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.

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.