Thursday, June 14, 2007

Puppy Dogs

So one of the problems with how sharks are portrayed is that the accompanying pictures tend to look a little scary. There's a reason for that; its easy to take pictures of sharks that look scary (see below).

carib reef3

In these pictures these big female Caribbean Reef Sharks give every impression of being in the midst of a frenzied attack on the food bearing diver. The reality could not be more different. In fact the diver is actually slowly leading these sharks past us so we can get a close up look as they go for the bait. Their behaviour here was similar in persistence and threat to a little puppy, they were keen to get the food but knew when it would be forthcoming and are behaving themselves to get it. Its just they look different to puppies so a lot of us are unnecessarily scared of them.

carib reef

This feed, done on St. Maarten, was a really positive one. Many of the divers had never seen a shark before and all came back with a positive impression and a better understanding of the animals. The divemasters involved took the time to explain about the threats to these particular sharks and sharks in general and I think all involved came back with a positive conservation agenda and for me that makes this a good thing.

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