Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hawaii Kai Residents Oppose Shark Tour Dives

A business that operates shark tour dives on the North Shore has decided to operate 3 miles offshore of Hawaii Kai, in Maunalua Bay, outside state waters. Residents are strongly opposed to the plan, and the fact that a local company would bait sharks for tourists in cages in waters used extensively by surfers, kayers, and canoeists.

Ann Marie Kirk, of the Ka Iwi Coalition, said, "It's just wrong for our waters -- we're close to Hanauma Bay, we're close to the Ka Iwi coastline. Of course we have surfers and paddlers. You have boats that are feeding sharks -- that's a dinner bell to the sharks, any boat is."

The owner of the vessel Snoopy V, scheduled to be used for the diving, says he's leasing the boat to business operator, Iolani Lewis. Lewis explained, "We basically want to start a deep-water ocean life tour outside Maunalua Bay. While sharks are the main attraction, we want to promote conservation and education."

Lewis continued, "We're still at least two months out before launching this. I hope to meet with community members to address their concerns about our planned operation. We're not there yet but we definitely plan to do this."

If you have strong opinions about allowing shark dive tours in our Hawaii Kai waters, contact your state senator or representative before plans are finalized.


Barbara Abe, Realtor

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