In what may be some good news to the ears of shark tour operators, the Honolulu Advertiser is reporting that a proposal to ban shark diving operations on O’ahu has been abandoned. The decision was made yesterday (October 7) by the Executive Matters and Legal Affairs Committee following a 7-1 vote against the bill, which was preceded by close to three hours of testimony from those both for and against the ban.
Opponents of shark diving operations suggest that the tours can create a hazard to the safety of the general public. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. According to the article, the committee was advised by attorneys that concrete evidence needed to be provided which supported the safety hazard claim. As of now, only anecdotal evidence exists, according to Todd Apo, council chairman.
The bill was proposed by Charles Djou, the chairman of the Executive Matters Committee. Djou stated that he believed enough evidence was presented in yesterday’s testimony to support the idea that shark tours can pose a threat to the public. Based on the 7-1 vote, it would seem the rest of the council disagreed.