Our Tour

OUR TOUR

Our Tour

At Hawaii Shark Encounters, we pride ourselves in offering an eco-friendly subsurface experience that is safe and inspiring for everyone from seasoned conservationists to budding citizen scientists. We hope you’ll join us on a trip three miles off the gorgeous North Shore in Oahu, Hawaii for a once-in-a-lifetime experience of some of the ocean’s most fascinating and elegant creatures: sharks!

All Divers Welcome

Because our cage hovers just below the surface of the water, you can relax and experience the ocean using a mask and snorkel. No scuba gear required!

Each diving cage is fitted with a poly-glass window where you can watch the natural environment of the ocean unfold right before your eyes as you come nose to nose with the curious sharks that glide up to visit.

 

Safe for You, Safe for the Sharks

We are always mindful that we are visiting these sharks’ natural home and make every effort to create a low-impact encounter that is safe for both our guests and the sharks. We don’t travel over reefs or drop anchors that could potentially cause damage to the environment. Once we arrive at our destination, we shut off our engines.

The sharks you’ll see are never baited or frightened into view. They’re just hanging out in their home. Because sharks are naturally very curious, they’ll come over to the cage to get a better look at you.  The design of the cage ensures that we all maintain a respectful distance.

 

Dispel Hollywood Myths with Education

Sharks are very important to Hawaiians who have incorporated them into their belief systems and cultural story.  During your journey, you’ll be accompanied and well-supervised by experienced members of our staff who will fill you in on the true story of sharks, their significance to Hawaiian culture, and their critical importance in a balanced ocean ecosystem.

We think you’ll find that your personal experience with sharks is much different than stories you’ve heard in Hollywood blockbusters or in fear-based headlines.

 

 

Be Inspired!

A healthy ocean needs sharks, and they need our protection now more than ever. An estimated 60 percent of the Earth’s population of sharks has been killed and eleven species of sharks is on the critically endangered list. A lot of this is because of ignorance and unfounded fear. Sharks have so much more to fear from us than we do from them, and we intend to change this global attitude, one personal encounter at a time.

All of our guests are invited to become a part of ongoing shark research projects and can become ambassadors for conservation. We encourage you to take your stories home to your friends and family so more people can become aware of the beauty and importance of these magnificent animals.

 

 

It’s  important to us that every guest has the most memorable experience possible, but Mother Nature sometimes has other plans. Sometimes we have to reschedule tours because of weather, but if you’re flexible, we promise to get you in on another day.

After your tour, we encourage you to take a walk along our beautiful beaches and visit the shops in Haleiwa, all within walking distance of the Harbor.

SHARK ENCOUNTER

Shark Encounter

We deal in experiences of a lifetime. It is a rare day when we do not hear “That was the greatest thing I have ever done” You may be tempted to save the best for last (and this will be the best) but please don’t. Sometimes we have to reschedule due to weather, so try and leave some room to be flexible.Our Shark Vessel “Kainani” departs Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor on Oahu’s North Shore daily. We motor out to International waters, over 3 miles off shore to the shark grounds. For the next hour and a half we share the excitement and our knowledge of the sharks of the famous North Shore.

Within minutes the fun begins. The sharks almost never fail to pay us a visit. In fact, their presence is so consistent that if you don’t see a shark, you don’t pay!

Upon arrival to the shark grounds the first guests get in the cage. The water here is over 600 feet deep and crystal clear. The view is incredible. Just getting in is a bit of a thrill. Once in the cage, the big Poly Glass windows are nearly transparent, so when that 10 foot long Galapagos shark presses his nose against the glass, it looks like he is coming right on in. Not to worry, though, he’s not getting in. In fact, press your nose against the glass, and you will be just one-quarter of an inch away from the business end of one big shark!

In addition to the Galapagos sharks, Sandbar sharks are our other common visitors. Both of these sharks are very curious, completely unafraid and come very close to the shark cage. Sometimes we see as many as 30!
(Check out the “Our Sharks” page for more info on these and other sharks we may see.)

