Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Recent Maui Shark Encounters and Shark Tracking

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Shark tracking. Graphics by Wendy Osher/Maui Now.  Map courtesy Google.

Shark tracking. Graphics by Wendy Osher/Maui Now. Map courtesy Google.

The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.

By Mayor Alan Arakawa

Q: Has anyone investigated whether any of the tagged sharks were involved in these recent biting incidents?

A: According to the Pacific Island Ocean Observing System’s tiger shark tracking website, it would be difficult to get a definitive answer on a shark’s identity because the tracking system does not provide real-time monitoring.

The website notes that the tags “intermittently track the sharks’ locations over time as the shark’s dorsal fin breaches the water’s surface.”


The site clearly states that the monitoring system is not a warning system; however, the date and time provided with each tag reading can offer a general idea of the whereabouts of each of the 17 tagged tiger sharks and whether any of them were in an area when a biting incident was reported.


The tagged sharks range in size from a 9.3-foot male to a 14.7-foot female.

The tiger shark tagging project is funded by the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources – Division of Aquatic Resources. Data is collected by investigators and members of the Marine Biology Shark Research Team of the UH Mānoa Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology.

To view the website and shark tracking feature, visit the Hawaiʻi Tiger Shark Tracking website.


Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

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