It has gotten worse and worse over the last few years. What started out as going outside of the cage, has gone all the way to touching, riding and even trying to flip a great white shark. It seems like some unscrupulous operators are trying to "out-crazy" (if that is even a word) themselves, always looking to top what they did the last time.
Pictures like this and this (I removed the actual pictures by request of the photographer)
are not what we want to see coming out of Guadalupe! They are nothing but self promoting, "Look at me!" kind of stunts, that do nothing to help shark conservation, but everything to hurt it. What's next? Do a dental exam with a cleaning?
Mike got it right when he says "Somebody commented on another post somewhere else,
Could not agree more.
Like a high stakes game of musical chairs, (that person) is at the end of a long record that has been playing for almost a decade. When the music runs out someone will find themselves and the sharks in a completely untenable situation. There will be plenty of blame to go around.
We at Shark Diver completely agree with Mike. We are diving with great white sharks at Isla Guadalupe and would never allow any of our divers to leave the cage, leave alone touch or handle the sharks.
We also dive with bull sharks in Fiji. We don't use cages there, but do absolutely not allow any of our divers to touch or handle the sharks.
In the Bahamas, we dive with tiger sharks. Again, we don't use cages, but would never allow any of our divers to touch, flip or harass those sharks.
Some people are skeptical of us in the shark diving industry and make wholesale accusations, that we are doing anything for money. Let me assure you. Shark Diver has turned down many individuals, as well as film companies, who wanted to do some of the stupid things we are talking about here.
If you are curious about sharks and want to experience what it is like to come face to face with them, if you want to learn more about the sharks and want to dive with a researcher, if you respect those sharks for the predators they are and don't feel the need to touch, ride, flip or harass them, then we are the company for you. If you want to do the things we are talking about here, go somewhere else! Actually, I take that back, I would prefer you'd stay out of the ocean!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.