The New York City Sea Gypsies
"Kuleana - Tiger Sharks of The Big Island of Hawaii"
Wednesday, July 14th
7:00 PM on Zoom (link to be sent to members)
The tiger sharks of the islands of Hawaii are island-transient animals, meaning they are known to swim inter-island on an almost daily basis. The Big Island of Hawaii is the youngest and least populated of all the islands so the reefs are the strongest of the islands.Hawaiians have devised “ahupua’a,” a system of land management that designates mountain to reef care to specific families. Within the ocean, sharks are greatly respected as fierce predators and known as the carriers of mana (spiritual power).
With sharks holding so much spiritual importance in Hawaiian culture it is no surprise certain species are some families ‘aumakua. An ‘aumakua is a family's ancestor whose spirit has taken on a physical form such as a shark, other animals, or even an inanimate object. Those who have specific sharks as their ‘aumakua would feed and even pet the shark they believed to be their relative in return for protection. With the advent of global shark tourism, a new “kuleana,” responsibility, befalls on the scuba diver to ensure protection and deter abuse of these sharks. This is for the benefit of not only the sharks but of the community in ensuring both sides can benefit from these unique encounters.
This presentation introduces the identification catalogue that assists in this local shark conservation effort.