Shark Shank - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

May 18, 2009

Shark Shank

Apparently, there is no scientific evidence to suggest a risk to public safety with shark-cage diving tours.  That's what one local expert testimony suggested the other day.  Really?  Why would anyone attempt to lure these magnificent creatures with bloody bait?  Simple, for the money, for the adrenaline rush, for the experience.

But does that make it wise?  Does that make it a worthwhile endeavor?  Operators suggest they don't feed the sharks; well, except for the food that is used to attract the predators.  I guess that's not feeding since there is no appetizer or dessert served with the meal.  Sure, let's tease the sharks and Mother Nature.  We have keen insight as to how they will always respond, don't we?  They won't come closer to shore; they won't get used to the sound of boats as a sign of food coming-  they'll be able to discern between thrill-seeking tourists and casual boaters and the occasional swimmer; yes, they are that smart- amazing.

According to one expert, when sharks at diving sites were tagged over a two- year period, there was only a "minor presence" in areas near to the shoreline.  Well, it might not be so minor if you happened to be out in the water that day, now would it?  Supporters suggest that closer-to-shore activities have not caused more incidents with sharks, so these caged encounters shouldn't be a problem; and hey, what's a little bait or chum amongst friends?  Some see sharks as 'aumakua- benevolent spirits or family protectors.  Let's leave these gliding gladiators of the sea alone.  Think about it...