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snagel
12-13-2007, 18:22
Okay, I'm not too proud...I'll say it - What is this fasination with sharks? I mean every dive magazine I pick up has vast articles on the best dive sites to see sharks. I've never seen one during a dive (I was the only person to miss this sightting while in Mexico last month - whole different story). Anyway, the thought does intrige me, but If I see a Tiger shark or Hammerhead swim past me, I'm really not sure what my reaction would be. I love diving, but sharks have always had this mistique to me - I guess this could be the "Jaws Syndrome". I can't say I'm totally afraid of sharks, but why such popularity in the diving world? Is this just a "Macho Thing"? I love being able to enter into the underworld and watch all the water creatures in their own habitat. But, again, a shark has the upper hand in the water and why do so many make a shark sighting a huge goal? I do understand that most sharks are not out to "eat you" contrary to what a lot of people think. But, again, why such a fascination?

S. Nagel

CompuDude
12-13-2007, 18:59
They're cool?

Not many around here, however, and yet I seem to get a lot of diving done all the same.

Zenagirl
12-13-2007, 19:01
They are amazingly beautiful creatures. Once you've have the opportunity to swim with sharks, you might know why it's so fascinating.

We were fortunate enough to swim with no less than 10-15 Caribbean Reef sharks this summer, and having the opportunity to swim next to them, within touching distance, was so cool. I'm pretty stoked when there are rays (Manta, Sting, Eagle....) or turtles nearby too. Can't wait for my first experience with a Whale Shark! Oh I should just admit it, I love seeing ALL the critters. ;)

LI Diver
12-13-2007, 19:01
Okay, I'm not too proud...I'll say it - What is this fasination with sharks? I mean every dive magazine I pick up has vast articles on the best dive sites to see sharks. I've never seen one during a dive (I was the only person to miss this sightting while in Mexico last month - whole different story). Anyway, the thought does intrige me, but If I see a Tiger shark or Hammerhead swim past me, I'm really not sure what my reaction would be. I love diving, but sharks have always had this mistique to me - I guess this could be the "Jaws Syndrome". I can't say I'm totally afraid of sharks, but why such popularity in the diving world? Is this just a "Macho Thing"? I love being able to enter into the underworld and watch all the water creatures in their own habitat. But, again, a shark has the upper hand in the water and why do so many make a shark sighting a huge goal? I do understand that most sharks are not out to "eat you" contrary to what a lot of people think. But, again, why such a fascination?

S. Nagel


Ok here is my partial theory. Prior to the 70's sharks were considered a nuisance. The sportfishing world noticed due to poor management that many of the "desired" species were diminishing. Especialy the fish that were good table fare. So like any other good buisness they took their lemons and made lemonade. Add the hype created by movies and books like Jaws, Blue Water White Death etc. and Voila! a new industry based on sharks was born. Don't get me wrong the shark is an amazing creature at the very top of the food chain and unchanged for eons.The perfect marine predator really. Ok also add the adrenaline factor of diving with these guy's knowing that if they wanted to you'd be dinner. The dive shops and boats now have one more way to add variety and $$$$ to their operation.:smilie40:

RoadRacer1978
12-13-2007, 19:04
My facination with sharks is this. I think they are cool! When we enter the water we are no longer at the top of the food chain. Sharks envoke a fear in people. I talk to people that have never been to the ocean or plan to and are still very afraid of sharks. I guess that is my facination with them. The are beautiful, graceful creatures that just about everyone fears.

LI Diver
12-13-2007, 19:06
Oh look yours truly handfeeding a lemon shark! Whoda thunk it??:smiley20:

snagel
12-13-2007, 19:25
I've got to admit that this too fascinates me although I have yet to experience it first hand. It just doesn't seem natural....sharks are preditors and they can put a huge hurt on you. But, everybody in the dive community have such a different view of them. Being a diver, I think I understand, but part of me also thinks that there are a bunch of @#ullshi### out their that just want to be macho and talk a good game. I say this, because realistically, I don't know what my reaction would (will) be.

Thanks,

S. Nagel

LI Diver
12-13-2007, 19:45
I've got to admit that this too fascinates me although I have yet to experience it first hand. It just doesn't seem natural....sharks are preditors and they can put a huge hurt on you. But, everybody in the dive community have such a different view of them. Being a diver, I think I understand, but part of me also thinks that there are a bunch of @#ullshi### out their that just want to be macho and talk a good game. I say this, because realistically, I don't know what my reaction would (will) be.

Thanks,

S. Nagel


I guess you won't know until you know. But I've never seen or heard of anyone freaking out, most just enjoy it. As long as your not holding dead fish, in extremely murky water in bullshark territory, or free swimming with seals and great whites in Guadalupe or whatever just relax and enjoy.

