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Tiger Sharks targeted in Aliwal Shoal M.P.A


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#21 TheRealDrew

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 01:50 AM

HUH? :) Thanks for trying but even I didn't get that.


LOL. Sorry about that. It seemed that when you made the point in the thread about how practices and chumming and behavior calling the sharks in.

It's probably because those tigers are accustomed to being chummed and fed and thus get close enough to get power headed. I doubt they'd have that sort of shark response anywhere that is not fed.


and two posts down Mark

Have to disagree with you there Drew. The Blacktips are not waiting under the boat as soon as you turn off the engine. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes for the first sharks to arrive at the feast, other times it takes upwards and beyond an hour.


which you then replied to quoting that section as

LOL Mark,sometimes you do take things too literally. If you are saying the chumming has no effect on the shark's feeding patterns at all, then I guess we have nothing to discuss.


To which Mark stated

Drew, did I say anything about the behavior of sharks after continued feeding? You're on the wrong thread mate. I was merely informing of the sad news regarding this incident.



So it seemed since Mark was not denying the behavior modification, but did mention the timing of up to an hour, it really came down to how quickly the sharks were coming close to the boat to get killed, whether instantly when the boats shut their engines or shortly thereafter in some period of time that would otherwise not be natural but for the chumming and the rest.

As an aside (based on the later posts) I see Mark thinks you are painting a picture of constant chum etc to which you than set forth some more detail.

Anyway, having seen some of these things (chum for shark dives, Stingray City, Manta Dives) and how marine life reacts to how a pattern is set up, well if I was going out fishing for certain things I know which areas I would be looking at for the reasons you have stated - the sounds of boats even before the chum or feeding starts can bring them in.

Edited by TheRealDrew, 20 February 2008 - 01:54 AM.


#22 Drew

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 01:44 PM

As further data, tiger tagging has shown one tiger shark going from Australia's Shark Bay to South Africa's eastern shores. Did some shark put up a neon sign for fastfood in the Indian Ocean? :)
I know every one of the operators personally and have no beef with their activity at all (even if I disagree with it). However, the data indicates the tigers sharks are congregating in the area for longer and in higher numbers. This in turn makes it easier for the poachers to find and kill them. Why only tigers? Was this some stunt or personal vendetta to hurt the operators? There are 10x more limbatus around if it were for fins.
There's been a push for MCM to do prosecute and set an example. Incredibly people think that prosecuting one guy will be a deterrent. Let's be frank here, money talks and there's a whole lot of poverty in KZN. People say ZAR15-18/kg of shark meat is nothing but not to the poor.
For a start, you all can write Marine and Coastal Management of South Africa to enforce a ban on longlining in South African waters:
http://www.sharklife...asp?Content=119

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#23 writepic

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 03:44 PM

Anyway, having seen some of these things (chum for shark dives, Stingray City, Manta Dives) and how marine life reacts to how a pattern is set up, well if I was going out fishing for certain things I know which areas I would be looking at for the reasons you have stated - the sounds of boats even before the chum or feeding starts can bring them in.



what really get me about this "to chum or not to chum" debate is that no one seems to acknowledge or even consider what the picture would be if chumming/cage diving/shark viewing operators didn't exist. i don't know the dollar figure, but there is a significant business for more than one or two people built around shark tourism in aliwal shoal, and indeed in other shark diving areas.

what would the situation be if no-one had developed this industry? probably no divers would have dived with these sharks, finners would have come in long ago and taken them, and we would only be reading this event in some way bizzare science journal.

talking about how negative chumming is is on a par with the scientific ethic of not touching or interefering with the subject even if that subject might benefit from the interference.

this makes me so MAD...wake the F*"k up....poverty stricken humans all over the world are interefering with nature on a grand scale and couldn't give two s%!ts about science or behavioural modification.

WE NEED to interfere, or all those things that we so cherish will be gone.

rant over at least on this post.

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#24 TheRealDrew

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 04:52 PM

what really get me about this "to chum or not to chum" debate is that no one seems to acknowledge or even consider what the picture would be if chumming/cage diving/shark viewing operators didn't exist. i don't know the dollar figure, but there is a significant business for more than one or two people built around shark tourism in aliwal shoal, and indeed in other shark diving areas.



