HONOLULU — A recent spate of aggressive sharks spotted near the shore at a popular spot on Oahu’s north side is likely due to the spawning season of a species of fish, a Hawaii shark expert said.
Waimea Bay lifeguards on Monday reported multiple aggressive sharks about 5 yards (5 meters) offshore.
Carl Meyer of the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Marine Biology said the schools of fish are probably attracting sharks close to the shoreline where they are easier to see, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://bit.ly/2h4UN8y).
Meyer, who has been tracking shark movement patterns and habitat use around the Hawaiian Islands for more than two decades, expects the shark activity to taper off as the schools dwindle or disperse.
“Juvenile akule (halalu) form schools in many sheltered bays and harbors at this time of the year,” Meyer said, adding that the fish at Waimea typically start to disperse in mid- to late September.
No sharks were spotted Wednesday, but signs remained on the beach at Waimea as a precautionary measure because of frequent sightings in the past several days, including a 6- to 8-foot (1.8- to 2.4-meter) shark that was observed last week feeding on fish about 30 yards (27 meters) offshore.
Species detected at Waimea include tiger sharks, oceanic blacktip sharks, sandbar sharks, Galapagos sharks and scalloped hammerhead sharks. It’s unclear at this time what species were observed thrashing in near-shore waters Monday as researchers have yet to retrieve the latest data.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com