By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources yesterday cautioned the public against disposing fish innards and waste into the sea as they could attract sharks to beaches and residential areas.
The ministry particularly asked fish vendors and those cleaning fish to stop this practice known as “chumming”.
The warning came after footage emerged at the weekend on social media showing three large sharks swimming near an unidentified dock - possibly near down town Nassau - as a group of men throw fish carcasses into the sea.
The sharks can be seen swimming to the surface and at one point leaping out of the water, to devour the food.
“The Department of Marine Resources is aware of a number of videos circulating on social media involving sharks near the shoreline,” the ministry said in its statement.
“In one video in particular, it is clear that there are persons on the dock feeding the sharks, a practice called ‘chumming’.
“In too many instances, these encounters are happening near areas reserved for beaching as well as some residential areas.
“We wish to caution the public on disposing of their fish carcasses and innards directly into the water as these items will attract marine animals, including sharks.
“We particularly urge fish vendors and persons cleaning fish near open waters to dispose of their fish carcasses in trash containers or in areas in the water at a safe distance from public areas.”
The ministry also reminded residents that sharks are a protected species in Bahamian waters through legislation and the Bahamas remains one of the few countries in the world with such protections.