Experts say shark sightings likely to increase heading into fall

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — There have been multiple shark sightings on Oahu’s south shore throughout the last week, particularly at Kaimana Beach. Experts say people can expect to see an increase of sharks for the next few weeks.

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Kim Holland, a research professor at the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology said beachgoers can expect to see more of the ocean predators between September and November.

“There is an indication that the fall, tends to have more interactions with sharks,” said Holland. “It seems as though there are more tiger sharks in close to shore in the fall, than other times in the year.”

Earlier this month, an 8- to 10-foot long requiem shark bit a snorkeler in waters just 8-feet deep off Hawaii Island.

“One possibility is that large sharks tend to gravitate into the main Hawaiian Islands from more distant parts of the islands in this time of year, maybe to mate, or to give birth,” said Holland.

He said there is always a risk when people go into the water, but if they do, they should be alert to their surroundings. They should bring someone with them and watch out for each other.

He also warns not to swim in murky waters during this time because those can carry rubbish and dead things that can draw sharks in.

Holland said the risks change the further you go out to sea.

Tiger sharks can be found around 100 meters away from shore, and even bigger sharks like Galapagos sharks are found in the deep ocean.

“The tiger sharks we know from our tracking research are quite close to shore by which I mean 100, 200 meters,” said Holland. “We have suspicions that they won’t come into very shallow water very often. The sharks that are sighted are usually are often not the kind of sharks that do the nasty stuff. So, the black tip sharks and white tip reef sharks.”

Holland said they’re still unsure of why sharks attack but humans are not part of their diet.

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