Don't blame us, says under-fire shark filmmaker

2012-04-19 20:55

Johannesburg - Shark documentary maker Chris Fischer on Thursday defended the actions of his team, the target of stinging criticism on Facebook after a man was killed by a shark in the vicinity of where they had released chum (shark bait) a few days before, to draw the elusive creatures nearer for filming purposes.

A 20-year-old bodyboarder, David Lilienfeld, died after a shark, presumed to be a Great White as big as 5m, bit off his right leg near Kogel Bay near CapeTown.

Fischer, who was busy with a production for National Geographic, posted a message on the television show Shark Men's Facebook page denying that his team was responsible for the man's death.

"There has been tragic news in False Bay today. A body-boarder has been taken by a white shark. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family that has been affected," he said.

"We departed False Bay over three days ago after working there from Sunday afternoon... to Monday afternoon... During our 24 hrs of work... there we chummed 24kg of pilchards [sardines]."

This was less than the amount released by each of three cage diving boats per day, Fischer said.

"We are terribly sorry again for the loss of this family and at this time our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Facebook users attacked Fischer on his Facebook page.

On the Shark Men Facebook page, South Africans blamed the documentary-makers for the man's death.

"Shame on you! Piss off! So angry, that's my home break where this happened. Hope you, your boat and your life sinks to the deepest parts of the ocean...," wrote one person.

Another user posted: "Your chumming has just got a kid killed, you were warned but preferred ratings - condolences to the family, RIP."

The hostility continued with: "This is all your fault - don't mess with these sharks unless you are willing to get into the water! You clowns!! Go back to your land of Greed, Insolence and Disrespect!!!"


Fischer has been in the country for the past month filming sharks in their natural habitat for the documentary Shark Men.

After the attack, Biodiversity and Coastal Research director Alan Boyd cancelled Fischer's research permit.

"This incident is a tremendous tragedy and I'm very shocked. No more field work will be proceeding from here on out," said Boyd.

Initially, when the permit was approved, there were fears that chumming could attract sharks to populated beaches.

At the time, Dirk Schmidt, a wildlife photographer and author of White Sharks, said it was prudent for a high shark alert to be issued.

His concern was that up to five tons of chum (bait) would be used to attract sharks to the boat. He said the chum slick could be blown closer to beaches by on-shore winds.

Despite this, Boyd issued the permit, saying chumming would have little effect close to shore.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-04-19 21:13

    Chumming is illegal in the US

      Smell - 2012-04-19 21:56

      I wonder why? Anyway I have surfed the waters off the Cape Coast for decades, including The Caves at Kogel Bay. I fish too. This issue is not one of surfer versus fisherman. Historically the brunt of shark attacks have happened in Natal, which explains the shark nets on some beaches there. This has historically not been a problem around the Cape Peninsula. It has only been the over last decade or so where shark attacks seem to have become an issue here. Perhaps the the shark population around the Cape has just expanded to a degree that shark-human interactions have become more unavoidable. Perhaps. Problem is that cage diving as a money spinner has also evolved over roughly the same time span - we are essentially agitating the sharks with fish blood in the presence of humans. Seems like a very bad lesson in the shark school context. And I find the act of chumming in areas where humans frequently swim as lazy, morally indefensible and even criminal. RIP David Lilienfeld.

      Smell - 2012-04-20 03:16

      Just to clarify that I am not blaming Mr. Fischer. I am just expressing my view that chumming should be illegal close to areas that are often used for swimming or surfing. I guess the potential impact of tides, currents and wind have to be taken into account too. Marine biologists should be the experts consulted to help draft legislation and delineate the areas that should be out of bounds for chumming. And while I do not have a problem with cage diving per se, the chumming that goes along with it may well be an issue - again I would defer to the opinion of marine biologists (not the shark cage industry). It would be a sad day when we become too afraid to surf or swim around the Cape Peninsula.

      Lorain - 2012-04-20 07:34

      Mr Fischer got what he came for and he cares less about the after effects of his actions, after all the life that was lost was not an American's so who cares right?

