Shark Diving Protocol

Shark Human Interaction

Classification

Shark Habits

Shark Physiology

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A. Daily activity cycle:

Recordings of the movements of tagged sharks suggests that most sharks undergo daily activity rhythms. The greatest activity occurs during the twilight and dark hours.

B. Social Behaviour:

Sharks show various degrees of social behaviour but most are basically asocial. A good exmple is the schooling of hammerhead sharks at the Galapogos islands each year.

C. Symbiotic Relationships:

There are several symbionts attached to sharks: (a)Pilotfish, who usually swim with sharks for unknown reasons. This may be to eat all the scraps the shark misses.(b)Small species of fish, like the cleaner wrasse , which picks the shark clear of debris and parasites, (c)Remora fish which attatch themselves to the shark or batoid to ride their bow-wake. They may also eat parasites on the sharks.(d)Parasites of sharks and batoids are usally flatworms and small crustaceans.

D. Shark Attack:

All the attacks on humans and boats have been associated with only 32 species of shark which have the following features in common: They prey on fish or marine mammals, grow to a large size and frequent warmer waters where swimmers are apt to be. Most humans only becomes prey by accident and the shark usually lets go after the first bite. Sharks also may attack due to a territorial drive.

Aggresion

Aggresive shark behaviour.

A great white shark rushes towards its prey relying on stealth and surprise. It attacks from beneath and behind and after it bites it leaves its victim to bleed to death and then feeds.

To reduce the chance of an attack stay away from seal and sea lion colonies. A swimmer at the surface is more at risk than a scuba diver beneath the water. This may be because the swimmer resembles a seal. At the moment there is no known effective shark deterent. The Natal Sharks Board has developed the Shark pod which deters smaller sharks by using electrical fields.

For more information go to www.seaworld.org and search their database.

All information from the Buschgardens institute www.buschgardens.org

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