KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) - State officials are urging beachgoers to use extra caution this month when entering the water, as shark encounters tend to peak in Hawaii during the fall season.
West Hawaii Today reports that research conducted at the University of Hawaii shows shark attacks are more likely to occur during fall months, particularly October. About 20 percent of Hawaii's shark attacks over the last 35 years have happened during October.
Researchers have attributed the seasonal spike to migrating tiger sharks that travel from the Northwestern Hawaiian islands to the main islands during the fall to give birth.
While the chance of being bitten by a shark is "extremely small," Bruce Anderson with the state's Division of Aquatic Resources says people should minimize the risk by going to beaches with lifeguards and staying close to shore.