Shark filmmaker gets permit back

2012-05-04 22:01

Cape Town - National Geographic documentary maker Chris Fischer and other scientists have been re-issued research permits following the death of a bodyboarder in Cape Town, the environmental affairs department said on Friday.

Spokesperson Zolile Nqayi said the permits were given on condition that the Ocearch vessel limit itself to Gansbaai and False Bay, and tag six sharks at most per area.

He said the permits would be valid until the end of May or when 12 sharks had been tagged.

The department cancelled the permits following the death of David Lilienfeld in Kogel Bay in April.

Lilienfeld, an SA bodyboarding team member, was at a popular surfing area, Caves, with his brother around noon when a great white shark attacked him. There was a public uproar following the attack with many blaming Fischer's activities for attracting sharks to the bay.

Environmental affairs investigated the attack and announced there was no link.

"Over the following 10 days further information, including that of the movements of the tagged animals, strengthened this position," Ngqayi said.

"A strong case was put forward regarding the benefits of this work, not only for understanding and conserving sharks better, but also for in future being able to provide for public safety [like] close to real time advice on risk areas for potential shark attacks."

The Ocearch vessel was allowed back into Gansbaai waters on Friday and would move to False Bay on May 14.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-05-04 22:35

    Shark Men, we can't wait for you to go home.

      Sechaba30 - 2012-05-05 00:27

      You hate scientists?

      Chris - 2012-05-05 01:35

      You don't need to be a scientist to work out how sharks will behave when you start throwing blood in the water.

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-05 01:59

      In the National Geographic insert it says they consist of Chris Fischer and a group of anglers and they're filming a tv show.

      Nayrb - 2012-05-05 04:33

      Why ? They are doing research work. In what way does them being in S Africa affect you ?

      Jason - 2012-05-05 05:28

      @Nayrb - I think Adil comments come from that deadly shark that occured the week the documentary was started. The previous shark attack was 15 years before that one and there wasn't a death involved. Coincidence , who knows but best stay out of the water in my opinion.

      Gungets - 2012-05-05 07:00

      @Sechaba and Nayrb - please can you post the links to the scientific research papers published by "Shark Men" and their "researchers". You will get bonus points if the papers are peer reviewed. I am not talking about 1/2 hour TV segments, it need to be real research. Until then, they are just fishermen taking advantage of a gullible TV crowd who will believe anything they see on television.

      Nayrb - 2012-05-05 07:16

      Gungets- the research is still underway,and ongoing.Its not just about a bunch of fisherman,maybe you should research a bit before responding to comments not directed at you.

      Gungets - 2012-05-05 07:23

      @Nayrb - this is Shark Men Season 3. How long before the research gets published. ANd if you post on News24 then everyone gets to respond. I HAVE researched this - there is not a single paper published by these fishermen, nor is any of their "information" made available to local agencies like the Sharks Board, NSRI or anyone else. You are the one that has made the research claim - right here. So back it up with the published research, or just admit that it does not exist.

      RES.AntiPollution - 2012-05-05 07:45

      I'm with you Adil. This last attack will up their ratings on TV I'm sure. Hiding greed behind science, easy thing to do especially in africa. We cant wait for you to go home.

      Nayrb - 2012-05-05 07:56

      Gungets - as I said the research is underway and ongoing , the authorities in your country issued them a Research Permit , not a recreational fishing licence - are you undermining their judgment regarding the nature of the permit.

      Gungets - 2012-05-05 09:06

      @Nayrb - I am ABSOLUTELY undermining their judgement in issuing the license. That is the whole point. Most of the people in charge of issuing licenses and controlling "research" such as this are political appointees who know jack about the issues at hand. Give them a 2 minute shot on TV and they would run naked over hot coals. Research ongoing for the 4th year now and nothing .. NOTHING .. published. It is just another sensationalist TV program to give voyeurs and vicarious viewers the chance to imaging themselves in someone else's position. In tha same way as most people watch F1 to see accidents, people watch this to get a 2nd hand shot of adrenalin. Think I am wrong - check the google stats for "shark attack" as opposed to "shark research". Check "F1 accidents" versus "F1 technical development". It's all schlock and the South African authorities have swallowed the bait as surely as the Great Whites will. It's a lot of bollocks. When I see a groundbrekaing research paper from them (something we don't already all know from legitimate research) then I will change my mind. Till then, nothing more to discuss.

      Ryan - 2012-05-05 09:49

      Gungets - 7 peer reviewed publications:

      Ryan - 2012-05-05 09:54

      90% of the 40 odd scientists involved in this project are based in South Africa. We are home????

