Chumming – Good or Bad?
What is “Chumming”?
Chum is the ‘bait’ used to entice the Great White Shark closer to the Shark Cage Diving boat to ensure that guests on the Shark Cage Diving trip are able to see the Great White Sharks close up. The Sharks are not ‘fed’ and, generally do not even come into contact with the ‘chum’.
The great misconception of chumming is damaging the reputation of an industry which is wholly and completely in tune with protecting the Great White Shark and not, in any way, changing their habits nor enticing them closer to land.
Great White Sharks have areas that they return to annually, these are areas where their Natural Food Supply is abundant – namely seals and other fish.
Dalene Ingham-Brown of “Discover Africa” interviewed Rob Lawrence on this controversial subjet
Chumming for shark for commercial shark cage diving is a highly controversial subject, with shark attack victims on the rise. The media is flooded with negative connotations associated with chumming for shark, so Dalene Ingham-Brown interviewed Rob Lawrence, owner of Cape Town based African Shark Eco-Charters, to gain insight into a pro-chumming mindset.
Pro-chumming for shark interview with Rob Lawrence:
Dalene: Why do you think people are against chumming?
Rob: People don’t know what goes on, on a shark cage diving trip where chumming for shark is involved. The media is swamped with negative opinion towards the subject. There is a great misconception about chumming. People seem to think that we put pigs blood and mammal blood in the water to attract sharks; that isn’t the case. We use snoek, skip jack and whatever other fish bait is available at the time. I’ve found that most people against chumming, haven’t even been on a shark cage diving trip before. Those who haven’t been on a trip with us before don’t know exactly what happens, how much we use, and what we use; of course they will be against chumming.
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