I know my comment was not meant to be a debate in the chum/not chum area, it simply was stating that marine life does become responsive to some of these thing ... it is an issue that is affects behavior and some nimrods take advantage of it to make it easier to kill things. Knowing the sharks have been "trained" to a degree more than your average shark makes it more of shooting fish in a barrel scenario.

#25 Drew

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 07:53 PM

what really get me about this "to chum or not to chum" debate is that no one seems to acknowledge or even consider what the picture would be if chumming/cage diving/shark viewing operators didn't exist. i don't know the dollar figure, but there is a significant business for more than one or two people built around shark tourism in aliwal shoal, and indeed in other shark diving areas.

Good point. There are at least (off the top of my head) 8 ops out of Umkomaas diving Aliwal (not necessarily the tigers). That is a big money earner since Umkomaas is pretty much dead without it and the tourist dollar it brings in. Shrink that to 2 ops doing the tiger shark dives and 3 of those 8 regularly intruding. That means a minimum of 1-5 boats whenever launching is available.
Funnily enough the tigers were not the popular shark dives but the raggies, which just hide in caves seasonally as well. When I'm in Umkomaas, I see at least 2-3 boats going to Aliwal for every one that does the tiger dives. I remember someone doing a survey on the sardine run's economic windfall having done a study of the tiger shark study too. I'll check with him. AFAIK, there are 2 operators doing the tiger dives exclusively. The others diversify into diving at Aliwal but are not part of the cattle car operators.

talking about how negative chumming is is on a par with the scientific ethic of not touching or interefering with the subject even if that subject might benefit from the interference.

I don't think there is negativity about chumming but the effect it has for the preservation of the sharks. Discounting the economic factors of tiger diving, is altering Galeocerdos and Limbatus feeding patterns and congregating them in a smaller area helping the shark fishers?
It's illegal to do so but obviously in the real world, it's not a deterrent. Everybody would like the police or MCM to enforce the ban but without the shark feeding, the sharks would be more scattered and difficult to net. Sure the fishermen could chum too and get the same net effect but again, the knowledge of where the sharks are came from the operators. Hence the discussion of how beneficial these operations are to the conservation of the sharks. Places like Stuart Cove where an entire industry is set up for shark diving, they protect the sharks. But Aliwal is big and offshore, and the 2 shark operators hate each other. So cooperation is out of the question. So the buck is passed to the MCM or police. Tourism from these niche groups are not on the scale of holiday makers going to Scottsburgh for beach and sun.
The perpertrators launched from Rocky Bay, far from Umkomaas and the biggest concentration of dive operators (most of whom don't benefit from the shark dives). So I do think the shark operations have to be included in considering the welfare of the sharks.
The raggies are also protected and they don't respond to chumming as much as the Galeocerdos or Limbatus. Maybe they are just too lazy to come out of the caves or are basically nocturnal hunters but they seem to have found haven in the MPA area from the sharkfishers. Not so the migrating C. Brachyrus which has led to the increase in C.Limbatus, which don't seem to have the same migration habits.
Definitely something has to be done, but to simply say just post more guards to the place (or shoot the poachers (oh yeah ... really helpful!)) is not analysing the problem enough.

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#26 CamDiver

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 09:38 PM

Good point. There are at least (off the top of my head) 8 ops out of Umkomaas diving Aliwal (not necessarily the tigers). That is a big money earner since Umkomaas is pretty much dead without it and the tourist dollar it brings in. Shrink that to 2 ops doing the tiger shark dives and 3 of those 8 regularly intruding. That means a minimum of 1-5 boats whenever launching is available.


Absolute conjecture, not fact. You may have seen a few days like this but it is certainly not the local model of a regular launch day in Park Rynie / Umkomaas. On any given day the absolute max for shark dive boats are representative of the two main operators in the region. There are times when a third shark dive boat is out there but in the past 4 months that has been once in a blue moon.

One of the reason why the sharks take at times such a long time to pick up the scent of the shark divers chum slicks is because they are also attracted to the many baited hooks dangling in the water from commercial fishermen. What's more, if the Natal Sharks Board also has its way they will soon be installing drum lines off of the Scottburgh, Park Rynie and Umkomaas bathing beaches. So multiply all of the olfactory stimulants in the water currently on offer not just to the Tiger Sharks but to any resident or transient sharks and I know which free food offerings I would wish them to visit, or at least the ones that will allow them to leave the diner table alive!

With that I will have to bow out of the discussion. I'm heading off for a while into the wilds of Namibia.

