Sharks, Scuba Diving and Safety Secrets

By December 26, 2015 Blog

When it comes to Sharks, yes those animals that live in the sea. The ones that everybody talks about, them. Are you fascinated by them or terrified as well? Or maybe, middle of the road? Allbeit a healthy respect would be the wise choice.

In the vast ocean, of all the animals that dwell there. None have been so fascinating, so mystifying, so talked about, so feared, so hunted and so studied and researched as the sharks.

Sharks have been in existence since dinasaurs. Turtles as well, but that is another species for another days posting. Sharks are the most streamlined of all the sea creatures. Pointed noses that come to an edge to slice through the water. Some other bullet points about Sharks:

* There are over 360 different species of Sharks

* A Sharks skeleton is all cartilage

* The Sharks liver is 30% of their body weight

* They have no rib cage, fish do

* Sharks have replaceable teeth with serated edges

* They need to move to breath (some exceptions, like Nurse shark)

* Average lifespan of 20-30 years- shorter now due to over fishing

* Sharks swim at 5-12 mph. The Mako can hit top speed of 31 mph

In my experience as a scuba instructor I have seen people with both sides of the coin in perception of sharks. Some clients request to specifically go see a shark in the wild. Some clients repell from that idea and ask me to make sure that we don’t see them.

Inquiries about Sharks of positive or negative content are definately my Frequently Asked Questions. The next question, after I do want to see one or I don’t want to see one is: Will we see a Shark? and What do we do if we see a shark? Those are two questions I will answer in another post about Sharks.

Most of the world watches too much television. The movie “Jaws” in the 70’s did not portray sharks as the are naturally in the wild. Jaws was a fictional spin off of Moby Dick only with a more highly perceived predator, all being the Shark.

Being that there are over 360 species of Sharks, most of them get a bad rap by the Great White overshadowing the classes. It is true the Great White Shark is the one that most surfers get attacked by. This is the same species you pay the big bucks to see in South Africa.

As many times as I have been in the sea and near a shark. You would not, I repeat, not get me in that steel cage in the cold water. I’ll observe them from the boat. It’s more the cold water (52 degrees) and the cage that discourages me. If the water were warmer I’d go swimming with them.

So I said of all this to say. There is such a thing as a healthy respect and healthy fear of Sharks. Fear is not a bad word, it means worthy of respect and awe. This healthy respect and healthy fear applies to all areas and aspects of scuba diving and life in general.

writen by Laura Parke, Private Scuba

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