Saturday, March 01, 2014

NZ GWS Tourism - the Guidelines!

So here they are.

For the time being, they are only interim guidelines.
I must say that I like the approach as the authorities are not barging in unilaterally but instead trying to work cooperatively with the operators that get one further chance to do things right until a likely final review in 2015.
People in the know tell me that once they get enacted, the rules are likely to be part/condition of the permits (= you breach them, you lose the permit) rather than regulations, this also because this would allow for more flexibility and much easier enactment and/or changes.

I must say, I find them rather good.
Just this: how about some thoughts about best location(s), number of operators and possible rotation to avoid the all-too-common chumming wars, and amount and frequency of berleying. But the first two aspects may well be best legislated elsewhere - and anyway, I'm neither a GWS diver let alone operator and my specific know how is consequently limited.

So you commercial GWS folks out there - thoughts?
You can best e-mail any questions or suggestions to Kristina Hillock who reports to Marine Species and Threats Manager Ian Angus, the gentleman mentioned here. This is a great opportunity to contribute to getting it right from the get-go, so please do take the time to make some constructive comments.

Thank you!


Sam Cahir said...

Just had a very quick skim over and saw this part which jumped out at me: "DOC requests access to copies of any photos or film taken of great white sharks to assist ongoing research. Copyrights will be acknowledged and adhered to in all instances"

Can't say i'm impressed with that one.

a few really obious things that sprung to mind include that baits/burly should be attached to throw lines using natural fibre tethers to avoid ingesting the nylon from ropes etc, and maybe that the burly & baits should be consistent with what the animal would normally eat (i.e. fish/tuna/snapper) to reduce any risk of introducing any bacteria/diereses into their diet which they would not normally be exposed to.

DaShark said...

Shit... talk about some lightning-fast evolution over the past years Sam!

At this pace, we'll soon have to grant you fellow Shark diving operator discounts! :)

Megalobomb said...

Definitely a nice start, but also could use some adjustments:

While they do mention keeping the cage nice and smooth, there is no mention of keeping the boat smooth. Sharks get damaged by props and hydrofoils too.

If the vis is anything like it is in S.Africa - those viewing window measurements are a tad big. For commercial diving (people not bringing in major underwater camera gear) 200mm is just fine.

'Don't let the bait drift into or be pulled into the cage' and 'Don't let sharks eat bait intentionally' gets you into a catch22 out at sea. The answer is no bait lines allowed over the cage at any time, then there is no chance of pulling it into the cage to keep a shark from eating it intentionally.

Will send these lovely chaps an email with some other suggestions too, nice work done by them!

Whooee Wesa Havin' Fun Now! said...

Yes, all well and good but for the simple fact that unless DOC imposes actual "observers" on the shark boats you can enjoy a decades long "miscreant fest" by those operations who see sharks as ATM's.

When film crews show up any pretense of sensible operations seem to go out the window, a clear case of dollars over animals.

The other issue and the one NOT discussed is the proximity of operations to paua divers.

Not to be taken lightly.

Can it be done here?

We'll see.

Is DOC involvement a good idea?

We'll see.

Before anyone makes a decision, watch this video from 2013.

Does this look like safe operations to anyone?

And, knowing that the locals were already up in arms against shark operations why would anyone enable this shit?

It's a simple answer.

DaShark said...

Could not agree more!

To wit (yes this is a link).