[Coral-List] Shark Feeding Question

Nancy Diersing - NOAA Affiliate nancy.diersing at noaa.gov
Fri Feb 14 10:27:14 EST 2014

*Everyone:  FYI--*

*Here are the regulations from Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission regarding fish feeding by snorkelers and divers in the state
waters of Florida.

*Regulations for Feeding Fish, Shark, or other Marine Species*

Feeding fish, sharks, or other marine species while diving or snorkeling is
prohibited. It is also prohibited to operate a boat that is hired to carry
passengers to any area within state waters to feed marine species or view
marine species feeding. These regulations were developed because of
concerns about the

   - safety of divers, surfers, and swimmers
   - feeding of marine species in multiple-use areas, and
   - effects of concentrating and training sharks to associate humans with

"Chumming" or feeding fish for the purpose of harvesting marine species as
otherwise allowed by FWC rules is permitted.

On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 12:27 PM, Delbeek, Charles
<CDelbeek at calacademy.org>wrote:

> I would think it depends on the context under which the feeding is taking
> place. For example, feeding hotdogs or trout chow to reef fish would be
> different to feeding natural prey items to sharks.
> On Oahu, The Hanauma Bay marine preserve used to allow feeding of fish,
> eventually since most people were feeding bread they began to actively sell
> packets of pellet food for this purpose. As a result large more aggressive
> fishes began to displace the smaller, less aggressive ones. I think there
> was also an impact on algal growth in the inner part of the bay but I may
> be making that up. Someone more familiar with the history of this can
> correct me if I am wrong. Once the feeding was banned the fish assemblage
> eventually returned to a more "normal" balance of species.
> J. Charles Delbeek, M.Sc.
> Assistant Curator, Steinhart Aquarium
> California Academy of Sciences
> Desk: 415.379.5303
> Cell: 415.859.0420
> Fax: 415.379.5304
> cdelbeek at calacademy.org
> www.calacademy.org
> 55 Music Concourse Dr.
> Golden Gate Park
> San Francisco CA 94118
> What you can't see will amaze you.  Dark Universe, a new planetarium show,
> now playing at the California Academy of Sciences.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:
> coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Steve Mussman
> Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2014 8:41 AM
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: [Coral-List] Shark Feeding Question
>    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?
>    Thanks,
>     Steve
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Nancy G. Diersing
Science Interpreter
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
(305) 852-7717 x26


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