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POSTED: Sunday, May 31, 2009

Study finds shark-cage dive tours safe

A scientific study has concluded shark-cage dive tours on Oahu's North Shore pose little risk for recreational ocean users in nearshore waters.

The Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology conducted the two-year study.

It found sharks tagged during tours overwhelmingly stay far out to sea and don't follow tour boats back to shore.

The study also found the tours are frequented by Galapagos and sandbar sharks, which are rarely involved in attacks on humans.

Marine scientist Carl Meyer said in an informational briefing at the state Capitol that when it comes to offshore shark-cage diving tours, there is no evidence of any risk to nearshore recreational users.

The tours have been operating since 2001.