Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Real Deal

There has been an unfortunate amount of banter going on in the shark diving community over the past few weeks, and recently has come to something of a nasty climax. I am in two minds at this point whether or not to comment, but I think that one overbearing issue should not be ignored, nor forgotten. That issue, conservation, is the one that drives us all, and probably why we are all here in the first place.
The more infighting and back stabbing that goes on, the weaker we become as a group. Marine conservationists are a wierd bunch of poeple, we all ask for as much help as possible to achieve our aim from a joint perspective, but when it comes to working together for that sole aim; ideals, objectives, and cashflow get in the way, and before we know it, barriers go up and we become a collective of individuals, rather than a unified movement. This, I guess, given the nature of the beast, is inevitable. We all paint our garden fence nice and pretty, to attract the vital incomes that keep us all going, but that same pretty fence is a barrier to powerful alliances and friendships that could help us achieve our prime objective: to conserve the ocean realm.
I can count on one hand the individuals who I know that fully understand the significance of this, and one or two of them I know are involved in the recent debacle. I am surprised, and saddened by the tone of recent public communication over the issue, and I hope that all parties involved will consider the image I posted above, and make the right decisions over the coming months to unify a quickly dissolving alliance of like minds, for the benefit of all of us.
The SA press today released a story about a poacher being killed in Gansbaai, and typically of the media, the overriding tone of the article was not how we might control poachers, but whether the shark feeding industry in the area was to blame for the poachers death. It is this I guess that prompted me to write this blog. We have enough people in our world trying to shut doors on our good work. We should not be shooting each other in the foot. For the sake of sharks all over the world, the prime movers in the industry must reunify, and form a transparent, faultless standard for feeding practice that is beyond reproach.


SA Sharks said...

Mark have you seen all of those baiting images?

Keeping the eye on the ball is a great idea but those images cannot be ignored.

If they were not from AS and a well known operator and you just came across them what response would you have then?

Conservation credibility starts at the operational level methinks.

Mark Harding said...

I absolutely agree with your closing comment, and don't get me wrong, I'm not sticking up for anyone, at all, but, I see the big picture every day, I walk by it, and then I work my butt off trying to do something about it, and I know that infighting is not the way forward.