Shark feeding, what is it ?
Shark feeding », consist in feeding sharks in order to observe them really closely. This controversial activity animate debate for long between divers. This hobby started in French Polynesia in the 80’s, and quickly spread all over the world. Every day, hundreds of dives take place in the world to observe reef sharks, tiger sharks, hammer heads or bull sharks. For this kind of dive a bait food is needed, without this it is unlikely to meet them in the blue because most of the sharks are fearful and shy.
Photo credit: Joi
Shark feeding is a dangerous activity
This practice is not safe, it should not be forgotten that shark is a predator, and zero risk does not exist, so it requires experience and professionalism.
For safety reasons, it is more than advisable to never practice shark feeding alone. The diver behavior is very important, you must know how to anticipate sharks reactions and be very careful. For example if the shark is nervous, you should never put the food out of its box. Moreover food not only attracts sharks, sometime diver get bitten by napoleon fish or moray eel !
Against shark feeding
Marine biologists have studied their behavior and some of the sharks frequenting a feeding site, have become residents but not more than usual. Other practices of this activity are most disturbing for the animal. At some dive sites, food is placed in a cylinder suspended in open water, sharks frequenting these sites ascend to shallow waters and knock their noses increasing their agressivity, putting in danger divers doing their safety stop. Also when the bait is released, it often happens that shark start to fight for it and become frenzy. Finally, accustomed To be fed by humans, those predators will consider us as “food delivery”. From fearful of human presence, they end up getting used to us and are not afraid to get close.
To avoid danger and animal behavior changes, shark feeding must be controled.
Photo credit: Joi
Pros shark feeding
The shark has always had a man-eating reputation and scared almost everyone, especially since the release in 1975 of “The Jaws “.
Everybody should understand that it is a timid animal, and only 5 of 475 species could be “dangerous”.
By allowing divers to approach this animal and observe his behavior, will finally demystify the shark to the general public.
Shark feeding and laws
Since 2006, this activity is forbiden inFrench Polynesia to avoid shark approaching to close from the shore. Shark feeding is also forbidden in the Cayman Islands, Maldives and in the red sea. More recently, the US senator Bill Nelson introduced a bill that outlaw shark feeding in the Biscayne National Park.
And you, what do you think about shark feeding ?