Friday, July 24, 2009

Hawaii shark diving - Strange twist

Strange news coming from Hawaii and the battle over commercial shark diving. The announcement of a new shark show featuring Hawaii Shark Diving.

Is this new shark series the right time to feature out-of-cage encounters with sharks given the shear amount of negative press being levied against operators here?

"Hell's Kitchen" producer A. Smith and Co. is swimming with sharks for its next series.

The company is developing the project "Shark Boat," which revolves around the only company in America that allows people to free dive with sharks.

Docu-series is set inside Hawaii Shark Encounters, run by world-class free diver Stefanie Brendl. Show will focus on the struggles that Brendl and her staff face as they attempt to stay in business following the death of her boyfriend and business partner.

Brendl and Jimmy Hall launched Hawaii Shark Encounters in 2002; Hall, a Discovery Channel personality, died in May 2007 after a base jumping accident.

Show would follow Brendl as she takes divers outside of the cage to swim with sharks, as well as the interaction among her staff.

Hawaii Shark Encounters (which operates at least three miles off Hawaii shores) and another company have received scrutiny from some Hawaii lawmakers, who have expressed concern that the companies feed the sharks in order to attract them -- something the companies have denied.

According to the Honolulu Advertiser, a recent study by Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology researchers also said the shark-cage dive tours pose little risk to public safety.

A. Smith founder Arthur Smith will exec produce with Kent Weed; Frank Sinton is also an EP. A. Smith's other credits include "Kitchen Nightmares" and "I Survived a Japanese Game Show," as well as next month's "Crash Course."

Complete Post


TheDorsalFin said...

I always wanted to be on a reality tv show. Are they casting for a dashing, good-looking guy loaded with charm (and modesty, of course) who the audience falls in love with? If so, where do I sign up?

P.S. I remember reading about Jimmy's accident not too long after seeing the story and images of him swimming with the big beauty that randomly showed up on one there cage dives. Seemed like he lived life to the fullest. It's shame that his life was taking so early.

Shark Diver said...

Cannot agree more DF. Jimmy Hall was an absolute original in the industry and will be missed.

But...the timing of a new show that features out of cage dives against a backdrop of pitchforks and flaming torches anti-shark diving sentiment in Hawaii is ill advised.

Nothing good can come out of this announcement.