Goober
12-13-2007, 21:54
IMHO I'd not want to put myself in an enviroment where there are concentrated sharks. Does this mean I won't dive in the ocean...no. IMHO I'd not want to put myself walking around in the middle of a reserve for big cats. Does this mean I wouldn't drive the country in Africa...no.

But I too do not get the hype...sorry but self preservation is an instinct that I posses. IMHO putting yourself in those types of enviroments is careless and disrespectful to loved ones.

Kokomo
12-13-2007, 22:00
I definitely would not purposely go to swim with sharks. But on a dive last spring a huge hammerhead swam by about 10 feet away. It was amazing!! If it happens by chance...so be it...But I don't go looking for it.

Travelnsj
12-13-2007, 22:20
I have dove with hundreds of sharks....Hammerheads, Grey reef, White & Black tips, Silvertips, Whalesharks....Have yet to see a Bullshark, Tiger, Silky or Mako Shark and want a close up with a Great Hammerhead. I find Sharks to be the most graceful and beautiful creatures in the Ocean and some of the ones you have the most respect for....I will never participate in a Shark feeding as that promotes unnatural behavior. And the one problem we all need to fear is the Shark Finning that is going on....the world population of Sharks are in Danger.

fisheater
12-14-2007, 01:29
My goal isn't so much to see a shark. It's to have seen the shark.

Around here, seeing the shark is OK. It's not seeing the shark that can lead to extreme problems.

navyhmc
12-14-2007, 04:16
I started diving just before Jaws came out and found it to be a bunch of hooey! The nice thing is that right after that a lot of newer and easily infliunced dirvers stopped and sold their gear for pennies on the dollar-good for a newer diver needing gear.

I've always liked sharks and read up a lot on them. I don't get totally freaked when I see them. At least in general, tigers, mako and bull sharks concern me the most.

georoc01
12-19-2007, 16:11
I know returning from my last trip, that was the question I get most from non-divers (See any sharks?). Then I share the video of the shark dive and they all go nuts. Since then two of my co-workers have signed up for their OW cert. So its definitely out there.

I do think movies like Jaws have the most to do with it. What was funny was that after spending a day diving with them around, the fascination on my boat wore off. Yeah..just another shark. Although seeing a little guy with his mom was pretty cool later on in the week.

snagel
12-19-2007, 17:46
I have to admit seeing one in it's own environment has to be "cool" as so many have said. Here is one of my concerns....maybe it is just media hype, but there seems to be a lot of shows on tv talking about shark attacks and the fact that they are getting more and more frequent. This is very debatable and not my intent. I believe that most sharks are somewhat lazy and really don't want spend the energy chasing down a diver. Maybe if they are real hungry or in a feeding frenzy this is obviously different. But, they really don't understand that divers are very slow compared to maybe a seal and to some extent maybe they are somewhat afraid of man. However, there are many people making a living selling the "come dive with the sharks". They chum the water maybe stick you in a cage or maybe not and show you the sharks. This I believe teaches the sharks not to be afraid of man and that we really have no defenses in the water. I know I'm really way out there on this, but just some thoughts.

S. Nagel

Matt P
12-19-2007, 19:25
I admit I love sharks. Shark Week has been a major holiday in my house for about 15 years. Thye're just plain cool. That said...I don't have much of a desire to see one while diving - especially a tiger or great white. I have only seen 1 shark ever while diving. It was a baby bull. He looked at me. I looked at him. He swam away. It was the perfect encounter.

But, whale sharks are a different story. I really want to see one of them.

adv_diver1
12-19-2007, 22:23
Because sharks can eat you up and make a bloody dramatic gorey scene... The sme reason Jaws has been popular for so long. A gator is more scary than a shark... if sharks did not have so many sharp teeth, nobody would care two spits.

Puffer Fish
12-19-2007, 22:45
I have to admit seeing one in it's own environment has to be "cool" as so many have said. Here is one of my concerns....maybe it is just media hype, but there seems to be a lot of shows on tv talking about shark attacks and the fact that they are getting more and more frequent. This is very debatable and not my intent. I believe that most sharks are somewhat lazy and really don't want spend the energy chasing down a diver. Maybe if they are real hungry or in a feeding frenzy this is obviously different. But, they really don't understand that divers are very slow compared to maybe a seal and to some extent maybe they are somewhat afraid of man. However, there are many people making a living selling the "come dive with the sharks". They chum the water maybe stick you in a cage or maybe not and show you the sharks. This I believe teaches the sharks not to be afraid of man and that we really have no defenses in the water. I know I'm really way out there on this, but just some thoughts.

S. Nagel

I have done two shark attack investigations...

