Face To Face Shark Encounters Do’s and Don’ts To Know

Shark Talk

Sharks, the apex predators that we know and fear, are often misunderstood to both their and our detriment.

Our absolute fear of sharks is a detriment not only to the sharks , but apparently for us as well if we encounter them while at sea in open water.

The following videos do a bit more than explain how our interaction with sharks can often exacerbate a potentially bad situation. Granted, as explained, sharks are apex predators. Therefore you certainly don’t want to be around them if they are agitated or feeding.

The following YouTube clips provide an aspect of interacting with sharks that is often really overlooked. For example, as we all know, if being attacked by a shark we should deliver a sharp blow to its head to ward off further attacks or interest.

However, we are often not educated about how to generally interact/communicate/exist with sharks when we find ourselves suddenly in and among them in their natural habitat. The assumption here, of course, is that they are not agitated or feeding.

As you will see in the following clips, our tendency to overreact and become utterly full of fear can provoke, what we call, an attack that otherwise would not have happened.

Watch the YouTube video clip below by White Shark Video. Although the diver in the clip is surrounded and being bumped repeatedly by a group of oceanic black-tips, they are not biting him. Watch his explanation..

“Walking Sharks While Surrounded by Sharks” – YouTube video by White Shark Video

Ok so, it did appear that a shark did lunge at him for a second in the previous video. However, as he explains it in the commentary “If you look again, the shark didn’t “lunge at my face”, actually, it went for a piece of bait which aligned it with my path, then it turned away without doing me any harm.”

The second video ( part 2) below explains further…

“Talking Sharks While Surrounded by Sharks 2” – YouTube Video by White Shark Video

Now, in the following video, by 60 Minutes Australia, we see how our understanding of great white sharks is expanding. Pay attention to Mike’s explanation of how to read sharks as well as the dos & don’ts at about 3 minutes into the video. [ Very informative]

In the following video we get an explanation of how to read a shark’s behavior. He also emphasizes a few other pointers:

  • Do not get between a shark and its prey
  • Remain up-current from the smell source
  • Dont ever run away from a shark, maintain eye contact
  • If a shark approaches you maintain your ground (dont swim away..it will see you as food)

Watch the video below for more details and to see these techniques in action.

“Face to face with great white sharks: Outside the cage and totally exposed | 60 Minutes Australia” – YouTube Video by 60 Minutes Australia

Ok so I get it .. You cant be fearful, stand your ground and don’t knowingly mess with agitated or feeding sharks. Communicating/Interacting with sharks is a very subtle form of communication (language) where the sharks can sense your intentions… it’s hard to fake it and make it.

Sharks are not just merciless killers and they try to avoid mistaking us for their preferred prey. However, I prefer to keep my distance and dive in a cage I am shark diving. How about you?

Images Source: YouTube Clips

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[updated 3/21/2021]

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