Thursday, January 19, 2017

Shark Feeding in Hawaii?

Cool - watch.

And here is the really nice piece by Nathan.
As very much intended, this has generated quite a debate behind the scenes - so for the benefit of the wailing whacknuts and Hawaiian anti-Shark lobby, let me state the following as unequivocally as possible: I'm on the record as being against Shark feeding for the sake of it - and I certainly do not at all advocate trying to establish near-shore Shark feeding tourism in the central, highly populated islands of Hawaii!
So there:
  • First and foremost, any such operation would lack the required social license.
    Yes I totally consider the whole 'aumākua bullshit and its hypocritical high priests to be nothing but a scam, and that the haoles parroting that nonsense are either naive, or crazy, or clueless, or gutless, or all of the above - but the Hawaiian anti-Shark-feeding lobby with its hypocritical native con men is very much alive, and history shows that any attempt at setting up such a venture would be instantly suppressed by widespread public outcry all the way to outright violence.
  • There are also important public safety considerations.
    Any regular near-shore baiting would undoubtedly end up attracting and aggregating Tiger Sharks, the one species most implicated in local Shark attacks - and given Hawaii's bathymetry, this would inevitably happen very close to shore and in close proximity to population and tourism centers and/or recreational hotspots like the surf breaks. With that in mind, any such attempt would be simply unconscionable.
  • And finally, there may simply not be enough other coastal Sharks to justify setting up dedicated businesses.
    Yes the mentioned paper by Marc Nandon may, or may not have technical flaws that would likely be revealed in his upcoming follow-up paper; but I'm equally convinced that its gist is spot on, insofar as the collapse of Hawaii's coastal fish populations, see below, is undoubtedly severely depressing the population of Reef Sharks - see the comments section to that post.
So cool down folks.
We may very much differ on the details - but the end result is the same!

But that is all irrelevant anyway.
Shark feeding in Hawaiian state waters is, and will certainly remain illegal; and soon and very much courtesy of the clamoring Floridian troglodytes (and here) and little Marco, it will also become illegal in federal waters, as will operating boats that carry divers to Shark feeds.  
And places like the Bahamas, Mexico and yes, Fiji will continue to laugh all the way to the bank.

That said, I however strongly advocate the establishment of coastal no-take MPAs! 
Central Hawaii's coastal fish populations are but a shadow of the past (and here!) and continue to get hammered by the natives and by the hypocritical new age whacks. But despite of the irrefutable evidence and the urgency of the situation, even the slightest attempt at setting aside some urgently needed fully protected areas continues to get thwarted by the usual native con artists and those corrupt bastards at WESPAC (and here!) - and the haoles and especially, local government simply lack the balls to show some leadership and finally put an end to the reverse racism and the never-ending appalling shenanigans (Makani Christensen right here!).
And THAT is what I told Nathan.

It is what it is - and with all that pervasive aloha-spirit-induced spinelessness, I got zero expectations that things will change anytime soon.
But hope, as they say, springs eternal.

Aloha everybody! :)


Yannis said...

I would agree with your points except that there are many locations around the main Hawaiian islands where you can find and aggregate coastal sharks (mostly sandbars but in some locations Galapagos and blacktips). The old aquaculture fish cages off of Ewa for example aggregated large numbers of sandbars and blacktips. Its not that I disagree that there are less coastal sharks in the Main Hawaiian Islands, than the north western Hawaiian islands...just that the extent of the decline has been exaggerated.

DaShark said...

Thanks Yannis!

I guess that was the debate back then - but the census via BRUVs will undoubtedly reveal a clearer picture, no?

Yannis said...

I dont know exactly which data they are referring to, but I have seen some NOAA BRUV data from the Hawaiian Island chain. My recollection is that they see more sharks in the NWHI but were still seeing some species in the MHI (in fact sandbar sharks were at least as abundant in the MHI). I think we can all agree that each method (fishing vs diving vs bruvs) misses particular species. Again, human activities have undoubtedly lowered shark abundance but not all species differences are human induced (e.g. grey reef shark abundance was likely always low in the MHI).

DaShark said...

The data from this upcoming paper:

A follow-up to that study is expected within a few months, which could make its findings more defensible. The original study was criticized by some people because it relied on the observations of divers towed behind boats at a maximum 30 meters’ depth. The follow-up study uses cameras that extend down to 100 meters or more.,

already mentioned in the comments section here.

So patience my friend - you may well end up being vindicated by the new batch of observations.
Or not! :)

Yannis said...

I believe that is the same study I saw presented (included deep water BRUVs). The presented data was very nice and my overall impression was it was a well conducted study.