NZ First calls for halt to shark dives while evidence collected
New Zealand First Party
– Clayton Mitchell MP –
Spokesperson for Labour and Industrial Relations
12. December 2014
Calling for a Halt to Shark Dives While Evidence Collected
New Zealand First wants a moratorium on shark diving until more research is done on potential dangers to paua divers.
“Safety in our waters and the ability of Kiwis to earn a living must not be undermined by tourism operations,” says Spokesperson for Labour and Industrial Relations Clayton Mitchell.
“The Department of Conservation has decided to regulate the shark dive operators, in the interests of shark welfare, by issuing permits to the two existing businesses off Stewart Island, but we are concerned that these tourism ventures are putting divers in danger.
“It appears that more attention is being paid to the welfare of the sharks rather than to the welfare of humans.
“No government department is considering the welfare of Stewart Island residents and paua divers yet many of them have genuine concerns that shark diving may change shark behaviour.
“While DOC has limited the way shark dive operators can entice sharks to the cages they will still be throwing ‘food’ into the water.
“We must seriously consider the possibility that shark dive operations should only be located in areas where Kiwis will not be put at unnecessary risk,” says Mr Mitchell.
Related Press Release by the Department of Conservation :
11. December 2014 : DOC issues shark cage diving permits