Saturday, February 11, 2006


A tourist operator is cashing in on Taranaki's shark fever by offering charter tours around its feeding grounds.

Dave Chadfield, who operates Chaddy's Charters, is taking groups on "shark sighting tours" around the Sugar Loaf Islands.

"We're trying to get a shark, so if you put your feet in the water, that would be helpful," he told passengers yesterday.

Numerous sightings of a 6m great white shark, known as the Taranaki Terror, have closed Taranaki beaches and created national headlines in the past few weeks.

To make matters worse, the Department of Conservation said yesterday there might actually be two great whites lurking.

Mr Chadfield, who operates his restored English lifeboat as a tourist boat, is making the most of the shark fever.

He has placed three plywood dorsal fins in the water around the Sugar Loaf Islands.

"I had people saying to me 'if I don't see a shark, do I get my money back?', so I thought I'd create one. They look real and people love it."

The most likely place to see a great white would be near the islands, he said.

"It's like a McDonald's out at the islands, with all the seals."

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