Sand Tiger Sharks: Tips for Getting Close

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There are two basic approaches to shooting video or stills of sharks and most other marine life too.

  1. Plant yourself in one spot and wait patiently – they will come. Be sure not to move quickly. You will startle them (really!) and they will take off at Mach 3. Also, try to hold your breath when they are close. The sound of bubbles also seems to irritate them.
  2. Swim slowly beside them and carefully close the distance between you and the shark. They don’t like you to get much closer than about 2 feet and will take off if you get closer. If you swim directly at them they seem to see this as a threat and will either turn away and head for open water or begin to give a threat display of their own.
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How do you know if you’ve just ticked off a Sand Tiger? They begin to move in a more erratic way, they drop their pectoral fins from a nearly horizontal position to a more vertical position, and they make quick passes at you. Leave the area now! I’ve never seen a Sand Tiger attack but I’ll bet it’s no fun especially if you’re on the receiving end. Remember, you are the most dangerous animal in the ocean. The sharks don’t mind you being there but if you irritate them they will most likely react to protect themselves and that gives the shark an undeserved bad reputation.