Another Hawaii Shark Attack
NVR2L8 - 9/19/2008 9:59 PM
Category: Health & Safety
Replies: 9

KAAAWA, Oahu, Hawaii (11 Sep 2008) — A man is in stable condition after a shark attacked him off Oahu near an area where at least one company sells shark feeding dives.

Hawaii authorities said the victim, a male in his 40s, was surfing off Oahu when a shark tore a large chunk out of his right leg and also injured his hands and arms.

The shark attack victim was rushed to Queen’s Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition.

Public safety officials and lifeguards on Oahu warned tourists and locals to stay out of the ocean due to the threat of shark attacks.

"We paddled out to a few people that were close to the shore today and they came back as soon as we notified them," City Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Lieutenant John Hoogsteden said.

Despite efforts to prevent people from swimming, diving, snorkeling and surfing in areas where sharks attack humans, Hawaii officials admitted they cannot stop shark feeding companies who operate ’legally’ three miles offshore where the state has no legal jurisdiction.

Although Hawaii banned shark feeding in 2002, at least one company Hawaii Shark Encounters continues to endanger locals and tourists by feeding sharks for thrill-seeking tourists at sites just beyond the three-mile limit.
Greg - 9/20/2008 7:56 AM
This is why all surfers should convert to scuba divers. OR start using boards that have pictures of other sharks on the bottom with electric noise coming off the board some how to scare away the shark :) I guess the stats really are true...surfers and swimmers are more likely to get bit than scuba divers.
NVR2L8 - 9/20/2008 5:35 PM
The owner of Hawaii Shark Encounters died on May 9, 2007. Jimmy Hall was killed in a tragic accident north of the Arctic Circle. He was in a very remote area near Sam Fjord on Baffin Island in Canada filming a documentary on the region that included base jumping from the incredibly harsh mountains. Jimmy died during one of those base jumps. The area is so remote, it’s only accessible by plane, snowmobile, and then dogsled. Hawaii’s North Shore ranks as one of top ten locations for shark attacks in the world. No one needs to attract any more sharks to this location. Or anywhere else for that matter...
waterlog - 9/21/2008 12:39 AM
Just in the past three weeks we have had hundreds of tiger and hammer head sightings. If you ask any of the older Hawaiians about it they say this happens every couple of years. For some reason they migrate here some people say to mate. But from the northern side of the big island all the way to maui we have been infested with tiger sharks.
TimmyP - 9/21/2008 1:22 AM
I saw a couple sharks out today at Makaha. We had a woman attacked there a few weeks back as well. She was out snorkeling and got bit on her arm. She was ok however. A doctor I think. We are all visitors in the Sharks’ house, so if you get bit, hey, can’t say you weren’t warned.
TimmyP - 9/21/2008 1:23 AM
and by the way, this guy was like 200 meters offshore, not anywhere near the 3 mile ring you have to be outside of to feed sharks....
NVR2L8 - 9/21/2008 11:14 AM
On average, one-third of the world’s attacks and the majority of U.S, attacks are recorded from Florida. Following that trend, Florida (32) had most of the unprovoked attacks in the United States. Since dropping from 37 in 2000 to an eleven year low of 12 in 2004, there has been a gradual upswing in attacks back to former levels. Additional U.S. attacks were recorded in Hawaii (7, its highest since 2002), South Carolina (5), California (3), North Carolina (2), and Texas (1). Volusia County usually is the source of about half of Florida’s activity and in 2007 had 17 bites, its highest total since 2002. This area normally has higher numbers of shark-human interactions as a result of very high aquatic recreational utilization of its attractive waters by both Florida residents and tourists, especially surfers drawn to the good breaks at New Smyrna Beach. Other Florida counties having attacks in 2007 were St. Lucie (4), Flagler (2), Sarasota (2), and Brevard, Broward, Collier, Martin, Indian River, Monroe, and Palm Beach (one each). The east coast of Florida historically has had more attacks than the Gulf of Mexico coastline because of the larger number of beach users, particularly surfers, utilizing its high-energy beaches.

Surfers/windsurfers (35 incidents: 56% of cases with victim activity information) and swimmers/waders (24: 38%) and were the recreational user groups most often involved in shark attacks in 2007. Less affected were divers/snorkelers (4: 6%). In eight attacks the activity of the victim was not ascertained. Surfers have been the most affected user group in recent years.
waterlog - 9/21/2008 5:06 PM
Its verry true the ocean is the sharks world. And if someone gets bit it is usually a case of mistaken identity. But sometimes its just some moron who thinks a shark can distiguish between his hand and the fish its holding.
NVR2L8 - 9/22/2008 12:37 PM

Sue Scott - Honolulu Star Bulletin 09/19/08

After a shark attack on Oahu last week and several shark sightings around the state, the Department of Land and Natural Resources included this phrase in a news release: "Experienced fishermen and scientists know that some shark species come into shallower waters during this time of year for spawning, which increases the chances of interaction between sharks and people."

This sure got people’s attention. "If it’s true that sharks come ashore during specific times of the year," e-mailed one reader, Liz, "why is this not common knowledge?"

It’s not common knowledge to anyone. Well, it is but ... Oh, dear. Let’s just say the DLNR statement was confusing.

First, sharks don’t spawn. Spawning is the term used for fish that reproduce by casting their sperm and eggs into the water where fertilization may or may not occur. Spawning often involves swirling masses of frenzied fish.

All sharks, however, fertilize eggs internally, meaning they copulate. The males likely find mates by following pheromones released by receptive females. After fertilization, female sharks retain their eggs until they hatch and then expel the live young into the ocean.

Another confusing aspect of the DLNR statement was that it didn’t name a species. At least 40 kinds of sharks swim in Hawaii’s waters, nearly all harmless to humans.

What is common knowledge is that female hammerhead sharks come from offshore waters to Hawaii’s bays and harbors to deliver their pups each April. And even though hammerheads are inshore annually, the species has been implicated in only two, nonfatal attacks here ever. Maybe. No one is sure those two bites came from hammerheads.

When people speak of sharks and attacks in Hawaii, they’re generally referring to tiger sharks, the most dangerous species in our waters. (Great whites are dangerous too, but they’re offshore and rare.)

Studies show our tiger sharks are roamers, swimming from coastlines to 365 miles away. They can travel 30 miles in 24 hours. Besides studying tiger sharks’ movements, Hawaii researchers have also gathered clues about when tiger sharks mate and give birth in Hawaii.

UH biologists analyzed data from 318 tiger sharks caught in Hawaii from 1959 to 2005. Five showed evidence of mating, all in January and February. Females store the sperm for four to five months, followed by a gestation period of 15-16 months. The pups, then, are born in September and October. Females reproduce once every three years.

It’s crucial to note what the biologists did not learn in this study, and that’s where tiger shark mating and pupping take place. All we know is that, unlike hammerhead pups, tiger shark pups are rarely seen or caught in Hawaii’s inshore waters.

So why the increase in shark sightings around the islands? Maybe it’s just good reporting. After an attack, people are more alert to shark appearances. It’s also possible that more sharks are close to shore right now, but the reason for that is known only to the sharks.

Liz’s concern about the DLNR shark bulletin was about more than her own safety. "I’m sure there’s some good information for people so they won’t want to kill the sharks," she writes. "It is their world, after all."

There is good information available. I hope what I’ve found helps those concerned and aids our sharks as well.