By Carly Brumgardener, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017

Great white sharks may be the biggest, scariest, apex predator in the world, but are they really out to eat people… I mean get people? Marine Dynamics cage diving business located only in Gansbaai, South Africa doesn’t think so. Sharks, and in particular Great White sharks are more curious than anything else. Although there is chum, a seal decoy, salmon heads, and fish oils, cage diving has little effect on the safety of humans on the surrounding beaches. There hasn’t ever been an attack in the area of Gansbaai. As a matter of fact, Marine Dynamics brings in thousands of visitors each year including Discovery and National Geographic for ecotourism, and conditioning association has little effect on the Great Whites.

What actually happens is there is reverse conditioning which is when the Great Whites do not come to the boats and are not affected by the constant access human have to close bay waters. Great Whites are always patrolling, forging, and hunting around the area to begin with. Similarly, cave diving has always been a great place to experience cage diving adventures, the second best to be exact. Local people definitely benefit from the tourist’s coming in. There were a total of six workers alone on our boat for our three hour adventure, including a marine biologist, a young girl training, a photographer and videographer and the baiters. My experience was great with these lovely, curious, beautiful, nonviolent creatures. When someone refers sharks to jaws and thinks of these Great White’s as terrifying creatures just remember more toasters kill people each year on average than sharks do.