CLOSE TO HOME
COURTESY MAUI OCEAN CENTER
Ikaika swims among the ulua aukea, or giant trevally, in the Maui Ocean Center's Open Ocean exhibit.
Guests get near a 6-foot tiger shark at Maui center
The Maui Ocean Center invites ocean enthusiasts to check out the newest addition to its tanks, a 6-foot tiger shark named Ikaika, whose home is the Open Ocean exhibit, a 750,000 gallon tank featuring a 54-foot acrylic tunnel that allows guests to stand nose to nose with a shark or watching them swim above.
"Ikaika" means "strong" or "the strong one," and was named by the center's Hawaiian cultural advisor kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr. Other sharks that dwell at the center are scalloped hammerhead sharks, sandbar sharks, black-tip reef sharks, gray reef sharks and white-tip reef sharks. Only the tiger sharks, aumakua or spiritual guardians to Maxwell and his family, are given names.
Learn more about them during naturalist presentations at 11 a.m. and 1, 2, and 3 p.m. daily. Maui Ocean Center is at 192 Maalaea Road, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, open until 6 p.m. July and August. Tickets are $23 for adults, $20 for seniors and $16 for ages 3 to 12. Kamaaina rates available.