Friday, December 08, 2017

No more Shark Feeding in French Polynesia?

Problematic - unregulated Elasmobranch feeding with snorkelers. Source.

Remember this stupidity?

Alas, it ain't going away - on the contrary!
According to this piece, the new Environmental Law of French Polynesia is targeting both Elasmobranch feeding and Whale watching, see page 2416ff. The law has been published without any proper scientific backing and zero consultations with the concerned stakeholders, and the operators are said to be in a state of shock. Both activities have been a mainstay of French Polynesia's tourism industry for many decades, and in the case of Shark diving both in baited and unbaited conditions, many constant refinements that have taken place of the years make this one of the most sustainable, exhilarating and safe such activities anywhere.

The rules are still to be translated into specific regulations. 
So here's to cooler heads prevailing, and that this will merely result in better management and supervision, which is probably a good thing - this NOT because of the infamous Tiger Shark dives at the Vallée Blanche that are actually extremely well conducted and very safe indeed, but because of the many unregulated snorkeling tours with Reefies and Stingrays in baited conditions, see e.g. here that are definitely a cause for concern.

So I remain hopeful - for now!
French Polynesia is awash with excellent Shark researchers who have collected a plethora of data and can easily inform the authorities. Right now as a friend remarks c'est bien n'importe quoi - and one can most certainly do better.

To be continued no doubt - keep watching this space!

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