Cheers,
Mark.

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#27 Drew

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 02:49 AM

Absolute conjecture, not fact. You may have seen a few days like this but it is certainly not the local model of a regular launch day in Park Rynie / Umkomaas. On any given day the absolute max for shark dive boats are representative of the two main operators in the region. There are times when a third shark dive boat is out there but in the past 4 months that has been once in a blue moon.

Mark I really do think you should read what I wrote. 8 ops out of Umkomaas diving Aliwal, 1 to 5 boats doing the tigers on any given day. That's pretty much in line with what you just said. I understand you see my depiction of the tiger shark dives as a "chum slick" fest, but that's your interpretation of my statements, in your eagerness to defend the activity.
Furthermore the question was about the economic contribution to the local community by the tiger shark diving. With 2 main operators and the avg of 2-3 boats during the season, a max of 4-6 persons per boat. It's miniscule compared to the recreational diving of Aliwal which in turn is microscopic to the thousands of sunbathers who flock to the beachs of KZN. That's why the Sharks Board is going to drum lines, because the multi-million dollar beach vacationer market beats out the less than dozen or so tiger shark viewers.
Protecting human beings will always take precedence over preservation of sharks. The drumlines hit the big sharks but fewer small sharks. Also there isn't the collateral damage of dolphins, turtles, whales etc with nets.
So again, is the shark diving more beneficial for the sharks (it's bringing in some money/employment) vs (if) it makes them an easier target because of the activity causes aggregation? That is the question that needs answering as well for the protection of the species.

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#28 CamDiver

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 01:34 AM

Ooops,
My bad, apologies Drew. I kinda jumped in with eyes closed on that one, quite unlike me...... ;) my apologies. However it is not true to say that on any given day there is 1 to 5 boats doing the Tigers here. Today for example and many days in the past four months since arriving here have there been days when due to low visitor numbers or bad weather that operators have not dived.

I am a supporter of this kind of activity as is the majority of image chasing divers. Much loved, or hated, characters have become synonymous with providing such services bringing us into contact with such predators. Andre Hartman, Michael Rudzen, Jim Abernathy, Mark Addison and Stuart Coves as a short list have all seen the potential, if done correctly, to base a business model on the interaction of divers and apex ocean predators. Whilst of course we would all like to think it possible to observe and photograph / film these animals in their natural state it is a sad fact that in 2008 that the more enigmatic shark species are in great decline due to the actions of an indiscriminate fishery.

With deeper pockets than most there are some people who can afford to take extended vacations, travels in their search for the ultimate shark encounters. In seven years of diving almost daily in Micronesia and Palau only once did I witness Tiger Sharks engaged in natural predator mode when I was fortunate enough to film two Tigers chowing down on a Manta, well good for me, bad for the Manta. For the rest who try to live with cameras and who also need to support a family then using an 'artificial' scenario to achieve one's product is, in my view, not a bad thing. The shark gets food, the snapper gets his / her footage / images and then go their own ways. I cannot accept that a shark can get conditioned by feeding activities to a point of being detrimental to its ability to survive if that food were to be taken away. 400 Million Years of evolution cannot be broken by a few handfuls of sardines, sorry but as hard as you may try to argue that with me you may as well be barking up a gum tree.

I would argue also that feeding activities at least take these larger species offshore. The Aliwal dives are done some 4 to 6 km offshore, far away from the bathing beaches. To say that once the food is taken away the animals are then left to approach the beaches due to human activities is just hog wash. There are a million and one stimulants, other than free fishy hand outs, available to the shark between the feeding sites and the beaches. I'm not saying that you insinuated this kind of argument but I threw it in there as some people may think of this permutation to the issue.

I do understand the 'apparent' understanding to protecting the bathing public. The shark nets along the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) coastline span some 23km and catch some 600+ sharks per year. The majority of shark species caught are Tigers, Blacktip, Dusky and Bull with Tigers leading the catch listings. Whilst unfortunately the nets also do snare other marine life such as Dolphins, Turtles, Whale Sharks and a vast amount of Sea Birds I don't think that Drum Lines are the answer. To put baited hooks within 100m of the shore is certain to attract the larger sharks into closer proximity to the bathers. Sharks attracted to a stimulant are not going to head back out to sea when they see the drum line 'occupied' by some other less fortunate shark. Those free swimming predatory sharks will then become problematic in the immediate coastal regions frequented by people. Public outcry to 'attacks' in areas where drum lines are located could then give way to the support of moves by fisheries to eradicate shark populations in coastal regions. It would not surprise me if this kind of thinking is also part of the 'big picture' plan of the Natal Sharks Board which is a fishery, period. Their business license is as a fishery not as a protective or scientific agency as some people would be led to believe.

