What You Need To Know About Sharks: They Aren’t Meant To Be On Your Plate

Frequently asked questions about sharks and why they should not end up on your plate.

Black Tip Reef Shark Maldives
Here’s one of the black tip reef sharks in our house reef.

Yes, you are still on my blog and this is not NatGeo nor Animal Planet. You are still on aysabaw.com.

The reason why I’m posting about sharks is to share my own experiences and to raise awareness about one of the most misunderstood animal on the planet.

Working in a resort here in the Maldives gives me a chance to meet a lot of different people from different parts of the world and every time I meet one, I would ask if they have snorkeled around the island already and if they have seen sharks around. Our conversation will depend on their answer.

If the guests tell me that they have seen sharks and they seem happy about it, I would leave them and wish them a great day. But if they tell me that they have seen one and they give me a scared expression followed by a question – do they bite? – then I find that as an amazing opportunity for me to speak on behalf of the entire shark race.

Do sharks bite or attack human?

Human beings are not part of the shark diet and we are not at all tasty for them. There are cases where sharks bite human out of curiosity or they have mistaken humans to seals or other more interesting snacks. But these usually are the aggressive types.

I have heard about the case of a fisherman here in the Maldives who got bitten by a shark because he tried to take his hook off the shark, hence, to the shark’s defense he bit the man.

According to our resort Marine Biologists, sharks here in the Maldives as per observations, prefer to eat bite size snacks. Therefore, a human as big as me is already out of the snack list.

Nurse shark Maldives
A sleeping Nurse Shark

What types of shark can be found in the Maldives? Are they aggressive?

The most common types of sharks that can be seen in the Maldives are Black Tip Reef Shark, Nurse Shark, White Tip and Silver Tip and they are not aggressive at all. Tiger Sharks can also be seen in the deep open water and most commonly around the island called Fuvamuhlah in the southern part of Maldives.

The most aggressive types of sharks are the Great White, Tiger and Bull Shark which are not commonly found on the Maldives because of the water temperature (except for Tiger Shark and so far, there are no cases of Tiger Shark attacks). Hammerhead can also be aggressive.

Freedive with Sharks
This is my free diving buddy Yoyo chasing the black tip reef shark and me chasing both of them to take a photo.

What do we do if we see a shark while we are snorkeling?

Stay calm. Keep swimming on a slow pace.

I always tell our guests here in the resort that the sharks are more afraid of us than we are of them and I have proven it several times. I always try to get closer to them because I would like to take a close up shot but usually they swim away as fast as they could. Although, some sharks are curious. They will slowly swim and observe me and this is the time when I don’t go too close. I stay in my place and observe it too. I would like to let the shark know that I bring no harm to it by staying put and at the same time I am not scared of it so I’m not swimming away.

Sharks are integral part of the food chain. Do not support restaurants or shops selling shark fin or baby sharks.

Sharks play an important role in the food chain. They eat the weak and the sick ones and keeps the balance. Well, it’s not only the sharks. Every living thing has a role to play.

Some countries still don’t ban shark fishing nor they have any law protecting the sharks. Sadly, these sharks are fished just for their fins and are cruelly dumped back to the sea to slowly die since they aren’t capable of swimming anymore after losing their fins.

I have also, sadly, seen baby sharks along with squids and other types of fish ready to be grilled in one of the local restaurants when I went to Pangasinan for a trip.

Good thing here in the Maldives is that sharks are protected by law and shark fishing is completely banned.

I have written a lot about sharks as if I am their ambassador. By the way, this is not a scientific post. Everything is based on my experiences, learning and observations. I am just happy to share my experiences to those who never had a chance to have a face to face encounter with sharks for I used to be scared of them but I am now very fascinated about them

And please…

Sharks are meant to be in the ocean and not on your plate.

Shark Maldives
This shark is unique as it has black marks near the gills. This is also a ‘familiar face’ as we always bump into each other,, of course because of the black marks, I know it’s the same shark that I see all the time. It doesn’t swim away quickly when we meet unlike the other sharks. It also observes me like I observe it and I feel that it is no stranger to human interaction since its a resident of the house reef and probably have seen a lot of hoomans swimming around. Look at that curious eye!

Author: aysabaw

Hi there! My name is Aysa! I am currently based in the Maldives, a free diver, a frustrated artist and writer and a lover of palm trees and ocean breeze.

17 thoughts on “What You Need To Know About Sharks: They Aren’t Meant To Be On Your Plate”

  1. Great post, ma’am! Pwede nang pang DOST-kuya kim type of show. Ang sarap mong interviewhin sa podcast. Makalipad na nga ng Maldives. Hahaha.

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    1. Madalas pa isa isa. Minsan tatlo sila, pinapaliguran at iniikutan nila yung prey nila.

      Once ko lang sila nakita in big group. 19 sharks all together at the same time. Pero dumaan lang sila hehe.

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        1. HAHAHAHA natatakot lang ako pag lumalapit sila, pag nacucurious sila at nagoobserba rin…pero pag mabilis silang lumalangoy palayo ibig sabihin takot sila sa akin haha

          Like

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