Sharks & Rays

Cancun Whale Shark

Just offshore from Cancun, Mexico, a new protected biosphere named Reserva de la Biosfera Tiburón Ballena (Whale Shark Biosphere Reserve) has been named. It is located in front of the north coast region of Quintana Roo and covers a surface area of 145,988 acres. The marine surface of this Protected Area guarantees the protection of the region that contains waters rich with organic material. This concentration of nutrients allow for the exceptional presence of species such as mussels, crustaceans, birds and marine mammals, and above […]

Blue Sharks

California divers have the opportunity to encounter numerous species of shark in our near shore waters. While only a very few are regarded as dangerous, most are beautiful and are a joy to encounter in the water. Of all our sharks, the blue shark may be the most elegant. They move in a relaxed, confident manor as their long tail propels them forward with graceful strokes. Blue sharks are nothing short of poetry in motion. Blue sharks are classified into the class Chondrichthyes and the […]

Mako Madness

Doc Anes broke to the surface, the afternoon sun glinting off his stainless steel shark suit, and yelled to the divers snoozing on the boat, “Get in, I’ve got two Mako’s!” Six divers and $20,000 worth of camera gear poured into the water. Soon we were all hanging to the outside of the submerged shark cage and snapping pictures as the sharks flew up the chum line and bolted past the assembled spectators. This was California blue water diving at its finest, and for the […]

California White Shark Diving

For many divers the opportunity to safely view an apex predator at close range is the ultimate experience. Sport divers have been traveling to South Australia and South Africa for over two decades to see and film the great white shark. Although it has been known for some time that there are many white sharks in California waters, until recently no one has offered the experience to the public. Now California divers can experience big sharks close to home–at Guadalupe and the Farallon Islands. Guadalupe […]

Tiger Shark: A Shark Worthy of Its Reputation

If there is one thing about the ocean that everybody knows, it is that there are sharks out there—lots of sharks. A person need not even have had put a big toe into the sea to know this. In many ways, this is true. Within the cartilaginous fish orders Lamniformes and Squaliformes, there are over a dozen families and altogether about 350 species. And some of these species can be abundant. But so often the thought which accompanies the feeling “that there are lots of […]

Interacting with Sharks, Part 1

For most divers, no other marine animal elicits more excitement than an encounter with a shark. Furthermore, this excitement is such that many divers spend a great deal of time, effort and money to intentionally seek out such encounters. Sharks are beautiful creatures and well worth the meeting. A few tips will help you maximize your interaction, be it a chance encounter or intentional. Interactions vary considerably with each particular species. In this article I will address species that you’re likely to encounter in California, […]

Interacting with Sharks, Part 2

In part two we’ll look at how to properly interact with nearshore sharks— sharks divers are more likely to encounter during a casual kelp forest dive. LEOPARD SHARKS Leopard sharks are the most exciting of the nearshore sharks. While a bottom feeder, they have classic shark shape with a wonderful pattern of spots across their back. Furthermore, they can get to be quite large, up to six feet in length. Unknowing swimmers that encounter these beautiful large fish in shallow water can be frightened by […]

Great White Sharks of Guadalupe

While all diving is enjoyable and memorable, some dives stand out above the rest. We may not agree on which dives should be included among the “pinnacles of diving,” but many will think far off locations. A conspicuous exception to this generalization is the cage diving experience that is offered right here in California. While divers can view great white sharks worldwide, Isla de Guadalupe is now recognized as the best place to observe and photograph these top predators. Guadalupe Island is located in Mexican […]

How to get better Shark images

Sharks have an image problem. On one hand those who do not know them very well think of them as indiscriminate, savage killers; while those who have spent time with them in the water think of them quite differently. Silent, curious, graceful, sleek…. The words used are descriptive of their beauty not our fear of them. Fact is sharks are one of the most fascinating, beautiful subjects a photographer will ever encounter. They are, however, not the easiest animals to photograph. Believe it or not, […]

Mysteries of the Great White Shark

The largest toothed-shark, the great white shark, is one of the least understood animals in California’s coastal waters. Even though this shark has been intensely studied for decades, and hundreds of divers have had the opportunity to observe this graceful beast, relatively little is known about the shark and its habits. Most of what we do know about white sharks comes from evaluating dead animals, and observing them when they feed on the surface. Until recently our opportunities to observe white sharks throughout the day […]

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