Cristina Kissing a Caribbean Reef Shark - Photos: Eddy Raphael
Cristina Zenato has been diving with sharks for many years - more than most in the industry. While her expertise is mostly with Caribbean Reef Sharks in The Bahamas, she has interacted with many different species. She also brings a balanced point-of-view: on one hand she loves, hugs, and cuddles with sharks (strong connection and passion) and on the other, she is the head of diving at UNESXO (shark business, dive operator, protocols, etc.). Most people discussing these topics are at either end of the spectrum.
I recently came across a great piece written by Cristina on shark diving and feeding - it seems like to me in the end it just boils down to common sense (unfortunately this is something that many people lack) and treating each situation and scenario as unique.
Hope to be able to meet her one day...
In Cristina's words (link to complete post below):
"I am a shark feeder: I have been feeding Caribbean reef sharks for the past 18 years. One might assume then that any discussion coming from me would always conclude that feeding is the only way to conduct a shark dive. Not so.
Simply defining the interaction with all sharks as a feeding or a non-feeding situation is too simplistic. It would collect approximately 400 species of sharks under the single umbrella of generalized gray, tubular, finned, toothed creatures who just swim around the oceans behaving as we would want them to behave. Instead we can, and should, take the time to learn how each and every shark species behaves. This can be a controversial and difficult topic to present -- please understand that there will always be unique situations and habitat niches. As with any complex issue, knowledge and understanding are key...."
Complete post here on the Shark Saver's website.