It is using an indescriminate "anvil" to squash a "mosquito", we can do better. In the end it will be up to South Africans to ensure their own sharks survival and for the local shark diving operations to show leadership by addressing this head on. They are not alone, this is an issue facing commercial shark diving operations worldwide-loss of sharks:
The English version of Jérôme's shark film carries the following dedication:
To Ella and Mathilda
victims of man's madness
This is in reference to a recent spate of Tiger Shark fatalities in Aliwal Shoal.
Very tragic and very stupid, too, as South Africa benefits from a thriving Shark Diving Industry and has much to loose indeed in terms of reputation as an Ecotourism destination but also, in terms of tourism revenues and related employment opportunities.
The incidents have caused much uproar among Shark aficionados - but I fear, not much beyond that. I hope I'm wrong. In that respect, the comment by one "Anonymous" on a South African blog may have been prophetic. The author is clearly an insider and probably someone with a pedigree of getting things done (I got my suspicions...). He evidently also knows of the harmonious, dispassionate, un-opinionated, pragmatic and never controversial world of Shark Conservation, as witnessed by his choice to remain unrecognized - and by the ensuing comments!
This is what he wrote.
"Look guys,this is what? 3-5-6-7-8 dead Tigers this year alone?
If you cannot figure it out let me suggest the following things that can be done by YOU today to get some traction on this as neither you nor Julie-let's saver some sharks-really have a clue.
- Start a damn website, go after the sharks board by highlighting who's on the damn board and why they are there in the first place. Any dirt on those folks? Find out!
- Get some help from a qualified NGO like say, PEW Trusts, not Shark Savers as that whole message on a pizza box thing plus blog posts equals shark hopelessness 101.
- Start making some real noise. You guys have hosted some of the top UW photographers over the past 5 years, leverage those guys to make some damn noise. Are they just in it for the image and money? If so shame on them, get them to start some action.
- No shark petitions, they are as useless as third teats.
- Local media, hit them up for action. Surely, in all of the media you have, there has to be a friendly shark voice. Find it!
- Create and post at least 10-2 min PSA's on You Tube, yes 10, and get your dive buddies to spread the word and that means all those photographers you know as well.
Question is: what has happened since?
Is everybody over there (as in local dive operators, NGOs, etc.) working together and has dialogue been sought with the Authorities? As in, finding solutions?