When I was in South Africa 6 years ago a friend of mine insisted on joining a shark cage tour off the south coast. Having worked in shark tanks before (at the Shanghai Aquarium back in 2002), I declined the offer to join.
So what happens on one of these tours?
- You get on a boat.
- You go off shore.
- They throw blood in the water.
- They then drag a wooden silhouette of a seal across the surface of the water.
- You get geared up in a wet suits and wait in a cage that’s bobbing alongside the boat.
- And as a great white approaches looking for it’s bloodied prey, you dunk your head in the water to get a glimpse of the man eating shark.
And we wonder why there are shark attacks.
Western Australia has recently put a ban on this tourism attraction, acknowledging the fact that it’s likely to be a reason shark attacks increase along its shorelines. Read here. When will others follow?
If you want to swim with sharks, maybe consider what I did and volunteer at an aquarium!
How to volunteer at an aquarium to clean shark tanks
- Pick one that probably doesn’t think about liabilities and insurance
- Tell them you’re a diver – even an amateur one
- Pretend to understand their instructions (even if it’s in a different language)
- Go for the plunge