Tuesday, May 14, 2013

David about Shark Feeding!

Great pic by Sasha - click for detail!

This was the first time I heard about David Diley.
Doug Perrine sent me the article and I thought, very cool - and the rest, as they say, is history.

And David is at it again!
Make yourself comfy, relax, take a deep breath and then read this post. It is as brilliant as it is long, meaning that you should really invest the time to read it in its entirety, and then probably read it once more - and no, I'm really not gonna weigh in, the more as BAD is being continuously mentioned as an example for best practice, which it frankly also is!
Plus, I don't advocate Shark feeding!

You shouldn't be. 
If you've paid close attention to this particular thread within this blog, I'm not at all of the opinion that it MUST be done. On the contrary, I'm very much of the opinion that nothing beats the awesome experience of witnessing Sharks doing their natural thing, like in, say, Palau, Malapasqua, the Sardine Run, Ningaloo, Fakarava or Cocos!

But of course those predictable natural aggregations are rather rare.
Plus, some of those Sharks are very shy, meaning that the encounters, although highly rewarding, can be very brief indeed.
Other than that, encountering Sharks in the wild is difficult for some species and all-but-impossible for others, meaning that in most cases, anybody wanting to showcase them to paying customers will have to resort to some form of baiting.

That's obviously what we do here in Fiji.
There, I'm of the opinion that it is neither harmful to the Sharks and their habitat nor to the humans, a fact that is increasingly being corroborated by recent research, this with the caveat that it only applies to large spatial and temporal scales.
But whereas there are certainly small scale effects like e.g. changes in species composition due to competitive exclusion by the boldest or most aggressive species, or the disruption of diel patterns in provisioned Sharks, there does not yet exist any substantiated evidence that those effects are harmful, at least not in the long term. That is, provided that there are some sensible protocols preventing excesses like those that have been recently documented for the Stingrays in Cayman!

But I said that I wouldn't weigh in.
Please go and read David's post.

Kudos mate, well said!


OfficetoOcean said...

Thanks very much for that Mike, much appreciated!

jsd said...

Very sane and well balanced piece -- I agree with 99% of it (there was a comma somewhere that annoyed me).

Keep up the good work!

OfficetoOcean said...

Thanks JSD and apologies for the rogue comma! :D

Tropical Selkie said...

For the first time ever (in terms of this blog), I'm ahead of the curve. Read this excellent blog as soon as it was posted. Simply EXCELLENT. And I might add to the possible list of places to see natural aggregations of sharks; Galapagos. I don't know if the 100+ Galapagos sharks we saw at Kicker Rock is predictable but it is definitely worth seeking out!

DaShark said...

It just shows that you have excellent taste in following David's blog! :)

Yup Galapagos rocks - never been to Kicker Rock (where is it?) but Wolf for big Galapagos' & Scalloped Hammers, and Darwin for huge (!!!) Whale Sharks, Galapagos', HHs, Silkies and Blacktips are among the sharkiest places on the planet, and barring a strong La NiƱa, highly reliable.

Tropical Selkie said...

Kicker Rock is a dive site off of San Cristobal (where they also have what-seems-to-be safe snorkeling above these schools of young sharks and many, many eagle rays). It is an undiscovered treasure! I will go back for sure.

OfficetoOcean said...

Thanks for all the kind comments guys!