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Experts Rule out Tiger Shark in Hawaii Island Incident

Honolulu – Personnel from the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), in consultation with the former director of the International Shark Attack File, have ruled out a tiger shark as having been involved in Tuesday’s incident at Anaeho‘omalu Bay on Hawai‘i Island, in which a California woman was bitten on her leg.

It’s believed the shark was probably a Galapagos shark, 6-8 feet long, but a definitive determination can’t be made because it’s difficult to distinguish what are known as requiem sharks based solely on injuries. The term requiem shark is now used on the State shark website to refer to any unidentified member of the Carcharhinidae family of sharks, except tiger sharks. These include Galapagos, blacktip, blacktip reef, gray reef, whitetip reef, and sandbar sharks.

In addition, only shark encounters that involve someone being injured are listed, not when a shark bites a board or boat. A previous incident at Anaeho‘omalu Bay on March 26, 2019 has therefore been removed from the list, as analysis of the evidence suggests that the person involved was not bitten by the shark.