We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

Chicago
Level Contributor
267 posts
17 reviews
Save Topic
Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

Not to be unnecessarily paranoid, but I've heard a few stories (some on these boards) about four or five recent (within the past year) shark attacks near Maui. One was a guy swimming ridiculously far from shore, another was a girl whose leg got bitten while she was parasailing. I know my chances of getting struck by lightening while winning the lottery are greater than me being eaten by a shark, but are there any particular areas/habits I should avoid while snorkeling? Will probably do the bulk of snorkeling near Black Rock in November.

Mentioned in this post
Maui
Maui
Hawaii
Black Rock
Black Rock
818 Reviews
Maui, HI
washington state
Level Contributor
3,006 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

You'll be fine. Millions of people snorkel every year in Hawaii and do not get attacked. Do not snorkel at dawn or dusk . That's "chum" time. You'll be fine at Black Rock. No worries.

Mentioned in this post
Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Black Rock
Black Rock
818 Reviews
Maui, HI
Kihei, HI
Level Contributor
1,029 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

Sharks in Hawaii are a fact of life and attacks can happen anywhere, anytime. That was excellent advice about staying out of the water when it's dark. It's also good to avoid areas where there is much spear fishing going on as blood in the water doesn't help your odds much. But to put things in perspective a bit ... many more people die in the islands from being hit by falling coconuts than do as a result of shark attacks.

Mentioned in this post
Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Chicagoland
Level Contributor
22,099 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

Add to packing list: Hardhats

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,363 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

The locals can correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard that there was an area near the Maui Ocean Center that had seen more than its share of attacks and that warnings had been posted.

Sharks do bite at times, but it is not something that I was ever particulary worried about, despite the fact that the last time I was in Maui there was an attack very close to where I was staying about a week before I arrived.

Follow the basic rules and you should be fine. I always kept an eye out while snorkling, but that was largely because I wanted to see a shark. No luck so far.

Mentioned in this post
Maui Ocean Center
Maui Ocean Center
4,024 Reviews
Maui, HI
Maui
Maui
Hawaii
maui
Level Contributor
261 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

yes, hit by lightning while winning the lotto.you can not predict where they are. the only place I am the slightest but concerned is olowalo, just b4 lahaina. we have had several shark sightings there. But I did swim there on a snorkle boat recently. my sis and cousin were visiting, we booked a snorkel trip. the weather made us stay close. Just shook my head to myself when we ended up at olowalu!! I didn't say a word, I got in the water anyway we had a great snorkle. we had several awhile back up kahana side but that was cuz some body dumped a load of dead fish there! they closed the beach. we keep a good eye on the ocean and when there is a sighting (last one I heard about was 2.5 years ago) the community goes into action. the beach will be closed, and the boys are out there on the ski doo's moving it along. if any stayed too long, or caused too much trouble, it would be taken care of by some hard core fishermen on the down low. It's pretty safe out there, like you said hit the lotts

maui
Level Contributor
261 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

yes, hit by lightning while winning the lotto.you can not predict where they are. the only place I am the slightest but concerned is olowalo, just b4 lahaina. we have had several shark sightings there. But I did swim there on a snorkle boat recently. my sis and cousin were visiting, we booked a snorkel trip. the weather made us stay close. Just shook my head to myself when we ended up at olowalu!! I didn't say a word, I got in the water anyway we had a great snorkle. we had several awhile back up kahana side but that was cuz some body dumped a load of dead fish there! they closed the beach. we keep a good eye on the ocean and when there is a sighting (last one I heard about was 2.5 years ago) the community goes into action. the beach will be closed, and the boys are out there on the ski doo's moving it along. if any stayed too long, or caused too much trouble, it would be taken care of by some hard core fishermen on the down low. It's pretty safe out there, like you said hit the lotts

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,363 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

For more info see:

http://www.hawaiisharks.com/

Kihei, HI
Level Contributor
502 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

I've snorkeled at least a hundered times around 3 Hawaiian islands and only saw a shark once. A cute 3-4' reef shark in Molokini, and he stayed near the bottom and didn't pay any attention to me or any of the other snorkelers. Remember that even if you do find yourself in the water with a shark, sharks are not really interested in preying on people for whatever reason. It's a freak thing when they do, mistaken identity or whatnot. If this were not the case, Kaanapali beach would be a free shark buffet and nobody would even get in the water.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,363 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

Swim, surf or dive with other people, and don’t move too far away from assistance.

Stay out of the water at dawn, dusk and night, when some species of sharks may move inshore to feed.

Do not enter the water if you have open wounds or are bleeding in any way. Sharks can detect blood and body fluids in extremely small concentrations.

Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances and areas near stream mouths (especially after heavy rains), channels or steep drop-offs. These types of waters are known to be frequented by sharks.

Do not wear high-contrast clothing or shiny jewelry. Sharks see contrast very well.

Refrain from excessive splashing; keep pets, which swim erratically, out of the water. Sharks are known to be attracted to such activity.

Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present. Leave the water quickly and calmly if one is sighted. Do not provoke or harass a shark, even a small one.

If fish or turtles start to behave erratically, leave the water. Avoid swimming near dolphins, as they are prey for some large sharks.

Remove speared fish from the water or tow them a safe distance behind you. Do not swim near people fishing or spear fishing. Stay away from dead animals in the water.

Swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards and follow their advice.

Portland, OR
Level Contributor
1,886 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Hearing mixed messages about sharks on Maui

ChicagoBrettski,

There are NO sharks ON Maui. Only in the waters surrounding it. But as others have said, I would not worry about them, just follow good common shark sense, and Skeeter has covered that very well.

Good luck and happy travels!

Mentioned in this post
Maui
Maui
Hawaii