No idea why the Shark is letting this happen. Maybe, like Cristina and Jimmy's Sharks, it likes the sensation, or has developed a special bond to some individual diver - or maybe it has been taught that this is conducive to getting a tidbit from the bait crate you can discern in the lower right hand corner. Who knows. But it seems to have initiated the contact, there is certainly no forcing, and the animal is completely free to leave at any time, just like it does at the end of the clip.
Is this dangerous?
Yes quite possibly - but if so, only moderately so.
Blondie is clearly a conditioned Shark that is highly habituated to divers and likely to be rather forgiving; but she might once have a bad day, or get fed up of the effusions, and nip the handler. And if so, I can promise you that everybody will state that the diver was an idiot that had it coming, and that will be the end of it.
Blondie will not get killed, there will be no Shark cull, and Shark conservation will be in the exact same place it was before the bite. Remember - and did anybody go on a Nurse Shark killing rampage as a consequence?
Contrary to what Rick sometimes preaches, Sharks are not Bears and fed Sharks are not dead Sharks - at least not so far. I'll be happy to revise my position should anybody show evidence to the contrary - but right now, it's just yet more unsubstantiated speculation. Please, people: tone down the breathy ultracrepidarianism!
So - is this conservation?
Does it help dispel the myth and assuage the Jaws-induced nightmares of the populace like those folks want us believe? And if so, will it help reduce Shark mortality like asserted by the awareness raising and myth dispelling legions of self promoting image hunters, daredevils, media whores, mermaids, Shark huggers and bikini bimbettes etc that continue to propagate like fucking rabbits?
Nothing so far has helped, so lemme try a different approach.
Do people hate Tuna?
Or Sea Cucumbers? Or for the matter, do they hate Tomatoes which they are now recklessly dispatching after having been traumatized by the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?
I mean, seriously.
Tuna and Sea Cucumbers are being wiped out because fishermen target them preferentially - not because they hate them but because catching them is highly lucrative. And the exact same thing is happening with Sharks - and I can assure you that not a single commercial fisherman will give a flying f#@k about Blondie and her molesting Addict!
And conversely, we do protect Lions and Crocs and Tigers and Polar Bears and other big dangerous predators without denying that they are dangerous!
Jordan wants to sell Shark dives, and the Shark Addicts want to be somebody in Sharks, or whatever; and in order to generate the required noise and $$$, they are not satisfied to partake in what could otherwise be awesome wildlife encounters, but are instead resorting to those gratuitous, tired and I believe, totally disrespectful antics.
Nothing exceptional mind you - but instead of trying to play the conservation card by showcasing those stupidities and publicly blasting NOAA, etc, they should maybe also first have a real hard look at their own impact, i.e. at whether feeding = aggregating Lemons in unprotected federal waters right outside of protected Florida waters may make them part of the problem rather than part of the solution?
This is good television, and good Shark media to boot.
Big kudos to Eli for a job well done - and for the cojones, too!
Although we rarely speak and although I
don't really follow what he does, the tidbits I see and read document a remarkable evolution that I cannot but applaud. In brief, he really continues to grow on me - and I must alas also add that conversely, the abject jealousy and pathetic Wadenbeissergekläffe of his serial detractors is really becoming terminally insufferable!
No no names - you know who you are!
And the bloody flipping of the Tigers?
Like I said back then,
it doesn't harm the Sharks; plus, now that it has been trivialized as everybody and his dog has started to copy it, betcha that it will be phased out sooner rather than later - the more since manhandling Sharks will lead to lousy scores on SustainableSharkDiving!