[Coral-List] Shark Feeding Question

Billy Causey - NOAA Federal billy.causey at noaa.gov
Tue Feb 18 08:49:18 EST 2014

It's always great to hear from you!  You made some excellent points in
your response and I agree with all of them.

Please allow me to share a short story from the mid - 1980's when I
was managing the small Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary in the Lower
Florida Keys.  At the time, we allowed fishing on top of the fore reef
and the spur and groove formation.  Now that area is a no take
Sanctuary Preservation Area.

Back to the story, one day I received a call from an older, excited
recreational fisherman who exclaimed that "this sanctuary thing was
working!"  He said he had tied up to one of our mooring buoys and
caught his limit in huge Yellowtail Snapper in minutes!  What he
didn't know was that he was catching fish that divers had been feeding
crackers, cheese whiz and all sorts of food matter to the fish.  The
old fishermen had found a gold mine of fish that had been conditioned
to bite anything that hit the water!!  But, he liked that sanctuary

A sad, but true story that was frequently repeated .


Billy D. Causey, Ph.D.
Southeast Regional Director
NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

33 East Quay Road
Key West, Florida 33040

305 809 4670 office
305 395 0150 mobile
305 293 5011 fax

billy.causey at noaa.gov

> On Feb 18, 2014, at 7:30 AM, David Obura <dobura at cordioea.net> wrote:
> Hi all,
> general experience with feeding or attracting wild animals (which fish and sharks are) in Africa has been that the direct result of  increased human-animal interactions is precisely what you could predict. Where those animals are nice and cuddly, the interactions are probably beneficial (at least to humans). Where they are large or potentially dangerous (hippos, leopard, elephant, lion), then, surprise surprise, the number of harmful interactions on humans go up!! Where habitat loss also results in intensification of human-wildlife interactions you also see the same results, of greater harmful interactions to people, though hardly in proportion to the increase in harmful interactions for the animals.
> Finding published literature on this can be difficult (though I'm sure its extensive in terrestrial cases) because it is of course so emotive to us - but it is common sense. The micro-view of pro-feeders, centered around their own business opportunity or "I know my backyard" mentality should not be given excessive weight against what is common sense AND backed up by a mix of experience and data from the broader world out there!
> My two cents, anyway,
> David
> CORDIO East Africa
> #9 Kibaki Flats, Kenyatta Beach, Bamburi Beach
> P.O.BOX 10135 Mombasa 80101, Kenya
> www.cordioea.net       //      www.iucn.org/cccr
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> Email: dobura at cordioea.net; davidobura at gmail.com
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