      Hugh - 2012-04-20 08:02

      Sad when any surfer gets it. One thing is for sure I have been Extra careful since 1995/6 when our then SA champ bodyboarder lost a leg. That said research is needed to prove the relationship to chumming which I equate to teasing and shark attacks. As a layman surfer I have noted a rise in shark attacks in the Cape since the introduction of chumming on a commercial scale. Like birds learn that they must avoid areas where there are cats sharks learn that they are being teased when hungry by seal looking people. How else would they survived a million years unchanged?

      Jason - 2012-04-20 08:45

      Fisherman shoot seals all the time, if thats not a chum i dont know what is.

      Gordon - 2012-04-20 09:04

      Complete rubbish to blame a bit of chumming. The GW population has grown massively in the bay since the ban on fishing / killing them. Add the huge increase in surfer numbers and you have trouble waiting to happen. Dress in a wetsuit, lie on a board short stubby board with flippers and kick about like wounded seal and then act surprised and blame other people 10km away for a shark mistaking you for a meal. Sharks patrol the bay all day, every day... if they were conditioned by chumming there would be hundreds of attacks. Stopping the film permit is also a typical government reaction. They made their decision before and now that this happens they knee-jerk and cancel. That tells you they did not apply their minds in the first place OR, more likely, don't have a spine about sticking to the decision. This outrage is like blaming game drive vehicles for lion attacks when some fool decides to walk through the Kruger park. Logic defying.

      Peter - 2012-04-20 09:12

      Have dived with Whites without a cage and without chum .... Better than anything ever experienced. Same goes for hammer-heads, Tiger Sharks, Zambezis, White tips, Black tips. And night dives with sharks --- awesome. Cannot see why caging and chumming is such a draw-card!! It is unnatural and wholy unsatisfying! Grow a pair cagers and do it au-natural. Many have and survived. Too scared? Then you should not be in the water.

      Gungets - 2012-04-20 09:38

      Gordon - if the people on the game vehicles drove around throwing large chunks of meat off the vehicle and then a ranger got attacked in the same area, you might logically conclude that the meat throwing influenced the presence of predators and increased the likelihood of an attack - not so?. So, previously safe-ish areas suddenly become not-very-safe areas due to unnatural human activity.

      Gungets - 2012-04-20 09:46

      Gordon - one other thing. Chat to your friend Chris Fallows (Apex Shark Exp) and ask why he was against the permit offered to these film makers. The fact that you are in contact with Shark operators means you might have superior knowledge of these issues, or might mean that you are biased towards their point of view wrt chumming. Lets be generous and give yuo the benefit of the doubt, but it is interesting that Chris Fischer is not allowed to operate as he does in America (chumming) and that he has been dropped by National Geographic (interesting to know why - or was it just a ratings thing).

      Gordon - 2012-04-20 13:26

      If that is the logic, then explain allother white shark predation on humans? Western Australia has no chumming or shark diving and 8 attacks. Glentana, Buffels, California. What is more likely... dressing up as a seal and swimming in a white shark area or a soup ladle of blood 10km away is going to get you killed. The problem is that people insist on surfing and swimming in False Bay where there is a large shark population eating seals. Maybe a little introspection is required in the water sports community.

  • Bennie - 2012-04-19 21:13

    I have fished these waters often off a boat , I would not even dare swim any deeper than knee hight . There are many Sharks in the water and just behind the breakers, Strand ,Gordons bay , Macasar all the same, sometimes only singles but many times in pairs, and have not really seen them smaller than 4m. I have an arrangement with them , I dont swim in the sea and they dont come in the Bar !!

      Danie - 2012-04-20 07:48

      Bennie - couldn't agree more. If I go for a swim in the shark's territory, I should not complain if the shark take a wee bite out of me, however, when the shark go for a stroll in Strand street, he should not complain when I drove over him. Moral of the story - when in the wild, expect to be treated as per the rules in the wild

      Smell - 2012-04-21 06:29

      The issue is not that humans enter the sea at their own risk. That is really obvious. The real issues are: a. are we exciting sharks with blood products in areas of the ocean frequented by swimmers, surfers and body boarders? b. are we somehow reprogramming sharks to regard humans as a desirable meal? Is that really so hard too comprehend?

  • Jason - 2012-04-19 21:14

    Condolences to the family. But this could be a freak accident and have nothing to do with Fischer.

