Anti-Cage-Diving Groups Use Video of Great White Shark Attack to Highlight Problem
Some believe the footage highlights the problem with the cage diving industry.
— -- Groups protesting the shark cage-diving industry in New Zealand are using footage of a great white shark attacking two film crew members on a small boat to highlight what they see as a growing problem.
The video was part of the Discovery documentary "Lair of the Megashark," which aired last year.
Two film crew members can be seen on a small inflatable boat when a shark lunges and can be seen trying to bite the dinghy's rope connecting it to a larger boat.
"I don't think this is such a brilliant f------ idea, you know," a voice can be heard saying. "I don't think we can have a boat in there. I really don't."
Many locals believe close encounters such as these are the result of cage-diving, which makes sharks comfortable around boats and humans, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Fisherman Richard Squires told the newspaper he was attacked by sharks recently — and believes sharks are getting more comfortable around boats because of cage diving.
"We've been attacked twice," he said. "A shark came up and bit a buoy on the stern of the vessel,. It came charging out of the water with its mouth open."
The Herald added New Zealand's First Members of Parliament Clayton Mitchell and Winston went to a public meeting about the shark problem last week.
"We are calling on the government to put a moratorium on this and actually do a comprehensive study on what the impact [of cage diving] is," Mitchell said. "When you start bringing the sharks in close to your boat for the thrill seekers, like any animal, their behavior becomes modified."
However, Allan Munn, who directs conservation services for the southern South Island, told the Herald it was "highly unlikely" shark diving had anything to do with increased great white activity.
Local fishermen said the "attack does not bode well for the popular shark diving industry who they say we’re looking to expand their operations to those waters," The Advertiser reported.