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CaribbeanDiver
08-28-2007, 19:47
Have you done a shark dive? How would you rate it? I did the Blackbeard shark dive twice and thought it was great both times. I also did a shark dive in Roatan and thought it sucked.

And please let's not count shark encounters while diving, I am limiting my question to intentional shark feeding type dives.

gtjason2000
08-28-2007, 20:16
The bahamas unesco shark dive seemed cool when I was doing it but in retrospect it wasn't that great. We basically kneeled on the bottom and watched a chainmailed diver feed the sharks. They said they would back a shark into us to pet its tail but I think because there was a group from some other scuba place there as well they didn't want to do it. Unpredictability of sharks and what not. Also they said they had seen a hammerhead earlier that week and another diver was like that's cool and the dm said no it wasn't because if there was a hammerhead we had to get out of the water.

Splitlip
08-28-2007, 20:28
Shark feeding excursions are wrong IMO on a couple of levels.

You want sharks, come to Jupiter between November and March to swim with the Lemons. Or come any time of year and "rattle" a speargun. :)

chinacat46
08-28-2007, 20:34
I agree that feeding sharks is wrong. I dove in the coral sea off Australia at Holmes Reef and they do shark feeds there regualarly. When diving the sharks followed us around cause they knew since we were there that were gonna get fed. It changed their natural behavior. It was the only time I did a shark feed and was very early in my diving career. Since then I skip them and protest to the captain. One captain told me the sharks like it. I told him to go to Glacier National Park and feed the Grizzly Bears they like it. He had no reply to that. I've skipped dives in Fiji, Truk and Yap cause they were doing shark feeds. If enough people protest and skip the dives maybe they will realize it's wrong but to many of you seem to think it's okay. It's not! Okay I'm getting off my soapbox now.

Splitlip
08-28-2007, 20:41
I agree that feeding sharks is wrong. I dove in the coral sea off Australia at Holmes Reef and they do shark feeds there regualarly. When diving the sharks followed us around cause they knew since we were there that were gonna get fed. It changed their natural behavior. It was the only time I did a shark feed and was very early in my diving career. Since then I skip them and protest to the captain. One captain told me the sharks like it. I told him to go to Glacier National Park and feed the Grizzly Bears they like it. He had no reply to that. I've skipped dives in Fiji, Truk and Yap cause they were doing shark feeds. If enough people protest and skip the dives maybe they will realize it's wrong but to many of you seem to think it's okay. It's not! Okay I'm getting off my soapbox now.

I have been hammered for my thoughts on this in the past. Thank you for verbalizing.

chinacat46
08-28-2007, 20:52
No worries. I have the feeling I'll be skipping another dive in the coral sea off the Spirit of Freedom sometime in early October. In Fiji 40%(4 out of 10) skipped the dive.

Osprey
08-28-2007, 21:54
I don't like shark feedings either, but if there is a chance of just hanging in a place where a lot of sharks are spotted (migrations or whatever), I'd love to hear them!

chinacat46
08-28-2007, 22:17
I dove in the Galapagos back in June besides seeing whale sharks at Darwin the coolest part was the hundreds and hundreds of scalloped hammerheads that hangout at Wolf. It was a site to see and there was no unnatrual feeding going on.

Splitlip
08-28-2007, 22:32
I don't like shark feedings either, but if there is a chance of just hanging in a place where a lot of sharks are spotted (migrations or whatever), I'd love to hear them!

Google jupiter lemon sharks
http://www.divingwithbill.com/
Lots of stuff on the Lemons. They visit between November and March.
Contact these guys
www.jupiterdivecenter.com (http://www.jupiterdivecenter.com)

ScaredSilly
08-28-2007, 23:14
I too skip shark feeding dives. However, the best shark specific dive I have done was to shark island in truk lagoon. It is a cleaning station. Really cool watching them come, hover, get cleaned then move on.

