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 has 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.