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A Hawaiian gift shop is facing criticism after allegedly selling dead baby sharks in jars to visiting tourists.
According to Hawaii News Now, the Nani Aloha Street Store in Waikiki displayed baby sharks preserved in jars on their shelves.
Apparently, the shop was advertising the picked sharks to shoppers with a sign that read, “In Hawaiian mythology, the shark is believed to be an ‘Aumakua', or ancestral guardian who watches over and protects a person and their family.”
Oriana Kalama, Founder of Ocean Defender’s Foundation, told Hawaii News Now that she was horrified about the situation. “I was infuriated at the fact that they had used our cultural traditions, they had used our Aumaku, as a way to make more money,” she stated.
Kalama posted a letter on the website for her foundation, which soon gained popularity, seeking change.
After the pubic complaint went online, the store posted a message to their website apologizing for the issue and finalizing that they will no longer sell the product.
The sharks seem to be Atlantic Sharp-nosed sharks that are luckily not endangered but not native to Hawaiian waters. However, it is unclear if the shop violated state laws that do not allow the possession of shark fins.