Zenagirl
08-29-2007, 07:42
I'm not a big fan of shark feedings either, but I do think that it does expell a lot of myths for people when they participate in it. I've participated in two, one was the hand feeding type and the other was "drop a chumcicle on a chain" type. The hand feeding one bothered me a lot more as it directly associates food with a diver, the frozen bait on a chain associates it more with the boat (I think).

The coolest part was diving the feeding site the day before the feeding and watching the sharks congregate around the boat. I never felt threatened as a diver and felt very privileged to dive with them. The next day when food was introduced, you could really see the difference in the body language of the sharks, but since the bait was like 20' (or more) above and in front of us, we were never directly associated with the food like the guys who hand feed.

It's kinda like SeaWorld and zoos...don't really like the animals confined and sometimes doing tricks, but if it gets people to care about them in the wild, maybe it's the lesser of two evils. Tough one, you know?

chinacat46
08-29-2007, 09:08
I tend to disagree with you Zenagirl. The one shark feed I did was a chumcicle on a chain. We dove the site the day before and the sharks followed us around while diving. Very unnatural for a shark. They usually are more afraid of us then we are of them. They just don't like the bubbles. They definitely associated the divers with being fed. I just feel feeding any wild animal is wrong regardless of size or location.

gtjason2000
08-29-2007, 09:53
So is the major problem people have with the shark dives is that it is dangerous to associate food with divers? Or is it that wild animals need to have a healthy fear of humans to keep them from getting hurt by us?

Travelnsj
08-29-2007, 09:57
I have also avoided shark dives....after seeing 3 Grey Reef Sharks feeding naturally once in Palau....really do like being that close to them....plus i do not want to be part of unnatural feeding....I've been tempted to do Bega Lagoon in Fiji....I think I would sit out that famous Shark dive.

chinacat46
08-29-2007, 10:09
I don't like shark feeds because you are feeding wild animals and thus changing their normal habits. I like to see wild animals in there natural habitat not an artificial one created by feeding them in the wild. Zoos are a bit different since I don't really consider those animals wild in the true sense of the word.

loudgonzo
08-29-2007, 10:37
I don't like shark feeds because you are feeding wild animals and thus changing their normal habits. I like to see wild animals in there natural habitat not an artificial one created by feeding them in the wild. Zoos are a bit different since I don't really consider those animals wild in the true sense of the word.

I didn't opt for the shark dive with Stuarts Cove for the reason above, and will not do them in the future for the same reason.

cgvmer
08-29-2007, 10:48
Well I did the Stuart's cove shark dive with my 2 sons.

Yes, it is a sit in a circle and watch the chain-mailed guy feed the sharks.

But, the sharks did get close to you, actually a group of them came into the cirlce so fast that my son was knocked over by their wake.

I understand the negative issues with changing the habits of wild animals, but I also understand the positive impact this can have on the treatment of sharks. Sometimes the positive impact will overwhelm the negative, each must make their own mind up which way this goes, negative or positive!!!!

Zenagirl
08-29-2007, 14:59
I tend to disagree with you Zenagirl. The one shark feed I did was a chumcicle on a chain. We dove the site the day before and the sharks followed us around while diving. Very unnatural for a shark. They usually are more afraid of us then we are of them. They just don't like the bubbles. They definitely associated the divers with being fed. I just feel feeding any wild animal is wrong regardless of size or location.

You're 100% correct, I stand corrected.

greyzen
08-29-2007, 15:53
I don't like shark dives, or any feeding systems, because of the examples above.

While I do agree that getting the message out there is important, getting into a diving situation and hand feeding isn't something that is as effective as education and exposure that could happen in aquariums, imo.

The danger isn't when you feed the shark... it's when you stop feeding the sharks and forget to learn how to speak shark and explain it to them.

When you step up and force yourself onto an ecosystem as a food source, the entire system becomes almost dependent on you. I know it sounds funny but it's domesticating the local wild creatures (to a point).

These animals are designed in a delicate balance of eating and reproducing. When we interrupt that balance we change the system, and I personally think that is a horrible thing.

