Tiger shark sightings - HEPCA advises

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In recent weeks sightings of tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) have been frequent at certain sites in the mid and south Red Sea particularly at Elphinstone Reef, which is level with Marsa Alam. There is much excitement among guides and guests but it is worth mentioning that tiger sharks are highly developed, but not particularly discerning, predators.

HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association) - of which Emperor Divers is a founding member - has issued the following useful and informative statement - it's worth a read.


HEPCA Logo_sm.jpg"Recent reports of Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) sightings at Elphinstone and the reaction of some divers to encountering these sharks under water prompted us to release this statement to all of you.

Meeting one of these magnificent creatures is an absolute privilege, that not many people will have a chance to experience. But remember what you are dealing with, a species that is second only to the Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in number of reported shark attacks worldwide. Despite this fact, a Tiger Shark is not a dangerous animal per se.

They are, however, among THE top predators in the sea, and probably the least discriminative shark species in terms of feeding habits and items. Coupled with a maximum length of more than 5 meters, they must be treated with great caution and respect.

But there is no reason for hysteria or panic. Following some simple behavioral rules and having basic knowledge on shark biology does help to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Calm and controlled behavior from the human side is the key to an enjoyable and truly impressive encounter. As a predator, a shark will react with interest to erratic or hectic movements, as well as to rapid ascents (especially directly above it).
Stay alert, keep looking around you, so that they don't have the chance to sneak up on you or startle you. Staying next to the reef helps you keeping the overview and limits the open areas around you.

If you are circled by any shark, take a vertical position, calmly turn around with it, and keep it in sight at all times. This shark is not getting ready to attack you, it only makes use of the pressure sensors along its sides to figure out what you are. Keep in mind, that a group of people is less likely to be closely approached than single divers.

If you are not sure, that you can manage to stay calm when meeting a Tiger Shark - or any other large predatory shark - under water, do not expose yourself and others in your company to such an encounter!

Properly brief any divers entering the water on what to expect, and try to evaluate, if they are experienced enough for a possible shark encounter.

It is generally people, that are creating dangerous situations with sharks... Feel free to report unusual sightings or behaviors from any of your dives."

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Bryony published on August 6, 2009 7:55 AM.

Vote for your favourite 'EMPEROR BLUE' Cocktail was the previous entry in this blog.

Sharm's 'A' list marine life sightings & where to find them is the next entry in this blog.

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