Scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology completed the first phase of a project to observe the movements of tiger sharks caught and tagged around the island of Maui. In response to an uptick in the number of shark attacks recorded on Maui, the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources is funding a study on the movements of tiger sharks caught and released around the Valley Isle. DLNR plans to use the results of the study to guide future decisions regarding management of shark populations in Hawaiʻi.
Lead scientists Associate Researcher Carl Meyer and Researcher Kim Holland report that, in late October, the shark research team caught and released 15 tiger sharks in waters off the south shore of Maui. Eight of these sharks were equipped with satellite transmitters to track their movements.
To help disseminate the results to the public, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) is launching a web page that shows the movements of the tagged sharks. The page will also include sharks tagged in the future as the project progresses.
“It’s good to see the Maui shark tracking project off to such a good start, and the new PacIOOS web page will give the public an opportunity to become more familiar with the behavior of sharks in Hawaiʻi’s waters,” said William Aila, DLNR chair.
Based within the UH Mānoa School for Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology, PacIOOS is the Pacific Islands regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System. PacIOOS is a partnership of data providers and users working together to enhance ocean observations and develop, disseminate, evaluate and apply ocean data and information products designed to address the environmental, economic, and public safety needs of stakeholders who call the Pacific Islands home.