10 Most Dangerous Places for Shark Attacks

Warning signs in Maui.
Warning signs in Maui.

­What's a trip to Hawaii without a stop in Oahu or Maui? Almost half of Hawaii's 136 shark attacks since 1882 have occurred off the coasts of these two islands, with 36 attacks and three fatalities occurring in Maui and 34 attacks and six fatalities in Oahu. Other islands aren't safe either, with 19 attacks occurring off Kauai and 12 off the big island of Hawaii [source: ISAF].

This total is fairly low when you consider the millions of tourists who visit each year, but you should still be on the lookout for the approximately 40 species of shark that call Hawaii home [source: Lursson]. One of these species is the dangerous tiger shark, responsible for the most attacks on humans after the great white.

Hawaii has a mixed record when it comes to dealing with sharks. On the one hand, a 1959 fatal attack led to a decades-long shark eradication program sponsored by the government [source: Gaffney]. On the other hand, some native Hawaiians call the tiger shark aumakua, or guardian spirit.

On the next page, we'll see what spot in the world ranks third for shark attacks, and if they're doing anything about it.

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