No Shark Dives Here, Say Oahu Residents

Travel Blog  •  Pam Mandel  •  04.30.09 | 10:39 AM ET

There are a handful of critters I hope never to get all that close to. Sharks are on the top of that list; I’d rather share my time in the water with occupants that don’t potentially see me as food. But plenty of tourists are more than willing to shell out $120 (give or take) to get in the water with the thing I so fear, “secure cage” or no.

Shark tours were recently in the news on Oahu because a new operator wanted to start offering them out of Maunalua Bay, off Oahu, angering locals and some divers, too. 

What’s the problem? From the East Oahu Sun: “Randy Honebrink, DLNR, shared his primary concerns with shark feeding. ‘One, it is very dangerous for people in the water when sharks are conditioned to associate people with food. Two, there is an ecological impact on the environment. It is the second that most seem to overlook,’ says Honebrink. ‘The state’s position is that we are opposed, that’s all there is to it.’”

The activities hawkers along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki are happy to take your money and book you on a North Shore shark excursion—tours are still running from that side of the island. Get your adrenaline hit while you can, a state-wide ban is on the table and who knows how much longer you’ll be able to experience what people tell me is “the most thrilling experience of my life.”

Yeah, you have fun with that. I’ll stay off the menu, thanks.

Pam Mandel is a freelance writer and photographer from Seattle, Washington. Her work has appeared in a variety of print, radio, and web publications and she's contributed to two guidebooks, one on British Columbia and one on Hawaii. She plays the ukulele, has an internal beacon that is surprisingly capable of locating the best baked goods in town, almost any town, and speaks German with a Styrian accent. Learn more on her personal blog at Nerd's Eye View.

1 Comment for No Shark Dives Here, Say Oahu Residents

Jenna Schnuer 04.30.09 | 4:26 PM ET

While I would love to see sharks in their natural environment, I hate this kind of tourism. It plays fast and loose with nature. Thanks for posting about it. I hope the state ban goes through…

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