Chances of Being Attacked by a Shark in Hawaii

Maui SharksYour chances are near to none. You’re more likely to win the lottery than be attacked by a shark. The following statistics come from over 125 years of reports. Over this long period of time, there have only been 15 unprovoked shark attacks resulting in fatalities in the Hawaiian Islands. 113 attacks total occurred in this time frame, of which 98 were not fatal. The last fatal attack occurred on Maui in 2004.

Maui has seen 36 unprovoked shark attacks in the last 125 years, of which only 3 were fatal. Of the billions of people to visit our islands in the last century, the number of attacks becomes dwarfed leaving your chances of being attacked by a shark near to nothing.

Still, if you’re eager to not be the one in a million attacked by a shark, here are a few things to remember when in the ocean.

Sharks are more likely to attack:

• At night or when the sun is setting or coming up. (Sharks feed primarily at night.)

• Snorkelers and Surfers (Sharks like to attack objects at the surface.)

• Near stream and river outlets. (The murky water attracts smaller fish that they like.)

• Near a shoreline after or during heavy rains.

• Around heavy fishing areas. (Stay out of the water when fisherman are chumming.)

• People with open-wounds. (If you’re bleeding, don’t go swimming.)

• Further out in the ocean in deeper waters.

• People with little respect for the ocean.

Even if you do everything possible to attract sharks, you’re still not likely to be bit. Sharks don’t like to eat humans, and they usually only attack by mistake.

For more statistical information on shark attacks in Hawaii, visit the Hawaii Shark Map.

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