State calls for study of tiger sharks amid spike in attacks

Published: Aug. 20, 2013 at 6:12 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 21, 2013 at 12:35 AM HST
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Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii officials plan to spend the next two years studying shark movements around Maui amid what they call an unprecedented spike in shark attacks since the start of 2012.

Chairman William Aila of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said Tuesday that Hawaii waters are safe if swimmers are cautious. But he says prevailing opinion is that there are more sharks and more people in Hawaiian waters, creating more chances for bites.

There have been eight attacks statewide this year and 10 in 2012. Hawaii usually sees only three to four attacks each year.

A 20-year-old German tourist lost her arm in an attack last week as she snorkeled off the coast of Maui. Four days later, a 16-year-old surfer suffered injuries to both legs after a shark bite in waters off the Big Island.

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