Stuart Cove’s business has taken a dive since the story of a young girl killed by sharks in waters near Rose Island on June 26 became viral news worldwide, the company’s owner Stuart Cove told Guardian Business yesterday.
Cove said he is hoping the world and the government do not have a knee-jerk reaction to the unfortunate incident.
According to Cove, his shark interactions, which account for 40 percent of his business, has received cancellations “left, right and center” as a result of the shark attack.
“We are having people cancel and it is bad for The Bahamas,” he said.
A day after Jordan Lindsey was killed in the shark attack, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources issued a public advisory for swimmers on New Providence.
“The public is advised to exercise extreme caution in and around the waters of New Providence, adjacent islands and cays, in particular, the areas of the northern shoreline of New Providence, the northeastern shoreline of Paradise Island, Rose Island and along the Montagu Foreshore,” the ministry’s statement said.
Cove said people have wrongfully pointed a finger at his company as having exacerbated the problem of shark encounters through feeding, but he said his shark excursions happen 30 miles away from where Lindsey was killed.
Cove added that there could be a number of reasons sharks frequent the area between the Montagu Foreshore and Rose Island, including the fish vendors at Montagu, the proliferation of turtles, which he said are a favorite food of tiger sharks; the feeding of yellowtail fish in the area, and the dumping of food around Rose Island, which attracts fish.
Cove said shark interactions have put The Bahamas on the map.
He explained that those interactions account for about 100 jobs within his organization.
Cove cautioned that people have to be aware of the heightened turtle activity near Rose Island, explaining that the turtles will attract the sharks that like to eat them. He added that there should also be no fish feeding.
“If you are feeding yellowtails it attracts bigger predators,” he said.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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