Monday, April 14, 2008

Bahamas Tiger Sharks-Does Anyone Care?

As the owner of a shark diving company I have been a bit stunned at the complete non-reaction to the killing of a gravid Tiger Shark in the Bahamas three weeks ago.

The facts are there and everyone who operates in these waters knows about it.

The Old Bahama Bay Marina manager claims this is
the second time this has happened with the same vessel in two years. The vessel was reportedly from Florida.

The 14+ foot animal was caught and killed, the jaws removed, and the carcass dumped.

During the Shear Water Affair seemingly every photographer, filmmaker, and supporter of Tiger diving and shark diving in the Bahamas made impassioned pleas, signed petitions and even attacked those who they perceived were against unregulated cageless encounters with sharks in the Bahamas.

For what?

The claims that this was also a gravid female with "several dead pups" inside makes this even more odious. South Africa had a similar event this year and the whole industry made some noise. The effect? An arrest, and a heightened awareness of big sharks and how vulnerable they are even in Marine Protected Areas.

That's the point here. There area that this shark was taken from is well known and not protected.

Where are those same voices from two months ago? Where is that overtly vocal community that all but demanded their right to continue to enjoy, interact with, and to make a living from these animals?

Time will tell. As each day ticks by those voices and the credibility behind them disappears-as slowly as this population of sharks will if no one steps up and takes some leadership.
Patric Douglas CEO


the One called "Bitey".... said...

The fact is, Patric, when I heard of this I was so bent out of shape I couldn't speak or write about it - I wanted to kill that fisherman. Literally. And painfully.
Such things should never even enter the conception of "sentient" creatures, "evolved" beings, so to speak - and yet here we are, tragedy after tragedy. I simply don't know what to do other than the petitioning and photography that I do, since if I were to appear at any public spectacles it is I who would be the spectacle - arrested for aggravated assault against such "sportsmen" (an absolutely retarded moniker for an absolutely retarded pastime).
(Why the hell is it only 'aggravated assault' when other humans are involved? Talk about unenlightened....)

Shark Diver said...

Thanks for the post. We share your anger. You cannot spend one minute with these animals underwater and not want to see them protected when they get hunted.

The guy who did this was looking for a trophy catch. The Bahamians will have to decide if they want their waters to be known as a trophy fishing destination or a shark destination.

Surprisingly not one photog from the previous weeks has said anything about this. Makes you wonder?