Up close and personalTo encounter a shark this close is an opportunity not given to everyone! Enjoy the moment and stay alert!
Look aroundWhile concentrated on a shark in front of you, don't forget there are probably others around. To be aware of them at all times will keep your heart rate down.
Close unexpected encounterMost sharks are shy and will not show or come near on a usual dive, but sometimes it happens and it's very pure! Keep eye contact until it decides to move on and enjoy this lucky encounter.
Watch your backAlways watch your back, also when handling gear ;-). These sharks were very calm and the situation was peaceful. Sad they have such a bad reputation and are very misunderstood. Inform yourself and spread awareness about the importance of sharks!
SignsAn arched back or fins down can be signs of irritation and might be signs to leave the scene, especially with less experienced divers in the group. Heartbeats tend to go up and sharks are very good at picking this up, with more bold behavior following.
5 Basics of Shark Diving
Diving with sharks is a life changing experience.
Whether you meet them unexpectedly on a dive or book a designated shark trip, every encounter is different. Some peoplerespect sharks but rather not see them around when scuba diving, others will do everything to attract them.
Fact is that most sharks are shy and will sense your presence in the ocean from far away, and choose not to show themselves.
Can you blame them?
Humanity has not exactly been kind to the shark population.
The cruel act of finning for soup and the useless deaths of sharks caught as bycatch have decimated the shark population in the last decade by 70 to 90 percent for some species.
Conclusion: if you see a shark, consider yourself lucky. But don't forget sharks are apex predators and deserve every respect when we enter their realm: the ocean.
Here are 5 things that you should know before going on a shark dive (a dive where chumming or feeding is used to attract the sharks).
1. Make Eye contact.
Sharks are curious and most of them are very smart. Being attracted by the chum, they will check out the environment for an easy snack.
They're known for scavenging so if you keep eye contact (popular phrase among shark divers: 'stare them down'), you'll let them know you will not be a bite that won't fight back.
2. Maintain Awareness of Your Surroundings
While you stare down the closest shark to you, try to keep track of other sharks around you.
The moment you turn your back they tend to turn too.
Count the sharks surrounding you and don't forget to look up and down also. Be aware of the position of the other divers and of the boat might, this will be helpful when the sharks begin to shown signs of irritation.
Get out of the water calmly and keep an eye on them while doing so.
3. Wear a Black Wetsuit and Fins.
Bright colors excite most sharks.
Pink, yellow, orange, blue or white fins are not the right choice if you don't like fin snapping. Sharks might associate you with fish or maybe those colors just excite them.
Black is a safer choice for encounters with most sharks and eliminates irritation. Don't forget to wear black gloves too.
4. No Kicking
Avoid kicking with any limb; a shark might mistake you for a caught fish and kicking diminishes visibility due to sand particles being disturbed.
5. Inform Yourself About the Species
All shark species react differently to divers or human encounters. Read as much as you can before embarking on your shark adventure.
To be prepared is still the best and most responsible way for shark dives.
Most importantly, sleep well, stay focused and enjoy!
And don't forget to spread the message that sharks are needed to keep our oceans healthy... lots of sharks!
Below are some super useful and/or interesting articles about shark diving and shark conservation.
- Top 5 Shark Dives in the Caribbean
- Shark Finning Facts
- Tiger Shark Diving in South Africa
- How to Avoid Shark Attacks
- Shark Attack Facts
Thanks for Reading!
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