  • Msika - 2012-04-19 21:14

    This was an unfortunate incident that would probably have hapened with or without these filmmaker's churm bait, lets stop using this guys as a scape goat. May he rest in peace and codolences to the family.

      Abee - 2012-04-19 21:30

      So true.

      Abee - 2012-04-19 21:30

      So true.

      Shaylene - 2012-04-19 21:34

      Couldn't agree more

      Gungets - 2012-04-19 22:05

      Unusual to find three qualified shark experts commenting in the same thread. Msika - software testing just a hobby then. Nobody knows for sure whether the filming had an effect but we all know that dumping blood in the ocean attracts sharks. I am erring on the side of saying that there is a link.

      Lionel - 2012-04-20 07:18

      If he's filming them in "their natural habitat" why does he need artifice to do so? Great Whites are not mindless hunters - they see chumming and humans together...What is significant about this attack is that it was sustained - on a bodyboarder - the usual attack is where the shark mistakes a surfer for a seal - So long as chumming is allowed,we will be seeing more of these attacks.

      Peter - 2012-04-20 09:17

      Thank you Lionel!! When will these mindless chummers uderstand this!!

      Melissa - 2012-04-21 07:53

      i agree... what if the filmakers werent there would all these people be saying what they are saying they wont

  • Neels - 2012-04-19 21:15

    No one feeds polony to the lions in Kruger, won't seem right...

      basilsp - 2012-04-19 22:33

      You nailed it Neels! It is irresponsible to chum, whether you are filming or shark cage diving the only reason you do it is to attract sharks. Sharks are not too blame, The irresponsible filmmakers and shark cagers are to blame as well as the authorities for allowing this to happen despite warnings! My condolences to the victim's family.

      Richard - 2012-04-20 03:36

      Nobody walks around in the Kruger Park

      npretorius2 - 2012-04-20 06:21

      @Richard, Poachers and illigal immigrants do... but then again, they deserve to be eaten. Especially the Poachers

      Kala - 2012-04-20 08:29

      There are a number of game reserves that do put carcasses in trees to attract lions and leopards. I guess its a form of chumming. Richard - There are many people walking around Kruger illegally and many of them do get killed by lions or even hyenas. These incidents are never reported as those that do survive are in the country illegally.

  • Piet - 2012-04-19 21:16

    When you walk trough the Kruger park you become part of the foodchain. A lion might kill you. Same for the ocean.....the surfers number came up! RIP?

      Smell - 2012-04-19 22:11

      You seem to miss Neels's point - at least people do not chum the animals in the Kruger - like leaving bait for large predators in the camps. Are you suggesting people stop swimming and surfing so that others can keep on chumming around swimming or surfing spots without having to worry about it? Why do we not just get a panel of marine biologists to draw up scientifically based, large enough chumming free zones around areas frequently used by humans to swim or surf?

      Jacques - 2012-04-19 22:15

      Well said, that is the end of the story! When you go play in the ocean, the sharks habitat, you know exactly what the risks involved are! Will you go play ball on the plains of the Kruger where the lion is behind the bush? Exactly the same!

      Gungets - 2012-04-19 22:21

      But you don't strap a Texas steak to your back and walk in the wild either, or run around making a noice like an injured impala. Poor comparison, given the circumstances here.

      Neels - 2012-04-20 10:07

      Sure Piet, you become part of the food chain the moment you enter the ocean, which I do daily. The point you seem to miss is the fact that the white sharks are taught to associate humans with food which is not natural. If this is still hard to understand, pls see below:

  • Amanda - 2012-04-19 21:24

    Sorry Mr. Fisher I have seen the methods you use to tag Great Whites and I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. You should never have been granted a licence in the first place in False Bay. Shame on Alan Boyd for having granted you the licence. You and Nat Geo are in a big money making scheme. Nothing to do with so called research. Furthermore no one will gain any benefit from tagging these great and enigmatic creatures. Only unecessary suffering to these wonderful creatures who call the sea their home. You must be banned from your operations by every environmentalist in the world.

      arne.verhoef - 2012-04-19 21:54

      Wow, how very scientific. Have a look at some of the papers published from data collected by tagging, then comment, ignoramus.

      basilsp - 2012-04-19 22:34

      Well said Amanda!

      stef.terblanche - 2012-04-19 23:25

      Perhaps arne.verhoef should consider that among some of the biggest sponsors of those scientists publishing the papers are cage diving operators and outfits like those of Fischer. And anybody who knows the world of scientific research knows that sponsors are treated like gods.

