Travel to Hawaii -- shark cage diving

Sharks circle a shark cage tethered to a boat three miles off Oahu. (Brian J. Cantwell, Seattle Times, MCT / November 1, 2012)

-I went with Hawaii Shark Encounters. $105 adult, $75 for kids younger than 12, $90 for military; http://www.hawaiisharkencounters.com or 808-351-9373.

-North Shore Shark Adventures offers a special online rate of $96 for adults, reduced from $120; $60 for kids 3-13; http://www.sharktourshawaii.com or 808-228-5900.

More information: http://www.gohawaii.com/oahu

---

SHARK ENCOUNTERS STIR DEBATE

After making the trip, I learned that diving with sharks is a subject of controversy in Hawaii.

Proponents cite the educational value of enabling visitors to appreciate the beauty of these wild animals while also contributing to the tourism economy.

Others oppose "shark encounters" on these grounds:

-The potential harm of making sharks accustomed to humans, rendering sharks easier prey for fishing boats and less able to survive in the wild.

-The possibility that shark boats will lure sharks closer to beaches to threaten surfers and swimmers.

-Some traditional Hawaiian families worship sharks as their 'aumakua, or family god, and regard shark tourism as exploitive and disrespectful.