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Sharks at night - what do they do?

Discussion in 'Shark Forum!' started by Schwob, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
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    What do sharks do at night?
    Any differences by species?

    Are they resting? How?
    Are they "feeding / hunting"?
    Are they...???

    Has anyone seen sharks during night dives (not twilight dives)?

    Is diving at night around sharks more or less adviseable then daytime diving around sharks? - Why?
     
  2. PatW

    PatW Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Central Florida
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    I think many sharks are nocturnal. I rarely see nurse sharks doing anything but snoozing during the day. So I assume that they must be active some time and that some time is at night. I once saw a reef shark on a night dive. It was hunting in shallow water which is not where you see them during the day. As far as the danger of it all, I very rarely see large potentially dangerous sharks. Also, divers with their fins, bcds, metal tanks, and bubbles really do not look like a food item. I think sharks are way down on the threat level in diving.
     
  3. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
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    Diurnal shark behavior is dependent on species. We have some that pretty much sleep during the day and come out at night to feed and some that are constantly swimming while others like to nap. It is hard to generalize when they are so many species out there.
     
    TheGraveyardDiver and tridacna like this.
  4. Fibonacci

    Fibonacci Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
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    I attended a very interesting National Geographic talk by renowned UW photographer Thomas Peschak (who took that iconic Great White with kayak shot) here in Melbourne a couple of years ago.

    White Shark Kayak

    During the talk he also showed some truly remarkable night shots of sharks... in the Q&A session afterwards someone asked how he managed to get so consistently lucky in finding sharky subjects.

    Thomas replied it was relatively easy to attract sharks at night... he just hung a single powerful generator-powered movie light over the gunwhale at dusk and went off to have dinner. The sharks were much more active and in 'hunting mode' at night so they were very curious about the single bright light and surrounding fish... so come in from some distance.

    He left the light running pointing directly downwards and dived in amongst the milling sharks... getting some spectacular pics in the process.

    SO it would appear sharks are more active and attracted to bright lights at night in the open ocean...
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
    Schwob likes this.
  5. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
    1,767
    935
    113
  6. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    22,424
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    How many different shark species were involved? I question whether one can make a broad generalization based on this.
     
  7. ReefGuy

    ReefGuy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Punta Gorda, Fl.
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    I came across several playing poker once, but I believe this is common for the subspiecies Card Shark.
     
  8. Schwob

    Schwob Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Illinois
    1,767
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    Yes, and I believe that for this species this behavior resembles the act of "feeding"...
     
  9. John Bantin

    John Bantin Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: London
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    If you want to find out, Stuart Cove does a very dramatic night div/shark feed.
     
  10. Fibonacci

    Fibonacci Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
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    448
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    I'm merely reporting Thomas' answer at the Q&A... I have no direct knowledge myself.

    It would seem many of the smaller tropical reef sharks (black and white tips, hammerheads etc) are attracted by this method, which became Peschak's SOP.

    NatGeo 'Sharks After Dark'
    See from 00:49


    And 'A Tale of Two Atolls' from 03:25
     
    Schwob and wetb4igetinthewater like this.

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