      Gungets - 2012-04-19 23:31

      Arne - please can you point me to some of the scientific and peer reviewed papers published by Chris Fischer. It is sure to make interesting reading. Whatever you find, please compare it to the research done by Dr Peter Klimley and compare their methods. One is for science, the other for TV. No prizes for guessing which is which.

      arne.verhoef - 2012-04-20 06:24

      Stef, I think you listen to too many conspiracy theories. This is ecological and zoological studies, not pharmacological. Also, please do read up on the scientific method(though the objectivity might make you pantheistic brain explode) Gungets, I was replying to the statement: "Furthermore no one will gain any benefit from tagging these great and enigmatic creatures. Only unecessary suffering to these wonderful creatures who call the sea their home." I know Dr. Kimley, and I am quite a fan of his work. I do not care for TV, and I do not care for Mr. Fischer. I do however care for scientific inquiry and common sense, common sense like assuming an animal as powerful and fierce as a great white shark, that has evolved to take down large prey items, with the possible risk of injury, will not suffer unnecessarily from a tag placed on it.

      Gungets - 2012-04-20 07:02

      Arne - then I suggest that we do not give Fischer any credit as a researcher. He is a film maker, no more, no less, and one that relies on misinformation to make his money. His style of film making is to use sensation and the LACK of an enquiring mind from his viewers to make his money. The words "Shark Men" and "research" are a contradiction in terms. Fischer is an entertainer, no more, no less. It changes the whole context of his methods. Anyone want to bet that the episodes on South Africa will include references to this incident and that he will use the attack as justification for his research. I can hear it "attacks such as these highlight the importance of our research and how we can avoid such occurences in the future". Sensational ....

  • Lynda - 2012-04-19 21:27

    How could this have been allowed to there nothing people won't do for money. So sad for the family of this victim. Hope the National Geographic viewers realise the cost that was made for their close up of these big fish!!!!!

      spartanx93 - 2012-04-19 21:37

      OK, but if this was purely a research exercise funded by a local university in which chum was used. Would be be complaining as well? SO all research must come to a halt on speculation. People forget the sea is the sharks territory.

      Gungets - 2012-04-19 22:08

      Shark research has been conducted a lot in False Bay, long before these guys came along, including tagging and tracing the migration routes of sharks. It is the methods of Chris Fischer that are being criticised.

      Rouen - 2012-04-19 22:49

      Go watch Shark Men, see what research they do, then comment again.

      Gungets - 2012-04-19 23:21

      Rouen - I have watched their program. It is typical sensationalist TV schlock. It is like saying Bear Grylls is investigating human psychology and physiology. It's nonsense and they are doing nothing that has not already been done by respected shark researchers in SA and Australia. All they are doing is selling airtime. Whether they contributed to the death of this lightie is actually besides the point. They are doing what every self respecting researcher avoids - altering animal behaviour and then passing the results off as research. If they wanted to tag sharks they could have done it many other ways, like off Seal island, or anywhere there have been whale deaths. But not these guys. Their selling point is the drama of catching the sharks, the fact that they might be able to trace the shark afterwards just the cover. Get them to write a scientific paper for peer review. Get decent reviews. Until then, they are not researchers at all.

      Rouen - 2012-04-20 01:20

      Gungets, diffirent methods get diffirent results that in turn lead to new data and new information. We know less about the oceans then we do about the moon, so I would reckon it seems fit that researchers do not all use the same methods. Unfortunatly you cannot dart a GW or ask it to stand still to draw semen samples, they tend to snap at you.

      Gungets - 2012-04-20 05:47

      Rouen - no links to peer reviewed and published scientific papers then. Pity. That would have settled this argument. The oceanographic community is holding it's breath. Try these links - and the nice thing is that nobody died during this research.