There is absolutely no diving experience required for this veritable shark diving fest.But just because everyone can do it, doesn’t mean the experienced diver will be bored. Far from it! From underwater pros to people who have never even been in the ocean, our adventure is for everyone!

 

 

Many of the major networks such as Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic have all featured Hawaii Shark Encounters in their programming. We have a proud reputation to help educate people worldwide about sharks.

OUR BOAT

Our Boat

Kainani beautiful oceanThe Kainani is a 32-foot Radon built on the Big Island of Hawaii. This boat is well known for seaworthiness. It is built to handle hard work and rough seas. It is able to carry the largest shark cage in Hawaii. Powered by a 450 HP Cummins diesel, the Kainani is a robust vessel with a top speed of over 20 Knots. Creature comforts include hot water showers.

SHARK CONSERVATION

Shark Conservation

Sharks play a phenomenally important role in maintaining a balanced ocean ecosystem, but the ocean’s shark populations are steadily declining. There’s no good reason for this beyond ignorance and fear. Our goal at Hawaii Shark Encounters is to shift the global perception of sharks back to the truth, and we believe we can do it, one personal encounter at a time.Our staff has worked hard to design an eco-friendly tour that allows people to meet with sharks while causing little to no damage to the sharks’ natural environment. We achieve or exceed all guidelines set down by major Eco-tourism societies.

Take the opportunity to read our testimonials written by guests who were absolutely thrilled by their experience with us.

 

 

Section 1: Shark Conservation- A Global Challenge

Every year, between 23-70 million sharks are hunted and killed for their fins. (See “Finning”) Because sharks are slow to mature and reproduce, shark populations cannot replenish themselves fast enough to keep up with the speed at which they’re being slaughtered. As a result, shark populations are dwindling, and many different shark species are critically endangered.

If this was any other animal, there would be massive global outrage and a concentrated effort to make it stop. But how do we inspire people to respect and protect an animal that is consistently cast as a gruesome, blood-soaked villain in Hollywood movies?

One of the main challenges facing shark conservationists is reframing the global attitude towards sharks and educating the public about the critical role sharks play in maintaining a healthy ocean.

So why should we protect sharks?

More research is required to know exactly how individual shark species affect the environment, but overall, sharks work to maintain a clean and healthy ocean by keeping populations of other fish in control.

Over millions of years, sharks have evolved to eat very efficiently, going after the weak or the dying fish in the populations they hunt. A controlled population is a healthy population, but without sharks, the ocean would become a cesspool of dying or dead animals. Without sharks, the delicate eco-system would collapse.

 

How do shark tours benefit the shark conservation effort?

We have a lot of work cut out for us competing with movies and scary headlines that paint sharks as monsters. Our encounters provide a chance for the truth to overcome the hype and sensationalism that is so popular in mainstream media. Many of our guests are frightened of sharks and others are expecting a thrill-based adventure, but by the end, most come away with a completely different image of how sharks behave and interact.

Having a positive personal experience is the best way for a person to unlearn bad habits, and a well-supervised tour among experts can provide an experience that wipes away all of the horror movies we might watch in our lifetime. Changing the public’s attitude towards sharks goes a long way towards advancing shark conservation efforts, and shark experts and conservationists from around the world recognize the educational value of our tour.

 

 

 

Section 2: Eco-Tourism for Sharks

There are three main criteria for maintaining a good Eco-tourism business that we work to maintain at Hawaii Shark Encounters. First, we have created sustainable practices that don’t adversely affect the environment. Second, our tours include an educational component to make our guests aware of the importance of shark conservation. Lastly, we work to be an asset to our local community by creating jobs, drawing tourists and providing financial support.

 

 

Sustainable Practices

Our tour causes very little environmental impact on the natural environments we explore, much less than a fishing or diving operation. Our tour always returns to the same location and shut off our engines. We also avoid reefs and anchors so we do not disturb the local marine life. We never capture or relocate sharks and we don’t troll to find them, which would waste fuel and cause unnecessary pollution. Our guests remain inside a cage for the duration of their encounter for their own safety and to cause minimum disturbance to the animals.

