Monday, December 13, 2010

"Actually stuffing diving suits full of meat and chucking them in the sea to provoke sharks"

Oliver Crimmen is on a mission to discredit the global commercial shark diving industry.

In a rather non scientific main stream news piece this week, more a hysterical diatribe, he makes assertions based on his first hand hearsay that operators in the Sharm el Shiekh region are filling wetsuits with meat to attract sharks.

"I've heard stories of people wanting to film fake shark attacks, and actually stuffing diving suits full of meat and chucking them in the sea to provoke one".

Stunts With Sharks

Stunt work with sharks is nothing new, but usually these stunts are well known and well publicised and our industry generally views those who conduct stunts with sharks with complete disdain. In a time of profound shark crises, stunt work with sharks does nothing to help the animals "professional" shark tourism operations make a living with.

Stuffing wetsuits with meat of any kind to provoke a shark attack is not only disrespectful to the animals, it is the hallmark of self centered, ignorant, and sloppy operations.

Perhaps Mr.Crimmen is confusing stunt work with sharks at other sites to recent attacks in the Sharm el Shiekh region, or perhaps Mr.Crimmen, who is a staff member at Natural History Museum in London, should stick to facts and not publicly slander our industry without substantive proof.

It is one thing to come to the most unfortunate series of shark attacks in recent recorded history with facts, like the discovery of dead sheep dumped in the region in the months prior to these attacks. It is quite another to pull unknown and unverified factoids about meat filled wetsuits and inject them into the already over sensationalized discussion of what caused these sharks to attack swimmers.

Let's try and bring the conversation down a few notches. The commercial shark diving industry is not to blame in Sharm el Shiekh, as yet known, and any major media conversation to the contrary, without all the facts, damages the efforts responsible shark tourism operations worldwide are currently engaged in.

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