Experience: Surf Life Saver, Surfer, Albatross/Penguin Centre Manager, Kaitiaki
Regions: Otago, Cook Strait, Banks Peninsula
Interview Location: Dunedin, NZ
Interview Date: 01 December 2015
Post Date: 17 May 2017; Copyright © 2017 Hoani Langsbury and Steve Crawford
6. EFFECTS OF CAGE TOUR DIVE OPERATIONS
CRAWFORD: Because of the nature of this place, because you are who you are, and because you have your specific lived experiences with White Pointers, let's imagine for a second that somebody wanted to set up a shark cage tour dive operation here at the Otago Peninsula. Didn't you tell me at the beginning of the interview that Dunedin is, or is going to be, nominated as the New Zealand wildlife capital?
LANGSBURY: Well, we already are. The rest of the country recognizes us as the wildlife capital of New Zealand. We've just formed a new trust called Wild Dunedin to promote that, so it's never forgotten. We're running an annual wildlife festival in the city. But going back to the original question about cage diving around this coast here, as the Kaitiaki - because it would come to us - we would not approve it. It wouldn't be appropriate.
CRAWFORD: Why not?
LANGSBURY: I would see it no differently than an ethics request coming through for a request to manipulate any marine species in a respectful manner that did not provide us with more information from a management perspective. It's adding no value to our current knowledge. We've opposed pure science requests on native species, because they haven't been providing us with any beneficial information from a management perspective. I would see an activity like that being probably at a level even higher than that - that it was having detrimental effects. That's just my gut feel. We would then have to find some way to evaluate the evidence. But it's within our coastal takiwā and within the Ngāi Tahu Settlement Act, they have to have regard for our interests in the marine environment out to the extent of the economic zone. So, anything that happens in here, they have to consult with the iwi. We could support a shark cage going down here to monitor the activity of a particular shark that was swimming in the area, and someone wanting to do research on that. It would be different than a tourist operation that is solely doing it for profit, and not providing any return to management. There could be somewhere in between, where somebody says "As part of this, we could do a bit of research and we can answer this particular question." We would then have to weigh out, "Well, what do we perceive the impacts on the shark to be, compared to the value and the additional knowledge provided.”
Copyright © 2017 Hoani Langsbury and Steve Crawford