The sharks appear because it is their natural home, and they are free to come and go as they please.  Our guests get to experience what sharks are really like when they’re free in the wild, an obvious advantage over watching a shark in an aquarium. See “Captivity Vs. Wild”

 

Raising Awareness of Environmental Issues and Concerns

While enjoying their encounters, our guests also have the opportunity to learn and ask questions about marine life. Our team is highly trained and educated, and they can provide in-depth information about shark life, behavior, and their important role in the ocean’s eco-system. We also teach our guests about the various threats to shark populations (finning, bycatching, etc.) and what they can do to become an advocate for shark protection.

To encourage active involvement, we stop to pick up floating debris and encourage our guests to note and report animals that have hooks in their mouths or have become entangled in garbage or discarded fishing nets. (This happens almost every tour!)

Our guests come from all over the world to experience our sharks, and in doing so, they are provided an example of what it looks and feels like when a community cares for its resources. North Shore has taken up many green initiatives, and the local community is stepping up to do their part to reduce their impact on their environment.

We don’t have to preach. By simply giving people an opportunity to experience the deep blue and the innumerable fascinating creatures that inhabit it, more and more people are committed to loving and caring for their environment. Many are inspired to become shark conservationists, particularly young people who go on to pursue studies in marine biology and environmental science.

Local Community Outreach and Support

As a small business that provides a unique tourism opportunity, Hawaii Shark Encounters creates jobs and draws tourists to Haleiwa, our local community.

Over the years, we have donated our time to many different school programs and after-school organizations, taking students on countless free educational tours to spark the students’ passion for wildlife conservation and pride in their home. We also donate to many local fundraisers by providing gift certificates for free shark tours.

 

Section 3: Captivity vs. Wild

For many people, aquariums and zoos are the only opportunities they’ll ever have to come into contact with the tremendous amount of wildlife this world contains, and as such, they provide an important educational tool.

Many of these institutions, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Waikiki Aquarium have done extensive research on how to keep animals healthy while in captivity and have developed good practices for ensuring the welfare of their animals.

Still, sharks in particular, are a very difficult animal to keep alive in captivity. This is because they are enormously sensitive to vibrations and electric currents common to the tubes, filters and lights inside a tank.  Even the most innocent tap on the glass by a child is enough to disorient a shark and make it sick. Smaller species of shark can survive in captivity, but bigger species such as the great white or tiger sharks can only survive for one or two days in a tank.

While aquariums provide a valuable experience, true inspiration only comes from interacting with animals in their natural environment. Ask any conservationist why they do what they do, and they will most likely tell you a story about a real-life encounter with animals in the wild. This is because absolutely nothing can compare to watching an animal existing free in their natural environment.

If you are traveling and come across the chance to experience an animal in the wild, you should take advantage of it. These opportunities are becoming more and more rare, but the inspiration they provide will last for a lifetime.

IS THIS ADVENTURE FOR YOU
Absolutely! But…there are a few things you should know. Please read this and the only surprise will be how this shark encounter is so much more than you ever imagined!

When we say this adventure is for everyone, we mean it. Our guests have included non-swimmers who had never been in the ocean to National Geographic photographers. Both were very impressed! The youngest person in the shark cage was a 3-year-old girl and the oldest over 80. We have taken a paraplegics and a woman who had lost her foot to a great white.

Must be easy, right? Yes, it is, but not always. Our shark grounds over three miles off the famous North Shore. This is the open ocean, which can be very rough. Even on a calm day the boat still rocks! If you are prone to motion sickness, this will bring it on. The entry and exit into the cage require you to be able to climb down a 5-step ladder, and you must be able to pull your own weight back up the ladder and into the boat.

Sometimes the weather is so rough that it becomes dangerous and we must cancel the tour. This can happen fairly often in the winter and spring. When you book, we will ask for a phone number or hotel room. If the weather looks too rough, we will call you the day before. If you are coming on vacation, it may be wise to schedule your shark trip during the beginning so we can try again if the weather is too rough. You can also call us at any time to check on conditions.

