02 December 2005

White Shark cage diving: SharkTrust report

The subject of cage diving and the possible increase in shark attacks has been regularly aired over the past 6 months, and in deed featured in the latest edition of the Shark Trust membership magazine Shark Focus.

However, as Monty Halls, Shark Trust Trustee points out in a recent article in Diver Magazine (Nov. 05): "fisherman have been hauling in thrashing nets packed with fish, the water around the boats a mist of slime and fish blood – an irresistible dinner gong for any great white in the vicinity. For just as long they have been gutting their catches onsite throwing the guts into the water around the coat and creating an instant buffet for any sharks that have turned up. Saying that the cage diving industry has created a new association for the sharks between boats and food is simply not true – we've been doing that for as long as the fishing industry has existed."

The Shark Focus article goes on to say: There have also been calls for culls on Great Whites in areas where the populations have recovered and cage diving blamed for "increased attacks". This has caused a backlash amongst local residents as well as conservationists. In a letter to the Cape Times earlier this month, one lady wrote "only problem is, you have more chance of being killed by a falling coconut than by a shark so let's get out our choppers and cull those damn palm trees." Some residents are also protective over their sharks and the killing of a white off Gansbaai resulted in physical violence towards the killer.

If you have an opinion on cage diving why not raise it in the Shark Trust Forum.

Related article: Cage diving craze raises fears of increase in shark attacks

Source: www.sharktrust.org


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