Yes, the Bahamas is one of the world’s most dense shark hotspots, housing various species of sharks. The waters of the Bahamas are said to invite over forty species of sharks. Hence it is known as the Shark capital of the world.
In particular, the Cat Island of the Bahamas hosts the largest aggregation of whitetip sharks in the world. Although this species is said to be extremely rare and endangered due to unsustainable fishing, they can only be found in the protected waters of this island.
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What Type of Sharks Visit The Waters of The Bahamas?
As mentioned earlier, there are over forty species of sharks visiting the Bahamas. These include Tiger Sharks, Great Hammerhead Sharks, Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, Bulls Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Caribbean Reef Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and more.
The most commonly found shark species is the Caribbean Reef Shark, spotted in large groups roaming around shallow waters. Divers are sure to come across these beautiful creatures and may even bump into them.
Is Swimming With Sharks In The Bahamas A Famous Activity?
Absolutely! Swimming with sharks is one of the most famous water activities in the Bahamas. Shark diving, or swimming with sharks is very safe, while some would imagine a ‘Jaws’ in reality.
It’s considered safe because the sharks have been acclimatised to visitors over the years with diving operators giving close attention to the animals, weather conditions and placing other protocols in place.
If you’re on the lookout for thrilling marine adventures, you can swim with Nurse Sharks at Compass Cay Marina in the Exuma district. It’s one of the top-rated destinations for swimming with sharks.
Nurse sharks are bottom-dwellers and are one of the most harmless shark species in the world. That being said it doesn’t eliminate the risk of shark attacks. They have sharp teeth and could potentially threaten divers – not fatally of course – but the experience is worth it.
If you do worry about the danger, do not. As long as you swim in designated swimming areas with instructors, the chances of getting accidentally harmed, are almost zero.
What Do Sharks Feast Upon?
Sharks are naturally carnivorous, which means their diets consist of flesh. Regular sharks consume fish, molluscs, crustaceans and even sea mammals like seals and possibly dolphins – larger species. However, when it comes to the native Nurse Sharks commonly found in the Bahamas, the typical diet includes snails, clams, stingrays and sea urchins.
Some scientists were able to find coral and seaweed that were also consumed by these Nurse Sharks, but this was ruled out by the fact that it was consumed in the process of eating the flesh.
Are Shark Attacks Common In The Bahamas?
Although Shark attacks sound grave, they aren’t that frequent in the Bahamas, where Sharks roam the waters as their own exclusive territory. Many do not know that sharks are – in fact – afraid of humans.
Although they are apex predators, Sharks are quickly startled by people. The Bahamas, in a 10-year-period from 2006 to 2016, saw only four shark attacks and only one of them was considered deadly. However, this changed in 2019 when two shark attacks were reported within weeks.
Provoked attacks are the most common, but there have been exceptions where a 21-year-old woman was attacked by tiger sharks while snorkelling off the coast of Rose Island.
Furthermore, Nurse Sharks do not attack unless provoked. So, make sure you don’t try to harm the sharks in any way.
Which Caribbean Country Has No Sharks?
Barbados – a neighbouring country of the Bahamas, is known for its absence of sharks along the shores. Years back, sharks were spotted washed off the shores of Barbados, and even to this day, certain cases of dead sharks being washed ashore are being reported.
Commercialised fishing techniques have severely impacted shark arrivals to Barbados and most Caribbean countries. Another reason for diminishing shark arrivals is the water temperature. Sharks prefer cold waters, but the waters surrounding Barbados are pretty warm, being a tropical island.
Famous Water Sports In The Bahamas
The most famous water sport in the Bahamas is Snorkeling. The most awaited water activity is swimming with sharks. Apart from these, tourists – mostly students travelling during spring break – visit the Bahamas for Jet skiing experiences, Windsurfing, Parasailing, Scuba Diving and more.
Another peculiar yet renowned water activity in the Bahamas is swimming with Pigs. Yes. Like sharks, you get to swim in the turquoise waters with pigs. Additionally, you can even set out for wreck explorations and even go fishing.
The Bahamas is the only country in the Caribbean to host so many shark species in its waters. You can choose the Bahamas for your summer vacation and experience a tropical paradise where you get to swim with sharks and pigs and even enjoy one-of-a-kind island adventures.