Business, Economics and Jobs

Fisherman is killed by shark on Hawaiian island of Maui


A Great White shark jumps out of the water as it hunts Cape fur seals near False Bay, on July 4, 2010.



A fifty-seven year old Washington State native was killed by a shark as he fished from a kayak between the islands of Maui and Molokini.

Patrick Briney was a native of Stevenson, Washington, and had been enjoying a day of fishing when a shark bit his foot, causing extremely severe injuries, wrote Hawaii News Now. 

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Briney's screams attracted assistance from his friend who had been kayaking through the water with him. The friend applied a tourniquet and Briney was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Associated Press. 

Briney's death was the 13th shark incident to be reported in Hawaii this year, per figures from Hawaii Sharks, a website that records annual shark incidents in the popular tourist destination. 

He was the second to be killed by a shark this year, after a German woman died from bloodloss in August after a shark bit off her arm. That's considerably more than the Hawaiian average of about four unprovoked shark incidents in each given year. 

"We are not sure why these bites are occurring more frequently than normal, especially around Maui," said Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairman William Aila Jr to the Associated Press of the attack. "That's why we are conducting a two-year study of shark behavior around Maui that may give us better insights."

Local Fishing Knowledge owner Jon Jon Tabon spoke to Maui Now about the attack, describing kayak fishing as an increasingly popular sport in recent years — with certain risks attached.

“Let’s say there’s two fishermen with the same bait: one guy with one pole that tosses it out with the same bait; and one guy with five poles that tosses it out with the same bait," said Tabon to the local news site, explaining his thoughts about the seeming increase in attacks.

"Who’s going to have better chances of getting hooked up? The guy with five poles. What I’m trying to say is there’s more people in the water than we used to have, so of course there’s going to be increasing chances of having an incident such as this happening. It’s due to the fact that there’s more people that are in the water.

It's also not the case that there are more sharks in the water — quite the opposite. Due in large part to overfishing, over 100 million sharks or more sharks are estimated to be lost annually, per research conducted by Florida International University. Sharks are becoming increasingly rare, with potentially dangerous results for the marine ecosystems that depend on them. 

Here is an Associated Press video looking at the Hawaiian attack: