[EDIT by MODERATOR] - I (Alex_Mustard) have merged the two discussions about this serious incident. Initially there was justification for separate threads, but now more information is available it makes sense to combine all the information in a single thread. The attack occurred on a divesite many Wetpixel members have dived on and also raises wider issues of diving and photographing in the natural habitat of potentially dangerous creatures, which deserve discussion.
Note that more information about this attack became available as this thread developed, so it is well worth reading all the entries (particularly from the second page onwards) before contributing, to get the most accurate information. Especially as there are now contributions from both David, the diver who was attacked, several others who were at the scene, Lauren who has seen and photographed a crocodile at this site before, and also Mark Erdmann the regional coordinator for Conservation International in this area.
I am sure I speak for everyone in wishing David a speedy recovery and return to diving.
p.s. Drew, sorry for merging your discussion, hope you agree it makes more sense in a single thread.
Just a few days ago, the Ondina had a passenger get bitten by a salt water crocodile at the blue water mangroves near Misool in Raja Empat.
The salt water crocodile is known to be in the area and has never bitten anyone before in all the years of divers going there. The circumstances of the bite are unknown but there seems to be a plan to hunt and kill this crocodile to prevent further attacks on divers in the area. This concerns me as we don't know the facts about the attack.
In many places, dive ops often kill off offending sea creatures which bite tourists. The stingray city site in Grand Cayman for example. Local dive ops have killed quite a few moray eels over the years because they bite tourists, even though they started the cycle by feeding the stingrays and morays.
I started this poll to gauge WP's members thoughts on this issue. As divers, do we have a right to remove any predators because we want to dive the area? It seems the dive ops may possibly try to protect their business interests and it is just one saltie. However, it is just a dive site and the saltie is just doing its thing. I've been in the water shooting salties, nile and other croc/alligators (including a 4m nile croc) and never been attacked. However, it has happened and now a saltie may be hunted and killed to protect human interests. I am against this but not sure if I'm in the extreme minority on this. If there is enough people, I want to organize a petition to leave the croc alone and allow it to stay in the mangroves. What do you all think?