Many claim, including ourselves, to be the best or most conservation orientated in the shark cage diving industry, however the best yard stick for you is to let our previous clients and record of projects we have been involved in be a measure for you.
A checklist you may wish to consider when booking.
- Departure point of the trip. How far are you from your accommodation?
- What other activities are in the area? What can I do before or after the shark cage diving trip?
- Is this the high season for seeing great white sharks? Great Whites are seasonal animals.
- What will be the likely temperature and visibility in the water?
- Will it only be shark cage diving, or is there a reasonable chance to see breaching and natural predation as well?
- How many people will be on the boat with me? How personalised will the experience be?
- How many people will be in the cage with me? Once again, will it be a personalised experience?
- How experienced are the skipper and crew? What knowledge do they have of their subjects, and will I be given any educational material to read about the area?
- How ethically does the operator conduct itself in terms of the following:
- Whilst sharks do occasionally unavoidably steal bait, are the sharks intentionally fed? Does the crew purposefully or conveniently let the sharks take bait at any time?
- Are sharks pulled so close to the cages that they bash themselves on the cage or against the boat injuring themselves in the course?
- Does the operator chum, and if yes does he/she use shark livers that have been obtained through the killing of other sharks for the purpose of attracting great whites, or use other environmentally insensitive methods?
- With regards to safety, what are the weather limitations that the operator works under, and how safe and seaworthy is the vessel?
- What other wildlife do I have a reasonable chance of encountering on any given trip at the time of year I wish to book, and how knowledgeable is the crew in helping gain a better understanding of the species encountered?
- What has the operator done in terms of protecting the wildlife they work with? Many talk a good game and have lots of badges and affiliations but what have they actually done to help sharks/wildlife from being poached, harmed or exploited?
If you are allowing a booking agent/concierge or any other 3rd party to book your shark cage diving trip be sure that they ask these questions as many booking agents work purely on commission and some may book you with any company that offers a good kick back irrespective of the service provided.
The bottom line is this:
Make sure that the operator you choose can deliver on what your expectations and required ethics are when working with animals whilst being realistic as to the uncertainty that comes with any true wildlife adventure.