Shark shutdown looms in Hawaii

Some native Hawaiians are looking to bring an end to shark tours, despite their popularity among tourists. They cite cultural concerns, according to a report by MSNBC, while surfers and environmentalists are worried that the animals could begin to associate people with lunchtime. Meanwhile, federal regulators are doing what they do best … investigating.

Of course, tourists don’t respond all that well to arguments made from cultural sensitivity. But, the notion that they could wind up fish food is gaining some momentum. George Burgess, who researches sharks at the University of Florida, believes that sharks will go where they are fed daily, which could deplete other forms of marine life in these areas … and leave populations elsewhere unchecked. There is conflicting research from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.

Federal law generally doesn’t allow shark-feeding off Pacific island territories and Hawaii, but this doesn’t stop the tour operators, which claim to be operating within the law.