The weather is not always rough, especially in the mornings. We encourage people to come on the early trip. We know it is hard to get up early on vacation but what are you going to remember for the rest of your life? A few moments with your pillow or being surrounded by 30 sharks?

We do not want to scare you out of coming. Some people just seem to be surprised that small boats on a big ocean don’t sit still! Calm or rough, rain or shine, everyone that comes with us has a great time, even the ones who get seasick. Thanks for reading this.

 

 

Visitors with physical limitations or special need to choose a tour with the most favorable ocean conditions, therefore it is best to make arrangements during the time of booking.

 

For more questions and answers about the tour go to our Frequently Asked Questions  page

For more information about our cage check out our “The Shark Cage” page

THE SHARK CAGE
READ THIS PLEASE

 

The hardest part of the tour is the entry into the cage. It is pulled in close and tightly attached to the side of the boat to make the entry easy. The entry and exit into the cage requires enough strength to step over the side of the boat, to climb down a 5-step ladder and to pull your own body weight up the ladder when getting out of the cage The steps reach all the way to the bottom of the cage, so there is no need to jump or reach at any time. Once in the cage, you will be able to hold onto bars all around the inside of the cage and you will need to be able to keep a grip as the ocean and the cage may be rolling and moving, depending on ocean conditions.

 

 

               More FAQ’s about the cage

Can I go outside of the cage?

No way! You would probably be fine,  but these are big sharks with lots of teeth so we don’t want to risk a guest getting bit.

Do I need experience with scuba diving or snorkeling to go inside the shark cage?

No! You only need to be able to climb down a short ladder and hang onto a handrail. We get many people that don’t even know how to swim!

Can the cage sink?

No! Floats surround the cage on all sides and they keep it level in the water. The top of the cage is actually 2 feet above the surface. The cage is also tied to the boat with several lines.

Is the cage closed at the top?

There is no lid on the cage. You are not locked in and you can come up and enjoy the view from the surface and communicate with the crew at any time.

Can the sharks jump in?

No! The sides of the cage extend 2 feet above the surface of the water. The sharks would have to jump three feet clear out of the water with a forward trajectory and aim they simply don’t have. They will occasionally lift their heads out of the water, but these sharks are not capable of leaving the water. Even if they wanted to (and they really don’t).

How do I get in the cage? Do I have to swim to it?

Of course not! You would have to pay us a lot extra to be allowed to swim even one moment outside the cage, with the sharks. The cage gets pulled right next to the boat and you step down a very solid ladder directly inside the cage.

How secure will I be inside the cage?

There are handrails to hold on to and stand on all around the cage. You can stabilize yourself while you float on the surface or you can pull yourself a little lower for a different view. None of your body parts will ever have to extend outside the bars.

Will the sharks attack the cage?

No! The sharks will come very close to the cage to investigate but they do not charge at the cage or try to bite the people inside. Human beings are not on the natural menu of these sharks, as is the case with most sharks.

Do I get an unobstructed view of the sharks?

Yes! There are two large (and very strong) pieces of Poly Glass installed on each short side of the cage. In the water, they are almost invisible.

OUR SHARKS
galapagos shark

Galapagos Shark Carcharinus Galapagensis

Reaching ten feet in length and weighing as much as 400 pounds, this shark is known as an aggressive and dangerous shark. We believe that this classification is a little exaggerated due to a behavior that is very bold and very curious. We see predominately males and they come very close, as in right-against-the-cage close. These sharks can be seen any time of year but during spring and early summer they are very numerous. There isn’t much more excitement than being in a cage completely surrounded by these awesome animals.

sandbar shark

Sandbar Shark Carcharinus Plumbeus

The sandbar shark is a common shark with an average size of 4-6 feet and a maximum size of almost 8 feet. These quick and agile sharks often swarm around the boat and cage. Our most consistent visitor, the sandbars can be bet upon to show up almost immediately after we do.

tiger shark

Tiger Shark Galeocerdo Cuvier

A very rare encounter that happens just a couple times a year. When they do come, this notorious shark is amazingly camera shy. This photo and the other tiger photos on the gallery page were a very lucky combination of being in the right place at the right time!

