Friday, July 4, 2008

The futue of commercial shark diving?

Let us consider the thorny issue of commercial shark diving and Aquariums. Recent trends would suggest that the public's demand to meet sharks in almost any situation has created this new and emerging market.

This morning another Aquarium joined this growing trend:

Dive with sharks at the Florida Aquarium

Dive with the Sharks gives you the opportunity to SCUBA dive with shark species from around the world in our incredible Shark Bay exhibit. We provide the sharks and all of your gear for this experience of a lifetime. This experience will put you up close and personal with the ocean’s top predator on every dive.

PURPOSE: The Dive with the Sharks program is designed to dispel the commonly held myth that sharks are man-eaters and to convey a strong conservation message to our guests. Essentially, this is an extension of our very successful and popular dive show "Sharks! From Fear to Fascination!"

The question now is why not? Why not create entire commercial "shark parks" where divers from around the world can interact with sharks from all corners of the planet diving in man made environments filled with both ocean and freshwater critters.

The idea may seem far fetched, but we're almost there, what is missing is stunning backdrops that redefine the entire dive experience. Imagine recreating unique dive sites like Truk Lagoon filled with sharks, or sunken ruins from long ago civilizations. Imagine learning to dive in what amounts to a man made wonderland of wildlife and dive site re-creation?

What is missing is vision. As long as Aquariums continue on this path the next step is not too far down the road.

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