Diving French Polynesia: Moorea

©2001 Ken Riddick
Sharks were among the reasons we chose French Polynesia as our dive destination this year. We had read that divers often encountered sharks around these islands and we hoped to see our share. Several of the dive shops even hand-feed the sharks to assure their presence. Although this is controversial among divers, we encountered as many as 30 sharks of three different species on one dive. Here, as blacktip sharks pass above him, Brad Reynolds tries to photograph a hawksbill turtle on the reef at Oponohu Canyons, off Moorea Island in French Polynesia. We began seeing these beautifully marked small sharks from the moment we entered the waters off Moorea. Quickly, their presence became routine as they accompanied us on each ocean dive we made during our stay. Marine Life of the Pacific and Indian Oceans says "this is the most commonly encountered shark in shallow water: they can be found in lagoons, on reef flats, or on coastal fringing reefs. Although it is very inquisitive and often makes close passes, it is generally harmless to scuba divers." We discovered that they seemed to be bolder when you were not looking their direction. Soon as you did, they would put more distance between you.

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Pictures from other trips:
Roatan | Little Cayman Island | Galapagos | Grand Turk
French Polynesia | Bonaire | Belize | Saba | Exuma Cays

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