  • Anthony - 2012-04-19 21:30

    This incident is extremely tragic to say the least, but nobody is questioning why these guys insisted on going surfing when they knew this valuable shark was on-going in the area. Why are warning signs not posted on the beaches near the research vessel? My self an ex lifesaver from the KZN coast know from years of experience that the surfing community are the most arrogant of all water users. Whenever we banned bathing to the presence of sharks, it would always be the surfers who chose to ignore the ban and would go out surfing despite the warnings. Sometimes we just need to take the consequences for our own actions and not try and blame somebody. To the people from Shark Men please ignore the ranting and come back and do your valuable research as we need it to understand the Great White shark. Your work is extremely valuable.

      Shaylene - 2012-04-19 21:32

      Well freaking said!

      Abee - 2012-04-19 21:33

      Very true

      Robi - 2012-04-19 23:45

      one conclusion out of the valuable research; when you chum too close to shore, the great white is likely to end up feeding on people...congratulations to the Shark Men team, you've made national geographic & Anthony proud...

      Peter - 2012-04-20 09:28

      Oh Anthony .... Pot call the kettle black much? The most arrogant of species on our beautiful coast-line actually tends to be the life Saving Community!! All about themselves, their peroxided hair, all the Vaalie chicks allowed BEHIND that holy line they draw around themselves to the exclusion of all else ... you know ... self important to the extreme.

  • Nicki - 2012-04-19 21:30

    "Filming sharks in their NATURAL HABITAT"!!!!!!!!!!!! Shark "Men"?????? I feel sick!

      Rouen - 2012-04-19 22:48

      Please explain you are not making sense, last time I saw sharks cant walk.

  • JohnnoBfree - 2012-04-19 21:41

    While my condolences go to the family of David you must realize that David entered into the domain of an apex predator and whether the chum from the film crew may or may not have attracted the shark to the area, the fact remains that David knew and understood the risk involved in being in the water. Surfers know the risk.

      arne.verhoef - 2012-04-19 22:59

      some sense! Though a tragedy, I feel it is a symptom of the modern world to always want to blame someone, or something, else

      Peter - 2012-04-20 09:32

      No Arne ... Common sense dictates that, should you wake the feeding-response in a predator by any means, that predator will hunt till satisfied with food or to exhaustion. The BLOOD in the water further up the coast, together with fish-heads and guts will most definitely awake a feeding response in these sharks and make them hungry. So the first food these ones found happened to be a human being. I have seen this first-hand as I dive with sharks OUTSIDE cages and without Chum. But just throw an inonsiderate spear-fisher into the mix, and you have trouble.

  • Helmut - 2012-04-19 21:43

    Cut him up and feed him to the sharks

  • Kevin - 2012-04-19 21:52

    He makes a valid point about the "cage diving businesses".

  • Amanda - 2012-04-19 21:58

    @ Anthony What signs up at every single little beach in False Bay??? Are you not aware of the enormity of the size of False Bay. You really are naive. No my friend the responsibility lay with Alan Boyd who readily granted the licence without due recourse. Fire him already.

  • lytteot7 - 2012-04-19 22:04

    Wild animals were not meant to share territory with human beings. Wild animals try to stay away from us even when we are in their space but they never come near our houses. This is what happen when they are gatvol then as usual we will be pointing fingers at each other.

      Frans - 2012-04-19 22:16

      Agree with you lytteot7, we should respect each others space. Nothing against surfers, but they are aware of the attacks. It's like someone seeing the effects of drugs but still go ahead and try it.

      Peter - 2012-04-20 09:36

      So, Frans ... by your logic we should all stay off the roads?

  • Amanda - 2012-04-19 22:23

    @ John nothing to do with over zealous emotions. Would you not agree that chumming is unnatural????

      Gordon - 2012-04-20 13:40

      Suggest you look at the fishing boats that pour tons of fish guts in the the bay every day and compare it to the soup ladles of chum used for sharks. More sharks, more people = greater chance of conflict. More so when the person dresses up like a seal.

