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Tiger Sharks targeted in Aliwal Shoal M.P.A


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#1 CamDiver

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 06:50 AM

Sad news indeed. We actually saw the boats out on the shoal but thought they were the regular day trip fishermen. I guess not. Read the article here.

Cheers,
Mark.

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#2 CamDiver

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 06:59 AM

Biting, nibbling etc. All words one should not use in the same sentence with Tiger Sharks!! Mind you it would be even more less of a possibility to get bitten on Aliwal by a Tiger Shark now seeing as there are three less sharks due to some wanker commercial fishermen who entered the Marine Protected Area and caught three sharks last Friday. Its caused a big stink here with lawsuits pending.

Here's the article:

http://www.capeargus...13413154C312071

Cheers,
Mark.

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#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 07:04 AM

That is sad to hear.

Alex

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#4 DeanB

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 07:59 AM

:) :blush: :)

This is just so sad.... what is it going to take...I'm all for poachers being shot and they do it in certain areas around the world...Would it send home the message to others trying the same thing...Maybe better than putting up signs. Don't come back at me with the goodie goodie liberal rubbish anyone, its as bad as the arseholes who do this sort of thing....Education or bullets....

Rant over :)

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#5 loftus

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 10:22 AM

:) :blush: :)

This is just so sad.... what is it going to take...I'm all for poachers being shot and they do it in certain areas around the world...Would it send home the message to others trying the same thing...Maybe better than putting up signs. Don't come back at me with the goodie goodie liberal rubbish anyone, its as bad as the arseholes who do this sort of thing....Education or bullets....

Rant over :)

Dive safe

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#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:36 AM

Shooting aside - what we (the community who spends time on and in the ocean) see is going on everywhere (as we all know).

And if we don't tell people about it nobody will. The international press (e.g. Telegraph in UK today) pick up on these stories from time to time - but it is up to us to keep this issue constantly on the agenda.

Alex

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#7 DeanB

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 12:02 PM

Very true Alex...

Excuse my rant earlier although I stick by it...It just frustrates the hell out of me as we seem to be taking steps backwards all the time...

This is our mission to bring the beauty we see to the masses before its really too late...

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#8 SimonSpear

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 12:53 PM

The human race has the ability to constantly surprise me and it never ever appears to be a good surprise.

This story just underlines how even large predatory sharks (potentially) dangerous to humans have so much more to worry about from man, than we do from them. I feel sick knowing that I was probably only diving with those sharks two weeks ago :blush: Makes you want to scream. I hope Walter and the boys get hold of those £$@^%$@

Cheers, Simon

#9 CamDiver

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:22 PM

The issue is all over the press here. Radio, print and even in the regional TV news. High, high profile as dive and shark dive operators are baying for blood. I will let you know the outcome.

Cheers,
Mark.

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#10 Drew

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:57 AM

That's the problem with any place that gets known for having sharks. People like Walter and Mark build business around them and spread the word. The finners and other fishermen will hear about it too. Only a matter of time before they act on it, whether it is legal or not.
Looking at on a global scale, everytime somebody comes back with super shark photos from some area that isn't protected, the same fin traders can also read the internet. It doesn't pay to advertise about sharks nowadays. Examples like the Eastern Fields, Mozambique and even PNG, all once brimming with sharks now are struggling keep alive.
The shark trade in Southern Africa is triad supported. So it's not unlikely that there'll be more of this sort of thing happening. If they caught 3 tigers in one go, 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.

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#11 SimonSpear

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 08:23 AM

Drew you can't blame it on the operators for those Tigers being killed because they were accustomed to humans, even if you don't necessarily agree with their business practices. There's got to be at least 99,990,000 odd sharks killed a year that come nowhere near a chum slick.

I completely agree that word will eventually 'get out' though and could result in those sharks being targeted. We saw it last year in the UK with the Porbeagles. We managed to film them for the first time, tag them and then somehow word leaked out and the next week a long liner came along and cleaned them all out.

Like I said it just makes you want to S C R E A M !!

