[Coral-List] Shark Feeding Question
sealab at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 13 11:40:58 EST 2014
It seems to me that there is a clear understanding that in general feeding
animals in the wild is considered bad form.
That said, why is it that shark feedings and the growing popularity of
staged shark interactions seem to be viewed as (almost) being sanctioned by
a number of papers that conclude that there is no evidence that provisioning
has any measureable (detrimental) impacts on the sharks involved, adjacent
communities and ecosystems? In fact it is often suggested that long-term
monitoring of sharks and other marine life at provisioning sites will
likely provide much needed temporal data that will benefit apex-predator
conservation efforts and protected area management strategies.
Are we therefore wrong to simply assume that in general feeding animals (and
physically interacting in such ways) in the wild is to be discouraged? Are
aquatic animal interactions somehow innately different from terrestrial
encounters? Is it best to only make species-specific assumptions on the
appropriateness of such activities? For example, is food provisioning
(following accepted protocols in areas where it is allowed) somehow
considered acceptable for sharks, but not for other marine animals?
Finally, I have found a few papers on the impacts of provisioning on sharks,
but none on other aquatic species. Can anyone direct me to additional
studies that could help shed some light on the broader issues involved?
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