cage dive ban-the dark side

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Posted by karen hass on August 16, 2001 at 14:21:05:

Can you help us get the word out, this is a true and very shocking new development, we need divers help, email campaigns, ect.

The Gulf of the Farallones Marine Preserve 27 miles off San Francisco Ca has been asked by its two researchers to enact a total dive ban at the Farallon Islands from September-November 2001 citing a case history that has nothing to do with the local situation at the Farallones and everything to do with personal gain.

A section of the recent secret email to Ed Euber, the Farallones Director, reads:

"We are requesting emergency regulations (for the 3-month period September to November 2001) similar to those in place by the National Marine Fisheries Service for Humpback Whales ( Megaptera novaeangliae ) in Hawaii"

The reason? White Sharks, money, and one sole White Shark cage dive operator who runs an eco-sensitive dive operation to the islands during this time each year. The dive operator in question does not chum, rather looks for and finds live naturally occurring feeding events allowing divers an unprecedented view of these magnificent animals in the wild.His operation has been a model for non-invasive shark observation for three years.

While the researchers claim that this operation disturbs their work, careful investigations have revealed a much more insidious side to the researchers real motives and a "secret boys network" between Ed Euber who runs the Gulf of the Farallones Preserve, and his two handpicked researchers.

Unfortunately what has been uncovered is a conflict of interest with two researchers using their position to influence the law for personal gain. What is really going on at the islands is White Shark video for sale, it has everything to do with their exclusive movie making business and little to do with any real research. Raw White Shark footage can only be successfully collected in S.A and at the Farallones, on the international market it goes for an astounding $300-600 a minute, unedited.

We have documented over 9 film crews who pay the researchers up to $1000 a day for the "right" to shoot at a protected Marine Preserve, with the blessings of its government appointed director Ed Euber. We have also documented the renting of this Marine Preserve for $8000 British pounds a week to tourists from the U.K seeking to view White Sharks up close (this offer was made on the internet and to tourists from the U.K only thus stopping any local opposition). This is similar to a ranger in Yosemite "renting" out Half Dome to climbers for $10,000 U.S a week to climb this protected monument.

The researchers claim this is done to pay for the research, but when offered $20,000 by a local dive company to pay for shark tags, they were told that this money would not be needed.

On top of this obvious conflict of interest, we have documented on video two occasions last season where in a haste to set up for the next long shot of Whites tearing apart a seal carcass, they have rammed and caused serious damage to a 16 foot White with their boat. The response from the research crew when this happened was to check their video equipment first and continue on like nothing had happened.

Scott Anderson(one of the two "researchers") who by trade is a documentary film maker, was quoted saying recently in local and national news that the sole cage dive operator at the Farallones was "bad news". He then went on to state that all cage dive outfits should be banned. Scott Anderson then quietly spent the next two months in S.A...cage diving and filming White Sharks!

All across the world "researchers" who in the case at the Farallones have no science credentials, and have other motives for doing what they are
doing are setting new rules and enacting laws that prohibit divers from enjoying the worlds oceans in a safe, non-invasive manner. In the case at the Farallones, we are looking at a dive industry that will be terminated with little or no public comment, at the behest of two researchers who have their very own financial interests at stake.

When do we as a "dive community" stand up to this blatant abuse of power and privilege. In the coming weeks if it is decided behind closed doors to enact this ban, the only place you'll be able to interact with Whites will be a $5000 flight to S.A...then again you'll always be able to see them on television.

For a complete look at this secret email, and the dive operators response, please email us at, we appreciate your support for free sport diving across the world!

Karen Hass
Dive master

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