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Sharks. Up close and personal. There's nothing quite as humbling as an encounter with an animal 5x your size!
South Africa is seen as the cage diving capital of the world but there are other places to consider. Including the UK!
Cage diving is controversial and has some bad press. There have been many stories of unscrupulous charter boats; toying with sharks, encouraging mouth gaping, promoting sharks as 'man-eaters’ and catching other shark species to use as chum. But with a little research and a glance at an operator’s literature you can easily avoid this.
Check online reviews and look for operators promoting shark conservation, science and education. As these are more likely to offer respectful encounters.
BAITING & FEEDING SHARKS
Whether it's correct to feed animals, and this applies to the entire animal world, is cause for debate.
It's believed that feeding sharks will cause them to lose their natural caution. Vital for their survival. They may associate humans, or the sound of a boat engine, with feeding. It could also impact prey populations disrupting the delicate balance of marine ecosystems.
Does shark feeding increase the risk of shark attacks?
Feeding sharks could lead to the dangerous association that humans = food. Posing the question of whether feeding or baiting sharks close to shore increases the risk of shark attacks. As a result some places, such as Florida, have banned shark feeding.
Sharks are opportunistic and learn fast. But there's little documented evidence that they become dependent on human hand-outs. Or that shark feeding makes them more aggressive or likely to attack people. But this uncertainty makes it difficult to have an all-encompassing position on these practices.
Both cage diving and shark feed dives have issues surrounding them. With individual companies operating along a spectrum of protocols, which change often.
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