Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hawaii Shark Diving - An Angry Mob

With the news coming out of Hawaii for existing commercial shark diving operations sounding grim, the old adage "a good offence" is "good advice".

Still buzzing from a failed commercial roll out last month, islanders and the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board will decide tonight on a resolution measure that will ask for the closure of all shark diving activities in Hawaii.

The same pitchforks and flaming torches anti-shark diving "resolutions" that forever closed commercial operations in Florida back in 2001. This is the most serious challenge to commercial shark diving seen in many years and operators need to move fast now to head off possible closures at the hands of those few who see commercial shark diving as negative. Chumming data from credible sources worldwide exists to counter many of the arguments, but this challenge will not be met in public meetings, the media will decide the fate of operations on these islands.

Food for thought - and a clarion cry for serious and lasting action:

The Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board will consider a resolution to support a
statewide ban on commercial shark tours during its meeting tonight.

The meeting begins at 7 at Hahaione Elementary School.

The resolution is in response to community opposition to a proposed shark
tour operation outside Maunalua Bay, and to questions raised about the
legality of existing shark tours on Oahu's North Shore.

State and federal laws currently prohibit feeding sharks within 200 miles of

More than 300 people attended a community meeting on the issue at Kamiloiki
Elementary on April 16. Opponents of shark tours said that sharks learn to
identify the sound of vessels that have chummed the water, that chumming
causes sharks to associate feeding with humans, and that sharks have been
observed to follow shark tour boats back toward shore.

The Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board resolution calls for "city and state
legislation to effectively ban commercial shark tours in Maunalua Bay and
throughout the state."

To close existing loopholes, the resolution also calls for legislation to:
"(1) prohibit use of public facilities such as parks, piers, ramps, and
harbors by shark tour operations; (2) prohibit advertising of commercial
shark tours in any print and electronic media; and, (3) prohibit commercial
use of shark cages or other devices designed to place humans in close
proximity to sharks or within shark habitats."

The public is invited to attend the meeting and offer testimony.

Complete Story