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Talk to me about the sharks

Vermontville...
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Talk to me about the sharks

I've never snorkeled where there were any kind of sharks around. Tell me the rules for swimming around these and any other sort of "dangerous" fish or coral I might run into in Grace Bay or surrounding area.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

Look, but don't touch is the best overall advice.

Also, forget all thost crazy things you've seen in the movies.

If you've ever snorkeled or even entered the water of any ocean, anywhere in the world, there WERE sharks around. Difference is, you're more likely to see them in clear Caribbean water. They're also more likely to see you, and that's good.

You never, ever want to touch or stand on coral. It kills the coral and ruins the reef.

Snorkelers are much more likely to harm fish and coral than the other way around.

SE USA
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2. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

Hi- There's some "professional" shark info at the attached links...

…ufl.edu/fish/…avoid

…ufl.edu/fish/…Caribbean.htm

Don't panick and use common sense if you see a shark...give them space.

As far as coral goes, be especially careful in areas where the coral is in very shallow water...you can get scraped good and damage coral if you come into contact...try to keep > 24 inches between you and the coral.

Cheers

Vermontville...
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3. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

Thanks! We've snorkeled alot. I just have never seen any sharks before.

We snorkeled at St. Kitts and we had to be careful of the fire coral????? I'm not sure if I'm remembering that name correctly. If you touched it, it would be extrememly uncomfortable for a few days. Thankfully, we never got into trouble with it.

Our first experience was in Maui. We've been hooked ever since.

We did know about steering clear of touching coral so it doesn't get damaged, or damage you! But it never hurts to be reminded!

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

Sherban, those are some great links. Thanks.

Seems like every summer we get lots of shark questions when a certain cable television network airs "Shark Week." Personally, I enjoy good questions and discussions like this one, but some of the other "panic posts" have been ridiculous.

Does anyone remember the lady last year who was so afraid of sharks, she tried to cancel her Provo vacation? When she was unable to cancel, she honestly said that she would not let her children go into the ocean the entire week. Huh?

Boston...
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5. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

ssbk,

You were right...it is fire coral that you want to avoid coming in contact with, and yes, we do have it in the reefs here. I have seen it out at Malcolm's beach in their coral heads.

There are two fish that you want to avoid at all costs....one would be a scorpionfish, and the other...a lionfish.

Lionfish are not indigenous to this part of the world, but they have managed to not only find their way to our waters, but are now adapting to it...

as lovely looking as they are, avoid them at all costs!

PA
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6. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

My kids dove and saw 5-6 reef sharks. They came pretty close, and had no problem at all. Hubby & I were snorkeling above, and we saw them too. We also saw lemon shores close to shore when the conch was getting cleaned during the Caicos Dream Tour (2 3- feet). My kids saw nurse sharks on a night dive.

Ontario, Canada
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7. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

I think sharks always cause a certain amt of panic in most people. I have swam w/ nurse sharks in Punta Cana & loved it. Mind you I'm not sure how I would feel coming across some out in the wild.

But that being said I refuse to let that keep me out of the ocean.

Generally my DH & I are pool dwellers & spend little time in the ocean but when we visit Beaches in a couple of mths nothing is going to keep me from going in that beautiful water that I have been dreaming about for months now.

Vermontville...
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8. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

I'm going to assume that the Lion Fish and Scorpion Fish are not widely seen around Turks as noone seems to mention them in their snorkeling or diving adventures.

If I read correctly, these fish don't pose a life/death situation, but rather a poisonous spine that if touched/stung can be really painful. Is that correct?

Things like this DO NOT in anyway stop me from snorkeling or diving. You just have to know what your dealing with. As long as I'm informed, I feel better about it. You can't blame the species for acting normally. We're invading their space.

Boston...
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9. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

ssbk,

If you come in contact with either a scorpionfish or a lionfish, you will get quite ill....if you should see one when you snorkel, just give it a wide berth, that's all.

Do some reading up on lionfish...they are so nasty a fish, that no other fish in the "food chain" will devour it.....lionfish have become a "curse" to the reef systems and are already wrecking havoc in the Bahamas......

Since I teach First Aid here in the Islands, these two fish (lionfish & scorpionfish) are included in my coursse discussions involving "poisonings".

Boston...
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10. Re: Talk to me about the sharks

There have been quite a few sightings of lionfish here in our waters and there is a concerted effort underway to trap these fish....

If there were not concerns about these two critters, then it would not warrant my warning people about them when I teach.....