The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern


Chumming is a type of scent trail that that attracts fish, sharks, etc, to an area, or boat.  It may be man-made or natural (Lawrence).  There are advantages and disadvantages of chumming and the debate on this issue has continued to grow over the years. Advocates and critics continue to research the effects and effectiveness of this process.  Don’t forget chumming is a current issue, every day people chum with little to no regulation or laws preventing it.I think chumming is bad, and I am against it. It is unnatural, dangerous, and not real.First, chumming is done for all the wrong reasons (except, of course, research.)  The chumming of water is done to attract sharks so tourists can cage dive with them.  Sharks are not pets and feeding them on regular tourist schedules alters their natural feeding habits permanently.  One study shows that even after chumming was prohibited in the Bahamas, sharks still regularly gathered in chum spots.

Dealing with groups of sharks in water currently or previously chummed only increases risk of death or injury.  Sharks don’t associate humans with food but it has happened before, so why put yourself in that situation?  An arm or leg can be easily mistaken by a hungry shark.  A recent champion bodyboarder was killed by a massive great white off the coast of Cape Town.  Some say the chumming in the vicinity over the past year was the cause of such a large shark to attack the bodyboarder.

Chumming water to see sharks gather is not a real experience, it’s similar to a petting zoo where the sharks gather in a concentrated area to get fed while people gaze in awe at them. Randomly coming across a shark in its natural habitat interests me far more.

There are other alternatives to attracting sharks in open water without the use of chum.  An eco- friendly process has been introduced to attract sharks just as quickly using audio sound vibrations.  This process is unidirectional, instantaneous, and completely eco-friendly.

One group of surfers which are solely motivated to stop chumming and shark cage diving has done their research and published three truths about this issue at

Truth 1 – There has been an increasing trend in fatal Great White Shark attacks on humans in Cape waters since 1991.

Truth 2 – Shark Cage Diving with chum DOES change the behavior patterns of Great Whites. Truth 3-There is a definite correlation between feeding wild animals and an increase in attacks.

These truths simply add evidence to the damage and unnaturalness of chumming.  Sharks are mysterious and intelligent creatures in nature, why would anyone want to alter their natural behavior.

In summary, the continued evidence for and against this issue are countless.  The debate may never end on this issue.  People have different opinions and views and speak definitively on them.  A lot of evidence says shark behaviors are not influenced by chumming and other evidence says otherwise.  This issue has become political and more complicated than expected.

Ask yourself this question…what if you were a shark and you were taunted by touristy cage divers with pale, sun burnt skin while they took pictures of you… meanwhile you continued to bite at the food being swung around your head knowing that in the end you might not even be given any food? Does that sound like a pleasurable experience?  Does that sound like a real experience or an unnatural one?


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