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-05 10:19

      Jason and best to stop chumming following the Australian research that shows chumming causes sharks to stay in areas for significantly longer.

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-05 10:22

      Don't see why they should chum in False Bay when they're not allowed to do it near public beaches back home in the US

      Gungets - 2012-05-05 10:32

      @Ryan - thanks - have some weekend reading to do. I did note that many of those papers were published before Shark Men started so they are really the work of Dr Domeier and others, nothing to do with Shark Men. Some of them are also not sharks - i.e. Marlin. Nonetheless, your point is made and I have some reading. You obviously know a fair amount about this - are you on the team. Do you have the names of the 36 South African scientists involved and what their roles are? What is the objective of the research in False Bay. If this was published perhaps it would change perceptions. My perception is that of "Shark Men" and the overblown sensationalist TV that they turn out. If they are assisting real researchers, then lets have the info - it is the only good press you guys are going to get because Fischer is not going to get it for you.

      Gungets - 2012-05-05 10:52

      @Ryan - also noted that Michael Domeier is no longer with Shark Men. Noted falling out over his methods of tagging the sharks and the Shark Men method of catching them (often leaves them injured). I believe Shark Men have been forced to adapt their methods to try and avoid gravity damage to the sharks. If you are on the team, would really appreciate any reading you can point me to on the SA scientists work. Shark Men can be left out - still don't like the WWE nature of their methods.

      Ryan - 2012-05-05 11:21

      Gungets - you are looking at the total list of Dr. Domieiers publications. The most recent 7 (2012 publications) are directly from the Sharkmen project, you need to purchase the book from the site to read them. Here is a link to the public statement released by the 40 odd scientists involved in this project.

      amanda.p.barratt - 2012-05-05 11:32

      On the chumming note, everytime you flush your toilet (if it's on waterborne sewage) you are inadvertently chumming the sea. Human activity is now a huge contributor to other species adapting their behaviour. Simply linking this research going on solely to adaptive changes in shark behaviour is daft. Through our activities we ALL interact with marine life each day as we contribute to what now sits in the sea, in the form of waste so lets get over ourselves and enter the water at our own risk.

      Nayrb - 2012-05-05 11:38

      Thanks Ryan .

      Gungets - 2012-05-05 15:42

      @Ryan - thanks for the list and (not for the first time) I will eat humble pie, based on the fact that a friend of mine is on the list. I should have checked with him on the phone - he is terrible with email and has not answered my questions. Fischer is still not your best publicist and his TV series is something I cannot watch due to the sensation they try and create around the actual capture of the sharks and scant (if any) real information imparted on shark behaviour. Nor do I enjoy the chumming, it changes the animals behaviour - whether that contributes to attackes or not - will leave that to the experts - at least one of which I know you have on board. Good luck with the research, we can agree on it's value when we see the results :-) I see you are the University of Pretoria - my daughter hopes to study Veterinary Sciences (1st Choice) or Biological Sciences there next year.

      Nayrb - 2012-05-05 16:35

      Gungets - next time you feel like shouting your mouth off , and responding to a question that was not directed at you, please do the necessary spade work -ie Research. Some of us do have conservation and preservation at heart.

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-05 17:42

      Interesting opinions in today's Argus front-page article. Both shark specialist and cage-diving operator noticing that the sharks moving away from Seal island and into False Bay.

      Gungets - 2012-05-06 08:50

      @Nayrb - how very gracious of you. I am not wrong about Shark Men. The publich nothing. I maintain my opinion - Shrk Men are fishermen - that they take researchers along is very generous, I believe Ryan will back me up when I say that the money to do the kind of research they are now doing is NEVER available, so getting this opportunity might be theonly scientific puropose that Sharkmen serve. It is an unintended consequence for them, fortunate for the researchers. You have actually contributed nothing to this discussion - so catching a ride on Ryans cogent argument just makes you a jockey, not an expert. If I want counter arguments I will accept them from Ryan and others that I know on the research team, not someone who is guessing. And if you had research and conservation at heart - you would have provided Ryans links, not a "research is ongoing" flatulent argument. And if you make comments on a public forum, expect a response. Fact of life.

      antionette.nel - 2012-05-06 09:35

      Humans get out of the water, us sharks was here first. Sharkmen are doing a great job. Us humans have destroyed so many species. Look at what is happening to our rhino's.

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-07 13:03

      In today's Cape Times p3 : the surfing community have requested an independent investigation into the re-instatement of the permits.

  • ndivho.ngadi - 2012-05-05 03:34

    peace yo!

