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 Post subject: The ethics of cage diving - what do you think?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:59 pm 
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Cage diving with great white sharks - educational tool or behavioural conditioning?

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 Post subject: Re: The ethics of cage diving - what do you think?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:03 pm 
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I would be tempted to say the latter, but then I'm assuming the sharks are being fed to attract them to the area. If that's true, they could possibly grow to associate humans with food and that's never a good situation to be in!


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 Post subject: Re: The ethics of cage diving - what do you think?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:02 pm 
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It would be good to think educational and it would be a lifetime experience if it was done without baiting and it happened to be a natural encounter (well as natural as can be in a cage) but unfortunately I'm tending to think that the vast majority of cage diving encounters are encouraged by baiting the water first which can only mean that their behaviour will be conditioned.


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 Post subject: Re: The ethics of cage diving - what do you think?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:45 pm 
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Count me in ... sound like great fun!!!

It the only safe way we can see & learn about Great Whites - the educational value is much higher in my humble opinion! Nowhere does it say that we have to feed them or change their natural behaviour - I have done many shark dives and they have scarpered for the day. Shark dives where they surprise you with grace of their presence are just amazing!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The ethics of cage diving - what do you think?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:57 pm 
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In my opinion it's not as clear as black and white. I personally don't think the answer rests with either educational OR behavioural, but more realistic with BOTH.

There are definite educational advantages to be had, as these are notoriously elusive creatures, especially when conducted by the correct and necessary people.

But at the same time if this continues to be an "open" spectator sport, i'm concerned that it will over time become a behavioural learning also.

Attracting these creatures to areas we want to see them and rewarding them for close encounters with humans is for me, a very slippery slope, and one that needs to be managed VERY carefully!

Education or Behavioural..... Neither - BOTH!!

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 Post subject: Re: The ethics of cage diving - what do you think?
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 6:09 pm 
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I personally think Cage diving can lead to a conditioned reflex...

has anyone read any of the research that Pavlov conducted in the 1890's? Pavlo's dog

an example of a conditioned reflex." Ivan Pavlov's description of how animals (and humans) can be trained to respond in a certain way to a particular stimulus."

following this study if the operator of the cage diving feeds the sharks to encourage the sharks to come closer, the sharks will eventually associate the cage with feeding, so the argument that cage diving helps to see sharks in a natural environment becomes floored.

I agree there is a need to observe sharks in there own environment but fail to see how Cage diving allows this to happen

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 Post subject: Re: The ethics of cage diving - what do you think?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:56 am 
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Whilst I would like to think this kind of diving could be educational, by and large those doing the diving are not researching the sharks they are diving with they are their as tourists and it is probably only a matter of time before something goes seriously wrong one one of these dives.

Conditionining sharks to associate humans with food is not a good idea as far as I am concerned. If (Or when) one of these dives goes wrong their will no doubt be another knee jerk reaction in the press against "killer sharks" and it will be overlooked that humans baited then their and let them associate their presence with food.

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 Post subject: Re: The ethics of cage diving - what do you think?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:10 pm 
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I think if the Sharks ever learn how to use a Can opener there will be fewer attacks,as the sharkes will be abel to store the food for up to 1 year ,cos it wont go off :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The ethics of cage diving - what do you think?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:26 am 
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It can be both!

For instance when marine scientists use cages as a tool to study sharks. But, merely by being underwater, we humans are changing the environment. And as the Observer Effect has shown us, where observation changes an environment, it can change the situation... i.e. purely by being there we could change the sharks' behaviour, which might mean the research findings are flawed.

However, given the limited funding that science has, plus the vastness of the oceans, I think this effect pales into insignificance when compared to the changes we've wrought on the oceans with our industrial fishing techniques, so I am in favour of cage diving under university research conditions, where ethical considerations are gone into before any experiments go ahead. Well that happens in the UK with biological & ecological research, I don't know that situation for other countries' research protocols.

But for leisure diving and tourism, my opinion (which I am open to changing if I read scientific research that indicates otherwise) is that it changes shark behaviour for no gain to the world. And would appear to condition sharks to equate humans with food. I feel this is bad news for divers, for people who rely on fishing for their livelihoods, and most importantly for shark conservation.

I hold an MSc in ecology specialising in fish, so I know a reasonable amount but I've also extrapolated and chucked-in my opinions here :-)


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