In my view I think all drum lines and shark nets should be abandoned. Why should there be any more attacks along this coastline as opposed to other regions along the KZN and south eastern coastlines of Africa for that matter which have the same, if not higher, densities of these same species. Take a trip along the wild coast down here and with much reduced human incursion the numbers of sharks tends to appear greater. Ask any 'Spearo' next time you're down here. The initiation of the Natal Anti Sharks Measures Board was borne at a time when commercial whaling was still prevalent along this coastline, way back in the 50's. With an over riding stimulus of whale blubber, blood and carcases in the water the number of sharks in close proximity to places such as Durban, Scottburgh and Rocky Bay, where the main whaling stations were located for this area, were, I'm sure, massive. Nowadays though?? I think the need for these measures is well past its validity date. The only reason they continue to be implemented is due to a multi million Rand fishery which continues to exist at a very high governmental level.

I did have a recent discussion arguing the need for public protection against potential shark 'interactions' at public beaches but just to get points across. I backed the mentality of the public who, if uneducated, will be led to believe that there is still a very big need for preventative measures. If they knew the truth about why these measure continue to exist then maybe things could change.

As for the densities of Tiger Sharks. It is the sharks who are the seasonal visitors in such numbers. The females are all coming here for some reason, above the chance for free sardines. At other times of the year their numbers are reduced and sightings, whilst almost daily, tend to be solitary animals as opposed to the sixes, sevens and eight's we are currently seeing. That said the fishermen, if they so desired, would lay out a bucket load more stimulant or chum in order to catch these animals. It is also not a crime to catch Tiger Sharks outside of the MPA in Aliwal so who's to say that the sharks we are seeing are not the survivors of a gauntlet of fishing operators surrounding the area? Speculative but not unproven.

In light of the recent fishing incident I'm glad to say, as a closing point, that I was diving yesterday in incredible conditions for here; 25m viz, drifting over a beautiful rocky reef with sand patches etc. We were in the presence of four Tiger sharks, around 30 Black tips. We also got buzzed by a pod of Dolphin, an Eagle Ray, a massive school of Barracudas and saw many a stingray buried in the sand patches. All good stuff.

Cheers,
Mark.

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#29 echeng

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:36 PM

Guys, I got a petition request for these sharks:

----------------

FORWARDED

URGENT! PLEASE HELP US SAVE OUR SHARKS!

Recently in Durban, South Africa, 3 non-aggressive adult Tiger Sharks
were killed by a fisherman. These majestic animals are a massive
eco-tourist attraction in the area and killing them can be compared to
the slaughter of lions - a tragic loss of one of nature's awesome
creations.

Tiger Sharks have limited protection in the Marine Protected Area
(MPA) of Aliwal Shoal where divers from around the world come to see
them. Although the fisherman claims he caught the sharks outside the
MPA (he was seen earlier that day fishing within the MPA area), he
landed them in the MPA, which is against the law. As a result of eye
witness reports, followed by public outcry, the fisherman has been
officially charged (charges still to be announced).

Patrolling of MPAs and enforcement of the law is considered inadequate
in South Africa and it is suspected that a further 5 Tiger Sharks were
killed previously this year. This is a serious blow as dive operators
report identifying only about 20 to 30 different large Tiger Sharks
during a season. In addition to this tragedy there are also reports
that the number of Blacktip Sharks in this MPA are declining. This
charismatic species is another major attraction in the area,
especially since the number of Raggedtooth Sharks formerly viewed has
declined. Yet Blacktip Sharks have no protection, not even within the
MPA. Instead Blacktip Sharks, including Bronze Whaler Sharks and Dusky
Sharks are commercially targeted species and current annual quotas are
based on inadequate scientific research.

