Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bahamas Shark Attack-The Debate

Heated passions regarding the unfortunate events of last week have boiled over into the Shark Diver Blog on the Internet.

At hand a blog posting, which was intended not as a serious investigative look at the Bahamas Incident but more of a commentary on unfolding events.

We separate our blog from our website for this very reason. In keeping with the existing blog format we had little idea this blog event in less than 72 hours would become as nasty and as polarized as it has. A few of the comments made to our website from Wet Pixels web site were well beyond anything that would be considered normal or rational discourse. This continues to be the case.

I would have expected this response to the Cyber Diver Network.

It is abundantly clear to anyone reading our blog that we had not kept up with current media as to "when and where" this event took place. In the 48 hours following this shark attack no one knew any solid details. For a blog that until Monday got 50 visitors a day-up to date reporting was not in keeping with how we did things.

I spoke at length with Eric Cheng on the phone this evening. He explained a side of Jimmy I had known through our industry. Of a man who graciously introduced a new underwater photographer to the world sharks for the first time. This is in essence what I have always come to know about Jimmy Abernathy. Gracious, loyal and yes, a shark diving maverick.

This does not take away from the fact that a man is now dead, and serious questions remain unanswered. Namely was this an "accident" or the sad conclusion to an ongoing cageless shark diving operation that many have questioned for several years now. The discussion about this needs to happen, minus the vitriol.

In the coming weeks there will be much bigger issues with serious and long lasting agendas to contend with. Shark Diver stands ready to meet those issues and to work with those within the industry that will see positive things come of the shark diving world. These animals are being slaughtered at an unprecedented rate, dive sites are being pillaged even as I write this blog.

A reality check is in order. We can send unimaginable emails to each other filled with hate and vitriol for the next six weeks, point fingers, settle old and new scores, posture, pose and scream, or perhaps channel that same passion into long lasting and positive efforts. The choice is the industries to make.

In the end Shark Diver is beholdent to one group and one group only. Our divers. We choose to offer them the highest safety standards we can give them.That means shark cages with big predators.

Patric Douglas CEO

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