When chumming becomes illegal, shark tourism operators often find themselves in a tough battle for legitimacy:
A debate that has churned in waters off Oahu's North Shore headed to court today.
Five men are charged with shark feeding.
Opponents of shark tour operations on Oahu's North Shore claim the practice endangers lives.
"We're all surfers, canoe paddlers, and it's a big public safety issue. And it's not because we're anti-business, if they want to conduct their business, then do it legally and stop feeding the sharks," Mahina Chillingworth of Hui O Hee Nalu.
"The shark tours pose no threat to humans, no threat to the sharks. What we have here is a form of eco-tourism which has really been a boon to the state," said attorney Tom Bush.
A handful of shark feeding opponents were at the Wahiawa courthouse to make sure their message was heard.
"We have thousands of signatures from people on the north shore community that oppose this shark feeding," said Chillingworth.
"There is absolutely not one shred of any evidence to show that these shark tours are not in any way , shape, or form endangering anyone," said Bush.