sand tiger shark Tour Operators Who use Chum to Lure Sharks Challenge Law

Sand tiger shark aka Grey nurse shark - Credit: Richard Ling

Some tour operators, who specialize in shark tours, who were accused of chumming off the North Shore have commented they plan to challenge the preposterous law.

However, by challenging this law, they are going to be paying a pretty penny, as court costs are likely to exceed the cost of a fine, as complex issues are going to be raised.

“It’s basically a ridiculous charge and we are going to fight it all the way even to an appeal,” commented, Ken Kuniyuki, an attorney on the case.

Federal investigators supposedly collected hard evidence for almost a year, before charging five employees of two Haleiwa shark tour companies with illegal chumming this past week.

The charge itself is classified as a petty misdemeanor, with a maximum of a $1,000 fine, however an attorney for one of the accused has cried foul, stating his client was treated like a felon by the game warden.

“There’s only a fine involved here and yet (Department of Land and Natural Resources) sent three and four armed people to serve the penal summonses is certainly a waste of resources,” Kuniyuki explained.

The argument is that the tours these companies run is bringing too many sharks into areas used for fishing, and is increasing the chance of sharks attacking a human, however the tour operators are disputing this.
“There’s no scientific proof that these shark tours lure the sharks onto the beach. In fact, the scientific proof is opposite. There’s no legal or factual basis for this law at all. So, we are going to challenge the law as well as the fact that these people are being charged,” Kuniyuki explained.