Did you see any sharks?

“Did you see any sharks?”  It’s one of the most common questions that non-divers ask divers. Fortunately, if you dive with Jupiter Dive Center, the answer is often a resounding Yes! Sharks are fascinating creatures and sighting one (or more) is often the highlight of any dive.

Sharks have been in the water far longer than humans have been on land. They can be found in every marine environment. The waters off the coast of Jupiter, Florida are frequented by an array of species that include nurse, lemon, tiger, bull, sand, reef, hammerhead sharks, and more. Even whale sharks have passed through our waters!

If you are diving in their territory, chances are, you are going to encounter a shark. The first time you see a shark in close proximity, it’s an adrenaline rush. Sharks can be big, nimble, and intimidating.  The best way to combat fear is to learn the facts. How? Sign up for a Shark Awareness course.

Divers often become shark advocates. We have sharks to thank for the abundance of marine life we see on our dives. As apex predators, sharks contribute to the overall health of the marine ecosystem. Their presence indicates animals further down the food chain are at sustainable levels. When a species is nearing depletion, sharks adapt by targeting more plentiful species. Sadly, many shark species are deemed vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. The biggest threat to their population comes from overfishing.

The popular misconception that sharks are mindless killers is false. They are also not “vengeful, man-eaters” as presented in movies. Even Peter Benchley, the author of Jaws, is now an advocate for shark conservation. The likelihood of being attacked by a shark is minimal, but it can happen. Knowing how to recognize behavioral clues that a shark is agitated is one way to minimize the risk. Harassing any marine wildlife is a surefire way to get hurt. Don’t be that diver.

Sharks have a mystique about them that is compelling. Sharing their environment is an honor. As divers, we are able

to acknowledge their value to the marine ecosystem and advocate on their behalf. Join us for a class or sign up for a dive charter. (Look for the arrival of lemon sharks in the new year when conditions are more to their liking.) We bet you become an advocate too!

 

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