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Mala Wharf, a small boat harbor on Maui's west shore, is considered culturally significant to Native Hawaiians.

Once a fishing village, the area remains a popular fishing spot for local residents who say the harbor has become inundated with tourists over recent years, largely thanks to social media promoting it as an ideal snorkeling site.

"You'll have people that are parasailing, you have boat tours, you have snorkeling, you have scuba divers," said Maui native Tiare Lawrence, who frequents the wharf with her family. "I took my son this last Sunday, and we couldn't even cast our line because where we like to go was just, you know, tourists everywhere."

  • Updated

The woman told rescuers that the shark – which she believed was a 4-6 foot Blacktip reef or Galapagos shark – at first just bumped her. Later, after she lost sight of it, the woman said the shark returned and bit her on the leg.