South Africa is considered a shark diving Mecca of the world and
Aliwal Shoal is one of the shark diving hotspots of the country. Every
year thousands of tourists come to South Africa to have a unique
diving experience with some of the oceans top predators. This
eco-tourist industry brings in millions of Rands of revenue, and
provides job opportunities to a country with a high unemployment rate.
Sharks most frequently viewed are White Sharks, Tiger Sharks,
Raggedtooth Sharks, Bull Sharks, Blacktip Sharks, Bronze Whaler Sharks
(prime species of the Sardine Run), Hammerhead Sharks, Whale Sharks,
and Cow sharks. It is estimated that Tiger Shark diving in Aliwal
Shoal generated over R18 million (USA$2.5 million) during 2007, while
White Shark cage diving in Gansbaai alone generates approximately R289
million per annum (USA$40 million). One Raggedtooth Shark is estimated
to be worth R50 000 per annum (USA$7000) and can live for 40 years or
more. In its lifetime it is therefore worth approximately R2 250 000
(USA$310 000). This same shark if slaughtered will fetch only R1000
once off (USA$140 - shark meat, depending on size and species, is
worth only between R3-R18 per kilogram - USA$40c -2.5). Quite
evidently the socio-economic value of a live shark far outweighs the
value of a dead shark and the loss of any one of these species will
therefore have severe impacts.

Despite this, of the over 200 different species of sharks found in
South African waters, only White Sharks, Whale Sharks and Basking
Sharks are fully protected. All other species may be legally caught
and killed. Raggedtooth Sharks, Tiger Sharks and Bull Sharks have
limited protection within MPAs. This limited protection of so few
species is of little help since these animals know no boundaries and
therefore remain vulnerable outside MPAs. Added to this, this
protection is of little use when the existing laws are not adequately
enforced.

Since sharks play such a vital role in maintaining the delicate
balance of the marine ecosystems there is growing concern as many
species worldwide are being driven to the brink of extinction due to
unsustainable fishing practices. Given all these facts, it is
deplorable that these majestic animals of such high eco-tourist value
are still allowed to be slaughtered. The South African government owes
it to its citizens, the world and future generations to protect its
natural resources, as well as to support the lucrative and high
profile shark ecotourism industry, including those who depend upon it
for their livelihood.

We therefore demand that the Minister of Environmental Affairs and
Tourism, Mr Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, ensures that Marine and Coastal
Management (MCM) immediately improve protection of the following
sharks of high eco-tourist value in the following ways:

Tiger Sharks, Ragged tooth Sharks, Bull Sharks, and Cow Sharks may
not, under any circumstances, recreational or commercial, be
slaughtered and if caught they must be released - this protection to
apply not only in all MPAs but in all South African waters;
Hammerhead Sharks are given MPA protection (they may not be caught or
landed in all MPAs);
Blacktip Sharks, Bronze Whaler Sharks and Dusky Sharks are given
protection within the Aliwal Shoal MPA (they may not be caught or
landed in the Aliwal Shoal MPA);
Scientific research is implemented in order to set sustainable quotas
that will ensure the conservation of the Blacktip Shark, Bronze Whaler
Shark and Dusky Shark, added to this;
the Demersal Longline Fishery may never be allowed to extend beyond
East London in order to restrict catches of the Blacktip Shark, Bronze
Whaler Shark and Dusky Shark;
Drumlines, or any similar baited device that aims to target, catch
and/or kill any large shark are declared illegal fishing devices
throughout South African waters;
MCM's compliance department immediately launches tangible measures to
adequately enforce laws for currently protected shark species both in
and out of MPAs.



How to Support this Petition

We cannot wait for government to do something - it will simply be too
late. We therefore implore you to help us save our sharks. Our power
collectively must not be underestimated if we are to ensure the
survival of the rest of our Tiger Shark population as well as that of
other species we are privileged to still be seeing. If you support
this petition then please take the following simple steps - your
signature will help:

Copy and paste this entire email and address it to the Minister
Marthinus Van Schalkwyk email: ministry@deat.gov.za Or copy and paste
only the section highlighted in red and write your own comments.
CC info@aoca.org.za - this is very important in order for me to keep a
record of all signatures.
In the Subject copy and paste: Demand to Minister M Van Schalkwyk for
Protection of South African Sharks!

Thank you for taking the time to help save our sharks - please forward
this petition to as many people as possible - with over 100 million
sharks being slaughtered annually they need all the help they can get!

Lesley Rochat
Founder, AfriOceans Conservation Alliance (AOCA)
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#30 Drew

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 11:02 PM

I am a supporter of this kind of activity as is the majority of image chasing divers. Much loved, or hated, characters have become synonymous with providing such services bringing us into contact with such predators.

