If you have ever considered scuba diving with sharks, here are the top 10 things you should know:
- It is amazing
Swimming with sharks is an amazing, life-changing experience that will challenge their reputation as evil man-eaters. You will get a chance to observe these magnificent apex predators in their own environment.
- Avoid sudden movements
When we visit the sharks’ environment, we must be conscious to behave properly. Sudden movements may startle the sharks, and they could flee or launch into a defensive strike. Enter and leave the water quietly and efficiently.
- Sharks are curious
Although some sharks are shy, other species like the bull shark, the sand tiger shark and the great white shark are known to be curious in certain situations. If divers are well-behaved and the sharks don’t feel threatened they will approach them, often coming quite close before swimming past.
- Maintain a low profile and stick to your diving group
Keeping a low profile in the water helps to avoid startling the sharks, and it encourages them to come closer. Sticking to your diving group is important because sharks tend to view a group of divers as a single, large organism. It is safer for the humans because it prevents the sharks from singling out individual divers.
- Avoid contrasting colors
When diving with sharks, it is generally advised to avoid contrasting colors. This is because sharks can see contrast very well. Some experts have said that high contrast, or shiny objects like jewelry, may be confused with light flashing off fish scales. In any case, avoiding contrasting colors helps you blend in and not draw attention to yourself.
- Know when to get out of the water
Always be aware of the sharks swimming around you, and learn to identify aggressive behavior. The shark’s movement should be fluid, with its pectoral fins horizontal and its body relaxed. An arching back, downward facing pectoral fins and jerky movements indicate an agitated shark. If the visibility is poor, or sharks are displaying such potentially aggressive behavior, end the dive and calmly get out of the water.
- Be aware of your surroundings
While scuba diving or swimming in the ocean, it is easy to get distracted with our gear, the current, and the beautiful creatures swimming around us. However, especially when swimming with sharks, or in waters known to be inhabited by sharks, being aware of your surroundings is crucial. One must always be know the location of the sharks swimming around us. In fact, maintaining eye contact has been described as a golden rule for avoiding accidents by the experts. This tells the shark that we acknowledge its presence, and eliminates the chance of a surprise attack.
- Do not bother, chase, or otherwise harass sharks
Even though sharks may peacefully tolerate our presence in their underwater world, they can and will defend themselves against real or perceived threats. Never chase, block, or otherwise harass sharks. Let them approach you, and not the other way around.
- Be confident in your diving skills
Although swimming with sharks is an amazing experience, it is not for beginners. Swimming with sharks safely requires you to be aware of your environment and be capable of swimming calmly and efficiently. It is not the time to be learning to control your buoyancy or improve your finning. This is why diving shops offering shark dives typically require advanced diving licenses.
- Sharks are not out to eat you
It seems obvious to say, but many people are convinced that sharks are out to eat humans–or anything else that moves-.if they can. Regardless of how popular movies portray sharks, the truth is that humans are not a natural prey for sharks.