Shark cage diving is one of the most popular activities in the Western Cape and many parts of South Africa – especially for travelling marine animal lovers who wish to encounter these incredible creatures up close. But many people have their reservations about trying it, due to unfactual and uninformed criticisms about what the experience entails and how it affects marine life. As the experts, we’re here to clear up any misconceptions and help foster education around what this experience entails. Let’s get to separating the truths from the myths.
Myths about cage diving with sharks
Shark cage diving is harmful to animals. Every interaction a human has with an animal will have some impact on that creature, but in the case of a shark encounter, these are absolutely minimal. All we do is chum the waters to attract the sharks but also follow a strict code of conduct with our interactions with them and won’t do it unless it’s necessary. We also follow the conditions of our permit. This means that there is little-to-no impact on the sharks, aside from seeing a human in a cage (and we can assure you, they don’t have great eyesight). If anything our commitment to conservation and education has a positive impact on the sharks you’ll meet.
Chumming the waters makes sharks aggressive towards humans. Many people believe that by chumming the water to attract sharks, we are giving them a taste for human blood and making them want to hunt our species. This is not true, and you don’t have to take our word for it. According to research conducted at the University of Pretoria, “conditioning will only arise if operators intentionally and willfully go against South Africa’s White Shark cage-diving industry standards”. Our partners are well within the permit restrictions for this and operate responsibly.
Truths about shark cage diving holidays
Education, shark encounters and conservation go hand-in-hand. Shark encounters as an industry help benefit conservation organisations, who take great care and make great commitments to ensure the development and safety of marine life. While this may not be the case with other animals, the regulated shark encounters you can experience in areas such as Gansbaai or Cape Town are responsibly executed and aim to support these initiatives. We love sharks, and want the world to be properly educated on them. This is why we do what we do.
Shark cage dives in our designated areas are regulated by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. At Shark Bookings, we partner with registered and regulated operators who help ensure that your shark encounters are ethical, safe and a memorable experience you can revere for the rest of your life. Each organisation is closely regulated by the DEAT and practiced in accordance with governmental regulations.
We hope we’ve helped put your mind at ease with accurate information about our industry. We look forward to helping you have the experience of a lifetime. For more information contact us directly or book your experience now.