Hence you could well lose perspective on the preservation of the shark and the effects the feeding has (ie sharks, bathers in KZN etc) as you continue to say below:

With deeper pockets than most there are some people who can afford to take extended vacations, travels in their search for the ultimate shark encounters. In seven years of diving almost daily in Micronesia and Palau only once did I witness Tiger Sharks engaged in natural predator mode when I was fortunate enough to film two Tigers chowing down on a Manta, well good for me, bad for the Manta. For the rest who try to live with cameras and who also need to support a family then using an 'artificial' scenario to achieve one's product is, in my view, not a bad thing. The shark gets food, the snapper gets his / her footage / images and then go their own ways.


I cannot accept that a shark can get conditioned by feeding activities to a point of being detrimental to its ability to survive if that food were to be taken away. 400 Million Years of evolution cannot be broken by a few handfuls of sardines, sorry but as hard as you may try to argue that with me you may as well be barking up a gum tree.

Then you really must get out of that mindset. I never said the shark wouldn't be able to survive, I said that it makes them vulnerable to the fisher men because they now gather in the same area. The tiger shark dives use to end in May usually because the numbers break off as the sharks migrate south towards the sardines and move off the shelf. Then someone decides to try for the limbatus which have come in great numbers year round. Now what frequency is needed to "alter" the behavior? Considering that tiger sharks know when to go to turtle nesting beaches (black moon a few months out of the year) which is not a daily event, you think they can't remember a spot with regular fish feed?


To put baited hooks within 100m of the shore is certain to attract the larger sharks into closer proximity to the bathers. Sharks attracted to a stimulant are not going to head back out to sea when they see the drum line 'occupied' by some other less fortunate shark. Those free swimming predatory sharks will then become problematic in the immediate coastal regions frequented by people. Public outcry to 'attacks' in areas where drum lines are located could then give way to the support of moves by fisheries to eradicate shark populations in coastal regions. It would not surprise me if this kind of thinking is also part of the 'big picture' plan of the Natal Sharks Board which is a fishery, period. Their business license is as a fishery not as a protective or scientific agency as some people would be led to believe.

The drumlines have been tested for a few years. If you are saying you've got better research that refutes their results, bring it up to the sharks board and MCM.

The initiation of the Natal Anti Sharks Measures Board was borne at a time when commercial whaling was still prevalent along this coastline, way back in the 50's. With an over riding stimulus of whale blubber, blood and carcases in the water the number of sharks in close proximity to places such as Durban, Scottburgh and Rocky Bay, where the main whaling stations were located for this area, were, I'm sure, massive. Nowadays though?? I think the need for these measures is well past its validity date.

I would agree with you in principle. With Florida as a model, without antishark protection, the number of incidents is amazingly low. However, KZN has crappy viz and more big sharks. It's not as simple. The point is that the chummed shark diving industry in KZN has become world famous and as such, fishermen know the sharks now gather there. If the fishermen were picking off tigers annually BEFORE the shark diving industry picked up, then there is definitely no correlation.

Drew
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#31 CamDiver

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 02:04 AM

Drew,
Are you saying that drum lines are the answer? They certainly reduce by-catch but are still, IMO, an attractant for large sharks and can, indirectly, be the root issue to some unfortunate events as linked below.

http://www.abc.net.a...06/s1544350.htm

The commercial and recreational fishing for sharks relies on baited stimuli, chumming for want of a better term. This has been going on long before and will carry on long after shark diving activities take place. Go out to the Aliwal MPA and on any given day you will find fishermen and spearo's blatantly flouting the MPA rules.

I for one prefer to see a Tiger Shark, or any shark for that matter, during a shark feed dive rather than hear that same shark has fallen foul of a baited fishing or drumline hook. The population of sharks here during the summer months is rotational. They are not staying here all year round, and certainly not because of a handful of freeby sardines. We have seen a very clear indication of this over the past four months as we are also taking ID shots of the pectoral fins of the Tigers which carry a unique 'birthmark' to each animal. The females here are migrating for a reason, a short stay and many of them leave, the longest we have consistently seen one particular animal was thus far over a period of three months. We are not willing to share that data with the NSB which is to all extents and purposes a shark fishery, as their business license states very clearly.