I got into diving for several reasons... one of those is to witness first hand things of beauty and grace, spend time swimming amongst creatures that are specialized and beautiful. When you start enforce behavior or modify how they should respond, you are doing as much damage as kicking coral to watch the dust settle.

it's a circle of dependence and when you disrupt that circle, you destroy something greater than imagination.

Aussie
08-30-2007, 06:32
I think it more important to educate people about the Shark Fining industry than shark feeding. For starters you wont have any sharks to even feed after a longliners goes through. A few famous shark sites (Asia/Pacific) are sharkless.

Aussie

chinacat46
08-30-2007, 06:51
I agree that shark fining is more of a problem then shark feeding but the problem seems to be more with the Asian countries that use them and the big money their goverments throw around to poor countries that then let them fin. This problem is now spilling over to Ecuador and in particular to the Galapagos were the laws were just changed to aid the fisherman there in shark fining. Something needs to be done at the international level like the United Nations to outlaw this problem.

gtjason2000
08-30-2007, 07:15
It's strange that even very educated chinese and japanese see no problem with the over fishing and killing animals for "medicinal" purposes. We were talking to a chinese Phd student and they said that it was too bad some tiger product was illegal because it worked really well for headaches. I was just dumbfounded. First I thought it probably wasn't really effective and two I was like even if it is effective so is tylenol.

Aussie
08-30-2007, 07:27
What about Diving with Great Whites? You have to chum/feed them to them to come close?

Or is it like the bear question. You can feed Whites as long as your outside the cage?

Aussie

Travelnsj
08-30-2007, 09:46
Two different subjects but the Shark finning problem is the worst and most sad!

kiwi
09-01-2007, 21:28
Have any of you guys seen the bluefin tuna spear divers? Chech it out on youtube

Travelnsj
09-01-2007, 21:37
Have any of you guys seen the bluefin tuna spear divers? Chech it out on youtube

Would not even look at that:smiley21::smiley21::smiley21:

FyVe
09-02-2007, 01:07
I did a shark feeding dive in key largo, FL, and it was actually really cool since it was my 3rd dive total (one of my check-out dives for certification) and i actually got to hold a 7+ foot nurse shark. really cool feeding dive with captain slate's atlantis dive center.
i'd suggest it if you're in florida and wanna touch a shark.. (a nurse shark but a shark nontheless) really awesome reefs and wrecks if the sharks bore you.

kiwi
09-04-2007, 03:10
Have any of you guys seen the bluefin tuna spear divers? Chech it out on youtube

Would not even look at that:smiley21::smiley21::smiley21:

You should do. Its pretty impressive

CaribbeanDiver
09-05-2007, 15:37
I can understand the opinions regarding leaving wild animals act naturally. Logical to an extent. Finning violates every law of man and God that you can think of. We are custodians of this great planet and as such, we should aid in its propagation not destruction.
As for shark feeds, the chumcycles seem reasonable to me. As argued, they do encourage the animals to correlate divers with food and that is bad. But, if the food is provided in such a way that the shark feeds from it at a distance, that association is somewhat laxed.
The Stuart Cove and Unesxco method of hand feeding is insane. We definitely should not want to train sharks it is ok to bite the hand that feeds them. If biting a hand produces food, what would they think when they see a diver?
My Number diving rule for day one is "Dont touch the wildlife and hope the wildlife doesnt touchme".

FyVe
09-09-2007, 20:25
I can understand the opinions regarding leaving wild animals act naturally. Logical to an extent. Finning violates every law of man and God that you can think of. We are custodians of this great planet and as such, we should aid in its propagation not destruction.
As for shark feeds, the chumcycles seem reasonable to me. As argued, they do encourage the animals to correlate divers with food and that is bad. But, if the food is provided in such a way that the shark feeds from it at a distance, that association is somewhat laxed.
The Stuart Cove and Unesxco method of hand feeding is insane. We definitely should not want to train sharks it is ok to bite the hand that feeds them. If biting a hand produces food, what would they think when they see a diver?
My Number diving rule for day one is "Dont touch the wildlife and hope the wildlife doesnt touchme".

