by Andrew Walden
They're at it again. Just a few weeks ago the puppy-murdering phonies of "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" (PETA) hounded a Kauai fisherman whose close call with a giant ahi was captured on video. Now the national spotlight is focused on a Big Island youth.
Posted to the YouTube account of Mikey McCrum, this new locus of free-floating anxiety shows the young fisherman hauling in a 12-14 foot tiger shark.
McCrum should be given a medal to go with his six month supply of delicious shark steaks. Tiger sharks have been blamed for several recent shark attacks in Hawaii. A young lady from Germany died August 21 after being mauled by a shark off Maui.
In spite of these realities, the HuffPo headline libels the young fisherman: "Video Of Tiger Shark Torture Sparks Outcry In Hawaii" and straight-facedly intones:
Oriana Kalama, who founded the non-profit Maui-based organization Ocean Defender Hawai'i, is calling for an apology from McCrum and told Hawaii News Now that the video is offensive. "It's viewed around the world as a person who lives in Hawaii who disrespects, not only our environment, but our cultural beliefs," she said. The shark, it turns out, is a tagged local resident of the area, lovingly named Laverne and fed regularly by the fishermen in Kona harbor. According to Kalama, "She's used to being in there and this kid took advantage of the situation and tortured her and abused her, and this is not acceptable.
It is illegal to feed sharks. This is called 'chumming' and it is very dangerous. At this very moment, in Honolulu Harbor, personnel are picking up fish killed by a molasses spill in order to avoid attracting sharks. In 2011, shark tour boats operating out of Haleiwa were torched apparently because surfers believed they were chumming the waters off the North Shore.
The job of Hawaii Tourism officials struggling to educate visitors about the danger of shark attacks just got more difficult. But that just the beginning.
Ocean Defender website features a bizarre image of a woman swimming with a hammerhead shark as if it were a dolphin. Oddly, this has not become a self-resolving situation.
Environmentalism 'jumps the shark.'
The OD website also shows a disconcerting photo of OD personnel leading dozens of small children in a beach clean up effort near Lahaina. Is OD using this seemingly innocuous activity to tell children that sharks are loving friends they can swim with?
According to the OD website, founder Oriana Kalama is from Brazil, lived for several years in communist Cuba and is ... drumroll please ... an anti-aquarium collection activist.
Apparently these activists are about to make fishing illegal.
Matt Bogdanovitch works at Honokohau Harbor and his camera was also rolling that day.
"I started taking video because it seemed pretty obvious that their goal was to harass a tiger shark, why else would you be throwing fresh, bloody fish into the mouth of the harbor where tiger sharks have been spotted pretty much daily for at least the last 2 months? I was hoping to catch them doing something illegal, but to my understanding what they did was perfectly legal, for now," said Bogdanovitch.
Yep. Its legal if its on a hook. Its called 'bait' and its used for something called 'fishing.' People have been doing this for about 100,000 years.
Sanctimonious hyperventilating dive operators have been harassing the aquarium collection industry in an effort to shut them down and ...guess what?...Matt Bogdonovich is a dive tour operator who recently moved here from Washington State.
Do you smell a rat?
Kalama was told the same thing when she called to file a complaint with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
"Unfortunately because there is no signs in the harbor that says fishing is prohibited, then they cannot really take any actions," Kalama said, explaining what she was told over the phone by a DLNR official.
Fish aren't currently protected under animal cruelty laws on Hawai'i Island, but that could soon change.
"If the West Hawaii Regional Fisheries Management Area Proposal is signed into law this would be illegal, which would be a great step forward in the conservation of our aquatic resources here in Hawai'i," said Bogdanovitch.
Yep. You heard the guy. He just got here. Fishing will soon be illegal. And he's in on the plan.
Hawai'i News Now showed the video to DLNR Director William Aila.
"I thought the fishermen that were trying to catch this tiger shark off shore were unsafe. It was a very unsafe situation. I'm not sure about the disposition of the shark at the end because it wasn't clear. If the fishermen caught the shark to utilize its body parts for drums, for meat, for something constructive – I would say that's a good thing. Sharks are part of the natural resources. Hawaiians certainly took shark. If they were doing it just to try to be cool and this shark was injured without any productive use of the shark – that's not a good thing," Aila said.
As for our lucky (but now harassed) fisherman. We suggest Esquire Magazine: "Man's Guide to Eating Shark." It has lots of recipes.
Oh, one more thing: What Would Jesus Do? He would go fishing. It's in the Bible.
Meanwhile enjoy the video....
July 25, 2013: PETA Attacks Hawaii Man Nearly Killed by Ahi