Shark attacks take a bite out of business

Shark - Local Companies Impacted

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The recent shark attacks in Hawaii are taking a bite out of some local businesses.

Some companies are reporting thousands of dollars in losses in the past week.

Some in the ocean activity industry say people keep calling them to cancel reservations.

The Rainbowscuba.com boat is usually filled with people who are getting lessons. But on this voyage, only two customers are going underwater near Oahu’s south shore.

“Ah, it’s been severely affected this past week,” owner Ken Goetz said.

Goetz has been operating the company for 18 years and has never lost this kind of business.

“We’ve had so many of them cancel. They’re like, ‘We’re afraid of the sharks.’ Been both guys and girls,” Goetz said.

At least 30 people cancelled their reservations with Rainbowscuba.com in the past week, which means an $8,000 loss for this company.

Another scuba company out of East Oahu told KHON2 they lost $10,000 last week, and also blame it on the recent shark attacks.

Eight people have been bitten by sharks this year, including four in the last three weeks.

“It’s always been a concern. We always have customers asking if there’s sharks and what are the dangers,” said Louie Ferreira, surf instructor with Hawaiian Oceans Waikiki.

Still, many in the kayak and surf industry, like Ferreira, say this issue has not affected business. But they’re speaking out, hoping to calm the fears out there. They say humans are not the target.

“The sharks, they don’t normally like the crowd of people. They’re outnumbered,” Ferreira said.

“They don’t like us at all. Especially in scuba diving. We’re blowing bubbles. It’s a sign of aggression and what not in dolphins,” Goetz said.

KHON2 also talked to some shark diving companies on Oahu. They say business has been steady.

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