4/1/11. The Business of " Shark Diving. Sharks Are Under Siege. Sharks Are Under Siege

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1 The Business of " Shark Diving A brief look into a $400 million dollar (and growing)" global industry. Presented by Luke Tipple Marine Biologist, director of the Shark-Free Marina Initiative 1 Sharks Are Under Siege! Estimated million sharks harvested each year! Shark fishing is ultimately not sustainable, fishing effort is not a significant revenue source 2 Sharks Are Under Siege! Estimated million sharks harvested each year! Shark fishing is ultimately not sustainable, fishing effort is not a significant revenue source! In the Maldives one grey reef shark is worth roughly US $8.00 to a local fisherman.! The tourism value of each living grey reef shark in the Maldives has been placed at US$33,500/yr! Regional governments in tourism zones have yet to fully realize financial benefits of shark tourism 3 1

2 Whale Sharks = Instant Tourism! The whale shark aggregates seasonally and has been an ideal candidate for tourism since early 1990 s.! Since 2002, Holbox, Mexico has created an industry worth approximately US$2.72 million by 2008.! 15 new hotels since the late 1990 s, largely to accommodate seasonal shark tourists! Fishermen s tourist income: US$ / client" Former daily fishing wage: US$2-5 / day 4 Whale Sharks = Instant Tourism 85% = Day tourists from mass tourism destinations like " Cancun and Playa del CarmenZiegler, J., Dearden, P. and Rollins, R. B. 5 Whale Sharks = Instant Tourism 30/ income split between off-island and local business Text ex-fishermen now employed by as tourism leaders CarmenZiegler, J., Dearden, P. and Rollins, R. B. 6 2

3 The Bahamas: US $78M Shark Tourism Machine! Considered one of the industries best examples of sustainable and rapid and safe industry growth.! Prompted by 2001 Florida ban on shark diving 7 The Bahamas: US $78M Shark Tourism Machine! Considered one of the industries best examples of sustainable and rapid and safe industry growth.! Prompted by 2001 Florida ban on shark diving 500,000 tourist visits in the past 10 years * US$78,000,000 / year revenue generated by visiting shark tourists * *Based on operator data & extrapolations 8 Caged Shark Interactions! Divers are loaded into a cage, and allowed to observe sharks within the safety of the confined environment.! Recommended for any dangerous species interaction.! Safest possible manner to interact with potentially dangerous species of sharks.! Great White Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Oceanic White Tips 9 3

4 Caged Shark Interactions! Divers are loaded into a cage, and allowed to observe sharks within the safety of the confined environment.! Recommended for any dangerous species interaction.! Safest possible manner to interact with potentially dangerous species of sharks.! Great White Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Oceanic White Tips! Any pelagic species when diver experience is minimal to none 10 Non-Caged Shark Interactions! Divers are briefed and allowed to dive in group, usually in a baited scenario 11 Non-Caged Shark Interactions! Divers are briefed and allowed to dive in group, usually in a baited scenario! Often these are feeding dives! Caribbean Reef sharks, also Tiger and Bull sharks! Feeder must read the aggression level of sharks and divers are much more vulnerable 12 4

5 Non-Caged Shark Interactions! Divers are briefed and allowed to dive in group, usually in a baited scenario! Often these are feeding dives! Caribbean Reef sharks, also Tiger and Bull sharks! Feeder must read the aggression level of sharks and divers are much more vulnerable! One of the most popular and exhilarating options available, yet also the most dangerous 13 Shark Diving - Benefits! Constant monitoring / protection of shark population! Local employment and business incentives! Increased tourist presence! Education! Non-profit cooperation 14 Shark Diving - Initiatives Shark-Free Marinas! Started by shark diving operators! Works by preventing sharks from being killed at sea! Supports local businesses! Educates at the dock More sharkfreemarinas.com 15 5

6 Shark Diving Safety - Reality check! Since 1820, 205 attacks have been recorded on divers! Only 19% of these have resulted in fatalities! Only 41% of these were SCUBA divers! Actual data on commercial shark diving attacks is not available *All data from the International Shark Attack File 16 Shark Diving Safety - Reality check! Since 1820, 205 attacks have been recorded on divers! Only 19% of these have resulted in fatalities! Only 41% of these were SCUBA divers! Actual data on commercial shark diving attacks is not available! 2 most recent incidents (1 fatality) involved feeding and / or loose bait. *All data from the International Shark Attack File 17 Shark Diving Safety - Reality check! Since 1820, 205 attacks have been recorded on divers! Only 19% of these have resulted in fatalities! Only 41% of these were SCUBA divers! Actual data on commercial shark diving attacks is not available! 2 most recent incidents (1 fatality) involved feeding and / or loose bait.! Compared with SCUBA diving, shark diving is quite safe! *All data from the International Shark Attack File 18 6

7 Regional Shark Tourism - Development! Regional governments interested in shark tourism should hire industry professionals to establish protocols! The String of Pearls shark tourism model includes several different dive sites / species / protocols 19 Regional Shark Tourism - Development! Regional governments interested in shark tourism should hire industry professionals to establish protocols! The String of Pearls shark tourism model includes several different dive sites / species / protocols! Dive operators should be limited by a permit system, fees for these sites go back into shark research and site maintenance 20 Regional Shark Tourism - Evolution! Phase 1 - Field ResearchGather information on suitable operators and sites! Assign task force to canvas hotels and tourism operators! Publish research for protection 21 7

8 Regional Shark Tourism - Evolution! Phase 2 - ImplementationOversee buildout/construction of shark diving sitesassist in the hiring and training of all required staffoversee the development of coop programs between shark ecotourism and scientific research organizationsdevelop promotional web site and multimedia 22 Regional Shark Tourism - Evolution! Phase 2 - ImplementationOversee buildout/construction of shark diving sitesassist in the hiring and training of all required staffoversee the development of coop programs between shark ecotourism and scientific research organizationsdevelop promotional web site and multimedia Phase 3 - Monitor results 23 The Business of " Shark Diving A brief look into a $400 million dollar (and growing)" global industry. Presented by Luke Tipple Marine Biologist, director of the Shark-Free Marina Initiative 24 8

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