  • Nicky van der Vlies - 2012-05-05 05:20

    so if everyone knows there is people makin a film or doin research or what ever about sharks then why would you want to go surf im happy there was a incident cos if you go in the water you might get bitten thats how it works when you enter another predators territory so if you go surf and loose a leg its youre own fault stop blaming other people

      Nayrb - 2012-05-05 05:59

      You are happy that there was an incident - a very shallow comment to make , it just reflects your disregard for human life .SICK

      smebeesley - 2012-05-05 09:24

      Not the brightest are you Nicky?

      Odicito - 2012-05-05 13:44

      Alicia, I dont agree with Nicky, but the sharks LOVE the ocean too. Infact, its their home...

  • cliff.slabbert - 2012-05-05 09:04

    Good - I cant wait to see the show Chris. We are all sad about David Lilienfeld's death but Chris Fischer is not the cause,give the guy a break.

  • Matthew - 2012-05-05 10:47

    You guys did take note of the comment about the evidence of the sharks that were tagged, and that their movements show that the filming was NOT linked to the attack? Also, so the last attack was 15 odd years ago? No it wasn't actually. Attacks have been reasonally consistent. Yes, 1st death in a long while, but it really does go with the territory afraid, and a risk we all take going into the ocean. Its a sad story, and many condolences, but I do feel we are, as South Africans, generally to easily manipulated by emotional headlines that media that distort the truth, allegations etc of racism is a very good example of something often being made something its not just to sell a story.

      Stirer - 2012-05-06 09:48

      Agreed. If you want to find someone or something to blame, then blame the seals. If you want to get rid of the Sharks to make it safe for humans, then the best way is to eliminate the main source of food - the seals (God forbid). When will everyone understand that humans are not normal shark food, if they were, there are plenty of beaches where sharks could feast,

  • Kruger - 2012-05-05 12:10

    RIP to the Body boarder!!! But attacks like this happen with or with out chumming,how many people die in motor racing each year? should we not stop putting fuel in our cars and motorcycles??? think not!!!

      Gungets - 2012-05-05 12:45

      Think of a better comparison. That one is just dof.

  • Adil Smit - 2012-05-05 12:54

    This is not about blame, it is about risk assessment - if what you're doing here(chumming) is frowned upon elsewhere, banned in some areas why push aheadwith it at all costs in False Bay,especially with the latest incident? Tv ratings that important. Where is the current filming going to be screened as National Graphic said they have not renewed their agreement?

      Bruce - 2012-05-05 14:22

      So now we ban the fishermen who make their livelihood in the Bay from chumming? Something they have doing for decades. Hundreds of kg of bait is chummed into FB every week by fishermen.

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-05 14:30

      Today's Argus has front-page article - interesting comments made by both local shark experts and cage-diving operator about why the sharks moving away from Seal island into False Bay .

  • Kruger - 2012-05-05 14:00

    Ok sorry Gungets dad a dof moment !! lol

  • Ryan - 2012-05-05 18:22

    Adil, here are the credentials of the "shark expert/professional hunter" Dr (in business management) Dirk. Yes I do use inverted commas for a justified reason. gotta watch out for those killer hippos, sly leopards and tough white rhino...

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-05 21:51

      Ryan, assume you are a member of the SHARK MEN team. Where human life is at risk (and was lost) it's better to proceed with caution , rather than with arrogance. You are from Nieu-Seeland and some of your other colleagues from the US, in other words you are guests in the Western Cape. The victim of the shark attack and his family are well- loved here and elsewhere - try and take that on board. Please keep the safety of the locals in mind and issue clear, visible warnings on the days that you are going to chum near public beaches. I gather you have read today's Argus - pay attention to public opinion. And I hope your methods of luring the sharks, for hours, tiring them out,hooking, tagging them is not causing the sharks the amount of distress the author seems to think it is. It sounds disturbing.

      Stirer - 2012-05-06 09:55

      Ryan, people are generally afraid of things they don't understand, and are quick to put the blame on people/animals/actions that they don't understand. If the scientists had been chumming the water within a hundred meters or so of the attack, there just might be some merit; but they were several kilometers away and several days before the attack. The reaction has been plain knee-jerk and illogical.

      richard.lowndes1 - 2012-05-06 10:45

      Are you sure that this is the same Schmidt? Cannot link this one with the shark book author?

      Ryan - 2012-05-06 11:00

      Richard - 100% sure, Dirk has taken down his primary business page last week ( so that he does not look like the hypocrite that he is. Just google - Dirk Schmidt professional hunter and all his business deals will all come up. So if anyone wants to go kill some white Rhino with a bow, Dr. Schmidt is your man

      Adil Smit - 2012-05-06 22:43

      Again, Ryan please inform the public of where and when you will be filming the show( and chumming ) in False Bay. It's the least Shark Men can do.

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