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Shark Diving in Maui

Maui shark diving at Mala Wharf in Lahaina.

See Sharks Diving in Lahaina, Maui

All sharks are dinosaurs that have remained relatively unchanged for over 400 million years. Today you can see sharks scuba diving in Maui. There is nothing like putting on a scuba tank to descend into a world of sharks, so during your Hawaiian vacation, make time for this activity. Choose our dive service in Lahaina to go shore diving with White Tip Reef Sharks!

We set up shark encounters at Mala Wharf in Lahaina, the best Maui dive site. Scuba diving here does not require a cage in the ocean, instead, you can walk into the sea, descend, and see sharks. At Mala Wharf, you get to encounter a family of up to seven White Tip Reef Sharks. You might notice different ages too like smaller 1 to 2-year-old juveniles and up to full-sized mom and dad. Adult White Tip Sharks are about the size of a grown human, but females are always the biggest!

Airport Beach in Kaanapali

Chance to see a shark: 1 percent

Diving in Maui means finding at least one shark every day along Lahaina’s coastline. But there are Hawaii beaches where your chances of scuba diving with a shark remain very low. For example, a spot like Airport Beach in Kaanapali, Maui. This sprawling coral reef sits on the north side of Black Rock and does not have a resident shark population.

Mala Wharf in Lahaina

Chance to see a shark: 90 percent

Luckily for scuba divers, Mala Wharf in Lahaina is not a shark-free dive site! The name Mala has become synonymous with cage-free, safe shark encounters. Mala Wharf or Mala Pier remains the total package because visitors here often get to dive close to these apex predators. You should not expect to see a Tiger Shark here, but sometimes you can find a Sandbar Shark!

Sharks reside in this area because the pier protects them during their daily naps. Most of the time, the White Tip Reef Sharks relax on the bottom under fallen concrete posts. When one of the sharks does get active, it often swims around-consuming injured or sick fish. Reducing the number of wounded animals helps the coral reef to thrive with new life. Scuba divers and snorkelers can also find two turtle cleaning stations near depths of 15 and 25 feet. Overall it’s a shallow spot with a maximum depth of 33 feet, affording long bottom times of 45 minutes to 1 hour!

Swim with Sharks

Sharks spotted night diving in Lahaina, Maui.

Sharks spotted night diving in Lahaina, Maui.

Your first shark experience should be fun and memorable. As you get near these potent ocean hunters remember there are over 400 unique shark species, and none purposefully prey on humans. So, swimming off the beaches of any island, including Oahu, Kauai, and Big Island, should make for a fantastic adventure, unlike any other! 

Indeed, sharks have roamed the oceans as predators for over 400 million years. In the last 23 million years, the massive Megalodon shark was crowned king of the seas. But, nowadays, all big shark species have grown to be much smaller. Even the famous Great White Shark is less than half the size of its prehistoric relatives. Regardless, size does not mean people should fear these very misunderstood big fish.

Sharks like to feed on other fish, turtles, and seals. When humans do get bitten, it is always because a shark has desperately confused us with their preferred food supply. For example, the surface positioning of surfers, swimmers, and snorkelers makes it possible for a starving shark to attack accidentally. Sharks do not want people as part of their diet, but starvation causes stressful actions in all animals. Daily shark diving in Maui proves these big fish are inherently tolerant towards people.

3 Tips for Shark Safety without a Cage

  • #1 Know Your Surroundings

Scuba divers should not stress out the sharks during a beach dive or boat tour. White Tip Reef Sharks are sensitive animals that often relax on the sandy ocean bottom. Please do not attempt to touch any sharks and keep your distance from them, so they know you respect their space. If a shark gets frustrated by you, it always swims away from your position in the water. So it’s good to know where you are in the dive site while paying attention to where the sharks are resting. It’s also helpful to reduce sudden, erratic movements and to breathe slowly. You can achieve this by anticipating your dive profile and watching your immediate surroundings.

  • #2 Color Contrasts in Your Wetsuit

Many people falsely believe that sharks are attracted to bright colors. However, they are more intrigued by color contrasts because eyesight is not their most vital skill. Instead, they sense the powerful electrical signals that other animals emit. If you still wanted to be camouflaged, you would need to blend your dive gear with a single-color wetsuit.

  • #3 Enjoy Scuba Diving with Sharks

Maui shark swims near a scuba diver at Lahaina's Mala Wharf.

Maui shark swims near a scuba diver at Lahaina’s Mala Wharf.

Scuba diving in Maui with sharks should make you feel good! It’s the perfect activity for everyone who loves the sea and is even available for beginner divers! Most of the year, Maui scuba tours include guaranteed White Tip Shark sightings and sometimes even Hammerhead Sharks off Molokai.

You know divers worldwide don’t always get this opportunity, so Maui diving is different! Indeed, shark dives set up by Banyan Tree Divers Maui consistently rank in the Top 10 of TripAdvisor activities. Book online today!