Saturday, February 9, 2008

South Africa Shark Controversy Continues

South Africa has some serious PR issues to contend with. Over the past few years a growing chorus of anti-shark diving voices have hammered the industry with the same old story, "you're causing the sharks to attack humans".

This is one of the oldest arguments against the shark diving industry to date. It's what won the day in Florida a few years ago, and it continues to haunt our industry to this day.

The problem with this argument is that it has no data to support it.

On the other side of this debate there is definitive data from Australia and a landmark, 4 year study, that proves white sharks do not habituate to chum slicks.

As an eco minded shark diving company ourselves, who see our resource here on the West Coast of the USA and Mexico as a resource, we cannot help but wonder why the reporter on this piece missed the biggest story of all:

"When a great white shark rams the cage, inches away from a diver's face, the adrenaline immediately blots out the cold of the southern seas. But while the visitors are safe, others believe the practice is inherently risky."

Enticing great white sharks to ram cages is inherently foolish, and highlights operations that are more interested in "money and thrills" than the welfare of the sharks and the resource.

If South Africa is to shed this continuing negative media-they need to first corral those that treat their sharks like Biological ATM Machines. If this same article featured dolphins ramming cages for sport the entire cage diving industry would have fallen like Rome a long time ago.
Patric Douglas CEO