Sharks Aren’t Scary:Come and Dive with them in East End!
Sharks have been swimming in the ocean for over 400 million years! That’s way before the dinosaurs roamed the land. Sharks are apex predators, meaning they have no natural predators, yet nowadays shark populations are being slaughtered by the commercial fishing industry and many species are threatened by extinction. Sharks are important to the marine environment and without them coral reefs will deteriorate. Sharks Aren’t Scary:Come and Dive with them in East End!
Man vs Shark
Sharks have an undeservingly bad reputation for being stealthy torpedo shaped human hunters, this is known as the “jaws effect”, whereas in reality humans are shark hunters. On average less than one person in the US dies from a shark attack each year, however humans kill over 100 million sharks every year, this includes the sharks caught for their fins (shark fin is one of the most
expensive seafood products in the world) and those captured as by-catch. Did you know you’re more likely to get bitten by a New Yorker in New York than you are by a shark in the ocean?
10 things more likely to kill you than a shark:
• Cows charging at you
• Lightening strike
• Champagne cork
• A sand hole collapse
• Falling coconut
• Falling ladder
• Vending machine falling on you
Top of the food chain
With sharks being at the top of the food chain they are paramount to underwater ecosystems. Seeing sharks whilst snorkelling or diving indicates a healthy ocean. They prey on weak and sick inhabitants, ensuring species diversity amongst the reef. Without these apex predators other predatory fish species (e.g. grouper) would become overly abundant and prey on herbivores. The herbivores regulate algae growth. If algae starts to dominate the reef, coral will no longer be able to compete having adverse affects on the reef system.
Sharks in the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Island sharks are protected under National Conservation Law as of 2013. In the Cayman Islands, it is illegal to “take” any shark within coastal or offshore waters. “Take” means it is illegal to harm, possess or kill a shark with stiff penalties if convicted.
It’s common to see Caribbean Reef sharks in East End on Grand Cayman, reef sharks particularly like wall drop offs and outer reefs. Dive sites such as ‘The Maze’ and ‘Jack McKenneys” are good spots for shark encounters. You may even be lucky enough to chance upon a Hammerhead. When diving along the wall keep one eye into the blue.
Hammerheads like to cruise along continental shelves in warmer waters and we’ve seen them multiple times in the last few years in East End.
Nurse sharks are regular visitors on the shallower reefs, be sure to check out all the nooks and crannies, as they like to snooze under shady overhangs.
So just remember, Sharks Aren’t Scary:Come and Dive with them in East End!
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Posted by Silver Thatch Watersports on Thursday, March 19, 2020