Ocean Lovers Against Chumming

In the wake of the Ocearch controversy, and David Lilienfeld’s tragic death, a new group has been formed on Facebook, Ocean lovers against chumming. The group was established during a very emotional time for Cape Town, and indeed further afield, in relation to the ongoing nightmare that is chumming for Great White Sharks in South Africa.

Ocean lovers against chumming┬áhas managed to capitalise on the massive outpourings of anger, rage, discontent and confusion that has subsequently gripped the Cape surf family, and by applying a very direct ‘name’ to the group, and with the obvious timing, he has been able to garner support in a way that is quite amazing (over 6000 members within the first 48 hours of launching the page). I have been trying to get this kind of response for several years of working through this website and the sticker campaign, writing articles to our major surf rags who begrudgingly got involved, countless meetings with interested individuals, marine lawyers and activists (Also due a mention in the process has been Rob Munro, a Boland activist who has put in a lot of time and energy into his Facebook group, Stop Shark Cage Diving in South Africa . Thanks Rob.) and I am totally stoked that finally the greater public is getting involved, talking about chumming, seeking out and sharing research, and burning up the social networks in heated debate.

By using the name Ocean Lovers Against Chumming it solves several issues that we have had with Surfers Against Shark Cage Diving.

1. That many people concerned about the impacts of chumming are not surfers, but everyones an ocean lover, and thus able to attract far wider support.

2. Pre-Ocearch the only people chumming the water were the Shark Cage Dive operators, and that is who we directed our fight against. But many people who wrote in to our website said they were not entirely anti shark cage diving (I wonder if they are still?), and so wouldnt join up. In light of this we did shift our name to Surfers For Responsible Shark Cage Diving, and have spent many hours trying to push for a legislative approach whereby the industry is properly regulated, but have not met any success in this regard as of yet.

So Ocean Lovers Against Chumming nicely sums up exactly what we all are, in a more direct, non-exclusive way. Justin Othersurfa whole-heartedly endorses what is happening, it is what we have been pushing for all along, and how it came about (ie through another group than our own) is not important, what is important is that as many concerned individuals lend their voices to ONE channel so that with great numbers we can effect CHANGE.

If you havent already, join the group, put your hand up and be counted, lets do something about this. Talk only gets so far, just look at the Arab Spring revolution, enough pissed off people can do some major things!

I will hereby be closing our Facebook groups for Surfers Against Shark Cage Diving, and messaging all our members to sign-up with Ocean Lovers Against Chumming. I will still put my efforts into www.surfersagainstsharkcagediving.com as this is what I personally feel, and will continue to represent the Surfer’s perspective, we are the most vulnerable after all.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the cause, Justin Othersurfa’s 271 friends, Rob, Pierre and the 6835 members of Ocean Lovers Against Chumming.

Lets do it together.

Open letter to the Cape Surf community

Well its now happened, another well-loved person doing what they love has lost their life to a shark, and the chumming continues.
Dave Lilienfeld was a very accomplished wave-slider and will be sadly missed by the Western Cape surfing family. Our deepest sympathies for his family and friends, and we hope he finds perfect wedges up in the clouds.

But its time to stop bullshitting people and start calling a fish a fish, chum-ps.

This madness of chumming Great Whites in our waters is causing serious harm. If its so safe, why does a film-crew from California, which has one of the worlds largest populations of Great White sharks, have to come here to South Africa to shoot these documentaries and do their research. Chris Fischer, Ryan Turner and the Ocearch team, Go chum your own fricken water, we don’t want you here.

To the disbelievers, lofty science voices, screaming for facts, here you go. Large amounts of chum are unseasonally dropped into False bay, an area used daily by thousands of local ocean-lovers .Many new Great Whites are attracted into the bay as a result. The crap you and your ‘scientists’ drop in the ocean smells like food, but the sharks get no meal or reward, other than an awoken appetite and a nice shiny new tag drilled into their fin. The notion that only the area within 2km of the chum drop is of concern, and obviously ignoring the chum-slick, is now totally blown out of the water, as is also illustrated the fact that it happened three days after the initial chumming, showing a higher than normal amount of large great whites had actually hung around in the area, probably in search of food, and therefore showing a very clear direct change in behaviour. (Up to 6 large (3-4.5m) Great Whites were seen around Koeel Bay just after the incident, this is not an usual occurence)

To the surf-riders sitting on the fence, denying whats going on infront of us, join ranks, voice your discontent. This.shit.has.GOT.to.stop.

I’m not saying I condone they guys who dropped a few matches on the cage dive boat after the negative review on Carte Blanche all those years ago, but I’m saying lets make it hard for them to operate, laws take years to get things done, public power and opinion can change things in minutes. Let our community come together, and by this I mean you, not some other people. We each have a responsibility to do something, come up with clever publicity stunts, write to newspapers, blog the hell out of it, then… organise protest marches in the towns of the main chum-ps, thousands of angry citizens saying enough is enough … in the townships people go bos when they’re not happy, lets go bos over unethical treatment of our animals, endangerment of ourselves and friends, and threatening our safety whilst we exercise our God-given right to slide through salt-water tunnels. The vibe will get a lot of media coverage, and if it hits the overseas news, its a done deal. Using chum to attract Great White sharks is not cool.

Surfers for Responsible Shark Cage Diving aims to be a collective movement that opposes the use of chum to attract sharks in South African waters. If you feel strongly about this you can submit your name to our membership list, befriend Justin Othersurfa on Facebook, and help form a powerful group that can create change.