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Tiger sharks in Hawaii, Shark Encounters Hawaii

Tiger sharks in Hawaii

So you wanna see a tiger shark in Hawaii? Ok, maybe not. Yes we occasionally see tiger sharks. There are no nets, walls or signs that say "No tiger sharks allowed," that surround Hawaii and one must ALWAYS know, this is tiger shark country. Scuba diving in Hawaii will get you the best view of a tiger shark. We occasionally see these huge sharks about 1 every 2 months or so. Believe it or not, the tiger sharks we have come across were always very shy. Always turning the other way once we are spotted, making an encounter that lasts about 20 to 30 seconds, a guarantee lasting memory forever. These beautiful sharks with their bad boy reputation seldom seek out scuba divers preferring a solo lifestyle. But wait, the tiger shark is the second largest predatory shark, right after the great white shark. The mature sharks average about 11 to 14 ft long and weigh roughly 850 to 1,400 lb. That's a lot of shark, a true incredible experience if you are lucky enough to encounter one- underwater of course. Funny, but most of the times we get this thrilling event with first time divers at reefs no deeper than 30 feet. Scuba divers from what I noticed scare the tiger sharks with the sound of the bubbles emitting from the scuba unit and our strange electrical waves we transmit. Now surfers on the other hand are sitting ducks lol. Floating on their surf boards the surfers look at bit like the Hawaiian green sea turtles when seen from below. The classic "hit and run" tactic, a common maneuver with tiger sharks. Diving with a tiger shark I feel 100% at ease but floating on the surface is a whole different scenario.


The tiger shark is often found close to the coast of Hawaii. The tiger sharks tends to stay in deep waters that line reefs of Hawaii but we have seen these sharks in fairly shallow water. Tiger sharks have been found also in other Pacific regions than Hawaii. Far north as Japan and as far south as New Zealand. Now this we researched a bit and found very interesting. Tiger sharks has been recorded down to a depths to around 3000 feet. Absolutely amazing. What about light down there? Now, tiger sharks have amazing eyes. With a reflective layer behind the retina called the tapetum lucidum. This allows the light-sensing cells a second chance to capture photons of visible light, enhancing vision in low light condition. Be very cool to attach a cameras on these sharks. tiger shark in Hawaii

A tiger shark generally has long fins and a long upper tail which is easily distinguishable from other sharks. A tiger shark normally swims using little movements of its body, an almost sluggish swimming motion. Don't let this fool you, tiger sharks with their long tail fin can produce fast bursts of speed. Tiger sharks are also very flexible due to their high dorsal fin. Its high back and dorsal fin allowing it to spin quickly on its axis. Alrighty theeeeen. Lets talk about what makes a tiger shark so dangerous. Their teeth. The tiger sharks teeth are highly specialized to slice through just about anything. Flesh, bone, and pictured below the hard shells of sea turtles.

Other sharks don't really match the cutting power of theses teeth. Bad news for you surfers out there. Tiger sharks will never run out of teeth, once a tooth is broken or gone it is quickly replaced by its from within its jaw. Now that's cool. The tiger shark does have a reputation for eating anything it has access to. Not caring what nutritional value the prey may or may not have. This is what makes tiger sharks so feared. Their appetite is voracious. Tiger sharks commonly eat fish, squid, birds, seals, surfers, skinny dippers, other sharks, and sea turtles as pictured below. Like we mentioned before with their excellent eye sight and its acute sense of smell the tiger sharks is fundamentally the apex predator in the the ocean. Another weapon this shark carries around is the ability to detect low-frequency pressure waves produced by the movements of swimming animals.  Like they say, don't thrash around if you are stuck out at sea, the tiger sharks is very curious about this type of frequency.

tiger shark in Hawaii- Oahu Diving

Tiger sharks are pretty much solitary hunters, usually hunting at night. Usually if you do see a group of tiger sharks eating together most likely it is sometime big and dead such as a floating whale carcass. Identifying a tiger shark is a bit easier than any other sharks aside from the Star Wars looking hammer head shark. Tiger like stripes run down their body in a wavy like effect. Allowing the tiger shark to not be seen when looking from the top down. Natures way of camouflaging marine creatures never ceases to amaze us. So you want to know what are the statistics of shark attacks and which shark is doing most of the damage.