Sunday, July 8, 2012

Australia Acts Decisively Against Shark Tourism - Meh!

In a  stunning act of political theater taken from the recent pages of half assed tourism policies in Maui the minister of tourism for Western Australia has banned commercial shark diving.

“I have decided that Western Australia will not be the place for shark cage tourism, like those currently operating in South Australia and South Africa,” Mr Moore said. “There have been no formal applications for such ventures in WA as yet, but I have acted to let any potential operators know this State’s policy."

Yes folks, even though there are currently no operations seeking to dive with sharks on a commercial level in Western Australia, and even though commercial shark diving is a multi-million dollar conservation juggernaut across the globe one Mr Moore, Minister for the Inane in Western Australia, has banned this activity.

You have to admire the shortsighted politics of decision makers these days who in most cases can count the time they have spent on water with two or three fingers and actual shark interactions from what they see on You Tube or on Animal Planet. In this case Mr Moore banned future commercial shark diving after a series of shark attacks in the region.

Seems Mr Moore in his alter ego as Great Future Tourism Prognosticator has seen a world wherein shark attacks in the Western Australia region will increase ten fold because of the activity of a few  "yet to be conceived of" commercial shark operations far offshore. This will be the first time a politician of any stripe has pre-banned commercial shark diving based on existing shark attacks that have nothing to do with our industry.

As we said many months ago following the Maui shark ban:

The number one rule for regional tourism is "never take tourism options off the table." This rule looks into the future of tourism destinations and changing public demand. What is not popular today may well be tomorrows latest fashion.

Of course that does not stop those who play politics on a professional level from setting policies that  are ultimately short sighted.

Kudos Mr.Moore your decisive actions have saved perhaps...0 people from negative shark interactions in the region. We wish you luck with act two of your grand decision which sounds a lot like an expansion of shark nets to us:

“A Shark Response Unit has been set up by the Department of Fisheries to co-ordinate shark mitigation operations and research and a community engagement strategy is also being developed to increase general knowledge about shark safety and to work with public agencies and stakeholders to enhance preparedness and responses to shark hazards,” Mr Moore said.

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at