04 Nov Eco Tourism
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
See our “Community” page
Also see our “Conservation” pages
“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