Shark Cage Diving? Not for me!!!

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ginti

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I went to Isla Guadalupe several years ago. There was one person on the boat who was petrified of sharks in general, but she figured if she could do this, then she might lessen her fear.

The first day, it was very hard to convince her to even get in the cage before the crew started chumming. Just being in the water was almost too much for her, but she did it. By the time the crew had to pull the cages out of the water and get ready to head home, she was spending the entire day in the cage.

She had gone from paralyzing terror to being respectfully awestruck by their magnificence in 3 days. On the way home, she said that her fear was due largly to the way Hollywood portrays sharks, and especially Great Whites in movies, but having seen them in real life changed her perspective forever.

First of all, thanks for sharing.

Here you are two doubts:
1) how often does a situation like this happen?
2) even if it happens often, such a scenario would change the "fear" of sharks, not the "willing to protect" them; in other words, I am not sure it would help form a conservationist point of view

Now, for me "good perception" is something like: "I will swim in the sea without fear where shark attacks are not common, and I am happy if these animals get protection". I do not really care if a person would be scared or fearful in presence of a shark, because this person will probably never meet a shark.

In my opinion, protect these creatures also mean to not disturb them, so I am not a fan of cage diving and similar. That said, I am not an expert and as such, I am ready to change my mind.
 

drrich2

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@Dan , my impression is that people going cage diving already have good perceptions of sharks. Also, in my experience, people with a negative perception of sharks do not change their opinions with these cage diving videos.

I think the reality is somewhere in-between extremes. I agree most people paying that kind of money to dive with big sharks probably already like sharks and know a bit about them. But people with a negative perception (most of whom will never dive, let alone with sharks)?

In the distant past, sharks were portrayed as very low intelligence generalist eating machines who went into berserk feeding 'frenzies' when blood hit the water. If a great white were swimming along looking for food and happened to pass a beach with humans in the water, it seems fairly likely it'd attack...just as we might assume swimming in the Nile river with big croc.s sunning on the shore watching you might border on suicide.

If someone has that perception, then talk of shark conservation, especially of great whites, and opposing culls sounds a big insane. These things are free to swim all over the ocean; they're not confined to rivers in some overseas place eating poor rural foreigners (note: I'm not saying their lives are worth less, just that it impacts public reactions).

Showing people that they are smarter than historically portrayed, not as generalist 'eat anything smaller on sight' as some might think, and tend to avoid (rather than prey on) humans might soften negative sentiment.

If nothing else, it might help somebody enjoy their day at the beach more, without fearing Jaws is gonna get'em any moment.
 

Altamira

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A person I worked with that did a cage shark dive observed that urine is not a shark repellant :cool:

Any data on pooping in your wetsuit as a shark deterrent/attractant?
 

scubadada

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I think the reality is somewhere in-between extremes. I agree most people paying that kind of money to dive with big sharks probably already like sharks and know a bit about them. But people with a negative perception (most of whom will never dive, let alone with sharks)?

In the distant past, sharks were portrayed as very low intelligence generalist eating machines who went into berserk feeding 'frenzies' when blood hit the water. If a great white were swimming along looking for food and happened to pass a beach with humans in the water, it seems fairly likely it'd attack...just as we might assume swimming in the Nile river with big croc.s sunning on the shore watching you might border on suicide.

If someone has that perception, then talk of shark conservation, especially of great whites, and opposing culls sounds a big insane. These things are free to swim all over the ocean; they're not confined to rivers in some overseas place eating poor rural foreigners (note: I'm not saying their lives are worth less, just that it impacts public reactions).

Showing people that they are smarter than historically portrayed, not as generalist 'eat anything smaller on sight' as some might think, and tend to avoid (rather than prey on) humans might soften negative sentiment.

If nothing else, it might help somebody enjoy their day at the beach more, without fearing Jaws is gonna get'em any moment.
Anyone who has ever dived with sharks in more natural circumstances knows that the stereotypes are far from the reality. When folks ask me about diving with sharks, I tell them I was lucky to have the encounter.
 

Jcp2

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With drones becoming more prevalent, it’s becoming more clear that sharks are in shallow waters close to oblivious beachgoers. We're already coexisting quite peacefully, just we don’t know it yet.
 

-Moe

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Any data on pooping in your wetsuit as a shark deterrent/attractant?
You can't hide your escape with a brown out if it's trapped in your wetsuit. That's like an octopus wearing a diaper.
 

TMHeimer

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This is from Twitter - hope you can open it to view it. The shark gets into and the out the top of the cage. Diver is fine, but they weren't sure he was still on this earthly plane for a hot minute.

https://twitter.com/RockyJonesRIP1/status/1429976160503537664?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1429976160503537664|twgr^|twcon^s1_&ref_url=https://citizenfreepress.com/breaking/great-white-shark-has-no-time-for-your-cage-video/
Agree. All shark divers are crazy. They didn't see the cage scene from JAWS I guess.
 

Saniflush

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See here now, Jaws is a heartwarming story about a shark giving people arms and legs....as long as you watch it in reverse.
 

Steelyeyes

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I think whites are the only shark I'd really want to be in a cage for. I've been around nurse, Caribbean Reef, white tips, black tip reef, Galapagos, Lemons, Bulls, one long finned Mako (super lucky on that one), one great Hammerhead (also super lucky) and one Tiger up close and personal. Some of them acted like we weren't there, including the Tiger shark, 10 foot female. The Hammerhead and I realized each of us were sharing a spot at the same time and it took off. Same with the Mako. All of the Bulls took off as well. Lemon sharks, white tips and nurse sharks didn't mind being close for a while.

With luck we'll be on Saba this weekend, Covid regulations and airline schedule changes permitting and I'm looking forward to seeing some sharks there.
 
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