[Coral-List] Shark Feeding Question
sealab at earthlink.net
Fri Feb 14 14:03:42 EST 2014
I was aware of the fact that shark feeding is not allowed in Florida waters,
but my question was posted in reaction to shark dives which involve
provisioning that have become somewhat of a growing trend in the scuba
diving industry outside of US waters. I am familiar with the typical
arguments pro and con, but it struck me as odd that in general feeding
wildlife seems to be discouraged and I simply assumed that this approach was
firmly backed by scientific opinion. When I began to research the topic, I
came upon a number of papers that basically presented a more ambivalent
attitude towards the practice (at least when it comes to sharks). In fact
some studies lent support to provisioning by suggesting that it could become
a potential benefit to conservation efforts by providing much needed
data.That led me to wonder if my personal aversion to shark feeding
encounters had any basis beyond individual bias colored by a desire to keep
the oceans wild. I thought this list would be a good place to solicit
information regarding peer reviewed papers that have examined the issues
involved. I would like to think that I could change my opinion on shark
feeding if the science clearly discounts my concerns. Then I would only be
left to wonder if there was ever any scientific basis for the general
anti-feeding wildlife approach developing in the first place.
From: Nancy Diersing - NOAA Affiliate
Sent: Feb 14, 2014 10:27 AM
To: "Delbeek, Charles"
Cc: Steve Mussman , "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Shark Feeding Question
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
* 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
cdelbeek at 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.
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Steve
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
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
a number of papers that conclude that there is no evidence that
has any measureable (detrimental) impacts on the sharks involved,
communities and ecosystems? In fact it is often suggested that
monitoring of sharks and other marine life at provisioning sites will
likely provide much needed temporal data that will benefit
conservation efforts and protected area management strategies.
Are we therefore wrong to simply assume that in general feeding animals
physically interacting in such ways) in the wild is to be discouraged?
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
but none on other aquatic species. Can anyone direct me to additional
studies that could help shed some light on the broader issues involved?
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Nancy G. Diersing
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
(305) 852-7717 x26
2. mailto:CDelbeek at calacademy.org
6. mailto:cdelbeek at calacademy.org
8. mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
9. mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
10. mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
11. mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
13. mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
More information about the Coral-List