Two sharks were seen at Kee beach on Kauai yesterday, when they attacked and killed a dolphin. As a result, beaches from Haena to Kee were closed until further notice. A surfer witnessed the incident and brought the dead dolphin to shore and notified the Department of Land and Natural Resources. We’re not sure the size and type of shark involved.
Signs have been posted and beaches could reopen today.
Last week, a shark was spotted at Anahola Beach on Kauai. Back in July, sharks were seen off of Polihale State Park. At the time, a local swimmer went missing, and has not been found. And earlier in February, a shark was seen at Poipu Beach Park.
There are concerns that more shark incidents on Kauai could be related to foreign invasive juvenile fish that have been seen on the north shore. These Tilapia are believed to have come from drainage ditches on Kauai’s westside.
The Big Island has also had shark encounter issues this week. A 27 year old visitor is in good condition after she was bitten twice by a shark Tuesday. She was swimming in Kealakekua Bay. That is a favorite for swimming and snorkeling and is teaming with tropical fish. The shark bite took place at 8am when she was 30 feet from the shoreline.
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 Kauai Beaches, it’s good to remember that shark sightings can occur anywhere in Hawaii.
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. Scientists are utilizing the latest in satellite tagging systems.
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. 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 weak and sick as well as keeping a balance with competitors in order to help ensure diversity of species.
One third of all shark species are threatened or near threatened.
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 family.
Photo credit: UH Manoa.