STAKEHOLDERS SHARK CONCLAVE REPORT UNIVERSITY OF THE BAHAMAS THURSDAY JULY 4TH, 2019
Summer interrupted! The Bahamas was thrust into the media spotlight as a result of recent shark attacks and sadly, we lost a life.
As the agency concerned with Visitor Experiences & Tours, the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) convened a conclave of private sector stakeholders comprised of dive operators, marina and sport fishing experts, private island tourist businesses, scientists, NGOs and Govt., Agencies concerned with fisheries, tourism and standards.
In the week preceding the conclave, TDC conducted extensive outreach into the water sports community to gain insight into what the contributing factors were and how best we could mitigate against it happening again. Leaders of the industry maintained they have run safe and controlled shark dive operations for 30 years, usually located 20 miles out and nowhere near any snorkeling sites.
The Bahamas enjoys the competitive edge and ourdive enterprise has generated enormous amounts of revenue for thepublic purse and it has welcomed thousands of celebrities from around the world. Truth be told, sharks are an endangered species and everyone who has participated in professional shark dives here in The Bahamas has been educated and become Ambassadors for the cause, committed to protecting the species.
This report provides a synopsis of the conversations prior to and during the meeting and concludes with recommendations.