Projects : Hawaiʻi Tiger Shark Tracking

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Pick a shark:
shark 81182 81182
13.4 ft (4.1 m) male
shark 122984 122984
14.7 ft (4.5 m) female
shark 122985 122985
14.2 ft (4.3 m) female
shark 132062 132062
12.4 ft (3.8 m) female
shark 132063 132063
10.8 ft (3.3 m) female
shark 133361 133361
12.3 ft (3.7 m) female
shark 133362 133362
13.5 ft (4.1 m) female
shark 133363 133363
12.5 ft (3.8 m) female
shark 133365 133365
10.6 ft (3.2 m) male
shark 133366 133366
10.9 ft (3.3 m) female
shark 133367 133367
12.7 ft (3.9 m) female
shark 133368 133368
13.4 ft (4.1 m) female
shark 133369 133369
9.3 ft (2.8 m) male
shark 133370 133370
14.2 ft (4.3 m) female
shark 133371 133371
12.2 ft (3.7 m) female
shark 133372 133372
12.3 ft (3.7 m) female
shark 133373 133373
12.9 ft (3.9 m) female
shark 134780 134780
10.2 ft (3.1 m) female
shark 137070 137070
12.1 ft (3.7 m) male
shark 137073 137073
12.6 ft (3.8 m) female
shark 137074 137074
10.6 ft (3.2 m) female
shark 137077 137077
11.9 ft (3.6 m) male
shark 137078 137078
13.6 ft (4.1 m) female
shark 137079 137079
12.4 ft (3.8 m) female
shark 144554 144554
10.6 ft (3.2 m) female
shark 144555 144555
9.0 ft (2.7 m) female
shark 144556 144556
9.8 ft (3.0 m) male
shark 145989 145989
11.6 ft (3.5 m) female

DISCLAIMER: This is not a warning system and does not provide real-time monitoring.

Overview

This PacIOOS Voyager map shows the movements of tiger sharks fitted with satellite tags near Maui and Oʻahu between 2013 and 2015. The tag is attached to the shark’s dorsal fin and sends a signal every time the fin breaks the surface. Pick a shark from the menu to watch its track. Placing your cursor over a location spot gives you the date and time of the event. The pink square symbol indicates the original tagging location and the bright yellow dot shows the last reported detection. There is a level of uncertainty associated with some of these locations—there may be over a mile in error associated with any given point.

Shark Tag Deployment

Experts tag a tiger shark with a tracking device in the waters off Maui. The satellite tag gets attached to the shark’s dorsal fin and sends a signal every time the fin surfaces the water. Photo Credit: HIMB

Research Findings

Maui witnessed a higher number of unprovoked shark bites in 2012 and 2013. In order to better understand tiger shark movement patterns, a team of researchers from the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology equipped 41 tiger sharks with satellite and/or acoustic tags off Maui and Oʻahu and tracked their movements for up to two years.

The study revealed that tiger sharks prefer to spend time on insular shelf habitat, which is a gently-sloping area between the shoreline and the shelf break at a depth of around 600 ft. This type of shelf habitat is home to a wide variety of shark prey, and Maui Nui has more of this shelf habitat than all of the other main Hawaiian Islands combined. The habitat around Maui can support fairly resident tiger sharks, and it also attracts tiger sharks from other parts of Hawaiʻi.

Areas that are most frequently visited by tiger sharks around Maui include waters adjacent to popular ocean recreation sites. However, despite the routine presence of large tiger sharks close to popular beaches, the risk of being bitten remains very low, suggesting tiger sharks normally avoid interactions with people.

The research findings will help officials from the State of Hawaiʻi to raise public awareness of the natural presence of large sharks in Hawaiʻi coastal waters.

Download the final report: Spatial dynamics of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) around Maui and Oʻahu.

Shark study helps explain higher incidence of encounters off Maui. Source: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Project Partners

With funding from the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), data were collected by Principal Investigators Carl Meyer, Ph.D. and Kim Holland, Ph.D. along with other members of the Shark Research Team of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH).

State of Hawaii logo Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) logo Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) logo University of Hawaii at Manoa logo SOEST logo HIMB logo
State of Hawaii logo Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) logo
Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) logo University of Hawaii at Manoa logo
SOEST logo HIMB logo

More Information

Tiger Shark

Tiger shark with a tag attached to its dorsal fin. Photo Credit: Mark Royer