Friday, August 7, 2009

Hawaii - "We want to stop it before it occurs"

The island of Maui voted unanimously to recommend passage of a bill banning all island shark tour businesses this week.

The catch? Maui has no shark tour businesses.

In the ongoing saga of rampant, unchecked, anti-shark diving sentiment in Oahu, Maui will completely ban the activity preemptively sometime this month.

For the global shark diving industry this is another "nail in the coffin" to regional efforts, setting another ugly anti-shark diving precedent.

Despite this blogs calls for industry help and leadership, giving full time coverage of the issues, not much has been done to stem the inevitable steam roller effect of shark diving bans now slated for Oahu's two existing operations.

Already NOAA has instituted a 160' distance regulation for white shark tours at the Farallones and Isla Guadalupe's ban on chumming is still in effect for a second season.

Does anyone see the problem here?

WAILUKU - The County Council Economic Development, Agriculture and Recreation Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to recommend passage of a bill banning shark tour businesses in Maui County.

Council members said feeding sharks for entertainment was offensive to Native Hawaiians, and expressed concern the practice could change sharks' natural behavior. They said they planned to pass the ban before any shark tour businesses could open on Maui like some have on Oahu.

"We want to stop it before it occurs," said Council Member Wayne Nishiki, who introduced the measure.

The bill is expected to come before the full Maui County Council for first reading on Aug. 25.

While the county government doesn't have any authority over activities that happen off-shore, the bill would regulate the business side of shark tours, prohibiting any business that charges customers to enter the ocean to feed or attract sharks for viewing from operating within Maui County.

Committee members voted 5-0 to endorse the ban.


Alexgander said...

I chanced upon to view your blog and found it very interesting. Great ... Keep it up!

Sheralyn said...

I enjoyed your article!

It must be a heck of an adrenaline rush to go diving with sharks! I'm not sure I'd be able to muster up the courage to try it though!

Unknown said...

bringing attention to this issue. Changing the behavior of top predators like sharks for the sake of entertainment and a few bucks should be illegal. Its very similar to feeding bears in National Parks for the sake of tourists thrills. A bad idea based on short time greed and selfishness. Again thanks for posting.

Unknown said...

Thanks for bringing attention to this issue. changing the behavior and feeding patterns of top predators like sharks is bad for the ecosystem and show disrespect in many cultures. Do we feed bears in national Parks so we can watch them. No. Short term greed and cheap thrills should not win out over respectful and responsible care for our oceans. Again thanks for posting this.