Cheers, Simon

#12 Drew

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:34 AM

Simon
I don't blame the operators necessarily. Just the situation of chumming in the same area over and over again brings about. You've been there. The Limbatus are all ready to rumble just by the sound of the boat. They have become accustomed to gathering for chum. In the old days, there use to periods the tigers wouldn't come because they go about hunting around the shoal etc. Kinda hard to go about normal biz when food bell is ringing in the same place with great frequency.
Longlining ,however is a different matter altogether, especially in migration routes for sharks like the blues and bronzies. These guys chummed and powerheaded the fish. They took advantage of the modified habits of the sharks.

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#13 CamDiver

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 10:47 AM

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.

Whether fed or not Tiger Sharks are a protected species in south Africa and to knowingly take them out of a marine protected area is not just a huge kick in the plums for the shark populations but also a big middle finger to the dive operators who earn a crust by taking divers out to interact with them.

Sadly the count has now risen to 8 Tiger Sharks fished over two days.......sad news indeed.

Simon, most of the sharks you saw are now in a freezer being held as evidence against the fisherman in question.

Mark.

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#14 DeanB

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:03 AM

This bloody sucks....Its just soul destroying....

Dive safe

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#15 Drew

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:54 AM

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.

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.

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#16 CamDiver

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:53 PM

Dean, I lost faith in humanity a loooooooong time ago my friend.

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.

Cheers,
Mark.

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#17 TheRealDrew

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 02:37 PM

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.


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.


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.



I think it was due to the timing of the sharks coming in to get killed (sometimes an hour or more) that Drew was referring to which sort of looks like saying the feeding does not affect behavior but I think you were referring more to the timing before the sharks get screwed, that it is not always instant on the feeding...

#18 Drew

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 08:56 PM

I think it was due to the timing of the sharks coming in to get killed (sometimes an hour or more) that Drew was referring to which sort of looks like saying the feeding does not affect behavior but I think you were referring more to the timing before the sharks get screwed, that it is not always instant on the feeding...

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

In short, I'm saying because of the constant almost daily chumming (now almost year round) and feeding by 5 operators, the sharks are much more concentrated in the area and thus more vulnerable to illegal fishermen. Those poachers didn't randomly choose Aliwal because of the view from Rocky Bay.
Unfortunately, the 'commercial' fishermen in Natal are many. Many of them go out, shoot something big to sell in the market and sit on their butts for a few days surfing. Obviously these guys are smarter if they could hit 8 tigers during peak sharking viewing season.

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#19 CamDiver

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:02 PM

Drew there are two, three at most, operators of any substance who take part in the shark viewing industry on Aliwal. Blue Wilderness, African Watersports and one other. Many dive shops in the area sell and advertise the dives but most settle for a commission from the main three after having farmed it out to one of them. Presence on the water depends highly on the frequently changing sea conditions which given the local topography is certainly not every day.

You are painting an image that there is a constant chum slick over Aliwal which is just not the case. Again we come down to nit picking having lost the initial focus of the thread which was to highlight this sad series of events.

Cheers all, I'm of too Namibia to look at a possible deal on Cheetahs. Back to SA for the Sardines later this year.

Best,
Mark.

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#20 Drew

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:02 AM

Mark
I personally know 3 other ops who also go out. That's why the established ops want a licensing rule to maintain exclusivity of market. At peak, you see 5 boats out there with drums. The present knowledge studied over the last 13 years shows the sharks hang around after consistent feeding (consistent meaning more than once a week from 1 or 2 operators) for up to 6 weeks, then they have to start the cycle again. All you need is a consistent feed.
This discussion is about the tiger sharks being hunted illegally and the reasons why it happens. If the sharks congregate in one area for whatever reason, human related or otherwise, then it's pertinent to the discussion about what can be done. Lamenting and ranting is one thing but as Le Moutarde says, focus on cause and measures to prevent it from happening again is the more important element. We know why the sharks congregate there and obviously the industry is a big part of the community. But it also brought to attention the whereabouts of the sharks for unscrupulous fishermen. Would they have been as successful if the industry WAS NOT there? Would they even know about the sharks if the industry didn't advertise it? These are also question that need to be examined to install preventative measures against illegal poaching. Is the industry beneficial to shark protection? Would there be a free for all hunting should the shark dives stop? Is it economically feasible to install rangers at every legal launch point to inspect boats, given how much(or little) the industry contributes to the local coffers?
Getting the news out is one thing... finding manageable preventative measures is something else. The Sharks Board, local government and the operators need to sit together to act. The KZN tourism board also play a role.

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