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How Many More Lives Will be Lost before Shark Chumming is Put to Rest?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

This is what I want to know and so do the rest of the world, especially after there have been more shark attacks on the rise. 20 year old, David Lilienfeld, and South African champion body boarder lost his life recently as the cage diving companies draw in more crowds. David and his brother, Gustav went for what they thought was just another day in the ocean. It turned out to be a tragedy for the family and the whole of the bodyboading community.

David and Gustav were bodyboarding when the shark came for David three times. He tried to fight it off, but when it finally pulled off his leg, he dropped down under the water and was surrounded by a pool of blood. Gustav dragged his brother back to the shore, but he was dead already.  It was a sad day for everyone.

David Lilienfeld

David Lilienfeld

So how does the shark chuming come into the equation? Well, in the same time frame, there was a film crew shooting a documentary for National Geographic on sharks. Everyone has got to know Chris Fischer a lot quicker in the last couple of days after this whole incident. Fischer was heading up the team. Of course Fischer had his permit cancelled by the authorities within 10 minutes after the episode.

Since Chris Fischer has been in the area with permission to chum up to five tons of fish to tag sharks, there have been huge outcries as one can understand. However, scientists have said that the amount was not going to make a difference. As more and more fingers point towards Fishcer, he continues to deny this, saying the crew last worked in a different area. However, you look at it, this is shark chuming and this is not the only case.

Evidence from Australia and what they are going through with shark chuming has proved that there has been a change in activity with sharks. Evidence comes mostly from South Australia, where there is a lot of shark cage diving. They say that you are attracting the shark and then you reward it with food. One can hardly call this a reward.

It is more like a teaser and you can understand if this is what is making a shark more aggressive. This is changing the behaviour of the shark in a negative way. The increase of the so called rewards leads to sharks being concentrated in one particular area before leaving to the next. In the past the activity was a lot more random. The research also showed how sharks are staying longer in a certain area before moving on.

These attacks are not doing sharks any favors either. They are beautiful creatures. Even surfers agree with this. The fact is that there were less attacks with more sharks in the water before we saw an increase in commercial activity, so one definitely has to start asking questions.

bull shark

In the meantime, we keep on losing lives, but the memories live on. While a lot of people may be up in arms about this we can't forget the real issue here - that is that of the person who has died and we have to celebrate his life before getting too excited about the other side of the story.

Like David's father said, "This was his life and he died doing what he loved" and that was that. In 2009 David became the SA junior champ and last year he was chosen for the South African bodyboarding team. He represented South Africa at the World Games last year. Not only was he good at what he did, but he was humble about it too.

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