  • Rouen - 2012-04-19 22:26

    Very sad and my condolences to the family. BUT, every time you get in the water you accept the risk. Research is extremely important,the more you understand shark behaviour the better you can protect people. Population statistics and control rely on tagging. To tag, you need to use bait. These are sharks not goldfish. All these experts that make comments about money, please explain how a researcher that does invaluable research on mating habits(of which very little is known), travel patterns and shark behaviour can be in it for the money. National Geographic contributes to pay for this research, that you can watch it on tv is just a coincidence. Aside from that there is ZERO proof that this led to the attack. More people die each year from coconuts falling on their heads than shark attacks but we dont cut trees,heart disease is one of the largest causes of death but we eat KFC and McD my the bakkieload,they dont ban that. Why? Because it is your choice to accept the risk. Same as diving,surfing,swimming in Falsebay, if you want zero risk go to Bellville swimmingpool.

  • Ian - 2012-04-19 22:37

    get out of our country yank, we dont want you here

  • Fundiswa - 2012-04-19 22:41

    did the documentary dude just say 'my chum was not as bad as your chum therefore it wasn't me.' UNBELIEVABLE !

      Peter - 2012-04-20 09:37

      Fundiswa ---- completely missed that!!! You are right off course!

  • Davon - 2012-04-19 22:43

    Why is it that people that have something to hide always tend to transfer blame. Why not just take responsibility for your actions, admit what you have done is wrong and move on with your life, the world would be a much better place. My most humble condolences to the family and friends of david, may your young soul rest in piece.

  • Brian.Irlam - 2012-04-19 22:58

    It is the cause of the cage diving and such activities of persons such as the producers of Shark men that have brought these sharks closer too shore instead of their natural feeding grounds around seal island.The cent of the drifting chum as it is washed and moved by the current flow around false bay and blown by the wind will cause them to follow the trial and attack anything that looks remotely like a seal in the water (as a body boarder or surfer would) as we know from research.Mr Chris Fischer and the shark cage diving activities have caused the increase of shark activity in our waters.This is not a one off or absolutely normal phenomenon it is increasing at an alarming rate. The attack is not totally unnatural or unexpected however it is enhanced by chumming activities which cannot be determined by experts as the path of a bullet fired from a gun is a not a given cannot be controlled or guided. But someone has to pull the trigger,and this is what Chris Fischer did,(He pulled the trigger or caused it to be pulled) without being able to control the consequences, and this is what chumming in False Bay does now there are stray bullets flying around the bay and the sharks become like a Pacman. Condolences to the family.

  • Bryan - 2012-04-19 23:23

    To the best of my knowledge of all the shark attacks in SA waters over the years, not a single attack has been attributed to chumming or cage diving. Are we not pointing our fingers at a practice that has not been proved to be responsible for these events. Let's not jump the gun and wait for more conclusive evidence.

      sglaister - 2012-04-20 00:38

      Ok Byron, how about looking back over the last 50 years and see how many shark attacks happened before shark cage diving and chumming. I stay in false bay and we starting to average on 1 fatal attack a year. I think that you either some how connected to these activities or completely stupid to think that they are not related.

      Shaylene - 2012-04-20 08:50

      Have people not thought that sharks are coming closer to the sea shore as their food sources are running out do to humans? Hence attacks are becoming more common?

      Bryan - 2012-04-20 09:32

      Sqlaister. False bay is the ancestral home of great whites in SA and is internationally recognized as the primary place to study them. What can you my "less than intelligent friend" expect when you venture into their territory in a black suit on a board with fins on. There are more great whites in False bay than what you have brain cells friend. Let's all dress up in seal suits and go for a swim and I guarantee these predators will line for the feast. PS. There is 10 times more processed fish ofal "chum" being washed off the quay and boats daily in Kalk bay. Yet these "whites" are not a problem there and they surf there as well without incident.

  • Robi - 2012-04-19 23:35

    if chum really did attract the shark close to shore, of which the chances are very high, then Fischer is to blame, and Boyd is an accomplice, he definitely didn't do his job when he issued the license in the first place...

  • Amanda Barratt - 2012-04-20 00:04

    Dirk Schmit's credentials: this is a man who makes his money running a game farm that encourages visitors to hunt wildlife on it. he is no conservationist. Sorry for the loss of life but sharks can/ may bite. get over it. they're in bigger danger from us.

