12: Bahamas 2013 | Hammerhead and bull sharks

2013 Bahamas Expedition | Round Two
Emma is a former Giant Ocean Tank Dive Intern on her first Spring Collection Expedition. She joined Aquarium divers in the Bahamas to help collect fish, under special permits, so that visitors in Boston can appreciate the splendor of a healthy Caribbean reef. After a top-to-bottom transformation, the Giant Ocean Tank is expected to reopen in early summer. 

This morning we traveled to a dive site called Bimini Road. At this spot, we continued to catch grunts to add to our school. On my second dive at this site, I finally lucked out and saw a 7-foot-long hammerhead shark! It passed by our group, but as soon as we started towards it for a better look, it quickly swam away. Of course, my camera was back on the ship, charging. After Bimini Road, we went over to a spot called The Strip II where we rounded up more chromis and a whole bunch of black-finned snappers.

Later that evening, we docked at Bimini, to get off the boat and explore another part of this country. At another part of the dock, fishermen were throwing pieces of bait into the water and the most amazing thing was happening—five, large, full-grown bull sharks were chasing after each piece of food. After diving for years and looking for this species of shark, here they were! Not only were they swimming, they were surfacing to try and get every bite.

Bull sharks in Bimini | Photo credit: Bill Murphy

Even though I appreciated seeing these incredible animals up close and in action, feeding these animals is not ideal for the sharks, nor for humans. By feeding wild animals, like sharks or bears, we draw them into heavily populated areas where they may get into trouble. This also teaches wild animals to associate humans with food and sometimes rely on them as a food source.

By showing visitors the beauty of a healthy Caribbean reef, we hope to inspire visitors to do what they can to protect these reefs and marine habitats around the world. Dive into the New Aquarium Experience, coming early this summer!

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