Essay on Shark Baiting: Chumming in South Africa

1954 Words 8 Pages
There are many environmental issues currently flowing through the media into society and raising some strong opinions and arguments. South Africa, being one of the world’s most diverse natural ecosystems, has come under the spotlight with regards to many issues such as the Karoo Fracking debacle and the Rhino Horn Poaching crisis. Unfortunately these issues are not represented only by the parties directly involved but rather by ‘gate keepers’, as we shall call them, who determine how the issue is framed and represented to the masses. The media has the ability to warp perspective and portray our role in the issue as they see fit. The debate about human’s place in nature is still one that creates many waves, and the media has a
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Sharks are also studied above and below the surface for marks and identification. Both sides benefit humans, but is it benefiting the sharks?
And this is the debate, whether the chumming is having a detrimental effect on sharks’ behaviour or whether it is an essential tool in attracting sharks for tourism as well as research.

For chumming:
The basic premise for the argument for chumming is that it brings in a large portion of South Africa’s tourism income through recreational uses like deep sea fishing and shark cage diving, and it benefits the large research industry as it is used to attract sharks for studying in their environment including surface research, acoustic tagging for migration pattern research etc. But this can also just create more questions than answers and raise environmental health issues purely because there are such varied methods of chumming. Some methods are ‘green’ where no fish parts or blood is used but does this really dismiss the idea that chumming changes shark behaviour and not contribute to the theory that chumming causes an unhealthy association between humans and a source of food for sharks?
“According to a 2006 paper co-authored by Ryan Johnson, the co-owner of Oceans Research and a researcher focused on great white sharks, conditioning “will only arise if [cage diving] operators intentionally and wilfully contravene current permit regulations prohibiting intentional feeding of sharks.”

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