Tiger sharks prefer waters near human beaches in Maui

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HONOLULU (AP) — New research shows tiger sharks favor waters near Maui that are close to some the state’s most popular beaches for humans.

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology researcher Carl Meyer said Thursday this can reasonably explain why there are a higher number of shark bites in waters surrounding Maui than other Hawaii islands.

Yet Meyer stressed it’s rare for sharks to bite people. He says shark attacks have increased over time but that is because the human population has grown and more people are in the ocean.

State officials say people need to take precautions when entering the ocean, which is wilderness.

State Division of Aquatic Resources Administrator Bruce Anderson says people should avoid murky water, swim with others and stay close to shore to avoid getting bitten.