Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Ethics of Shark Diving

The following video aptly highlights a post from earlier this year. We suggested that the ongoing rule of thumb within our industry was actually working against it. That would be "Out do the other guy".

At some shark dive sites the headlong rush to offer more adrenaline fueled encounters and the abandonment of nearly all safety protocols will eventually lead to disaster.

The site in this video is Tiger Beach, Bahamas.

At one time there was only one operation here. That operation with the help of photographers and hundreds of videos on You Tube and elsewhere set the bar for the current operations who are growing by the year.

The question with this video is about ethics and sustainability in our industry and once again the power of You Tube and viral media to portray our industry in a less than positive light:


Big Dawg Divers said...

If that was my boat those guys would have kicked off and back onshore in about 30 minutes.

DaShark said...

Oh - my - Gawd...

I can see why u've posted such a "mellow" comment - I'm kinda at a loss of words myself... I had heard of it but was hoping it would turn out to be nothing but a rumor.

Anyway, where to start... I guess that all I want to say at this point, knee-jerk, is that obviously, there's all sorts of clients. As they have graciously posted their names, it may be wise to note them down.

Regarding the operator, however, I cannot even begin to imagine where he might be coming from.

Shark Diver said...

One might assume alcohol played a role in this somewhere...or they're "just Belgians".

All joking aside here we are. I have seen something similar around your neck of the woods which suggests this is a global problem and not just relegated to the Bahamas.

As an industry we have to try and stop this "one upmanship" it is going to bite us all on the ass.

Some divers who see this video will believe incorrectly these animals are little more than playthings and they can Matrix their way into a fine and dandy dive time here. That's not the case.

There's no place for for this anymore. We're not here as operators to screw around with animals so someone can go home with a pretty picture and a tall tale, that was 1978, it's almost 2010.

DaShark said...

Agree of course.

Still scratching my head... and laboring over a post... at this point, I'm feeling rather deflated!

Anyway, thx for finding it and kicking off the thread.

Chris Carter said...

Dude they're Belgians. End of story.

Wolf Leander said...

Totally unacceptable!!!!!

Stupid, embarrassing, and hugely damaging the reputation of Tiger Beach.

I can't believe these idiots, all in a supposedly mature age.....

Divers like them are a disgrace.


DaShark said...

Alas, Wolf, I don't think the issue is the clients.

It's the operator who failed to guide and to control them.

Shark Diver said...

Thanks for the posts. It's actually much bigger than just one operator, or the's about the Bahamas and the politics of the site.

The BDA (Bahamas Dive Association) still has it's Cease and Desist in place. That has not gone away.The C and D set forth specific shark diving guidelines for this site.

These guidelines and the entire C and D were ignored. Then this spring a shark attack and death resulted in a tidlewave of bad press for the Bahamas, sharks, and the shark diving operator.

This video-shot after this springs attack-is a "slap in the face" to the BDA especially coming on the heels of the well documented shark diver death this spring. They (BDA) were concerned about this site "going south" years ago.

Hence the extraordinary C and D.

I will not get into the mess that followed it has no relevance to the site facts now. Suffice to say agree with the BDA's edict or not-you as a non BDA member-have little to no say in this matter, these are not your waters and not your sharks.

The operators that come from the USA are in fact little more than "guests" in Bahamian waters. A fact few understand. They add little to the local economy and their continued ability to operate here remains on a tenuous thread.

The land based Bahamian shark operators have long established and well know shark operations on the islands. Video's like these harm their efforts as few divers realize these are not sanctioned operations with set protocols operating at this site.

How long do you think this site will remain open with video's like these making the rounds? How long before the very likely chance of another shark attack?

This video is the perfect tool for the BDA or any anti-shark diving advocate to make a case against commercial shark diving from the USA into the Bahamas or against commercial shark diving in general.

It's known as "crapping in one's backyard".

This video gets to the heart of what we have been talking about on this blog for over a year.

Anonymous said...

So what's next?