Hawaiian agrees with need for shark-warning signs

Letter to the Editor
The Maui News
April 30, 2002

I am in total agreement with attorney James Krueger’s April 26 letter about the need for shark-warning signs. As the kanaka maoli (Native Hawaiian) member of the state Shark Task Force, my opinion was sought by the chairman, Randy Honebrink of the Aquatics Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, several months ago. I agreed that signs should be posted to warn swimmers of the possibility of being attacked by a shark at Olowalu and at other places where sharks attacks have occurred. Surfers and divers typically do not follow these signs, but I think it would provide further information for the tourists who come to our shores.

As Native Hawaiians, we were taught by our kupuna some of the things to watch for when going into the ocean. We all have to remember the ocean is not a bathtub or a swimming pool, and the currents and wildlife can harm you if the conditions are right.

Don’t go into the water before sunrise or after sunset because sharks are around during this period. Also, if the water is dirty from rain runoff, sharks are present to eliminate any dead animals that wash into the ocean. Never snorkel by yourself as several people have gotten lost or attacked by sharks and all that was found was their diving gear.

Everyone has to remember that the ocean is not our environment, and if it was, the Lord would have created us with gills.

Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr.


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