Maui Mayor: No plans for shark nets, other deterrents after attacks

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui mayor Alan Arakawa is speaking out about an increase in shark sightings on the Valley Isle.

Speaking on a community television program that ran Wednesday evening on Akaku TV, Arakawa, along with lifeguards and shark experts, said that an increase in shark sightings is likely because more people are on the lookout for fins.

The program discussed the anxiety of residents and tourists after four shark related incidents in Maui waters this year. Despite last month's fatal attack near Makena, Arakawa says there are no plans to install nets or shark deterrents.

"The cost for doing that, and the environmental challenges and the permits it would take us to the next century," said Mayor Arakawa. "It's overkill at the maximum and it's really unnecessary and inappropriate."

Other experts say there are other effective ways to stay safe in the water.

"The number one thing you can do to reduce your risk is to not be out there by yourself," said Maui D.L.N.R. spokesperson Russell Sparks.

The D.L.N.R. says it is hopeful that an upcoming research project will help explain why 40 percent of Hawaii shark attacks typically happen on Maui.

There have been eight confirmed shark attacks in Hawaii this year, with four of them happening on Maui.

Jana Lutteropp, a visitor from Germany, was snorkeling off Palauea Beach in Makena when a shark bit off her right arm last month. She was placed on life support after the attack and died a week later,

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