22 May Diving with Grey Nurse Sharks
Looking to dive with Grey Nurse Sharks? Here are a few fun facts and important points to know about Grey Nurses first…
Grey Nurse Sharks are some of the most majestic and gentle species of shark that a diver could ever have the fortune of diving with. Here are a few fun facts that you may or may not know about Grey Nurse Sharks:
- A Grey Nurse Shark can be identified by it’s large stout bodies, pointed snout and small eyes, as well as two similar sized dorsal fins.
- Male grey nurse sharks bite females during the courtship process. In the breeding season, it is common to see small scars on the females.
- Grey Nurse Sharks in the same family as the Great White Shark – but a lot more timid.
- Grey Nurse Sharks swallow air at the surface in an effort to gain buoyancy control.
- The Grey Nurse Shark was protected by the NSW Government in 1984 after divers voiced concerns of their declining numbers, making Grey Nurses the first shark in the world to become a protected species.
These beautiful creatures can be found all the way up and down the NSW coastline. Heavily active at night, during the day they can be seen resting in underwater gutters or caves.
As a protected species, there is actually a code of conduct for diving with Grey Nurses. When diving with Grey Nurse Sharks, ensure you, your dive buddies and your dive operation adhere to the following guidelines as outlined by the Department of Primary Industries here.
- Night dive in sites identified as habitat critical to the survival of Grey Nurse Sharks
- Touch, feed or interfere with the natural behaviour of Grey Nurse Sharks
- Chase, harass or interrupt the swimming patterns of Grey Nurse Sharks
- Block cave entrances, gutters or entrap Grey Nurse Sharks
- Dive in groups totalling more than ten divers
- Use mechanical apparatus including but not limited to scooters, horns and shark pods.
These majestic animals are beautiful to see in the wild, but safe practices for both the sharks and the divers must come first.
If you are interested in diving with Grey Nurse Sharks with us, check for the next Long Reef dives on our online schedule here.