Other animals you may see during the tour:

humpback whale

Humpback Whale Megaptera Novaeangliae

During whale season, around November to March, whale sightings are almost certain. Quite often they come very close and their songs can be heard while swimming in the cage. Hawaii is a humpback whale sanctuary and approaching the within 200 meters of them is prohibited. However, if they come to you it is another story and sometimes they come in for a pretty close look. Even though sharks are our business, if the whales are around, we’ll do our best to get you as close as possible.

dolphin

Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris

Our tours often begin or end with a dolphin escort. Unlike the sharks though, dolphins are not guaranteed. We’ll get working on it!

SEASICKNESS
Note: This is not professional medical advice. Please consult your physician for any questions on how to best treat your illness.

When setting sail on the open seas, it is important to be prepared in the event that you become seasick. The rocking of a boat as it glides across the ocean waves is enough to mess with the average person’s equilibrium. If the conditions are right, even the most experienced seamen can get sick. Those who have experienced it know that seasickness can quickly turn your pleasant trip into a miserable experience. Here is some helpful information on how to prevent and deal with seasickness.

What is Sea Sickness?

Seasickness, or motion sickness experienced on the water, occurs when what you see visually conflicts with what your inner ear is sensing. So, when you are on the sea, the boat around you looks like it’s standing still, but your inner ear (vestibular) senses the movement of the boat on the water. As your body’s complex balance system reports to the brain, it becomes clear that something is not right. This conflict leads to a headache, dizziness, and nausea.

Tips to Prevent Sea Sickness:

•  Take medication. Several effective and popular over-the-counter medications include Bonine, Dramamine, and Meclizine. The scopolamine patch by Transderm Scop is reported to be very effective and is easily obtained with a doctor’s prescription. To be effective you should get this medication in your system 8 hours before you board the boat. If possible, take it prior to sleep and take more at least 1 hour before you board the boat. That way, it’s in your system and working when you wake up.

•  Ginger capsules are also considered effective in preventing motion sickness.

•  Some people find that wearing special wristbands helps stave off the condition.

•  Avoid eating greasy or acidic foods before going out on the water.

•  Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol the night before and the day of your boating experience.

•  Drink plenty of water. Even partial dehydration lowers your body’s resistance and leaves you susceptible to motion sickness.

Tips on Dealing with Sea Sickness:

The first step in dealing with any ailment is understanding what is wrong so that you can mentally deal with the problem. This is very important in dealing with seasickness.

If seasickness occurs, it is best to minimize your motion. To do so, go to the center of the boat, and get to the lowest level possible. The higher on the boat you are, the more you will feel the rocking motion.

If possible, stay standing and look at the horizon to get your bearings. Take some deep breaths. Rock your shoulders back and forth. Realize that your body is probably tight and stiff. Don’t fight the motion of the boat, try to relax and move with it. Soda crackers may help calm your stomach. Drinking Coke or Pepsi may also help calm your stomach. They contain phosphoric acid which is an ingredient in Emetrol, a drug to control vomiting.

FAQ
Do I need experience with scuba diving or snorkeling to go inside the shark cage?

No! You only need to be able to climb down a short ladder and hang onto a handrail. We get many people that don’t even know how to swim!

Can I go out on the boat, but not go inside the cage?

Absolutely! There is not a bad seat in the house. From the boat, you can see the sharks swimming near or on the surface with their fins slicing through the water. Of course, the best view is from inside the cage.

Can I go outside of the cage?

No way! You would probably be fine, but these are big sharks with lots of teeth so we don’t want to risk a guest getting bit.

Are there any age restrictions?

Yes! We don’t think this tour is appropriate for children younger than five years old.

Are there physical limitations or skill requirements for participants?
What is the hardest part of the tour?

How strong/fit do I have to be?

