We visited SA in September and our hotel booked us a whale watching tour. We had no idea that Gansbaai the starting point of our tour was the shark cage centre of SA and were horrified to see so many people making money out of treating sharks like circus animals.
We were taken straight to the shark cage divers and what we saw was awful. Sharks encouraged to leap at the cages as the crew threw dried blood etc in to the water. This stresses the sharks and exhausts them and whilst they are entertaining adrenalin seekers, they become injured with bloody noses, become hungry as they are not eating and become stressed, and also learning that it is OK to attack boats!! I had a hissy fit with the captain as there is also evidence that sharks can leap in to boats by accident. we were on a small inflatable and the shark was sooooo close. After this terrible experience we did see some whales which was wonderful but the whole experience was spoilt by seeing real exploitation of stunning sharks in action for profit. We have had email conversations with Dyer about this and we will never agree as long as sharks continue to be treated as circus animals or puppets. We also went on another whale watching trip with Southern Right Charters whose ethics we were happier with. If you are a real conservationist this trip is not for you. Gansbaai is a dreadful place if you are an animal lover.
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