I had a wonderful dive today, started at 4h30 and to the dive center buy 5h00 to pick up my students and head down to Aliwal Shoal reef, about one hour from the center. We got to the sight just before 6h00 so we had a quick coffee then it was time to kit up and briefing, and as we looked over the water it looked flat as a pancake (very unusual for Aliwal) so we were looking forward to our boat trip out watching the sunrise over the sea. As the boat stopped we could smell something terrible so when I asked the skipper what it was, he just pointed and said fishermen chumming for tiger shark, and as if just on queue two big tigers swam past the boat. We kitted us as quick as we could and the skipper called “one two three GO” as we did out backward role in the water, from the bottom we looked up in anticipation as we waited for a tiger shark to swim past. The viz was only about 10 to 12 meters so after watching the dark shapes of the sharks swimming overhead for about 15 minuets we moved on. The remainder of the dive was average with some spotted eagle rays swimming past for a little look at what we where up too, and a turtle munching on some reef. 50 minutes time up and we where back on the boat. On our way back to shore our trusty skipper (Jean) spotted a whale shark and we quietly slipped into the water and snorkeled with the gentle giant for about 15min until she sunk back to the deep. What a great way to start the day!
As we arrived back and started our de-briefing the question arose, should chumming be allowed to view sharks and other species or do you feel that its somehow messing with nature, the environment, and not really seeing the shark in its natural state but rather hyped up buy the sensation of blood and food.
There was much debate about this topic for the day our at least until lunchtime, so I would like to know from you, what do you think about it and why?