Rosalani and Romina
Modern Hawaiian History
May 17, 2002
The tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier, is a large (up to
18ft) predator found in tropical and subtropical waters
world wide. Tiger sharks are one of the three main shark
species known to attack humans, and are responsible for most shark attacks in Hawaii. Less than one shark attack occurs
per year on average in Hawaii (compared to an annual average of 40 thousand drowning) and mosts attacks are non-fatal.
This attack rate is surprisingly low considering that
thousand of people swim, surf and dive in Hawaiian waters
every day. Despite these statistics, sharks attacks remain a highly emotive topic in Hawaii. This reaction is
unsurprising in a state that is economically dependent on
tourism and recreational ocean use. Killing tiger sharks
contradicts traditional beliefs of native Hawaiians, who
consider these animals to be sacred Auma kua' or ancestor
This large sharks is to tropical waters what the great
white is to the temperate waters. Its is named for the dark
strips on its gray back, which pronounce in juveniles but
become pale or disappear in large adults. Its wide mouth,
broad nose, barrel chest, and the slenderness at the base of its tail are distinctive. So, too are its heavily serrated,
cockscomb-shaped teeth. These, combined with is jaw
strength, allow it to cut the bodies of large sea turtles,
as well as seals, sea lions, and cetaceans.
They are active at night, and enter shallow reefs and
lagoons after dusk top feed. In certain areas they migrate
between island groups to take advantage of colonies of young birds learning to fly over water. Generally, tiger sharks
are sluggish, but they can move quickly when feeding, and
should be treated carefully on the rare occasions they are
sighted. If you see one while diving, calmly leave the
water, keeping it in sight at all times.
To date over 130 tiger sharks ranging from 7ft to...