Kayak fishermen surely wouldn’t want to have what happened to Hawaiian Isaac Brumaghim recently as he was fishing for tuna 2 miles off the Wai’anae Coast on Oahu. Brumaghim, 37, was out in his 16 foot kayak, in the process of reeling in a Kawakawa tuna (Euthynnus affinis) when a large shark breached just behind his kayak in pursuit of the tuna. In the video captured by his GoPro camera, Brumaghim is seen still trying to land the fish when the hook becomes dislodged and the shark happens alongside his kayak, bumps it and then devours the tuna under the boat.
“The shark made a circle, came around and ate the kawakawa under my boat, hit my kayak,” Brumaghim told KHNL.com. “And then it kind of hit me what just happened, and then I had a reaction to that.” Based on the video, marine biologist and former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fish Ecologist Wayne Samiere told KHNL that the shark was probably a 400-to 500 lb 10 foot tiger shark, doing what tiger sharks do.
“When an animal particular if a fish is distressed, it sends out electrical vibration signals,” Samiere told KHNL. “Plus, if it’s hooked, it’s probably also leaking some blood. And all a shark needs is just one little small taste of that signal, and it’s going to make a beeline right for that target.”
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Sharks in Hawaii are often “aumakua,” or animal guardian spirits for many Hawaiian families. They make offerings to their aumakua in the form of food in exchange for protections and good luck. The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), can be found off the coast of all the islands in the Hawaiian chain. An apex predator, the tiger shark can grow to more than 15 feet in length and feeds primarily on fish, sea turtles, and monk seals. They have also been known to attack people.
Check the video, but beware the salty language.