2016 Shark Week is finally here! Those of you that haven’t heard of Shark Week, or don’t understand it’s hype, we will catch you up to speed/. Essentially, it is a week long television program of original information content on sharks tips and myths. Who wouldn’t want to learn more or watch gnarly footage of sharks!
So now that you’re up to speed, The Surf Channel has a surprise for you! We have a couple exclusive videos on sharks in ode to Shark Week. In this video, Dr. Keith Korsmeyer, a professor of biology at Hawaii Pacific University, gives us a quick lesson on a variety of sharks native to the Hawaiian Islands including Great White Sharks, Mako Sharks, Tiger Sharks, and even the Megalodon.
Shark Tips and Myths with Marine Scientist Dr. Keith Korsmeyer:
The Hawaiian Islands are volcanic islands, therefore coral reefs provide habitats for the marine inhabitants. There are over 40 different species of sharks in Hawaii (mostly offshore), which means swimmers or surfers won’t often encounter them. The species of sharks that are most encountered in and around the North Shore area are the the White Tip Reef Shark, Tiger Sharks, Sandbar Sharks, and Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks.
Out of those 4 sharks, the Tiger Sharks is the most feared in Hawaii. That is because it is known as more of an aggressive species, and although attacks are rare, bite up to 4-5 people per year. Although sharks are feared by humans, they aren’t seeking out to attack. Bites or attacks are often accidental.
How to Avoid Sharks-
One of the most useful tips to avoid sharks would be to use the buddy system. You can also decrease chances by avoiding the water at dawn, dusk, or night, which are heightened feeding times for sharks.
Some shark myths include the common statement that sharks must continue to ‘swim’ in order to breathe, which is untrue. To breath, sharks push water through their gills however they can breathe perfectly fine sitting on the ocean floor. Another misconception is that sharks don’t have great vision at night, which is quite the contrary. Sharks have a good sense of vision, they have electro receptive scent, and often use their head mouth and snout which are amplified sensors.
Dr. Keith Korsmeyer even compares Mako Sharks and Great White Sharks to the extinct Megalodon.