An interesting technical development for the industry was announced today in South Africa.
"Soft cage" shark encounters. The company behind the innovation is not really a shark diving company at all but the conservation group Sharklife in tandem with a few industry insiders:
Sharklife has teamed up with Debbie Smith and her operation, Africa Dive, to run the soft-cage trips. After a 20-minute trip in our inflatable vessel, we dropped anchor and soon a group of black-tip sharks weaved their way under the boat. We were in luck. Sharks have a phenomenal sense of smell, but it can take an hour to lure them with chum — mainly pieces of sardine.
Grant and the team assembled the cage as we adjusted our masks and flippers and slid in. After less than a minute, I wanted out of the cage and plunged into the sea.
In the thrill of the deep blue, black-tip sharks performed a graceful ballet, swirling and twirling around us, tearing at the bits of sardine with ferocious speed.