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Meanwhile, a members' Bill to regulate shark cage diving was drawn from the ballot yesterday and will be debated in Parliament.
The Court of Appeal this week ruled shark cage diving was an offence under the Wildlife Act, ending a long-running legal battle between Stewart Island paua divers, the Department of Conservation and two companies: Shark Dive New Zealand and Shark Experience.
Shark Dive NZ operator Peter Scott said opposition to cage diving from Stewart Island residents and paua divers centred around misplaced fears it made sharks more aggressive and likely to linger around boats, and scaremongering from those in the paua industry.
"It's all over fear and greed."
Mr Scott said "aggression" from Stewart Island locals had forced him to shift his base to Bluff.
His operation, where thrill-seekers are lowered in a cage just below the surface of the water to get close to great white sharks attracted by a fish mixture, took place near Edwards Island in Foveaux Strait.
Together with his lawyer, he was willing to take the case to the Supreme Court to allow operations to continue, he said.
Mr Scott believed the Court of Appeal's judgement would have implications far beyond shark cage diving.
"The wider implications ... are that any tour operators working with protected species, the likes of albatrosses or anything outside of the Marine Mammals Protection Act are in trouble, because they're doing nothing different than we're doing.
"There'll be a lot of other operators out there that'll be more worried than me."
Mr Scott welcomed the news yesterday that National MP Sarah Dowie's members' Bill to regulate shark cage diving had been drawn from the ballot, on the proviso any new law reflected the existing code of conduct and involved consultation with operators.
Ms Dowie said the Bill would provide conditions for granting permits for commercial shark cage diving, along with minimum distances of operation from areas such as beaches.
"It would also provide the means to ensure that the people operating the cages work in a way that poses no threat to sharks, while ... mitigating the clear threat to the safety of the public using the sea for work or recreation."