Monday, July 06, 2009

Good News?

Well, prima vista, this is!

Amos has apparently assured Patric that he shall not be offering cageless Great White encounters in Guadalupe.

If so, great!
Am I totally buying the story with the "old" promo material? Am I really convinced that this is not just an attempt to buy time and to de-fuse the controversy after having pretty much been caught red-handed?
Call me a cynic - but as always, we shall see, won't we.

But as per my previous post, Amos is not an operator.
In this incarnation, he is a tour leader and would have had to avail himself of somebody else's services and infrastructure. That "somebody" would have to be an established operator disposing of a vessel and all the necessary licenses and permits to operate in Guadalupe.

In case you haven't noticed, that's really the part that leaves me completely stumped.
It very much looks like "somebody" was willing to put the whole Shark Diving Industry and the tremendous Conservation achievements of Guadalupe at risk.
For what: "fame"? Short-term profit?

Whatever his motivation: so sad and so short sighted!
It's a well known fact that other interests are ogling the site and any closure would remove any witnesses to those other activities there. Let there be no doubt that if that were to happen, the Sharks of Guadalupe would be killed and this unique site lost forever.

As Patric writes,

Now the entire dive world waits until the end of the 2009 shark diving season.
If we are to have future seasons at this site operators will have to show that they are willing to see Isla Guadalupe not in terms or bookings, or financial and diver risk - but of animals first, host country second, and our clients third. We are here ultimately for the animals and nothing less, our obligation to them transcends the
acquisition of images.
In many ways we as operators hold the keys to this pristine and unique site, but the sites future is not assured and an
estimated 33% of the entire western pacific white shark population hangs in the balance.

Amen to that!
Fingers crossed that it will all result in a happy ending


Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Let us hope.

Then again this is the dive industry.

Old PDF's aside the motivation for these stunts are ego, money, and DEMA status. Full Stop.

After the last out of cage adventure last season Amos did the rounds to every magazine out there trying to sell his images of his out of cage adventures.

He knows that what he is doing is wrong on many levels. He also knows the operators here would be in opposition to what he wanted to do, but did it anyway.

Short term thinking on the backs of magnificent animals...for a few images and a pat on the back at the next dive show.


Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

The Operator/Vessel Behind Amos

You'll note we're leaving out all mentions of the operator who enabled Amos last season and the NGO who may or may not be doing the same this year.

The reasons?

1. These operators need the business. They have huge overheads. Calling them out directly hurts their other 365 business and that is not fair.

2. We choose to focus on the person who booked the vessel or the operations manager, the public face of the problem.

It's a two way partnership. Yes the vessel "takes the money" and runs the questionable shark operation, but the money and divers have to appear.

Without that first step, without people at dive shows who shill these kind of adventures and garner public interest the out of cage option ceases to exist.

Let's be clear, these kind of adventures are by all accounts "out there" and not for the general public. The person Amos sent that PDF to has limited dive skills. Amos did not know that, and still did not know that when he offered a discount on the same trip. In fact there was no conversation about dive skills at all.

Someone has the be the PT Barnum frontman for all of this.

If that happens to be you, and you're doing it on our watch, we reserve the right to voice opposition to it, and that is what we are doing now.

Is Amos a bad guy? No he is not.

Is Amos a businessman? Yes he is.

The nature of the business of shark diving demands that we all look outside our immediate bubble and see where the industry intersects with media and public perception - with the animals well being in mind at all times.

Unfortunately that often gets lost when you're talking about $5900 per diver.

DaShark said...

I hear you.

Tho I beg to differ (for once!).

If what you say is true, the boat operators' principal motivation is money, and screw the conservation aspect and other considerations.

Then the only thing that will dissuade them is more money - i.e. precisely the risk of loosing the other 360 days of business.

I may be repeating myself - but the caretakers is us in the Shark Diving Industry.
Yes people like Amos (and Eli) may contribute to the bottom line - but we're certainly not totally dependent on them.

How about the other way round?
Can they produce those images without us?

So, let's lay down the rules and live happily thereafter!