1. Body of a seaman found partially eaten after falling off a ship while drunk.... was found after 3 days.

2. Off a beach on an island resort, a swimmer was cut in half by a great white...a very big great white. Was several hundred yards off shore, splashing and waving.

Having also been thru a couple of diving attacks... here are my general conclusions:

1. In general, I don't think we taste that good to sharks. If we did, they would finish eating what they started. I know that did not do the person in the second case any good, but had he been good eating, it would have finished the job.

2. I think divers.. particularly in wetsuits, present a confusing electrical "image" to sharks. Does not mean they will not do something, but in general, it does not seem to be something they particularly like.

3. They are not stupid creatures and can learn to id and react to divers. Sharks in the Dry Tortugas seem to understand that spear fishing divers offer no threat and will fight for any speared fish. That is not a good thing to teach them.

4. Sharks, like humans, very in personnality and how hungry they are... so those "in general" rules don't always apply.

However, in general, all sharks, unless they are fed, or trained, or hungry, tend to avoid divers. Just look at the tiger shark attack ratios - it is rare for divers to be bit, but surfers are another story.

Matt P
12-20-2007, 06:45
Having also been thru a couple of diving attacks...I was just wondering about this. How often are divers actually attacked by sharks? I don't remember ever reading a story on it. I've never seen it happen. Is there a place where these stats are reported? Has anyone here witnessed an attack on a diver or been attacked themselves?

CODMAN
12-20-2007, 08:23
Guys and galls, sharks don't EAT humans... We are not a prey item to them. Unfortunately, they do sometimes attack (actually the correct word would be bite), for a variety of reasons, amongst which mistaken identity (think you are a seal), triggered aggresive behavior, want to see what you are, feeding frenzy... There are very few shark bites annually compared to the number of divers in shark waters. If you follow the simple rules, and leave them alone (don't try to grab their tales), odds of being bitten are very low. So don't worry about this...:smilie40:

Sharks have been portrayed as killers/ predators and I believe this is partly what is responsible for the popular interest in these creatures. After all, when you watch a Shark film/ documentary, what do they show you? 9 times out of 10, it's hunting/feeding/ attacking... They rarely show you an elegant, streamlined swimmer gliding over a reef or in open water, minding his own business (that won't sell), which is exactly what I saw during my first shark encounters. So this dangerous "tag" given to sharks is in my oppinion what mainly feeds the interest for diving with them and why so many non-divers ask "did you see any sharks", and why so many divers says, "yeah, we were diving in shark infested waters"..." and we saw 3 nurse sharks...".

I must admit, when I saw my first Caribean Reef shark swim by me 15 feet away, my heart was racing, and despite being a Marine Biologist, plenty of scenes from Jaws went racing through my head. It was irrational and proof of all the conditioning we suffer. But I did get a great thrill seing these magnificent fish behaving fairly naturally in their environment; that was priceless. And it's what makes me hope to see a shark on every reef dive I do now! But not to the point of participating in shark feedings. Last I was in Roatan, I didn't do the shark feed (the only way of really seing Caribean reef sharks over there) because I knew it would be nothing like seing them in a natural setting.

Anyways, that is my reason for diving with sharks and enjoying diving in areas where chances of sightings are good! They are simply beautifull gracefull creatures amazingly adapted. I love them!:smiley20:They are dissapearing due to overfishing and finning (thus the ridiculous statement of shark-infested waters). Go see them now, before there are none left!

Just my 0.02$ on the subject!

moosicman
12-20-2007, 09:44
Having also been thru a couple of diving attacks...I was just wondering about this. How often are divers actually attacked by sharks? I don't remember ever reading a story on it. I've never seen it happen. Is there a place where these stats are reported? Has anyone here witnessed an attack on a diver or been attacked themselves?

International Shark Attack File (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/ISAF/ISAF.htm)
http://www.sharkattackfile.net/spreadsheets/GSAF5.xls

Note: On the Global Shark Attack File you have to go back about 10 years or so before you start seeing UNPROVOKED attacks on divers. Two of them by tigers in Cozumel in the month of September, and those were on the same day. I've tried to find out if they were related but so far I've not turned up anything.

Matt P
12-20-2007, 10:08
Having also been thru a couple of diving attacks...I was just wondering about this. How often are divers actually attacked by sharks? I don't remember ever reading a story on it. I've never seen it happen. Is there a place where these stats are reported? Has anyone here witnessed an attack on a diver or been attacked themselves?

International Shark Attack File (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/ISAF/ISAF.htm)
http://www.sharkattackfile.net/spreadsheets/GSAF5.xls

Note: On the Global Shark Attack File you have to go back about 10 years or so before you start seeing UNPROVOKED attacks on divers. Two of them by tigers in Cozumel in the month of September, and those were on the same day. I've tried to find out if they were related but so far I've not turned up anything.Thank you