As far as sharks associating people with food I guess they can put together the association that we are in the same vicinity of a food source as they are but I can't accept that they are able to think "Oh, here comes some of those homo sapiens again, yummy, time for some Tuna Scraps. Jimmy? Go tell the rest of the gang to get here quick"

BUT If in the odd chance they are able to conjur up such associations the I say increase the number of shark feeding licenses. It takes the sharks well away from bathing beaches, a lot further than the baited drum lines for instance but more importantly it also keeps them temporarily away from the fishermen. Attracting sharks in order for people to interact, film, photograph or just marvel at them will always be a contentious issue. Whether baiting is used or not there will always be a lobby for and against the practice and each for very valid reasons. I for one love to interact naturally with any given shark but in todays over fished and exploited marine domain they are few and far between. Baiting for sharks in some areas is a must if one wants to see them. Willingy jumping into the attracted sharks is then a decision made by the individual. In the recent and unfortunate situation in the Bahamas the victim was there of his own free will.

We can keep going backward and forward on this but for me I think we'll just end up getting dizzy. I appreciate the debate but I think I will leave it here. The readers are well aware of my opinions and as such I guess its up to them to draw their own conclusions.

Cheers,
Mark.

The Sharks of the Forgotten Islands

- A Natural History Documentary -


#32 Drew

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:33 AM

Are you saying that drum lines are the answer? They certainly reduce by-catch but are still, IMO, an attractant for large sharks and can, indirectly, be the root issue to some unfortunate events as linked below.

Mark, perhaps my writing isn't clear enough. I'm saying because KZN relies on tourism on beaches, with the bad viz and plentitude of big sharks, the public demands some sort of shark deterrent. Drumlines are the affect sea creatures the least and act as a pacifier for the various businesses that rely on tourism and couldn't give 2 cents about shark conservation. The public come because of the 'safety' of the devices. Without a physical barrier to keep sharks out, well it's just a crap shoot.

The commercial and recreational fishing for sharks relies on baited stimuli, chumming for want of a better term. This has been going on long before and will carry on long after shark diving activities take place.

I'll just respectfully disagree with that statement. I suggest you read up on the shark numbers research before making those statements.

The population of sharks here during the summer months is rotational. They are not staying here all year round, and certainly not because of a handful of freeby sardines. We have seen a very clear indication of this over the past four months as we are also taking ID shots of the pectoral fins of the Tigers which carry a unique 'birthmark' to each animal. The females here are migrating for a reason, a short stay and many of them leave, the longest we have consistently seen one particular animal was thus far over a period of three months.

Did it ever occur to you that the recent spate of tiger kills also removed the same tigers that hung around? That some people have seen the same tigers for a few years? Again please check the tiger data for the last 10 years before you make statements just from the last 4 mths.

As far as sharks associating people with food I guess they can put together the association that we are in the same vicinity of a food source as they are but I can't accept that they are able to think "Oh, here comes some of those homo sapiens again, yummy, time for some Tuna Scraps. Jimmy? Go tell the rest of the gang to get here quick"

Well I suggest you go ask the shark dive companies about the various incidents they've never had. I could go on about association but that's already covered in another thread about shark baiting.

It takes the sharks well away from bathing beaches, a lot further than the baited drum lines for instance but more importantly it also keeps them temporarily away from the fishermen. Attracting sharks in order for people to interact, film, photograph or just marvel at them will always be a contentious issue. Whether baiting is used or not there will always be a lobby for and against the practice and each for very valid reasons.

The discussion was about the sharks sticking around in an area because of bait and feed and the possibility that they are more vulnerable because of that. But since you bring it up, seeing how the range of tiger sharks extend is well beyond south african waters and the chumming occurs in the day during certain hours, and certain days(which I accept I overstated the frequency for effect), I'd say that would be ineffective. Besides, many of the attacks in KZN in the '50s and '60s were attributed to the bull sharks, which don't show up much at Aliwal.

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#33 CamDiver

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:24 PM

I'll just respectfully disagree with that statement. I suggest you read up on the shark numbers research before making those statements.

The findings we have span a short period, granted. However they have been scientifically examined and collated to bear true in their theory. If all you want to do is argue that is your choice. As far as I'm concerned, case closed. We can go nowhere further with this discussion.

P.S No worries regarding the apology <_<

The Sharks of the Forgotten Islands

- A Natural History Documentary -