December 1, 2010
Written by Amos Nachoum
If you need any more proof that sharks are amazing animals, here’s news that I’ll be sharing with divers and photographers on my next BigAnimals shark dive expeditions. According to Jeremy Hsu, writing about science on the MSNBC site, the Shortfin Mako shark uses flexible scales on its body to make to make tight underwater turns during high-speed pursuits. The scales give Mako exceptional control and this allows them to move in for the kill at speeds of 60 mph.
“The Mako has evolved to be the cheetah of the ocean,” according Amy Lang, an aerospace engineer at the University of Alabama who specializes in experimental fluid dynamics, and who was quoted in the article. “It has evolved to chase down tuna.”
Ten, fifteen years ago I saw a lot of Makos and Blue sharks on dives off the coast of San Diego. Recently – not so often. But I have some good news – and it comes from the other coast. I’ve been looking into surveying a shark dive location off Cape Cod with plans to start an expedition there. Prime season for this would be September to October. I am thrilled to learn about this location, because it represents an opportunity on so many levels. It’s a chance to see BigAnimals in their habitat, but it also represents an opportunity to help protect sharks.
As we know all too well, for sportsfishermen sharks are game to be hunted and to the shipping industry, sharks simply get in the way of the shipping lanes which can cost them their lives.
It’s a plan of mine to go to areas where Blues and Makos are thriving and talk to the hoteliers and dive centers in those places. I would want to explain that leading expeditions to experience BigAnimals up close will help local businesses. Instead of fishing these species into extinction we can take divers out on expeditions and capture the shark’s spirit with a camera instead taking their lives. When it comes to local business, a live shark is worth a lot more money than a dead shark.
I’ll let you know what develops in Cape Code and other sites. For now, have a look at my upcoming shark dives. Next September, come with me to Mexico to experience the Great White Shark – for a special few adventurers I select, there will be an out-of-the-cage experience. In the Galapagos next fall during the perfect season, we’ll be diving with the Whale Shark.