Lucky divers get front row seats for bull shark feeding frenzy
Bull sharks are massive animals that instill awe and respect. They are top predators, moving aside only when tiger sharks appear, or the occasional orca passes through. They are sleek and powerful, with a commanding presence. Their huge jaws full of razor sharp teeth intimidate even the most seasoned scuba diver.
Nothing about sharks is predictable and it is wise to remember that this is their domain. Humans are the visitors here. But, despite their fearsome reputation and the obvious ability for them to easily overpower a human, unprovoked attacks are extremely rare. Hollywood movies and misconceptions have fueled the fear of these beautiful creatures.
These tour guides in Fiji have a different perspective. They have a deep respect and understanding for the sharks here. They work hard to educate people and to help them understand the sharks, with the intent of creating appreciation for them. Our ocean ecosystems would not be heathy without these great beasts. They prey on injured and sick marine life, keeping the genetic lines strong.
The sharks here also provide a much needed income for the nearby villages. The tour guides create tourism dollars with these controlled feedings, which allow the villages to sustain their residents without the need to sell fishing rights to commercial agencies. The fish are worth more alive than they are in a net. Commercial fish operations have depleted fish populations in the past, harming the reefs and creating imbalance. A strong economy due to shark tours gives the people a better option and protects the sharks and other fish.
These very lucky scuba divers are witnessing the power and beauty of many sharks species as they perch on a ledge to see the bait bucket open. The bucket is full of fish scraps and the sharks wait for the opportunity to snatch some free food.