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Seal snorkelling firm to install controversial shark cage

May 4, 2015 Headline News, Tour Operator 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Seals by Sea Tours will develop a floating seal snorkelling platform at Cape Bridgewater in Victoria this year – and fit it with shark-proof cages to protect patrons from unwelcome finned marauders.

Operator Joe Austin told ABC News that fur seal populations in the area had more than doubled since operations began, transforming it into a breeding colony and attracting hungry sharks, which liked to feed on seal pups.

“We’re seeing more sharks out at Cape Bridgewater than we have seen in the past five or six years,” Austin warned. He said school groups had been in the area “and it’s just getting riskier and riskier with the increase in sharks”.

“A cage is one of the ways to allow people to get in the water and be protected.”

Across the border in South Australia, however, state Opposition environment spokesperson Michelle Lensink took the opposite view, saying experts suspected that shark cage diving tourism operations affected shark behaviour. The operations should not be allowed to be increase, she told the broadcaster.

Lensink made her comment a few days after after a shark bit off the leg of a 26-year-old surfer in an attack near Port Lincoln.

Shark cage diving operator had been lobbying the SA State Government for permission to enlarge their operations, Lensink said.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Tony Cordato says:

    Leaving aside the valid argument that caging increases the propensity of sharks to attach humans, because they are swimming around with seals, there are some interesting legal aspects.
    First and foremost, how difficult is it for an operator to protect itself against the obvious risk of a shark attack? The Courts would find holes in even the best drafted liability waiver if someone were badly mauled or killed.
    Second, proper insurance coverage is unlikely to be available (without a shark attack exclusion), and even if it were, it would be hideously expensive.
    So there is potentially unlimited exposure for the operator, and the instructor personally.

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