Friday, October 25, 2013

Fishermen and whale sharks peacefully coexist in Cenderawasih Bay, Indonesia...but for how long?

Whale shark at Cenderawasih Bay - Shark Bay Films
The filmmakers at Shark Bay Film take a look at the unique bond that exist between whale sharks and Indonesian fisherman who peacefully coexist in one of the remotest bays on the planet, Cenderawasih Bay.

Local fisherman use pontoon boats to fish for small silvery bait fish known as ikan puri which they then dry in the sun.  Any excess fish caught is then fed to area whale sharks which cue up near the boats to share in the catch.  The fishermen feed the whale sharks morsels throughout the day in order to keep them around as they consider them to be good luck.  But will this harmonious existence be able to continue?

The film contends that this relationship opens up the whale sharks to threats from commercial shark finning  due to shark's conditioning of approaching fishermen and staying near fishing vessels.

The film does not suggest that there is any imminent threat but it does shed light that the whale sharks may someday need protections in place to ensure their contiual survival.

This is a stunningly beautiful five minute video and we highly recommend taking the time to view it.  The video was posted on Vimeo by Shark Bay Flims