Is shark feeding good or bad

They say that “shark feeding” is a good thing. Good for sharks and that it also spreads awareness about the safety of sharks and their habitat.

Leaving the bottom when a tiger shark is around can be a bad idea.

Greg Amptman

So should we support shark feeding? This topic has been controversial for several years. Some say it changes the biological behavior of sharks and it’s harmful to the marine ecosystem.

Others say sharks tend to attack humans during this activity or relate the sight of divers to food.

Let’s compare the pros and cons of shark feeding along with some supporting information for each side.

Is It Really Bad?

Shark feeding, being good or bad, depends on a person’s point of view. But there are some justified concerns about why this activity is inappropriate for both humans and sharks.

Pavlovian Response

A group of divers photograph and interact with a tiger shark

Greg Amptman

Repeatedly being fed by humans, sharks begin associating food with humans and dive boats.

When sharks start to do this it becomes a concern that shark feeding will change and possibly even cause sharks to lose their innate eating habits. Sharks will become so familiar with this feeding they will expect to be fed when they see scuba divers.

This behavior is scientifically termed as a “Pavlovian response”. This behavior is also seen in other wild animals. What would eventually happen if sharks in one area are flooded with this artificial feeding activity and then feeding is suddenly stopped, they may become vicious and aggressive towards divers.

Shark Feeding Frenzy

Caribbean Reef Sharks

Manda Nicholls

A shark feeding frenzy occurs when a number of sharks fight for common prey. They are not used to group lunch and they don't know the concept of sharing their food with other sharks.

There are times scuba divers dive down with a large container full of fish for the hungry sharks. When the sharks show up, they can become overexcited and might start thrashing around and fighting with each other.

The sharks bite each other or bite into anything else that gets in their way. This might also include divers that are observing the feeding.

Is It Really Good?

Done in a proper way, many find shark feeding entirely safe and eco-friendly. Divers interaction with sharks creates awareness for sharks and might help in the fight against shark fishing.

It Is Not Dangerous

According to the shark feeders, it is recommended not to feed them all the way until they are full. At this time they are given one or two containers of fish. This way they only receive a “taste” of the food and not their entire meal.

Doing it this way, the sharks are generally not waiting to be fed. They arrive at the feeding point being curious, simply wanting a taste of the food. This way their normal food habit is not being changed.

Spreading Awareness

A tiger shark shark circling around a group of divers.

Greg Amptman

Shark feeding is also considered a great method of spreading awareness about these stunning animals. When a shark feeding takes place, underwater photographers takes pictures of the whole thing showing the sharks to all the non-divers.

These pictures can help educate the public about sharks' behavior and habitat, serving conservation of this precious marine creature.

We can determine after weighing all of this information as to whether shark feeding is good or bad. It largely depends on the situation, human behavior, plus many other aspects. Without taking sides, we are simply trying to say that we all must attempt to respect our nature.

Also keeping our own safety in mind and that of the eco-system, as well.

Never on Your Own

DIVE.in does not recommend that you go out on your own to feed wild animals. Sharks are predators and can seriously risk your health. If you want to see a shark feeding, follow a scuba center that is specialized in shark diving and feeding.

Have you ever been on a Shark feeding dive? What is your opinion on shark feeding? Should it be banned or not? Is this from of interaction with animals okay?