EDITOR, The Tribune
Over the past month much has been written about the subject due to the brutal attack of a young woman snorkeling off Rose Island, along with several other attacks last month. While it may seem farfetched, I think shark feeding has become a tourist attraction in The Bahamas. Why do I say that? I will give you two examples that I know of first hand.
Abou six years ago, I was visiting my family in Freeport and one night we all went for dinner at the Pier 1 restaurant, down at the Freeport harbour. On a nightly basis the restaurant feeds the shark for its customers to see. At the designated time the floodlights were put on the water and the staff started throwing food into the water.
In no time at all there were many sharks arriving and they stayed until all the food was eaten. Do they still do this? Probably. Fast forward now to the present. On Sunday night (July 28, 2019), I was watching a programme on HGTV, called "Caribbean Life" and it featured a man and wife who were visiting The Bahamas, for the purpose of buying a house/condo in Treasure Cay, Abaco.
As a side trip the realtor took the couple to Man Jack Cay, located north of Green Turtle Cay, so they could feed the rays and SHARKS. To my amazement this couple was seen on TV, sitting in two feet of white water (sandy bottom) HAND feeding the rays, along with juvenile sharks, I found this absolutely insane, that we would allow visitors to our country to do this.
I am told that this happens on a daily basis (feeding of rays and sharks) at Man Jack Cay. In fact several years go, I visited this Cay and fed the rays. I have also been told that there are residents, on the eastern end of New Providence, who regularly feed sharks. How many other places on New Providence and the Family Islands, is this now taking place on a daily basis?
What are the vendors at Montagu and Potters Cay, throwing into the water on a daily basis? What do the marinas in Bahamian harbors, throw into the water on a daily basis? In countries of the world that have many kinds of wild animals, residents and tourist alike are prohibited from feeding the wild animals. Why is the shark any different? They are a predator and will eat almost anything, including us.
Unless The Bahamas takes action to stop the feeding of shark in populated areas, where people swim, we are going to have more of what happened last month.
JEFFREY M. ALBURY,
July 29, 2019.