  • Rouen - 2012-04-20 01:24

    Great Whites do not need chum to get close to shore. In the Garden Route you regularly see them in the break from the beach in Hartenbos and Diaz. Not even to mention Muizenberg and Vishoek. Some geniuses say their natural hunting ground is close to Seal Island. Get your facts straight. Great White are known to travel across oceans(they know this due to tagging and RESEARCH mind you) so the definitly don`t feed just near Seal Island. You get GW`s all along the coast not just their "natural feeding ground" of Seal Island. Hell, you get them 30 nautical miles off shore from Cape Point. By chumming you only attract something that is already there. He surfed in a shark hot-spot he paid the price simple as that.

      Gungets - 2012-04-20 05:32

      Their main food source is around Seal Island. The incidence of GWs is many times higher at Seal island than anywhere else in False Bay. Certainly they migrate, absolutely - research has shown this. Not one of those previous research efforts has seen necessary to chum the ocean close to shore to get the evidence. No credible researcher changes the behaviour of animals to get the evidence he needs. Fischer is a film maker, not a researcher - read up a little on him. When was the last shark attack at this location, or close to it. Shark hotspot????

  • Gemma-Leigh - 2012-04-20 05:47

    This is absolutely horrific!!! I can't help but agree with everyones accusations...if there is a need for the use of chum that can only mean you're drawing them away from where they are and tempting them closer to shores where innocent humans get killed. Sharks are not puppies!!! They are dangerous predators!!! Don't play with them, that's asking for trouble. My condolences to the loss of such a young life!! If people want to do documentaries...go use yourself as bait in the middle of nowhere not along the coastline!!!

  • Christo - 2012-04-20 06:05

    35000 kids have seen Kony's face up close. Unfortunately the injustices they experienced didn't stop there. #CompassionCoup

      Liz - 2012-04-20 09:02

      Please show some respect for the person who was killed and go spew your spam elsewhere.

  • Virginia - 2012-04-20 07:48

    Boyd and Fischer stand up and take the blame!!! Boyd you constantly issue permits and Fischer - were you chumming or not??????????????? Yes you were whether or not it was 1 cup less or 1 cup more than the "standard" amt. Stop this insanity and also stand up and take responsibility!!! Stop being so weak and also sooo greedy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jano - 2012-04-20 08:52

    In the Kruger Park you have designated areas where you can get out of your car and don't have fencing around. If you dump a lot of blood and meat close to those resting camps you will have a situation where people and lion encounters are en evadable. The same with sharks and swimming beaches.

  • Karen - 2012-04-20 09:06

    As the mother of a young boy who was attacked by a shark thanks to chumming by fisherman on a main swimming beach, I can say that it is totally unreasonable to blame one film crew when there is "shark cage diving" as a tourist attraction in the false bay area on a regular basis! NOBODY should be chumming at all!

  • wendyhaagbernhard - 2012-04-20 10:06

    More sharks are killed by humans in a day than humans are by sharks in a decade.

  • Bryan - 2012-04-20 10:43

    Every single day of the year 1000's of surfers and body boarders enter popular beaches and surf spots all along the 3000Km of SA's coastline. Everyone of them knows the risk they take in doing so. They all accept that risk as well. Everyone of them will have to go beyond they surf line in order to get their thrill and in doing so automatically become a target. I recall a scene from a Leon Schuster movie with an actor walking through the bush carrying a dead springbok on his back. Any guesses as to what happens next. You can't tke the "whites" out of the water and you can't keep the surfers out either. If you swim with a predator then expect to be predated on.

      colinvandongen - 2012-04-21 23:48

      Yes Bryan, your statement is correct. I almost was attacked by a Great White on the Transkei a few years ago. Myself and a friends were incredible lucky to escape with our lives. It is a risk we take. BUT... you cant ignore the effects of chumming and cage diving which has been clearly impacting the situation. These guys are messing with BIG BIG Predators, chumming the water and this does play a big part in these attacks. Surely this needs to be stopped.

