Monday, June 23, 2008

Shark Diving in the Med?

Whilst researching the previous post, I came across the above picture on, of all sites, Wikipedia's trusted Tiger Shark page, where it has replaced our very own Scarface.
A Tiger Shark in Antalya, Kaş - Turkey, as the caption implies? Maybe feeding on the rare Mediterranean Monk Seals, the World's rarest Pinniped, that frequent the area? But then, what about the small blue-and-yellow fish: Yellowtail Snappers? In the Med?
Yeah, right.......

That reminds me of this spectacular picture (click to enlarge), taken by my friends Pascal and Denis deep down in Tiputa Pass in Rangiroa. Remember the very similar cover shot on Michael Aw's Australasia Scuba Diver? Now, it hangs in a Fijian dive shop and clients are being assured that is was taken on a local dive. Not so.

But despite the obvious hoax above, Turkey is still well worth considering.
Every June, Boncuk Bay becomes a nursing area for Sandbar Sharks. No, Fatma, they don't "lay eggs" (they are viviparous), but they can be easily observed even on snorkel. And if you're really lucky, you may even stumble upon Eleonora de Sabata, Italy's own Shark Lady, and contribute to her ongoing research project, like you contribute to Shark Conservation when visiting our Shark Reef Marine Reserve.

And then, there's ........... Lebanon!
Lebanon, I hear you ask? Why on Earth would anybody want to go diving in THAT place???

Because of Odontaspis ferox.
Remember Malpelo's infamous Inzan Tiger and its "Tiger Ragged Tooth Shark", a "cross between a Raggie and a Great White"?
Well, it appears that you now have a choice: strap on your tech gear (or be outright stupid), brave Malpelo's treacherous currents and multiple thermoclines and dash down to 200 feet, only to spot nada de nada on El Bajo del Monstruo - or, strap on your bulletproof vest and head straight to equally infamous Beirut, where you may be able to spot some Smalltooth Sand Tigers at a place called Shark Point between July and September.
Decisions, Decisions...........

Anyway, plenty of links to check out!

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