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Are Recent Hawaii Shark Attacks A Trend?

by Fergy Ferguson

The question is, Are Recent Hawaii Shark Attacks A Trend?  In 2012, worldwide, there have been over 95 shark attacks or related incidents.  That is about average for worldwide statistics.  The majority of these reports have come from Australia, and Florida, which has seen a spike this year too.  When I was researching this post, I also noted that there were several incidents in places where I used to surf in the Monterey Bay area of California.  That did not seem out of the ordinary to me as there are lots of surfers in that area.

Hawaii Vacation Surfing – Learn to Surf In Hawaii

What is interesting about many of these reports is that surfers, or paddle boarders, are getting a lot of chunks taken out of their boards, and sometimes themselves lately.  This leads experts to believe that the sharks are thinking the boards are seals, or other normal prey.  I have got to tell you that when I was surfing years ago, that was the common wisdom then.  The truth of the matter is that, even the experts don’t know what causes the amount of attacks to go up at any given time.

So does that mean you should stay off the boards, or out of the water?  No way, just take a look at Waikiki on any given day.  You could probably count 100 surfers and paddle boarders pretty quickly.

More Posts On The Island Of Oahu.

Plus think about all the people in the water on any given day on all the islands in the state of Hawaii.  The amount of attacks, versus the amount of people on boards, or in the water, is statistically minuscule.  As a matter of fact, since the early 1880’s there have only been a little over 100 attacks in all of Hawaii’s waters.  Out of those, there have only been 8 fatalities, the last one way back in 2004.  The amount of reported attacks goes up & down as evidenced by a small spike this year, versus just 3 reports in 2099, 2010, qnd 2011.

So what can you do to make sure you are not shark bait?
1. Don’t swim, snorkel, dive, or surf/paddleboard alone in deep water.
2. There is some evidence that being in the water at dawn, or dusk is not the best time.
3. Don’t wear flashy jewelery, or highly contrasting colors in the water.
4. Stay out of murky water.
5. If you see fish, turtles, or people fleeing, you had better leave yourself.
6. Don’t be chum by swimming with a bleeding cut or dragging a bleeding catch.
7. Lastly, if you heard sharks were active…..stay out of the water dude…..

The main thing to take away from all this is that it is extremely rare for these incidents to happen.  Pay attention when you go in the ocean anywhere, not just Hawaii.  Common sense tells us all that if you respect the ocean, you can enjoy it.

A hui ho…

Fergy,
Seattle to Hawaii Vacation Consultant
Call 206-623-2490
Email: fergy@fergystravel.com

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