Hawaii sharks are sacred – unless you kill them


Quote of the month from a politician on Maui:

“Councilwoman Jo Anne Johnson says the bill is a sign of respect for native Hawaiians who consider sharks to be sacred.”

Far too many politicians in Hawaii have jumped on a recent fear-based, anti-shark diving campaign and begun regurgitating spoon fed and completely inane talking points to whoever will listen, revealing in the process how little they understand what goes on in the waters of Hawaii.

Councilwoman Jo Anne Johnson is a classic example of this.

Meanwhile the commercial shark-diving industry on Oahu and around the world is acutely aware of a loop hole that allows hundreds of thousands of sharks fin to be landed in Hawaii, dried and processed in Hawaii, and then shipped out of Hawaii to waiting consumers in Asia.

In most cases these “fresh overseas fins” are in fact taken just outside Hawaiian waters. In some cases within Hawaiian waters.

Hawaii sharks are sacred to Hawaiians according to the councilwoman – unless you want to capture them, cut the fins off live animals and then dump them into the pristine waters surrounding Hawaii.

That’s called business.

Let’s stop the outright hypocrisy. Sharks tourism is good for Hawaii, it does not cause shark attacks, and banning shark tourism is both shortsighted and harmful to Hawaii’s broader economy.

That is unless you happen to be in the shark fin business. The loopholes in that business are making a few non-native residents a killing these days… for as long as the sharks last that is.