Well done to Zigzag for representing surfers!
The last month has seen an incredible amount of Press relating to Shark Cage Diving with Chum, due in part to the unfortunate incident at Fish Hoek beach last month involving a British national. A study by the Oz Government confirming the link between chumming and behaviour modification, and their subsequent culling of their own small SCD industry has also had a major impact.
We have had numerous journalists from the UK, US and SA contacting us for comment. Add this to a feature in the Big Issue (big up Clayton Truscott), and plenty of copy in SA’s number one surfmag ZigZag. A special big-up to Will Bendix, the hard-serving editor in chief of the Zag. Will has held a very objective point of view regarding the issue, and after much research has had the cajones to write a thought-provoking ‘personal perspective’ on chum, sharks and surfers, in SA’s most read surf publication. Respect!
On the think-tank side of things we are uber stoked to welcome an Honours Ecology student, environmental activist and surfrider, we’ll call her Justine Othersurfa for now. Justine is helping us put together a White Paper with the purpose to have a few key lines of Legislation ammended, and this will form a major breakthrough in how responsibly the Cage Dive operations run. Basically the first phase in our ECO plan mentioned earlier. There is a huge amount of research and documentation required to put the paper together in the correct format, and while the surf is down if any of our members out there have a spare hour and want to contribute this is how you can also help;
We are collecting as much statistical data as possible on;
- Great White Shark tourism
- Legislation regarding Baboons and feeding
- Any info relating to ECO’s (Environmental compliance Officers) and commercial use of Nature areas
You can email any docs/pdfs/stats to firstname.lastname@example.org
The website is generating a steady increase in traffic, averaging over a 1000 visits a month, and Facebook friends are increasing by around 2 a week. This should be more, as we are all affected. Get your surfer friends onboard and suggest Justin Othersurfa as a friend.
Our last batch of TShirts flew out, and we are in the process of ordering a new print-run. We’d like to get as many orders together to save on admin. T’s are a measly R60, good quality and a good cause.
Best feedback of late, courtesy Cape Town screw-foot Alan Robb;
” Look how attacks affect local business… shark spotting landlubbers may have been clogging the road at certain places along the Berg to Fish Hoek drag, but with the beaches closed after the last incident, I will bet a lot less people spent money in the area. Newspapers were sold, advertisers scrambled into position, but on the whole, people lost out. With international studies showing that chumming is not a beneficial interference by man, when will the money-making practices of shark cage diving operators be brought to a halt for the greater good? Phew!”
That’s it for now, watch this space!