      Bryan - 2012-04-22 02:04

      Thank you colinvandongen. I myself do not share their waters in any way but I do have a very good understanding of the principals of nature. As far as chumming is concerned perhaps we should take cognissance of the fact that all known shark attacks over the years happened without any chumming at all. Chumming in False Bay is always done several miles offshore to attract the sharks there,thereby reducing the numbers of sharks in inshore areas and the associated risks attached. Great whites and indeed all the recognized maneaters have 1 common habit. They are notoriously inquisitive and this is why not all encounters end in tragedy. You would have experienced this at first hand. There are many more documented cases of people testifying to being bumped in the water than being bitten. It is all a case of what you were doing at the time. Getting back to chumming, I need not mention the fact that there is a well established fishing harbour at both Gordons and Kalk bay who daily dipose of fish entrails by the ton never mind the crews doing the same on board while heading back to harbour. Surfing has for years been done right in front of the harbour mouth without any known incidents. The opportunistic and inquisitive nature of sharks is high on the list of research projects and can only be achieved when in their company and in their territory. We would be much better of with a better understanding of them.

  • samtheboer - 2012-04-20 11:00

    Wow, once again the media refuses to do it's job properly and give all the facts. Fischer was chumming around Seal Island, which is on the other side of False Bay, more than 3 days before the attack. I understand that it is an emotional issue and my condolences to the family, but trying to milk the emotion by willfully omitting important information is just reckless and bad journalism.

  • ZanmarĂ­ - 2012-04-20 11:18

    Too little too late

  • ZanmarĂ­ - 2012-04-20 11:19

    Too little too late...

  • Richard - 2012-04-20 13:08

    I loved going out in my canoe at Gordon's Bay and just paddling around. Remind me to go to the movies instead. Whatever anybody says, it is a fact that there have been several shark attacks in False Bay in the past 12 months and before that nobody ever heard of shark attacks in the Cape or in SA for that matter with only the very isolated case spreading over many years. Is this pure bad luck. I do not think so. Something is drawing the sharks to humans.

  • Jacqui - 2012-04-20 13:25

    Feeding sharks for what ever reason should be banned.

  • Annette - 2012-04-20 17:50

    all i know is dont interfere with nature,something will go wrong as everyone has just learnt, there should have been a warning to all surfers and swimmers and bodyboarders about the chumming so that those waters were avoided at least or just simply dont chum unless you in the deep part of the sea well away from swimming beaches

  • Paul - 2012-04-20 18:39

    i feel for the family and especialy for the brother to have witness such a tradjic passing of his sibling and i would suggest to one and all that there will be a time for blame i think now is a time of condolences and respect for family and friends

  • Michiel - 2012-04-20 22:48

    Yuo cannot protect humans from there own stupidity.. Look at Timothy Treadwell and what happened to him. as an example. If people swim with sharks they die and that is a fact. Please do not try to dance around this with pathetic and stupid justifications and arguments. The facts speak for themselves. Nature does not waste time with morons..

  • colinvandongen - 2012-04-21 23:43

    I have seen the effects of chumming personally off Protea banks. I have surfed in this area my whole life, and I couldn't believe how chumming has effected this area! They have since banned it, and according to Anton Gets (Commander ski boat club) > the numbers have dropped significantly and this has also benefited the fishing community. People have been arguing this situation for the last 5+ years. Nothing has happened and Cage diving has just become way more popular. I believe Chumming and Cage Diving has an affect on these attacks. Please calculate the loss in tourism for people not wanting to swim in our waters off South Africa at all vs potential cage diving income. How is this benefiting anyone other than the people that are running these boats? This is disgraceful that firstly people were allowed to mess with the ocean as they have, and that they released these permits. When something happens "everyone" puts up their hands up and then they underestimate their involvement in the situation. Surely if anything is linked to a potential attack or changing a huge predators territorial habits it should be stopped! BAN CAGE DIVING! BAN CHUMMING! DON'T SUPPORT PEOPLE OR COMPANIES THAT DO! RIP David :(

  • Nathaniel - 2012-04-24 16:00

    So it's safe to say everyone knows about the chumming. Doesn't matter if it was some "research" team or cage divers, it is happening on a regular basis. Common knowledge, couple that with the fact that big sharks are known man eaters and you are literally taking your life into your own hands when entering the water. Basically you step off the beach and into the food chain...don't like it? Stay on shore. I'm not saying it's right but it is what it is.

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