The hardest part of the tour is the entry into the cage. It will be pulled close and tightly attached to the side of the boat to make stepping over the side easy.
You must be strong enough to climb on the ladder and into the cage, and to pull your own body weight up the ladder.

See more info about the cage on “The shark cage” page

What if I have special needs? Can I still go on the tour?

We have taken many people with physical handicaps or that had particular requirements and needs. We will try our best to accommodate anyone that is keen to go. Most importantly, we need to have prior notice for special arrangements and it is absolutely necessary to pick a day, or the early tour to assure the best possible ocean conditions.

How long is the tour?

It’s a 2-hour tour, including a 15 min boat ride to and from the site.

What equipment should I bring?

All you need in the cage is a mask and snorkel and we provide that. A towel and sunscreen will definitely make you more comfortable. If you prefer to use your own snorkeling equipment, feel free. Maybe a sweater or a windbreaker to keep you warm once you get out of the water.

Feel free to bring your own drinks/snacks.

See rental information at the bottom of the FAQ list

How far out does the boat go?

About three miles. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes depending on ocean conditions.

How deep is the ocean where you see the sharks?

A little over 500 feet.

Is the water cold?

Not really, most people are comfortable wearing their normal bathing suits. It is a little cool at first but you get used to it. some people wear a rash guard but most do not. The water temp is the same as at the beach. A sweatshirt can also be nice when you get out of the water.

Why do you go so early in the day?

The weather is nicer! The wind on the North Shore usually builds later in the day. Usually, the earlier in the day, the nicer the sea conditions.

Will I get seasick?

If you are prone to motion sickness, yes you will. During the shark encounter, the boat is drifting with the engine off. Even on the calmest days, the boat never stops rocking. If you plan on taking something like Dramamine, read the instructions. It must be taken in advance. Fortunately, if you get sick, the tour is only two hours and land is an instant cure. Even those that get sick have a tremendous time.

What kind of sharks do you see?

Galapagos sharks and Sandbar sharks are our most common visitors. You can see more about them and other things we may see on “Our Sharks” page

Will the sharks attack the cage?

No! The sharks will come very close to the cage to investigate but they do not charge at the cage or try to bite the people inside. Human beings are not on the natural menu of these sharks. As is the case with most sharks.

Has anybody been bitten or killed?

Not by sharks! We have a perfect safety record. Your biggest concern will be keeping your excited friends off your back while you are inside the cage.

What if I have a great fear of sharks?

No problem. We have had many people on board that were terrified. Within a few minutes of being inside the cage you will be completely comfortable. We have seen it many times before. Seeing these magnificent creatures and how they behave will change your attitude and ease your fears forever.

Why do the sharks show up?

The North shore has always had a large resident group of Galapagos and sandbar sharks. So does the Westside of Oahu. This may be a lesser known fact to visitors and even residents of Oahu as they are hardly ever seen along the coastline and beaches or even at the surface. Fishing boats are more familiar with them. Because these sharks are bottom feeding sharks that look for crab, crustaceans, and octopus, they prefer the areas of the ocean where the bottom has a sandy or muddy consistency which is found at the 150 to 200-foot depth. They also cruise to scavenge for sick, weak or dying fish which is why they are so important in keeping our oceans clean. They will also check out anything that floats in the water column, such a logs and debris and, in our case, our boat and cage, as fish life in the open blue ocean will often congregate under and around such floating objects. We visit a site where the sharks naturally occur and observe them as they go about their business.

How do I make a reservation?

Just call us directly at 808-351-9373 and we will book your tour and answer all you questions. Or, fill out our reservation form and we will respond to you within 48 hours.

Why do you ask for a cell phone number and hotel information?

We ask for both so we have another way to contact you in the event the tour needs to be canceled due to severe sea conditions. We also want to make sure you get the proper driving directions.

 

How do I get there?

We are located on the North Shore at the Haleiwa Boat Harbor 66-105 Haleiwa Rd Haleiwa HI 96712 .

See our directions page for a map and driving directions. Most people rent a car for the day and explore the North Shore and Haleiwa after the Shark tour. Public transportation: see the link to The Bus.

