Thursday, April 10, 2008
What would it take for the Bahamian Government to enact laws that not only protected all species of sharks in their water, but simultaneously created a series of Shark Parks or protected areas where sharks would be guaranteed safe sanctuary?
The idea is not so new and with global shark populations shrinking at rates never before seen- unique sites like Tiger Beach become prime sites for big ideas like these.
Recently, this blog covered several sites worldwide that are loosing their sharks to short term fishing pressure and turning, perhaps too late, to tourism to save these animals.
Tiger Beach, Bahamas is one site that has everything going for it, a stable government, a thriving eco tourism client base, researchers who have expressed interest in studying these animals, and the good will of many members of the dive community.
The question remains, what would it take? Who would step up and make it happen?
One thing is for sure, looking into the Crystal Ball 15 years from now, we will look back at this blog post and say one of two things.
Hopefully it will be-"Let's go see some of the only remaining Tigers at the Shark Park this week".
Last week a fly fishermen from the USA seeking a trophy catch deliberately hooked and killed a 15 foot Tiger Shark and brought it back to a marina for a weigh in.
Those on site who witnessed the event say the animal weighed in at 1200 pounds, and when cut open, revealed a few full term pups, one of which was put into the marina and as of last week was still seen "swimming around".
This report was confirmed by speaking with the marina manger "Peter" this morning who also added that "the same vessel was at the marina last year and caught another shark of similar size".
The crew of Shark Diver are distressed to hear of any gravid animals harvested for sport, especially coming from Tiger Beach where fishing for Tigers is like shooting fish in a barrel. We would like to propose legislation for this site to protect these animals in Bahamian waters.
Perhaps it's time for those within our community who have spent the past few months attacking Bahamian dive operations over the recent Shear Water Affair to re-focus on more pressing issues like this one.
It's a big step in leadership, let's see if anyone is up for it?
This quite naturally is madness on a scale that would devastate the shark populations off the coast.
The image featured in this article is from a Tiger shark said to have been caught recently by the fishermen in the picture. One more magnificent shark reduced to a set of jaws.
A LEADING fishing expert believes northern NSW needs to introduce a shark control program similar to the Gold Coast to reduce the number of the deadly predators in the area's waters.
Gold Coast Bulletin and Channel 9 fishing expert Paul Burt last night said without a shark control program, 'the sharks were free to come and go as they like.' "Our guy catches quiet a few sharks when they are running which is eradicating the problem, which is why we don't get as many attacks," he said.
The call for northern NSW to introduce a shark control program, like the Coast's nets and drum lines, comes after 16-year-old Peter Edmonds was fatally attacked by what experts believe was a bull shark while body boarding at Lighthouse Beach at Ballina yesterday.