The correct shark diving protocol

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Diving responsibly with sharks

Observe - don’t disturb

Information supplied by Andy Cobb

Do not descend on top of sharks

Sharkdiving rules

Don’t SHINE bright lights in the shark’s eyes - Photographic flashlights in poor visibility or an electromagnetic pulse from a strobe light, will disturb the shark.

  • Avoid excessive breathing
  • Do not exhale aggressively
  • Breathe deep & exhale slowly
  • No RAPID movements
  • RELAX and ENJOY, keep movements to a minimum

More Shark Info

Don’t TOUCH or RIDE sharks.

Do not swim towards a shark at an angle less then 45o as the shark WILL feel threatened

More Shark Info

Sharkdiving rules

NEVER feed in any form to attract sharks.

Don’t CHASE a shark. When following stay out of the 45o cone area

  1. Keep out of the caves, gullies, caverns, sandy patches and overhangs, where the sharks are resting.
  2. Don’t block the shark’s exits or wedge the shark towards the reef
  3. Respect the shark’s space and approach cone limitations to be accepted for a memorable encounter
  4. The sharks are often inquisitive. Should a shark approach , breathe slow and easy, keep still, do not use hands to maintain buoyancy and ENJOY the privilege.
  5. A fast moving shark can be an agitated shark. Stay together and move with a slow and steady rhythm, keep relaxed and move away if necessary.
  6. Respect and enjoy the shark, view so that they are undisturbed for the next group to enjoy.
  7. Sharks are masters of their environment, we are not in their food chain. Respect means understanding the marine rhythm and blend with the shark’s environment.

Prepared by: A.C.R. Cobb                    Artwork by: TECHNO DECYAN              Reviewed by: Dr. Erich Ritter

More Shark Info


Shark Guide Code of Ethics


The minimum qualification for KZNNCS shark diving guides is Divemaster. 

KZNNCS shark guides acknowledge the importance of diving responsibly with sharks and have the knowledge and skill necessary to brief and control divers whilst diving with Elasmobranchii.

They will be committed to improving guiding skills and ensuring the safety of the divers and that Elasmobranchii are not hurt, harassed, disturbed or interfered with in any way.

The guides will promote the necessity to conserve and respect shark and supply accurate information.

KZNNCS shark guides will abide by all National, regional and  local conservation laws and regulations and they will also  abide by regulations of their controlling body i.e. Dive Master or Instructor standards and code of ethics.  They will have current paid up certification and indemnity insurance.


Shark Guide Code of Conduct


         1.A shark guide will recognise unsatisfactory conditions for diving with shark i.e. low visibility, unusual marine activities such as the sardine migration.

    2.The guide will follow The Guide for “Diving Responsibly with Sharks”. Do not enter the shark resting zones, their space or their approach and following cone zones.

    3.No feeding by any method to attract shark.

    4.No chasing, touching, riding (i.e. whale shark) or any form of harassment.

    5.Camera operators to stay out of the shark’s space i.e. approach cones and rest areas for photographs. Photographers need to be accepted by the shark and the shark will adjust their space and come closer for photographers. 

    6.The POD (or any similar device) is unnecessary for recreational shark diving and is extreme harassment if used on shark, as it chases them away and they will not return.

    7.Self policing and reporting unacceptable practices is part of the shark guides responsibility in protecting the shark, to ensure they remain a sustainable resource.

Prepared by: Andrew C. R. Cobb.

Find out more about sharks in general

Shark Habits

Shark Physiology

Shark Classification

Shark and Human Interaction

Shark Diving Protocol

Find out more about Andy Cobb and Adventure Diving and Scuba Diving Tours

Updated on: 02/02/2001

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