Forget Shark Week. It’s ‘Sharktober’ and researchers are tracking the predators in Hawaii waters

Kaua'i-based biologist Terry Lilley estimates there are anywhere from 5 to 8 great whites in Hawaiian waters this time of year.
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 5:33 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 21, 2022 at 9:25 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As winter approaches, expect high surf across Hawaiian waters ― and don’t be surprised to see an increase in shark sightings.

Kauai-based marine biologist Terry Lilley has spent decades researching Hawaii’s ocean life and typically refers to this time of year as “Shark-tober.”

Hawaii is home to a large population of tiger sharks, but he adds it’s not uncommon to see more great whites statewide.

The veteran researcher says large female predators make the trip to Hawaii from Mexico to feed in the winter months and some of his colleagues have tracked some off of Kauai as recently as a few days ago.

“It’s not an event where there are technically more sharks in October,” Lilley explained.

“They’re just taking advantage on feeding on a high concentration of honu that are feeding on the seaweed that’s getting washed off the reef in the first big winter swells.”

Lilley estimates there are anywhere from five to eight great whites in the state this time of year.

Hawaii shark researchers are tracking the activity of tiger sharks statewide on this website.