Shark tourism
Shark tourism is a form of ecotourism
Ecotourism is a form of tourism visiting fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas, intended as a low impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial tourism...

 rooted in having communities appreciate that local shark
Sharks are a type of fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton and a highly streamlined body. The earliest known sharks date from more than 420 million years ago....

 species are more valuable alive than dead. Instead of opting for a one time economic benefit of harvesting sharks for their body parts, communities are made to assist interested tourists who may want to see live sharks. Many divers and people are starting to also form into interest groups such as the iDive Sharks Network that aims to celebrate and promote safe and responsible shark diving activities.

Shark tourism is divided into 4 main branches. Viz:
1.Great White shark
Great white shark
The great white shark, scientific name Carcharodon carcharias, also known as the great white, white pointer, white shark, or white death, is a large lamniform shark found in coastal surface waters in all major oceans. It is known for its size, with the largest individuals known to have approached...

s - surface viewing in cages mainly.
Tiger shark
The tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier, is a species of requiem shark and the only member of the genus Galeocerdo. Commonly known as sea tigers, tiger sharks are relatively large macropredators, capable of attaining a length of over . It is found in many tropical and temperate waters, and is...

, Bulls
Bull shark
The bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas, also known as Zambezi shark or unofficially known as Zambi in Africa and Nicaragua shark in Nicaragua, is a shark common worldwide in warm, shallow waters along coasts and in rivers...

 and other less harmful [but potentially dangerous]sharks - in open - offshore water and referred to as Pelagic diving.
3. Ragged Tooth / Sand Tiger / Grey Nurse sharks who tend to congregate at certain reefs at certain times of the year.
4. Basking and Whale sharks - Harmless plankton feeders.

Great White viewing is popular in Australia,South Africa, off Mexico at Isla Guadalupe, and New Zealand - where Great White sharks are viewed using shark cages to keep the diver safe.
The industry was founded in the 70s by pioneer Australian diver and Great White victim Rodney Fox in south Australia, and he was the sole operator until the South African industry was founded in early 1989 by Pieter van der Walt. He was joined shortly thereafter by pioneer diver and underwater photographer George Askew who handled promotions and put South African cage diving "on the map" with the publicity he got - until they split in Jan 1992, after they together with famous Australian divers Ron and Val Taylor did the worlds 1st dive amongst Great White sharks without a cage. A huge milestone in diving.

The Bahamas is a favourite region for Category 2 sharks.
While divers in the Bahamas experience Reef Sharks and Tiger Sharks while they are hand-fed. Isla Guadalupe located in Mexico has been named a Bio-Sphere Reserve in an effort to control the shark diving activities there. Although the practice of shark diving proves to be controversial, it has been proven very effective in attracting tourists. Whale Sharks, while not traditionally harvested for their fins but are sometimes harvested for their meat, have also benefited from Shark Tourism because of snorkelers getting into the water with the gentle giants.

All manner of Reef Shark species are prevalent at the many shark feeding dives within the Pacific Region. Grey Reef sharks are the main diners in places such as the Great Barrier Reef, Micronesia and Tahiti. Silvertips and Black Tips Reef Sharks tend to be more seen around the PNG coastlines. Bull Sharks around Mexico, Playa del Carmen in particular.

Passive and active forms of shark tourism are believed to conserve the species by generating commercial value to their lives in the natural world.
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