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Saw a Whale Shark last week

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jan 16, 2002
Hi Peterk , yeah , hammers are pretty impressive too . On my first dive at the Canyon ;Sodwana ,the first thing I saw as the bubbles cleared away after entering the water was a 3.5 m. hammer eyeballing me from about 2 metres away ... kinda set the tone for all my subsequent spearing trips to that reef :D
Once , when returning from the bottom (32 m.) I had to swim through a school of app. 100 hammers . They just very gracefully swerved around me . One of those times when I would gladly have traded my gun for a camera ...:cool:


New Member
Oct 24, 2002

hi - a newbie here - just registered today
yeah - am into sharks and manta rays
have been to the maldives a few times - stayed on kuredu and another island last year whose name i forget
reckoned the house reef on kuredu was much better - got me some good piccies of many sea turtles and a couple of really cool manta rays - they rock!
a black tip reefy came very close in the blue off the drop off on the reef - was about 5ft so looked even bigger to me
what sorts courses you run? am thinking of getting into freediving after messing about on my own for the last few years
have cage dived in SA with great whites and checked out Dyer island
got pretty close with a white tip when i was scoobying off barrier reef two years ago
have a keen interest in sharks generallybut live in the uk so have to travel to see them in the blue


South African in Canada
Oct 21, 2002
The argument that Great Whites are being conditioned to associate divers with an easy meal through the stimulus of chum whilst cage diving is not holding water in higher scientific circles... check out this study by the Dept. of Zoology at Stellenbosch University (www.capetowncity.com - click on whales, then sharks, then cagediving) - they've posted a study about the potential conditioning of Great Whites...

Can sum it up by these extracts from the study (though it's well worth a read!):

" It is, however, seldom possible to successfully condition animals if these requirements are not all met:

For instance, if the training sessions are scheduled a few days or weeks apart at irregular intervals, with little or no positive reinforcement during these intervals, even advanced animals such as mammals often fail to form the necessary association between stimulus and reward.

Similarly, most animals fail to associate a particular stimulus with food if the stimulus is not regularly followed by the reward. If fact, withholding the reward when the stimulus is applied is a standard procedure to extinguish ("de-program") a conditioned response in experimental studies!...

...We clearly have good years with few or no attacks, and bad years with many attacks, but there is a general tendency for the number of attacks to increase as more and more people enter the water. At present there is no reason to believe that the increase in white shark attack can be attributed to the cage diving industry."

Given the sheer number of Great Whites in False Bay (where cage diving occurs), were sharks becoming conditioned to view people as "easy meat", no diver, kayaker, spearo, diver or swimmer would stand a chance...

Having said that, incidents like the one below (the recent spate being the first I can recall being reported in False Bay in the last decade) would become daily, not rare occurences!

Excerpt from Natal Sharks Board website:

"For those who are superstitious, Friday the 13th may well be a day to take extra care. This was certainly the case for veteran surfski rider, Paul Mauger, who had an uncomfortably close encounter with a large white shark on Friday 13 September. According to a press report (Weekend Argus 14.9.02), Mauger was paddling from Fish Hoek to Simonstown, south of Cape Town, enjoying the glorious spring weather, when the shark hit the back of his 4 m long ski. Mauger fell off the ski and turned around to find himself face-to-face with an enormous white shark. The shark had bitten off the back section of the fibre-glass ski and was holding it in his mouth. While Mauger watched the shark swim around him for a while, he held on to the rest of his ski (otherwise it would have sunk), to ensure that he had something between him and the shark. The shark then disappeared and after a wait of 3-4 minutes Mauger slowly swam the 100 m distance to the shore, in order not to arouse the curiosity of the shark should it still be in the area. He reached the shore safely.

This was not an isolated incident and, according to the article, there have been at least four cases of a white shark investigating divers or other surfski riders in the general area. The SA Navy recovered the ski in what was their third shark-induced rescue in the past two months."

- yikes!!

:crutch:hmm :hmm
Last edited:


Halla Waaaaallllaaa
Aug 15, 2002
Originally posted by immerlustig
i´ve recently read an article which said that in malysia fishermen are now starting to go for whale sharks to sell the meat as tofu to taiwan.
the article was written by a diveoperator doing tours in thailand, andaman sea.

has anyone else ever heard of such a thing??

since those shark are migrating and cruise rather slowly close to the surface that sounds very much like butchering to me.

it´s a report that pisses me off since iwant to spend some time in those areas next winter.

hope it´s just a story


p.s. and a question to those who enjoy the presence of a 5 meter great white or tiger or whatever else that size : how long does the adrenaline last ???

oooo trust me the adrenaline lasts pretty long... and every time you remember the encounter, the adrenaline will start pumping through your system...


Fond of the Red Sea
Oct 10, 2004
island_sands said:
last week i saw a small 5m whale shark, making her way past our island, she was a 15m depth... what a wonderful experience.

What is a "whale shark" ? I cannot figure out what kind of shark it is...

I enjoyed very much the article given : "Love at first bite"... :p


Fond of the Red Sea
Oct 10, 2004
Naim said:
Lots of info here for whale sharks
more like love at first suck :eek:

thanks... I could identify the species ; in French it is "requin baleine"...
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