Wednesday, January 21, 2009

RTSea Blog post, eco-tourism, sharks, and conservation


How are sharks, conservation, and eco-tourism intertwined? Read RTSea's latest blog post (great read) to get an idea...particularly interesting is the section on baiting/association of people and food as well as the part of the attitude-towards-sharks spectrum.  You may recall we covered RTSea's documentary in the past

I am not sure where exactly I fit on this spectrum - probably leaning towards the "fuzzy" side - fully understanding that sharks are predators and can be potentially dangerous.  

I myself have called them dogs (and the smaller ones puppies) and have seen various photos and videos (including documentaries) that make a point that humans and sharks can interact...speaking of course of our own photos and interactions and a trailer to a documentary that I recently saw called "Gimme a hug" (which I am very much looking forward to - refreshing to see a documentary title that does not include the word deadly.  And listen how slowly Cristina breathes through the regulator - peaceful!).  

And this leaves me with another thought: Not sure what the difference is between my dad hugging a shark or Cristina Zenato doing it - aside from the chain suit...a question that can only really be answered by people that dive and have spent a lot of time in the water with sharks.

1 comment:

Wolf Leander said...

When I hug sharks, I show no 'respect' as the sharks are not 'mine'(in the view of some). Another comment I heard was that I wanted to ride tiger sharks, which is how some pics looked to them.

Bullshit on both counts!

In contrast, Cristina who also wants to show that you can, under certain circumstances, have bodily contact with sharks, is respectful and sensitive. Never mind she has to attract the Caribbean Reef sharks with bait or chum or whatever.

Quite frankly, I am getting sick of the respective discussions, and leave the conclusions of whether or not it is right to lure in sharks with 'goodies' to be able to interact with them to experts like George Burgess, and others who are good at writing but not so goos at shark diving.

While sharks are being exterminated due to indifference based on fear and ignorance, I just enjoy tremendously being with sharks, taking their pictures, having others taking my pictures interacting with these awesome creatures.

Paul Spielvogel and Amanda Cotton have taken some outstanding photographs of tiger sharks and the old Wolf - I don't care what others say but these pics are contributing in a very direct way to debunking the myth of the mindless killing machines. And that is one important aspect of what shark conservation is all about

Nothing is ever completely right or completely wrong.