Diving with sharks...
PINNACLES REEF; A legendary site known for its drop offs and lots of sharks
Our main dive site for seeing sharks is called Pinnacles reef. Popular with fishermen, divers and sea life, the area teems with life during the summer months. It is located 3.5km off the dunes of southern Mozambique. Because the Pinnacles rise off the ocean floor from 50m to 29m, the area acts as an oasis drawing fish to the area and it attracts large numbers of bull sharks during the summer months. We've identified 19 species of shark in the area, on Pinnacles reef and inshore on more shallow reefs.
Worldwide, many sharks are classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as threatened species. Threatened sharks mean threatened oceans. Eliminating top predators, as many sharks are, from the ocean offsets the delicate balance of life that the sea sustains. Being at the top of the food chain is an important role that sustains equilibrium in our oceans.
Despite their importance, sharks have no legal protection in most international waters. In many places worldwide, overfishing and shark finning is perfectly legal. By taking our clients to see sharks we hope to create an awareness of their behaviour and curios nature, our view is that education is a powerful tool to prevent sharks from becoming extinct.
SHARK RESEARCH IN SOUTHERN MOZAMBIQUE
With a recorded 19 species of shark found on the reefs and offshore of Ponta, this is not only a great place to dive, but also to study sharks. Making the most of this, the 3 Fathoms Bull Shark Project has been running here since 2009. Using innovative techniques, like in-water sampling and acoustic tagging, they are answering questions about these sharks to ensure the conservation of this species and others in the area.
BULL SHARK OR ZAMBEZI?
Of all the shark species (there are over 400) the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is one of the only species that is able to spend long periods of time in freshwater – hence its various local names such as the Zambezi shark here, the Ganges River shark in India, Lake Nicaragua shark in Central America and the Swan River shark in Australia. To keep it simple, we just stick with the less localized name and call it the bull shark.
While bull sharks are found in tropical and sub-tropical waters worldwide, they seem to prefer river mouths and less clean water. Bull sharks are regarded as aggressive so it's not the best idea to swim with them in murky water.