Whether it's a beach resort, ocean-front restaurant, or a boat trip, it drives me crazy seeing those businesses provide products that are major enemies of the very environment that attracted their customers. When I confront the business owners on this matter the response usually falls into two categories: 1. They don't want to lose customers by not catering to conveniences they are accustomed to (like plastic straws and bottled water) or 2. The cost of doing the right thing will hurt their profit margin too much.
Actions speak louder than words. If customers observe behavior that contradicts inspiring words, the real message they go home with is, "It's OK not to do my part. That blaring alarm is for everyone else, not us.
Guests are not required to be vegan, they simply need to be willing to experience incredible food for a few days and leave their single-use plastics behind.
Yes, I realize sharks are not vegan. I realize one species of fish is used to attract a different species, so a perfect divorce from exploitation hasn't been achieved yet. But I'm not going to reject steps toward progress because perfection couldn't be achieved on the first try. Until we figure out how to observe sharks without using fish carcasses to attract them at least the humans on board can participate in a more responsible diet and learn ways to apply this to their daily lives back home. At least we can stop providing single use plastics for the sake of convenience and to meet the demands of the customers.
In the future ecotourism boats will universally stop catering to bad behavior and will instead lead by example...like they already should.
Join this trip!
Debra Canabal of Epic Diving in the WSV hoodie. Get yours!
About the Author
Skyler Thomas is the primary blog contributor, cinematographer, and lead editor at White Shark Video.