On that note we received devastating news about 3 weeks ago that 3 tiger sharks were caught and killed by a commercial fisherman off Aliwal Shoal on the Natal South Coast. This was later confirmed that in fact 8 tiger sharks were killed. Aliwal shoal has become a very famous spot for divers from around the world to dive with tiger sharks. I know that operators were regularly seeing about 20 tiger sharks that they could identify. With 8 sharks now removed it severely impacts on the tiger shark population in that area. Shark Cage Diving
Ironically it is legal to catch and kill 10 tiger sharks per person per day but because the fisherman landed the carcasses in a marine protected reserve he may be charged.
The operators in the area have tried for many years to get MCM to protect tigers sharks and bull/Zambezi shark but to no avail. MCM are simply not interested to protect this valuable resource and seem happier to see these animals to be fished and sold for a pittance. This latest incident goes to show how important it is to protect a living marine resource and how non-consumptive use through eco tourism is the way forward. A petition for this cause has been set up. To help please go to www.aoca.org.za.
A TRAGIC INCIDENT
It always amazes me how the sharks make it so difficult for us to help them. Only a few days after the tiger sharks were killed on Aliwal Shoal a diver in the Bahamas was tragically killed due to a suspected bull shark bite during a shark feed dive. I would suggest reading the following link on wetpixel.com. This seems to give the most accurate account of the event. http://wetpixel.com/i.php/full/bahamas-shark-bite-aboard-shear-water-official-thread/ .
Most times in order to actually spend time in the water with sharks one has to have a bait in the water to keep them interested in staying in close proximity. Shark diving is also one of the fastest growing marine based activities and this is not hard to understand as it is a very special and exciting experience to share the same environment with a shark. Shark Cage Diving
From a conservation point of view it is very important for people to see sharks as it is difficult to be passionate about something that you do not see. Even after this accident I believe 100% that it is safe to dive with sharks in a baited situation as long as logical safety laws are followed at all times. Chris & I have very stringent rules that we follow and as such I have personally never felt threatened in the water with sharks and neither has Chris. We are of course aware that we are in the sharks’ environment and we respect these predators at all times. Any indication that the shark/s is not comfortable with us is an indication that we must get out of the water. I hope that this latest incident will not cause too much damage to shark perception as well as shark diving. There are far bigger issues with regards to marine conservation that need our attention.
GREAT WHITE SHARKS
We have also started to have a few sightings of great white sharks at Seal Island. It is still historically low season but I will definitely keep you all informed if the season should start early.
On that note our bookings for the white shark season are filling up fast so if any of you are thinking of coming over to Cape Town for the sharks you need to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
NEW BOOKING OFFICE
And finally we are very excited to have opened our new booking office and merchandise store in Simonstown. We are located on the Main Road opposite the Pier so please stop by and visit us if you are in the area.
We have a variety of images on Photos of The Month so we hope that you all enjoy viewing them!
Until next month. Shark Cage Diving