Tiger Shark Study Reveals Findings


Tiger Shark Study Reveals Findings

Shark researchers Dr. Carl Meyer, Dr. Kim Holland and their student team from the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) at the University of Hawai’i completed a study to better understand tiger shark movement patterns around Maui and O’ahu. The State of Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) commissioned the study to find answers to a spike in shark bites off Maui in 2012 and 2013.

A total of 41 tiger sharks were tagged off Maui and O’ahu to track their movements over two years. The study revealed that tiger sharks prefer the insular shelf habitat (from the shoreline to a depth of 600ft), supporting a wide variety of shark prey. Maui Nui has more shelf habitat than all other Main Hawaiian Islands combined, which not only supports resident tiger sharks but also attracts sharks from other parts of Hawai’i. Areas around Maui that are most frequently visited by sharks are in close proximity to popular recreation areas, which may explain the increased level of shark encounters. Learn more about the study results and access the full report. PacIOOS makes tiger shark tracks available online and provides funding for ongoing and future tagging efforts. While the tracks do not serve as a warning or real-time monitoring system, they raise awareness about the ocean environment and inform long-term decision-making.

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PacIOOS is the first regional association that was certified as a Regional Information Coordination Entity (RICE) by the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Certification provides NOAA and its interagency partners a means to verify that a regional association’s organizational and operational practices, including data management, meet recognized and established standards set by NOAA.