Of Sharks and Men




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I've been a PADI certified scuba diver since 1991 and just recently obtained my advanced diver certification.  I've dived over 100 times, always in the ocean, and, of course, every diver is fascinated by, if not afraid of, shark encounters.  We've all read about the shark feeding programs that have developed at dive sites around the world, from Cape Town to Honduras– and there is plenty of controversy about whether sharks should be fed by humans– especially in close proximity of divers.

I went on my first shark feeding dive last week in Fiji in the Yasawa Islands.  

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The dive was arranged by the Coral View dive center, which is a professionally run operation, and I personally felt very safe throughout the dive.  At a depth of 60 feet, the divers were positioned about 20 feet away from where the sharks were fed, with the ocean current and swell surge flowing in a direction away from the divers.  A strong metal cable running about 20 feet in length set the diver perimeter beyond which we were not allowed to pass.

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Upon returning from my trip, I looked up some shark diving information on the web and found a couple of interesting sites including one that describes various types of shark feeding techniques– different from the one shown at right on our dive.

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I also found a pretty interesting video on YouTube from a shark dive in Roatan, Honduras.  This video is a good example of what I believe is unsafe diver positioning– frankly this video, while very beautiful to watch, feels like an accident waiting to happen.  Judge for yourself…
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