i dunno. i mean the crew from my dives told me the sharks find them when they hear the boat engine cuz they know food's commin... but then again they only go out on fridays and the sharks have to eat more than once a week... so i'm sure they can fend for themselves... but the guy again didn't feed them by letting them bite his hand... he would let the fish go once they clamped on...
then again he's feeding the tiny-mouthed and amazingly docile nurse sharks.... i mean literally he took one to the surface carrying it and the shark was like his buddy. kinda against the rules of nature but a great experience for me.

diversteve
09-09-2007, 23:56
my two examples:

Nekton does a shark feed (chumcicle) at Big Hole on the Cay Sal trip. We dropped in there two days beforehand for a dive and the sharks were all under the boat. Great dive but you could tell they were anticipating being fed. In fact the captain told me to get some really good video, rattle the anchor chain as that was their cue at the feed site.

Sounds Pavlovian to me.

Two days later we did the feed at the same site and their behavior was much more aggressive, in fact we were escorted out of the water and the boat was moved afterwards. So there was a noticeable alteration in their behavior. It's not something I'll do again - a couple on our boat sat it out in silent protest.

My other question is who tells the sharks when Nekton relocates the boat to Belize every winter? Although granted it's not likely that Nekton provides all of their food source, it is altering their natural hunting behavior.

The other incident is more disturbing. I read on another forum that there's a boat that does a regular feed, maybe off Australia but I don't recall. A couple days after they participated in a feed, on their way back past the site they saw Shark Finners fishing there.

namabiru
09-10-2007, 11:40
I told him to go to Glacier National Park and feed the Grizzly Bears they like it.

:smilie39:

Well, yep, people do go to Glacier, or more likely to Yellowstone, and try to feed Grizzlies, and Bison, and they end up getting their arms bit off. Then they're hostile because the animals were hostile, and the people thought they were getting a nice zoo holiday.

Anyhoo, in terms of shark feeding, I've now been on one shark feed dive. It was the first time I had ever seen sharks. It was kind of neat to see the sharks, and watching the action was like watching Discovery Channel. But I can also see the other side of the coin, where feeding sharks, or petting manta rays, or whatever else, is not seeing animals in their natural environment.

I did the Blackbeard's shark feed. We knelt on the bottom, a respectful distance away, and the frozen treat was lowered down. We certainly weren't petting sharks' tails, which is fine by me.

Maybe it's something you do once, to see what it's all about, and then don't do again.

On the other hand, I don't really have any interest in going to pet manta rays. Not scared of them by any means, but just don't.

Here's something else. Educating divers about watching life at night. There were a heap of rays on a night dive we did. I was not shining my light right in rays' eyes, but kind of nearby. But other people were shining their bright lights right in the rays' eyes, teasing them for photos, teasing the turtles, etc. It kind of made me mad. This one punk with a camera was teasing a sea turtle which was trying to sleep with his light, getting him out so he could take a photo. Now if *that* isn't bothering animals in their natural environment, I don't know what is. This was the same guy who literally shoved me out of the way in the water so *he* could get closer to an eel to take a photo. I was a little vexed.

Travelnsj
09-10-2007, 11:50
I told him to go to Glacier National Park and feed the Grizzly Bears they like it.

:smilie39:

Well, yep, people do go to Glacier, or more likely to Yellowstone, and try to feed Grizzlies, and Bison, and they end up getting their arms bit off. Then they're hostile because the animals were hostile, and the people thought they were getting a nice zoo holiday.

Anyhoo, in terms of shark feeding, I've now been on one shark feed dive. It was the first time I had ever seen sharks. It was kind of neat to see the sharks, and watching the action was like watching Discovery Channel. But I can also see the other side of the coin, where feeding sharks, or petting manta rays, or whatever else, is not seeing animals in their natural environment.

I did the Blackbeard's shark feed. We knelt on the bottom, a respectful distance away, and the frozen treat was lowered down. We certainly weren't petting sharks' tails, which is fine by me.

Maybe it's something you do once, to see what it's all about, and then don't do again.

