Sharks of The Red Sea ; The Sensible & Sensitive Predator

Sharks of The Red Sea ; The Sensible & Sensitive Predator

Although slightly in decline and some species endangered at the same time, the waters of the Red Sea are a stomping ground ‘par excellence’ for sharks. The Red Sea sharks contingent include oceanic white tips, scalloped hammerheads, wale sharks, silver tips, black tips, sand tips, leopards, nurses, grey reef sharks, zebra’s, sicklefins, threshers, etc.

In essence, sharks are relatively common and timid predators, not to be challenged.  In fact, they are wary and shy and have no interest whatsoever for humans in the shape of their daily gastronomic fix. Contrast to popular belief, unprovoked shark incidents are an extreme rarity. Any behaving, sensible and sensitive diver knows this. There are basic rules of thumbs to flawlessly participate in traffic; the same applies to venturing divers on a shark sightseeing mission. 

It is wise to operate as a group and avoid being isolated from your diving companions. It’s also recommendable to stay away from dawn and dusk diving since sharks tend to be at the peak of their activity during these hours. Poor water visibility contributes to sharks being deceived by contours.

If you get excited in the event of spotting a shark, don’t stress it with wild body language and sudden movements. Don’t approach them to provoke silly interaction. It’s not heroic. Now there’s a caveat for you. 

Speaking of interaction; sharks are more likely to interact with divers passively when they are not being motivated enticed by food. Don’t indulge yourself in hand feeding. It’s as simple as that for a simple suggestion. Now there’s another caveat for you. 

As far as the Red Sea is concerned, the grey reef and the tiger prefers coral reefs for a habitat. The oceanic white tip and the scalloped hammerhead seek their comfort in deep water; so does the silky shark. 

The silver tip tends to roam around islands and coral reefs in contrast with the zebra who craves sandy areas. White tips like the shelter of grottoes, crevices, cracks and caves. 

Although sharks are by no means aquatic pets, showing up on demand to entertain divers, chance meetings are more than likely during specific seasonal times of the year. For whale sharks and hammerheads, the period from the end of May until the end of July considerably raises the chance of predator spotting.

Elphinstone Reef is a potential shark magnet from October to January. You best try your thresher shark luck between September and February near Brother Islands and Marsa Alam’s Daedalus Reef.

In general, the Jackson Reef dive sites in the Street of Tiran are a good choice for sightings from July until September and that would be from May to August for Daedalus Reef.