Cage Diving and the Risks of No Regulation

Last week, a diver in a cage diving operation had a close encounter with a white shark; the article brings up some very good points about regulation, or lack thereof, in the shark cage diving industry in New Zealand. Even more concerning is the lack of urgency in codifying standards and practices within the industry to prevent injury to both people partaking and the sharks. 
 
We feel it is important to emphasise that the cage diving industry, although it is still under relevant legislation in relation to dive charter regulations, OSH, and the Wildlife Act, is still largely unregulated due to the lack of industry-specific regulations necessary to minimise risk and injury in cage diving excursions. Without public pressure to act, operators and Maritime New Zealand have left this responsibility on the back burner. Unfortunately it is common practice to issue legislation after a serious injury or incident; however, if we can contact Ross Henderson, the Maritime New Zealand spokesman, and encourage him to actively pursue discussions and consensus on safety regulations in the cage diving industry, perhaps we can protect the lives of people and sharks before a tragedy occurs.
 
Your voice in this matter is imperative. Please contact Ross Henderson by phone at 04 494 1221 and by email at ross.henderson@maritimenz.govt.nz to encourage him to act now on defining legislation for cage diving operations in New Zealand.
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