Over the past decade the commercial shark diving industry has become a champion for sharks.
A full partner in the effort to educate a global populace and change the perceptions of these magnificent animals.
These efforts are worldwide and have happened in more ways and with more initiatives than you can count.
But today it is time to support our own industry and two commercial shark diving members with direct action and your voice.
For readers of this blog you'll note our two year coverage of the ongoing anti-shark diving disaster in Hawaii. A small group of politico's in Oahu have sought to destroy two well known and safe commercial cage diving operations there. By any means necessary. In terms of anti-industry time and effort one word comes to mind to characterise what's been happening on those islands, "unprecedented".
The anti-shark diving effort has culminated in two shark diving boats being burned and a host of allegations against these two companies that are not based in science fact, but designed to enrage a local and uneducated populace. For the most part these two operators have battled against mounting odds, and today are asking for help from the broader commercial shark diving community.
I have met both operators, and have been on their shark site three miles off the Oahu's coast with cages. These are safe, clean, professional shark diving operations that deserve our industries full support. These are not unseasoned fly by night operations. They represent the Pacific face of the commercial shark diving industry.
If our industry could take one tenth of the effort it mounts on a daily basis to save sharks, to help save these two operations, we would be a better industry for it, because what gets decided in Hawaii can be recreated elsewhere, and not every sovereign nation or state wants or desires commercial shark diving in their waters.
Our industry has proven over the past two decades without a doubt that job creation, conservation efforts, public outreach and education are the intended by products of what we do commercially with sharks - each and every day.
The Bahamas $78 million dollar shark diving success story is but one example.
It is time that industry members circle the wagons and come to the aid of those in Hawaii who would seek to carry on that tradition, in face of a tiny minority who's backwards views and political agendas would seek to destroy the best and the brightest in the region.
One email today can and will make a difference for commercial shark diving worldwide and the folks in Hawaii who need your help. Let's take care of our industry this week, and start by sending in an email of support to:
Please detail in 200 words or less why commercial shark diving should be preserved on Oahu's North Shore. Feel free to cite current industry trends, success stories, personal shark diving anecdotes and or images.
Patric Douglas CEO