Thursday, May 07, 2009


Patric is pissed off, and so am I!

The reason for it is this.

There's been quite some brouhaha behind the scenes after somebody posted these two test balloons on YouTube and generally speaking, the condemnation has been universal, especially of these statements.

Sharks are BIG business in adrenaline eco-tourism. And some thrill seekers deliberately pursue close encounters with deadly sharks without the protection of a cage. The bigger and more dangerous the shark, the better. At Mexicos Guadalupe Island, guests (including 5 & 7 year old siblings) come face to face with great whites. In the Bahamas, scuba divers pay big bucks to get up close and personal with tiger sharks.
But have we taken this risky sport too far? Shark advocates Dr. Erich Ritter and Chuck Anderson have grave reservations about how far we are willing to go for a thrill. And they have intimate knowledge of the subject. Both men were brutally attacked by bull sharks. Shark Divers also examines the controversy surrounding a handful of high-profile attacks in 2008, including the first shark tourist killed while on a shark excursion.

Whereas Patric is obviously right in bemoaning that the clips portray a fringe and extreme movement within the Shark diving community without properly mentioning the many positive examples of Shark Ecotourism, methinks Hey, that Guy is right!
Which incidentally, horribile dictu, puts me in the same camp as Mr. Ueber-Charlatan Ritter! Yukk!

But, seriously, is there any disputing that some yahoos out there are pursuing ever more extreme Shark encounters? That they obviously don't understand, or belittle the risks this involves? Just watch the footage of Tigers nuzzling the backs of oblivious and wide-eyed ignoramuses, or the bozos going cageless in Guadalupe!

Thing is, are we to blame those customers, or the shooter of the images?
Shoot the messenger for having said it like it is?

It's same-old-same-old.
Clients will do what clients will do, especially the image hunters. They will never cease to push the envelope in their quest for ever bigger adrenaline rushes and extreme images.
Good on them. They obviously don't know better, and that's their privilege as clients. After all, we the operators know what we're doing and will take good care of them.

But what about those operators and facilitators who enabled those visuals?
Where were they when those Tigers started bumping the customers? Who's that moron who allowed those people to go cageless in Lupe? How can anybody justify that total lack of procedures and that total disregard for the safety of one's clients and the reputation of the Industry?

Mind you, it's always the same people, a small group of greedy, reckless and stupid unprofessional assholes who put the whole Industry at risk and into disrepute. They, and not the shooter of those videos, are the ones "Kicking the Shark Diving Industry"!
Maybe it would be best if the "others" would once and for all finally put them out of their unholy business! And finally slap a code of conduct on those locations!

Did you read the links? See? I'm repeating myself!

And let me repeat this, too.
Dear Client: don't go there!
What those guys do is dangerous and not sustainable and they obviously don't give a rat's ass about your safety! It will all end in tears and you don't want to be anywhere near it when it happens. And it will!
And by that I mean: somebody will get killed, and it could be you!

To the shooter: go for it amigo!
Tell it as it is - but please don't forget to mention that this is the lunatic fringe and that the majority of operators are not like that! Properly organized, Shark Diving is awesome, rewarding and intriguing.

And very very safe!


Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

You did call it a while ago, Shark Hating Voyuristic Parasite. Replace "shark" with "industry" in this case.

I am wonder aloud if an old fashioned name, email and phone number shaming will work here?

Your thoughts on this cat?

DaShark said...

I'm really on the fence when it comes to this individual!

Let's assume for the sake of the argument that his proposed show would go ahead, INCLUDING a look at eco-friendly and safe Shark diving: would you still object to it?

Hell, the guy is speaking the truth! Some yahoos out there are pushing the limits way beyond what is sustainable!

Yes it's not the totality of the industry but only one extreme side of the equation - but it's a fact and alas, it's putting the customers at risk, enabling those visuals, grabbing the headlines and tarnishing everybody in the process.
You and I have blogged about it many many times.

So, would it be wrong to show and call the excesses for what they are? Assuming that you also show the alternatives?

Once again - don't shoot the messenger, shoot the perpetrators and enablers! said...

Where there's a demand for adrenalin fueled shark encounters, there are always dive operators who will oblige. The issue is that is tarnishes us all.