An oceanic white tip shark swims past biologist Wes Pratt inside a shark cage in the Bahamas.
An oceanic white tip shark swims past biologist Wes Pratt inside a shark cage in the Bahamas.

Shark tourism: Why we're not biting

SHARK tourism is worth $25.5 million annually to Australia but Gold Coast tourism heads aren't interested in it coming to the city.

Great white shark cage diving operators have salivated at the idea of setting up shop next to capital cities but say politicians are too afraid to give shark tourism ventures the green light.

Fears are based on controversial theories which suggest operators unwittingly condition the apex predators to attack people, according to Southern Cross University researcher Kirin Apps.

Gold Coast Tourism Chairman Paul Donovan said people interested in sharks could visit Sea World instead.

"I don't want shark tourism. Let someone else have it," Mr Donovan said.

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