Target: Brian S. Yablonski, Chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commision
Goal: End shark feeding trips that could cause sharks to start associating humans with food.
Diving businesses are encouraging human interaction with sharks and possibly linking humans to food with diving trips dedicated to feeding sharks. This is not a good idea. Shark feeding can cause them to become violent if they encounter humans that do not feed them.
Sharks have often been linked with violence in the public eye, however they are naturally uninterested in humans. These creatures are thought to be violent and murderous towards divers and beach-goers alike, yet it is actually more probable that a person will be killed by taking a selfie rather than by a shark attack. Humans are not part of the shark diet, and they will typically ignore any person that does not pose a threat.
Sharks are also under threat of extinction. Because of this, we cannot put out the idea that they are vicious creatures as it will only encourage people to harm them.
Shark feeding is already against the law and charges have been brought to those who break the rules and feed these non-threatening creatures. However, there are dive boats in the South of Florida who still advertise dive trips specifically for feeding sharks.
This dangerous behavior encourages shark violence toward humans and can end in devastation. Sign our petition to demand that diving business be supervised and checked on to make sure no illegal shark feed trips are happening. It is necessary to keep both humans and sharks alike safe.
Dear Mr. Yablonski,
I am writing you because I am concerned about the safety of both divers and sharks alike in South Florida. Despite efforts to cut down on shark feeding because of the threat it poses, there are still dive boats that are advertising diving trips specifically dedicated to shark feeding. These trips are incredibly damaging to sharks’ association with humans as it causes them to link humans with food.
These dive boats are profiting off of this dangerous behavior. As divers, they are surely aware of the dangers of feeding sharks, yet are being ignorant to these facts because their main priority is to make money. These dive businesses must be evaluated to ensure these illegal and ignorant trips are not being used to make money.
I urge you to observe these businesses and guarantee these damaging trips are not occurring. If you do not, they will keep happening, continuing to damage the shark/diver relationship and raise the chances of shark violence and attacks.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Joi Ito