On the other hand, I don't really have any interest in going to pet manta rays. Not scared of them by any means, but just don't.

Here's something else. Educating divers about watching life at night. There were a heap of rays on a night dive we did. I was not shining my light right in rays' eyes, but kind of nearby. But other people were shining their bright lights right in the rays' eyes, teasing them for photos, teasing the turtles, etc. It kind of made me mad. This one punk with a camera was teasing a sea turtle which was trying to sleep with his light, getting him out so he could take a photo. Now if *that* isn't bothering animals in their natural environment, I don't know what is. This was the same guy who literally shoved me out of the way in the water so *he* could get closer to an eel to take a photo. I was a little vexed.

Ditto what ChinaCat said...if you want to see Sharks in your face go to Fakarava or Palau...they are all over...plenty to eat in their natural habitat....

Desert_Diver
09-10-2007, 21:00
I told him to go to Glacier National Park and feed the Grizzly Bears they like it.

It's more fun to feed the cubs. :smilie39:

Art

DevilDiver
09-10-2007, 21:12
I dove in the Galapagos back in June besides seeing whale sharks at Darwin the coolest part was the hundreds and hundreds of scalloped hammerheads that hangout at Wolf. It was a site to see and there was no unnatrual feeding going on.

:smiley11:
I read today that they have suspended diving here.........

DevilDiver
09-10-2007, 21:23
Here is the article. I believe it is on page six. Looks like you get a free copy of Undercurrent just for looking!!!:smiley20:

Travelnsj
09-10-2007, 21:24
I dove in the Galapagos back in June besides seeing whale sharks at Darwin the coolest part was the hundreds and hundreds of scalloped hammerheads that hangout at Wolf. It was a site to see and there was no unnatrual feeding going on.

:smiley11:
I read today that they have suspended diving here.........

Only on the boats not licensed with special permits.....I think there are only 4 that can now dive up at Darwin and Wolf.

vimalp
09-11-2007, 16:16
While understand the concerns about humans feeding sharks, the amount of food that these shark dives give out is minuscule compared to what a single shark eats in a day!.

I have done shark dives in Roatan and Fiji. In both cases, the sharks just got a mouthful of chum in most cases. A lot of sharks didn't get any but they just hang around because of all the activities.

It was amazing to see that as soon as the food was gone, so were the sharks!!

Also, don't the statistics show that most shark attacks occur on the surface (ie. swimmers and surfers) when a shark mistakes a surfer for a seal?

Vimal.

FyVe
09-11-2007, 23:25
that's like great whites and stuff...
other sharks sometimes bite outta curiosity or whatnot...
but the chances of you seeing a shark in the wild when you're not actually going somewhere known for sharks.... are miniscule.
i mean a real shark like a whitetip or a bull or something not a nurse shark or lemon those don't count... they aren't known for being man-eaters lol.

moosicman
10-03-2007, 08:26
I too would not do a shark feeding dive. I have loved this animal for as long as I could talk. By rights I should be a Marine Biologist now, LOL. I am not for shark feeding ventures because it absolutely changes the sharks behavior. But that is easy to see. BUT!!!
:anim_soapbox:
As to the other issue brought up in this thread. The rape and distruction of this creature for profit is going to cause us SERIOUS reprocutions in the future. Shark finning is a MUST STOP! We are concerned about global warming and what not, and the lack of oxygen and the abundance of CO2 in the atmosphere. People don't realize the importance sharks play in the food chain and how that affects other parts of the ecosystem and chain, such as the tiny oxygen producing animals that thrive off of the CO2 and release the oxygen (we get about 50% of our oxygen from them). The sharks aren't around to control the population of the critters that eat the oxygen producing critters. See where this is going? They have a primary purpose in nature and God put them here as an apex predator for a reason. We have to stop mucking this up. :help:

datamunk
10-03-2007, 10:35
yea like the guy said... just come ot jupiter florida and there are a lot of lemons at certain times. or, just bring a speargun and shoot it off a few tiems :D