Random Jottings

Apex predator.....part two!

Regular readers will think that I have an unhealthy fascination with large predators.....

Well in some ways I do, although I would prefer to know that on any particular dive I am the largest predator! Oh, as a little aside I remember years ago on a trip to Chuk Lagoon some guys thought that I was mad on a night dive when the small grey reef sharks were really active behind the boat and when I say small I mean three feet long......its probably more dangerous to manhandle dogfish here in the uk.

Anyway I saw this article on a website and thought.....wow...what a majestic animal and if she is going to 'pup' it's great that the genetics to such a large creature are being injected back into the system.


There's some video footage released now too!


But then I thought about diving with such a size animal and how it would be possible to interact in a 'normal' environment that is to say if you are going to try and get a picture of a Great White then you are probably going on a 'baited' dive where the boat throws in all manner of food and offal and the divers sit in a cage when a shark is spotted whilst the crew try to 'tease' the animal close to the boat and cage.

Having never done this I do think it would be hugely exciting, but the thought of several tonnes of fish actively looking for food and not managing to find any would make for a rather fraught encounter where it would be imperative to stay inside the cage.

The photos taken here where on a dive where observations were being made of all manner of sharks feeding on a dead whale carcass and in that situation the sharks consider the whale as 'food' and you are simply another opportunistic predator who best be able to 'read the signs' and keep out of the way when it is the top dogs turn to feed, or there will be an issue.

Oh, a second aside, if you google 'shark attack red sea scuba brothers' you'll see some interesting amateur video footage of a couple of German guys being 'nipped' by an Oceanic White-Tip, in both cases you can see the shark is stressed and the silly buggers are still 'inter-acting', hey ho. Oh and the worst part of the video where the guy is being interviewed in where he small bites are being stitched on the dive boat, yer-uck!

Back to my real digression, probably some of the best in water footage of sharks was taken on two expeditions where Sperm Whales had been shot and suspended in the water for the sole reason of trying to lure in Great White sharks, yup all of you Cousteau was a conservationist you are wrong. Anyway, some of the footage taken during 'Blue Water, White Death' was used in Jaws (the movie) so it will look familiar whereas the Great French Conservationist becomes all morose about 'zis noble animal' being eaten by Oceanic White Tips and goes into the water with some of his divers armed with 'bang sticks' and proceeds to kill the sharks, there is even a segment on this programme where they discuss the best method of sharpening a knife to disembowel a shark, the unfortunate creature then 'swims into ze depths eating is own intestines', a sanctamonius man and organisation.

Anyway if I could be promised a dead whale suspended near the surface I would be quite happy hanging around for a week waiting for some big apex predators to turn up, oh occasionally there have been dead whales wash up at Beadnell, now there's a thought!

Dive safe


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