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Mākena Beaches Closed Following Confirmed Shark Sighting

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   December 4th, 2013 · 14 Disqus Comments ·
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Shark sighting sign at Mākena. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Shark sighting sign at Mākena. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

(11:33 a.m. 12/4/13)

Crews from the Department of Land and Natural Resources closed a portion of beach near Puʻuōlaʻi in Mākena following a shark sighting by divers in the area on Wednesday morning, officials tell Maui Now.

The stretch of beach will be closed until sunset this evening from the “Dumps” surf spot in La Perouse to Mākena Landing as a precautionary measure.

Officials tell Maui Now that some divers in the area who were approached by a shark, notified authorities of the incident.  Authorities say the sighting occurred closer to shore than the fatal shark bite incident offshore of Mākena on Monday morning.

The victim from Monday’s incident was later identified as 57-year-old Patrick A. Briney, of Washington State.  Authorities say he was fishing from a kayak between Maui and Molokaʻi when his foot was bitten by a shark.

The incident was the second fatal shark attack in Maui waters this year and comes following the death of German visitor, Jana Lutteropp in August at Maui’s Palauea Beach in Mākena.

According to the Division of Aquatic Resources, this is the thirteenth reported shark incident statewide this year, and the eighth in Maui waters.  The agency notes that over the last 20 years, Hawaiʻi has averaged about four unprovoked shark incidents per year, but numbers per individual year are “highly variable.”

There were no reported incidents in 1998, and just one in 2008, according to the DLNR.  In 2012, the 10 incidents reported were at the time unprecedented, the report states.

Last month, the DLNR launched the $186,000, two-year study to focus on tiger shark movements around Maui, and compared their behavior to that of known movement patterns around the other main Hawaiian islands.

The data will be used to help determine whether sharks around Maui are more resident than they are around other islands, and whether they exhibit greater use of inshore habitats than in other locations, according to information posted on a new web tracking page.

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  • TJ

    The state and local police back in the day killed sharks once a month. maybe they should start doing that again. If the shark is you amakua why don’t you go swim with one and see what happens

  • usbworks

    If a bear had hurt a person anywhere else in this country, then it would be hunted and killed. This shark has hurt one person and has killed two others since August. It’s time to go find it and kill it, before there’s another victim.

    • chicken wire shark cage

      You’re going to have to wait for one and a half more year. Before they do anything remember they are still doing their research. And they don’t want to give the $180 k back. And after they finished with their research they have to analyze their findings. Then after they analyze their findings Then they have to call a conference to talk about their findings and analyzes. Then they have to try to figure out what can they do. Then they will see if they can get more money to go out and do what they need to do. Then they have to call another conference to figure out what and where they going to start first. And find the sharks location after two years. My advise to all swimmers. Don’t go in the water for the next two years without a shark cage. And if you don’t know where to buy one. Call me I can weld one up for you to your size. Cal for prices.

      • SoLongSac

        Don’t forget they will have to form a committee to see if the research was successful – send the data to California to be analyzed and then present that in the conference.

  • Rainbows&Butterflies

    You do not know that it is the same shark attacking people.
    Focus on the facts:
    1. Shark attacks on Maui have reached an unprecedented high — which is now being reported in the MSM (main stream media) ABC, CNN…

    2. Useless governement employees have been granted $200,000 for a two year “study” to GPS and “watch” the behavior of sharks in the isles. Track your favorite shark on their website! Then vacation on Maui to swim with it…

    3. Maui Ocean Center is ILLEGALLY capturing tiger sharks, domesticating them with hand held meals, then discarding them (after they have worn out their profitable usefullness) into the Maui Reefs. MOC admiited such onTV.
    Guess what the domesticated sharks wait to dine on?

    4. Overfishing (aka TRAWLING) where fishing industries drop nets and sccop up every ocean organism. They collect the tuna or pollock and discard the rest of the species they killed — so VITAL to the health of the ocean.

    5. FUKUSHIMA.
    STILL LEAKING. Confirmed reports of RADIOACTIVE fish in California (enjoy that sushi) yet NOTHING mentioned about the radioactive conditions of our closely shared Pacific waters. Not to mention the Fukushima fallout (cement piers, homes, etc.) circling the Pacific endangering the ocean species and sailboats.

    6. Please, STOP with the RIP’s and (: (:( everytime someone is killed or attacked by a shark. And do NOT tell us to stay out of the ocean as an excuse. The Ocean we all cherish is out of whack due to human irresponsibility. Time to speak out and become responsible citizens of this Aina we so cherish.

    • AntiToad

      Okay on all of the above, especially No. 6. With that, the results of human irresponsibility need to be corrected by humans. I still say hunt down dem big buggas w/teeth and fix the problem; this problem ain’t going away on its own.

    • SoLongSac

      I think you got most of it – spot on. And as AntiToad said below, bring in a few of the big ones that continue to come close to shore.

  • Nomexicomaybenomaui

    When tourism starts to decline due to this shark problem, maybe then they will track the problem and rid it of the waters. If MOC is doing the feed and release that’s horrifying.

    • SoLongSac

      Look up who is the owners of MOC and that should answer your question – all about the $$$$$

  • Rainbows&Butterflies

    What about an on-line petition to stop Maui Ocean Center’s illegal activities which are no doubt a major factor in the attacks. MOC should be banned from catching, domesticating (via hand-held meals) and releasing into the reefs.

  • PaodeQueijo

    Nature finally fighting back.

  • Rainbows&Butterflies

    Rainbows&Butterflies

    a minute ago

    OMG. Check out the IOOS
    (Integrated Ocean Observing System) website where they tag sharks in
    Hawaii and you can pick and choose which shark you want to watch! Before
    it attacks you. Don’t worry, their disclaimer states that the shark’s
    movements are not in real-time.

    Wonder if the HTA (Hawaii Tourism Authority) has taken notice…

  • ben

    This is from the Maui Ocean Center website where they charge $199 for a shark dive and confirm that they “rotate” them back into the ocean after turning them into circus animals. The sharks stay around Maui waiting for dinner from humans.

    “Due to the constant rotation of animals back to the ocean, the presence of any specific animal cannot be guaranteed.”
    What kind of animals will I encounter?
    Animals in the exhibit may include but are
    not limited to: Tiger shark, hammerhead shark,
    blacktip reef shark, grey reef shark, whitetip reef
    shark, sandbar shark,spotted eagle ray, broad stingray, and dozens
    of species of tropical reef and pelagic fish.

    “Due to the constant rotation of animals back to the ocean, the presence of any specific animal cannot be guaranteed.”

  • ben

    More from MOC’s website:

    “You’ve probably not been diving with
    this concentration of sharks (about
    20 in 750,000
    gallons) or
    with these species, which may
    include a tiger
    shark and hammerheads.”

    20 sharks in a tank? The UH website which tags and tracks the sharks here doesn’t even have 20 sharks tagged. MOC just recycles them and releases them to attack humans when in the wild.


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