Shark Week News and the Kahu Manō

This week is Shark Week, Discovery Channels sensationalistic programs on feeding frenzies and shark attacks. On a more serious note, July 14 is International Shark Awareness Day, a day to recognize the importance of sharks to marine ecosystems, and the dire threat of extinction many species face. Shark Stewards lives for sharks everyday, and works to protect them from overfishing and the wildlife trade.

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Sharks and Chainmail Valerie Taylor: Women in Ocean Science

I watched Jaws for the first time as a kid, with my dad. He cautioned me it might be too scary, but I wasn’t scared of the shark- I was enthralled. That fascination never left and has brought me to many pieces of media much better for sharks than Jaws, but Jaws in addition to all the horror the film brought for sharks, helped bring prominence to the career of a remarkable woman who has worked tirelessly to document and save sharks.

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Press Release: Kona celebrates sharks on International Shark Day with film

On July 13, International Shark Day will be recognized in Kona with shark films recognizing the beauty and importance of sharks. Divers, surfers, swimmers and ocean lovers are invited to watch shark films at the Kona Elk Theater as a benefit event for the Kalanihale.org educating youth in Miloli’i. 

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Shark Attacks Occuring Early in Hawai’i

The shark season is heating up early in 2024, with four incidents in Hawai’i by June. Although Maui has the notoriety of the most shark attacks in the Hawaiian Island chain, all incidents occurred on the island of Oahu thus far according to Hawaii’s Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR). Read how you can avoid getting bitten by a shark and still enjoy the ocean.

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Sharks and the sustainable blue economy

Sharks play a pivotal role in ocean ecosystems, acting as apex predators that maintain the health and balance of marine environments. Their presence regulates species populations, which helps prevent the overgrazing of seagrasses and reefs by smaller marine animals.6 By promoting healthy oceanic ecosystems, sharks indirectly support fisheries and other marine industries critical to the blue economy.

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Hawaii’s Spiritual Connection to the Shark

Sharks play an important role in art, legends, and even spiritual beliefs. Throughout Hawaiian folklore, stories, legends and myths feature sharks as deities and their interactions with humans. Sharks as individuals, and as symbols, are even revered by many native Hawaiians. Some species of sharks, like the Tiger shark, have a special status as ‘aumakua, or family guardians.

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Are Sharks Killing More People?

There were 69 unprovoked bites last year worldwide, and 10 of those were fatal, according to the ISAF. That was higher than the recent average of six deaths per year according to the ISAF. According to the statistics, the 2023 increase in incidents is within normal range of variation over the previous five years, according to Dr Gavin Naylor of the ISAF.

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