Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sharks won't be used to attract tourists to WA

According to the following report:-
Shark cage diving is unlikely to go ahead in Western Australia because of fears that operators could lure in more sharks to the area. Fisheries Minister Norman Moore today announced that regulations were being drafted for a ban on targeted or dedicated shark tourism ventures in the state, including cage diving operations. "I have decided that Western Australia will not be the place for shark cage tourism, like those currently operating in South Australia and South Africa," Mr Moore said. "While such ventures may generate direct or indirect economic benefits, there are also concerns that sustained activities to attract sharks to feeding opportunities have the potential to change the behaviour patterns of those sharks." The minister said South Australia and South Africa had cage diving operations at specific sites where white sharks were known to group together, but WA did not have any known areas where sharks congregated. "Lack of such sites in WA may result in operators wanting to maximise berleying and baiting to attract sharks to meet tourist expectations, which may have unwanted consequences," he said. "CSIRO research at shark cage diving sites in South Australia found that white sharks in the study area changed their distribution to align with areas of active berleying and, while there was no determination from the study about the longer term effects on shark behaviour or outside the study area, I would prefer to take no risks until more is known. With four fatalities in WA from shark interactions, since last September, the Government is not willing to allow any ventures that may raise even greater public fears than already exist." Mr Moore said no applications for shark cage diving ventures in WA had been made.”

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