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Snorkeling: Sharks?

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I've been snorkeling in the Caribbean for almost 30 years and have never seen a shark.  And I'm quite pleased about that!  This forum (and others) regularly mention the number of sharks in the South Pacific, and so I'm wondering about the likelihood of encountering them during a PG snorkeling excursion or even just from a shore snorkel.  Thanks.

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15 minutes ago, aaaaa said:

I've been snorkeling in the Caribbean for almost 30 years and have never seen a shark.  And I'm quite pleased about that!  This forum (and others) regularly mention the number of sharks in the South Pacific, and so I'm wondering about the likelihood of encountering them during a PG snorkeling excursion or even just from a shore snorkel.  Thanks.

 

You usually will encounter black tipped reef sharks but they are typically harmless and will not bother you. Many of the excursion vendors have stooped chumming the waters on excursions to attracted them but they usually are still around just not as aggressive or as close.  

 

In 200 years only 6 documented shark bites in FP .... don't over think it. Just be careful, don't try and feed them and stay inside the lagoon unless your a diver with a group that may want to encounter more sharks outside the reef. If possible you might want to contact the excursion operator to see if they chum if your really concerned about the sharks. 

 

I've rarely seen sharks around Motu Mahana, the drift snorkel on Tahaa or around the coral gardens on the east side of Bora Bora 😉 

Edited by Tahitianbigkahuna

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You're almost universally snorkelling within a lagoon, and more rarely in a pass.  So as above, you'll only see the black tipped guys, which are small and quite harmless unless you pick a fight.

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Being in the water near the black tip sharks was actually the most memorable part of my snorkeling excursions on Bora Bora and Moorea last summer. They were all over the place, but they didn't bother us. As others have said, if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.

20190611_Tahiti_6110277.thumb.jpg.0ef957d5c1a33dcfd24441df120c901b.jpg

 

20190611_Tahiti_6110274.thumb.jpg.04ab9cb8d96509b0f05eba564cc72c9f.jpg

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I was never able to get close enough to take a decent photo of a black tipped shark during our dive excursions around the islands.  We could see them off in the distance but they never came close enough.  Sharks don't come looking for you. I've been diving for 28 years and see at least a nurse shark on quite a few dives (especially the Caribbean) but they always turn and run whenever approached.  If you are afraid of sharks, just remember they don't want to be near you either.  We are not in their food chain.

Edited by Diver2014

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Per the youth naturalists, there are 120 ish types of sharks Worldwide and only 20 ish have interest in people.

 

We saw several types there and got pretty close.  No issues.

Edited by dexddd

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On 2/7/2020 at 7:31 AM, dexddd said:

Per the youth naturalists, there are 120 ish types of sharks Worldwide and only 20 ish have interest in people.

 

We saw several types there and got pretty close.  No issues.

I want to see sharks.  Which excursions would you recommend?  

 

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On 2/9/2020 at 8:24 PM, LadyGator97 said:

I want to see sharks.  Which excursions would you recommend?  

 

 

Lagoon Excursion & Polynesian Feast  BRB-1602 on Bora Bora

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I hate seeing sharks while I snorkel, but I've been able to tolerate the smaller sharks in shallow water. They're fed, along with the rays, and all are happy.

In deeper water, I never want to see them, and hated the Faka Rava snorkeling with very large black tips following me 5 feet under and 10 feet back.

Last October, a woman was decimated by a white tip reef shark off Moorea. I believe this was outside of the reef on a whale encounter. So be careful about the sharks you want to see.

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It was outside the reef and it was an oceanic white tip not a reef shark. Horrible attack but extremely rare. 

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I wasn't sure if it was an oceanic white tip or a whitetip reef shark, based on what I had read. From someone onboard the cruise ship, they weren't far outside the reef, and reef sharks do follow small boats outside of the reef, associating small boats with fish.

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