Wednesday, June 1, 2011

White Sharks and AC/DC? Best Practices Garbage

A recent article has popped up in the mainstream media about some industry folks in Australia who claim that blasting AC/DC underwater attracts white sharks, oh, and the white sharks "love it."

Naturally we have to call bull-shit on this one.

Folks, as long as we have been in the shark game, going on for over a decade now, we have seen every kind of shark attraction device known to man - and a few that defy description.

Blasting AC/DC underwater is not new, it is not innovative, and dare we say it is a complete and utter disservice to the animals that we make a living with.

It's the kind of best practices garbage that you just do not see with terrestrial animal tourism.

Where are the megawatt speakers blasting the sound track from Zanadu in the Gombe National Forest? We're pretty sure that someone without a PhD, and who's vested interest in the wild animals that inhabit this park could come up with some half-assed observation about chimpanzees "rocking out" to techno funk from the 1970's.

The fact is, folks like us make a living "with" wild animals, not "from" wild animals and that's a distinction that many within the shark industry have forgotten, or have conveniently decided to ignore as they chase sharks around the world.

Worse yet some within our community are now throwing up a thin excuse for bad behavior with sharks as calling it "conservation", which is the next iteration of the AC/DC and white shark argument.

Last week we saw a video featuring a woman, dressed as a mermaid, free diving in 500 feet of water with white sharks at Isla Guadalupe, no cages, no dive safety team, all under the mystical caption of "conservation".

What's starts with basic disrespect for wildlife, leads to all manner of lunacy with sharks under many guises.

The final observation?

White sharks have been around for the past 300 million years in perfect balance with nature and none of that nature included mermaids, simians riding on fins, or AC/DC.

Are we fortunate enough to spend time in the presence of white sharks, or do we have to completely and abjectly modify the shark encounter to suit our tastes as top water interlopers, surviving in their environment in what amounts to crudely designed life support gear?

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