Shark Diving Bahamas
Full Day and Half Day cage diving adventures with big sharks, in the crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. Bimini is the home of Bull Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Stingrays, Dolphins and Loggerhead Turtles. Read more
shark diving bahamas
Want to go shark diving in the Bahamas? Looking for the dive of a lifetime that will have you up-close and personal with a variety of sharks? Check out these dive sites in the Bahamas where a range of shark species live and breed.
How can you distinguish a great hammerhead from other hammerhead sharks? Take a look at the shape of its hammer.You will notice that it is very wide and has a nearly straight front margin. This animal also has a sickle-shaped and tall first dorsal.
These sharks are potentially dangerous; however, they rarely attack people. In fact, they can even sometimes be quite curious about divers. No matter what, you should show respect to them while in the water with them.
As a result of the cruel and unnecessary act of shark finning, great hammerhead numbers have declined substantially around the world. If you want to get an opportunity to dive with them, you can visit the Bahamas.
They also live in groups, communicating with each other and protecting one another. Just like other sharks they are not considered a threat to people, and many people choose to take part in diving expeditions to get close to these incredible animals.
One of the most popular spots for diving with lemon sharks is Tiger Beach in the Bahamas. Many dive crews head out in April to enjoy the presence of large groups of these sharks in the warm waters of the Bahamas.
The tiger shark is a requiem shark that is also commonly referred to as Sea Tiger. This shark can grow to 16 feet in length, and it is typically found in temperate and tropical waters, particularly near central Pacific islands.
Tiger sharks are solitary and, for the most part, nocturnal. They eat a large variety of prey that includes fish, birds, turtles, squid, seals, crustaceans, dolphins, smaller sharks, and even sea snakes.
If you want to dive with Tiger Sharks at Tiger Beach in the Bahamas, you better plan your trip between September and March. Besides Tiger Sharks at Tiger Beach, you will also encounter lemon sharks and different reef sharks.
These sharks are slow-moving and can be aggressive, and they are dangerous to humans involved in air crashes and shipwrecks. But their numbers are in sharp decline as a result of inhumane shark finning.
Caribbean reef sharks are a main attraction for divers in the Bahamas, with dive crews often using bait to lure them closer to divers. You can find them in the waters surrounding these islands throughout the year, as the temperatures will remain warm enough for these creatures, as well as for divers.
The Bahamas is famous for thriving coral reefs, plunging walls, shipwrecks, blue holes, and underwater Hollywood history. But, all these attractions combined don't draw as many divers as the region's incredible marine life. In fact, Bahamas shark diving is the number one ocean-based attraction in the islands - with both baited and natural encounters on offer and some sites delivering powerful pelagic action all year round.
In this article, we'll share five of our favourite shark species in the Bahamas, plus a few more for the full-on shark-fanatics. We've also included details on our favourite dive sites and experiences, as well as tips on when to visit if you want to up your odds.
Scientists are still studying tiger shark behaviour to learn why they gather here. But, as a large number of pregnant females are spotted, it is thought there could be a breeding or pupping ground nearby.
This is the most common shark species in the Bahamas, likely to turn up in large groups at feeding dives. But don't be surprised if you bump into them during normal dives as well. Caribbean reef sharks prefer to patrol in the shallows, often cruising near drop-offs at the reefs' outer edges. They also spend time resting motionless on the sea bottom and inside caves, allowing the current to pull water through their gills and helping them to breathe while stationary.
While Caribbean reef sharks are a relatively small species, reaching a maximum length of three metres and a top weight of 70 kilos, they are still among the region's apex predators. This species hunts cooperatively in groups, preferring to feed on bony fish like snapper and bottom dwellers such as stingrays.
While great hammerheads make a powerful first impression, they are actually one of the safest sharks to dive with. Their downward-facing mouths are intended for scooping prey from the bottom, presenting less of a risk than the powerful open jaws of other predators its size. And, even while being fed, this species tends to keep its distance. That said, the hammerheads in the Bahamas are about as curious as they come.
