Although shark cage diving trips have been going on for years, they’ve been in the news a lot recently, and for good reason too. This year, there have been multiple incidents of sharks attacking the cages and getting hurt in the process. Media outcry is giving rise to debate over the sport due to the danger it poses to both shark and human life.
We’ve compiled some tip on how to keep yourself and your shark safe during a shark cage diving trip:
The way shark cave diving works is that tour operators lower some chum (dead fish, blood, fish oil etc) in the water to lure the sharks towards the cage. Without a bait, there’s no guarantee of a shark sighting. Scientists are against chumming because there’s scientific evidence that it alters great white shark’s behavior by inciting aggression. Tour operators have skilled baiting techniques – you don’t. So please don’t take anything with you to feed the sharks. If the shark puts its mind to get your bait, you and your other cagemates will be in some serious trouble. So leave the baiting to the experts and enjoy the splendor of these majestic creatures.
Let’s not forget that for tour operators, the whole point is the money. The aim is to book as many shark cage diving trips as possible. As a result, they may show some carelessness towards the sharks. It is your job to find a credible operator who is, in some way or another, actively supporting shark conservation efforts. A lot of agencies are working closely with scientific research groups. Most groups’ websites proclaim to do so on their websites but only a little digging will reveal who’s true to their claims.
Like we said before, tour operators are in it for money, and bad weather doesn’t exactly bring in any. They may try to schedule trips even on bad weather days when visibility is reduced so don’t rely on them. Do your weather research and pick a day accordingly. You’ll be putting in a lot of time and money so make it count.
Adventure sports are thrilling but they come with the additional cost of proper training. First off, don’t sign up for a cage diving trip if you can’t swim. It’s a no brainer but let’s mention it anyway. Next, the crew will give you training so listen up. You’ll be taught how to enter and exit the cage carefully. When they tell you to put your cameras away then do so. Don’t ignore rules for the sake of extra “thrills” – or worse, a selfie! There are other people with you in that cage and they would very much like to get out alive.
Now this might seem obvious but you never know when someone is overcome with an urge to pet the shark. As loving a gesture it might be, the shark may not see it that way and bite your arm off. So keep your limbs to yourself and all will be well.
Remember, one of the biggest purpose of this industry is to raise awareness about great white sharks and conservation efforts. So when you’re home and showing off pictures on Instagram, take a minute to talk about the great white shark and all the dangers surrounding it. Check how you can contribute to great white shark conservation efforts. This will be the biggest favor you can do for them.
Just stick by these rules and you’re sure to have a thrilling time partying it up with the sharks!