Private hire transportation can be arranged through our reservations agent.

Is there a cancelation policy?

Yes, no cancellations or changes within 48 hrs of scheduled tour. You must check in at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled tour. All reservations are subject to non-refundable cancellation if you have not checked in at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled tour.

Are there photo/video services available on board?

Yes, but please let us know when you make reservations that you would like the personalized video.

We also have GoPro video cameras on board for rent with preloaded images and clips to add into your own video edit, giving it a professional finish.

Is there a money back guarantee?

Yes, if you don’t see sharks you don’t pay!

Where can we rent underwater cameras, wetsuits, and prescription masks?

We provide regular masks and snorkels in small, medium and large sizes on the boat. We do not provide wetsuits.

We have GoPro video cameras on board for rent with preloaded images and clips to add into your own video edit, giving it a professional finish.

 

ECO TOURISM

Sustainable Practices 

Our tour is inherently low impact – much less than any diving or fishing operation. We go to the same site, three miles off shore and turn off the engines, where we are able to observe a resident population of animals that lives in the area because of optimal conditions. The species of sharks that we see during the tour appear because they live in the environment that is most suitable to their species. We don’t catch sharks or relocate them. We don’t troll, therefore not wasting fuel or polluting the environment. We don’t touch any reefs. We don’t anchor. There is no impact to the environment.

We let people climb into a cage to see the sharks in their natural environment, keeping the humans confined and letting the animals be in their natural environment.  It is the most controlled way to observe a species in the wild. And it is obvious why that is ultimately more beneficial to the animals than being caught and displayed inside an Aquarium.

(see page about “sharks in captivity” )

 

The sharks come and go as they please. They can prosper and be appreciated by tourists as well as the local community.

The only impact we have is on the psyche of the guests as they experience the beauty of the animals and the ocean that surrounds them.

 

Shark experts and eco tourism operators have recognized the educational value of our tour.  While enjoying the encounter and having an experience of a lifetime, the guests are presented with in-depth information about shark biology, ecology and behavior and the threats sharks are facing globally.  Participants of our shark tour walk away with a wealth of knowledge that will help them understand the importance of sharks and a healthy ocean ecosystem.

Our crewmembers have years of experience with sharks and they are ardent conservationist and shark experts.

 

 

Hawaii Shark Encounters supports many outreach and educational projects, locally and internationally.

see our page on “Education” for more details

Also see our “Conservation” pages

 

MUST READ

“Captivity vs. wild” – Watching sharks in their own environment

 

 

Raising Awareness for environmental protection

 

Every day we take out guests from all over the world and show them that Hawaii is a place where ocean creatures can find protection, in particular on the North Shore. It sets an example of what can be done when a community cares about its resources. This goes along with the fact that the North Shore has many other examples of living green and that the community truly is attempting to minimize its impacts on the environment.

 

We don’t have to preach. Simply giving people a chance to enter the blue and be in the ocean makes an impact they will not forget. Every day the experience with the sharks inspires young people to dedicate their careers to ocean sciences and marine biology or to simply live with more care and love for the environment.

 

Throughout the tour, the crew provides lots of information about the magnificent creatures that call the North shore their home, such as Whales, dolphins and turtles. They discuss the demise of sharks due to shark finning and over fishing, and educate our guests on the crucial role sharks play as a top predator in a healthy ocean environment.

 

For active involvement, we stop to pick up floating debris and ask guests to note and report animals with hooks in their mouths or entanglement by old fishing (which we see almost every day).

 

 

Financial Benefit for the Local Community

The North Shore business community benefits from the many guests that come to Haleiwa to see the sharks, and as a small business, Hawaii Shark Encounters can make sure it provides steady employment and benefits to local residents.

 

Over the years, we have taken countless students on free educational tours and have donated our time to schools and after-school programs by giving marine and shark presentations.

 

 

We continually support most community fundraisers by giving out free tours and gift certificates.

 

 

We are members of:

TEIS (The international ecotourism society)

Hawaii Ecotourism Association

teis