Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dive with Sharks in the Bahamas

Small Hope Bay Lodge Shark Observation Dive

Divers and snorkelers can enjoy a thrill of a lifetime while learning about some of the most misunderstood creatures in the ocean. Our shark observation dive allow divers and snorkelers to view sharks up close, in their own habitat and witness the beauty and majesty of these incredible fish. 
At Small Hope Bay Lodge the objective of the shark encounter is to raise awareness, evoke a sense of responsibility and to have fun! Our shark encounter provides the sharks with a small amount of supplemental food on an irregular basis, not making the sharks dependent on us as a food source, yet still allows us to experience the thrill of being up close and personal with one of the ocean's top predators. 
As the boat approaches the site, we can see the sharks begin to gather. An average of a dozen Caribbean reef shark at a time show up for a frozen chum ball feed. The chum ball, composed of frozen fish parts, hangs suspended on a fixed line 40 feet below the surface. Divers kneel off to the side on the sandy bottom at a depth of 60 feet. Other than providing them a free meal, to which they help themselves, we do not interfere with the sharks or molest them in any way. 
Join us for an experience of a lifetime! 
Check out the the Small Hope Sharks Experience Here
Learn more about these incredible creatures below...

          cSharks have roamed our oceans since before the time of dinosaurs, but their long reign at the top of the ocean food chain may be ending. The onset of industrial fishing over the past 60 years has drastically depleted their populations. Of the shark and ray species assessed by scientists for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 30 percent are threatened or near-threatened with extinctionThere are many threats facing sharks today that include by-catch, where sharks are killed when other seafood is being targeted, recreational fishing, sharks being used for ingredients in cosmetics or health supplements, destruction of habitat and more. Shark fins  are now among the most expensive sea food product in the world. In general sharks are slow growing, late to mature and over long lifetimes will produce few offspring.This leaves them quite vulnerable to over exploitation and slow to recover from depletion. Being that sharks are a top predator within the ocean their depletion presents risks for the entire ocean ecosystem. A decline in the population of Tiger Sharks in a certain area will directly effect the population of sea grass beds. With nothing there to prey on the sea turtle population they will flourish and in turn deplete the vital sea grass beds, which would be an important and devastating loss of habitat.

 How can you help

Visit these sites to see how you can get involved and help preserve the world's shark populations. Keep fun and educational programs such as the Small Hope shark observation dive going by helping to conserve our ocean's sharks!

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