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

Tragedy in South Africa-Shark Boat Update

We got this comment from Lauren regarding our first post:

"Actually, the boat had just finished doing a shark dive, and were getting ready to go back to shore. There were plenty of sharks in the water, according to our daughter who was a volunteer on the boat."

Three tourists who died in a shark-diving boat accident were identified on Monday by Western Cape police.Two men from the United States and one from Norway died when their shark-diving boat capsized near Kleinbaai on Sunday,

The two Americans who died in the accident were named as Cassey Scott Lajeunesse, 35, from Maine and Christopher Tallman, 34 from California.

Kenneth Roque from Moss in Norway was the third victim.

"Nine crew members and nine other tourists survived the incident and were treated for injuries and shock" said police spokesperson Andre Traut.

Traut said three death inquest case dockets had been registered.Gansbaai police were investigating the exact circumstances surrounding the incident.

On Sunday, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the boat that capsized was a 36 foot White Shark Projects boat. Chairwoman of the Great White Shark Protection Foundation, Mariette Hoply, said the shark-cage diving boat had anchored just before a freak wave struck it around 10am on Sunday, causing it to capsize.

The boat's crew had not started shark-cage diving when the wave struck. - Sapa