islands & The Mediterranean Sea” by the Marine Life Care Group Malta (2000).
“Sharks – An Imagination Library Series” by Victor Gentle & Janet Perry (2001).
“Megalodon – Hunting The Hunter” by Mark Renz (2002).
“Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century from the Pacific Coast of North America” by Ralph S. Collier (2003)
“Elasmoskop” – Vol. 1 by D.E.G. (2004)
“Shark Sense – getting in touch with your inner shark.” by Sharkie Zartman (2005).
“A Shark In New York Waters” by Christine Lavin (2007).
“Tuna – A Love Story” by Richard Ellis (2008).
“Shark: In Peril In The Sea” by David Owen (2009).
“Mediterranean Great White Sharks. A Comprehensive Study Including all Recorded Sightings” By Alessandro De Maddalena & Walter Heim (2012)
Sharkman’s World (Founder)
The Shark Group (Founder)
Year Of The Shark – 2009 (Founder)
The Shark Alliance (Member)
Global Shark Attack File (Collaborator)
Shark Research Committee (Collaborator)
The International Shark Attack File (Collaborator)
Australian Shark Attack File (Collaborator)
Year Of The Shark – 2019 (Founder)
My first dream was to get the Great White Shark ( Carcharodon carcharias ) protected in Maltese Waters and this came true in 1999.
My next Dream was what I considered to be the ULTIMATE DREAM. To Encounter the
GREAT WHITE SHARK!! Until some time ago, this dream seemed Impossible, but then, with the help of a few true friends, this Dream also Came True.
On 5th. February 2001, I set out on the first journey that was to give me a very close encounter with Carcharodon carcharias, THE GREAT WHITE SHARK!!
I flew over to S. Africa and there I saw the Great Whites of Dyer Island. This was an experience that I will never forget. Just a few days short of a year later, I was there again on my 2nd. trip. It is there that one can see the true beauty of these magnificent creatures.
Another dream came true, when in 2009, as part of the The International Year Of The Shark campaign, I was invited by the Fiji Shark Conservation & Awareness Project to go to FIJI. For 3 weeks, I dived with, observed and photographed the Sharks at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve. These included Bulls, Greys, Black-Tips, White-Tips and Nurse Sharks What an awesome experience!!
My next Dreams?….. Well I still have many on my list, but most of all, I want to keep fighting to get more shark species fully protected and thus help save them from becoming extinct.
Updated January 2021
I LOVE SHARKS
Date of Birth:
28th. November 1958
Retired Professional Scuba Diving Instructor
C.M.A.S. 2** Instructor
When I was 8 years Old
Started interest in sharks:
Past clubs and organisations:
Amphibians Diving Club Malta.
Sharks Diving Club Malta.
British Sub Aqua Club
Marine Life Care Group, Malta.
Treasures of the Web.
White Shark Research Institute, South Africa.
Professional Diving Schools Association Malta.
Shark – L
2009 – THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE SHARK
2019 – THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF THE SHARK
THE SHARK ALLIANCE
Federation of Underwater Activities, Malta.
Present clubs and organisations:
THE SHARK GROUP
LET SHARKS LIVE
BLUE WATER WHITE DEATH
GREAT WHITE SHARK
by Richard Ellis & John McCosker
SHARKS OF THE WORLD
by Leonard Compagno, Sarah Fowler, Marc Dando
GREAT WHITE SHARK (Carcharodon carcharias )
Best non-diving experience:
Getting the GREAT WHITE and the BASKING SHARKS
Protected here in Malta,
Seeing GREAT WHITE SHARKS off Dyer Island.
GREAT WHITE SHARKS
off Dyer Island in South Africa,
Diving with BULL SHARKS in Fiji.
Worst diving experience
Suffering a Bend and going into the Decompression Chamber.
Diving with Sharks,
Feeling of Total Relaxation and being one with
the Underwater World.
Hates mostly in diving
Spear-fishing, and having to deal with “Experienced” Divers who
pretend that they know it all.
Done them all.
Who would I most like to meet:
Advice to other divers:
Respect all forms of Life,
Shoot only photos
take only memories,
and leave only bubbles.