Each year, the Bahamas' Cat Island hosts the largest aggregation of oceanic whitetip sharks in the world. This vulnerable species has seen its global populations decimated over the years as a result of unsustainable fishing, but they still thrive in the protected waters of the Bahamas. Topping out at over four metres and nearly 200 kilos, these powerful pelagic predators are outgoing and inquisitive, often making several close passes at lucky dive groups.
Unlike shark dives that take place on the sandy bottom, divers at Cat Island drift in deep water during baited shark encounters. While the group hovers close to the ocean's surface, the actual seafloor might be hundreds of metres below.
It's possible to spot silky sharks patrolling the open ocean around Andros and Cat Island in the Bahamas all year-round, especially during baited shark dives. But, the very best place to see them is the Lost Blue Hole in Nassau. During June, hundreds of silkies gather here to breed, performing intricate courtship displays that bring large groups together in a swirling vortex of fins and flashing teeth, with lucky dive groups looking on. These pelagic predators often gather deeper than 30 metres, so you'll need advanced certification to take in the show.
Silkies are powerful open-ocean predators, with lean muscular bodies often reaching lengths over three metres and weights above 300 kilos. Female silky sharks are typically larger than males, making them easier to identify during mating rituals.
While the "Big Five" are clearly the most sought after sharks in the Bahamas, they aren't the only species that you're likely to encounter. You never know what marine megafauna could be lured in from the open ocean during baited shark dives. And, this region is home to sharks of all kinds, sometimes spotted patrolling the reef's edge or cruising the shallows in search of their next meal.
Far less ferocious than the other sharks found in the Bahamas, this docile bottom feeder is likely to turn up at every baited or fed shark experience in the region. They're also commonly found napping in caves and sand channels throughout the archipelago, aerating their gills while they sleep. At Compass Cay in the Exumas, nurse sharks gather in large groups at the marina, where visitors can swim and snorkel alongside them.
Named for their unique yellow-tinted skin, lemon sharks are one of the Bahamas' most common sharks - though they generate less attention than other species. This is a social shark, often appearing in groups at feeding events. They are commonly spotted in the shallows around Bimini, as well, where researchers believe they gather to give birth.
Easily the most exciting bonus to the Big Five, bull sharks are opportunistic predators easily attracted to feeding events. They can also be seen off the coast of Bimini, close to the region's mangrove forests. This species prefers brackish water and low visibility, so they often enter the local marina - where the legendary "bull run" takes place. This is one of the few opportunities for caged shark diving in the Bahamas.
The sheer size of the Bahamas is breathtaking. You'll find the third-largest barrier reef offshore, plus deep walls, wrecks, blue holes, tunnels, caverns and some of the best shark diving in the world.
The climate in The Bahamas is subtropical, providing around 340 sunny days a year - alongside superb diving conditions. Summer water temperatures are approximately 88F (31C), dipping to 75-80F (24-27C) in winter.
Although I am adventurous, I am not a thrill-seeker. But somehow, I found myself forty feet below the waters of the Caribbean while 9-feet sharks circled me. I will share with you my experience of shark diving in the Bahamas.
Some extra weight was added to our weight belts, and then we were then told to descend 40 feet to a large rock circle in the sand. We were to pick a rock outside the circle and kneel at it for about 40 minutes. Once we were settled, the dive masters would bring in a box of bait and lure the sharks to us.
Once the dive master brought the bait in, sharks surrounded us. Not just one or two, but a lot of sharks. And the sharks were big. And they were close enough to touch us. Sharks are indeed magnificent creatures, and being close to wildlife is always awe-inspiring.
After about ten minutes, my legs started to cramp, and I began to panic. I have been diving for over twenty years and am very confident underwater. But I started freaking out that I would fall over, which would attract a shark. I panicked for about 5 minutes until I remembered that lying down on my stomach was an option. The sharks were across the circle from me, giving me time to act. Once I did, I took a few minutes to concentrate on small transparent shrimp actively interacting with my rock, and then I enjoyed the rest of my experience.
Caribbean reef sharks live in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. They can grow up to ten feet long and are near endangered. They are not particularly aggressive unless food is around but are involved in a few shark bite attacks yearly. 041b061a72