[Coral-List] Shark Feeding

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 4 10:38:06 EST 2014

   A timely article in Scientific American (
   servation-gains-made-with-diving-ecotourism-slide-show1/) brings to light
   some of the concerns that should be considered as logical progressions in
   the expansion and development of the shark feeding/ecotourism industry.
   Apparently a new trend deemed âshark-ridingâ has raised jitters that a
   resultant  âaccidentâ  could have industry-wide repercussions.  In the
   article, one popular shark provisioning advocate laments that although
   âhighly  experienced  people may possibly limit risks through adequate
   behavior and safety protocols,  . . . the increasing number of inexperienced
   copycats makes me fear that somebody will end up having a bad accidentâ.  He
   goes on to say that he hopes  âthat everybody agrees that riding harmless
   species like turtles, manatees, nurse sharks, manta rays and whale sharks is
   totally disrespectful and moronic, so why would riding those predatory
   sharks be anything else?â  I would suggest that feeding those same species
   could be considered equally disrespectful and offensive, so why the sudden
   fascination with ethics regarding human interactions with marine life?   Why
   not feed them all?  There is surely more economic and conservation-related
   potential  here as well.  In truth, there are less intrusive ways to promote
   shark  conservation  as seen in efforts world-wide to protect turtles,
   manatees and whales. Consider what it would be like if we simply allowed all
   wildlife  activities  to be controlled  by the âeconomic decisionsâ of
   tourists eager to get up close and personal with any number of species in
   the wild.  As a side note, nurse sharks are not necessarily harmless and
   handling  them  can  unpredictably  lead  to undesirable and injurious
   consequences as well.




   1. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/shark-riders-pose-threat-to-conservation-gains-made-with-diving-ecotourism-slide-show1/

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