A shark attack took place on Maui yesterday when a person who was spearfishing was first bumped then bitten. DLNR said that the woman from Kauai was in the water about 100 yards from shore at Mala Warf, Lahaina, when what she believes was either a blacktip reef or a Galapagos shark, sized 4-6 feet in length attacked her leg. Her injuries were said to be not life-threatening. Shark warning signs remain posted today.
In a prior incident on Maui, a shark attack occurred at Kanaha Beach, near Kahului Airport, approximately 400-500 yards from shore. That was in May, wherein the unidentified person received lacerations and puncture wounds to their lower back in what DLNR considers a provoked incident.
And in August, on Kauai, county lifeguards advised beachgoers to stay out of the water at renowned Lydate Beach Kauai. That, after a two-foot baby shark was found circling in the park’s large pond. Shark and no swimming signs were posted for the pond, pictured below. The Department of Land and Natural Resources attempted to get the shark out of the pond and return it to the ocean.
Also earlier this summer, lifeguards advised beachgoers to stay out of the water at renowned Poipu Beach Kauai. That happened when a 6 to 8-foot shark was sighted at Nukumoi Point near the Tombolo. Then too, shark warning signs were immediately posted, and the beach was closed.
You can follow the latest Hawaii shark incidents on the DLNR shark website.
What you need to know about sharks in Hawaii.
Should you fear shark attacks here in Hawaii? It’s unlikely you will experience a shark attack on your Hawaii vacation, and in fact, the statistical odds are 1 in 11.5 million. And, while rare at Hawaii Beaches, it’s good to remember that shark sightings can occur anywhere in Hawaii.
There are nearly 40 species of sharks found in Hawaii, with a smaller group common near shore. The sharks that most people encounter are either reef, sandbar, hammerhead, and tiger.
How to follow Hawaii tiger shark tagging.
At UH Manoa, marine biologists track the movement of Hawaii tiger sharks that are fitted with satellite tags on their dorsal fins. Signals are received each time a shark surfaces. Marine biologists have been working on this for the past four years. They seek insights into the behavior and habitat of these revered creatures.
On their website, you can see various sightings of sharks in the Hawaiian Islands.
Sharks’ important role in healthy marine environments.
Sharks are known as apex predators. And one-third of all shark species are threatened or near-threatened. They play a key role in maintaining the species below them in the food chain and serve as an indicator of ocean health. Sharks help remove the weak and sick and keep a balance with competitors to help ensure diversity of species.
Sharks figure prominently in Hawaiian mythology.
Culturally, sharks have been held in high reverence by generations of Hawaiians as aumakua (family guardians); ancestors reincarnated as animals and sent to protect the family.
Please share your sharks in Hawaii story.
Beat of Hawaii photo at Mala Warf in Lahaina.
Updated November 8, 2021.