Rise in Attacks Prompts Hawaii Officials to Study Tiger Shark Movements

hawaii beachThe Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Hawaii officials plan to spend the next two years studying tiger shark movements around Maui amid what they call an unprecedented spike in overall shark attacks since the start of 2012.

The proposed plans come on the heels of two recent shark attacks in Hawaii. A German tourist who lost her arm in a shark attack while snorkeling off Maui was on life support Monday, a day after a Big Island surfer suffered leg injuries in Hawaii's second shark attack in less than a week, according to the AP.

During a news conference, Chairman William Aila of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said Hawaii doesn't know as much as it should about shark movements in waters around Maui and the Big Island. That's why it's planning a two-year study to tag and track tiger sharks, which will begin next month.

According to the report, Aila said Tuesday that Hawaii waters are safe if swimmers are cautious. However, he said 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, and saw one or zero attacks in 11 years between 1980 and 2012, according to state data.

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