Hammerhead Shark Photos From “Exhilarating” Dive

I just returned from an incredible trip scuba diving with great hammerhead sharks.

This was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. While underwater I was amazed by these awesome predators.

I was able to capture a series of photos (both during day and night) of these mysterious creatures.

 

As you look through the photos below, you should know that the great hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran) is listed as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Recent studies suggest that great hammerheads have declined drastically in certain regions of the world due to overfishing. This is, in part, because great hammerhead fins are prized in the shark fin trade, leading to targeted fishing for these sharks; however, they are also caught unintentionally as bycatch. I have previously posted about the shark fin trade here.

In a few days (March 3-14), governments around the world will meet to discuss potentially providing protection for three species of hammerhead shark (the great, smooth, and scalloped hammerhead).

At this meeting, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), governments will vote whether or not to limit the international trade of hammerhead shark fins and meat. Such protection will help reduce the targeted fishing and trade in hammerhead shark fins.

 

 

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After spending time with these awesome animals, I can only hope that the great hammerhead is provided protection under CITES in a few days. I will certainly be watching to see the fate of these sharks.
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NOTE: All photos are copyright Neil Hammerschlag and cannot be used without written permission.

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Research Associate Professor at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Dedicated to advancing marine conservation through research, education and outreach Views my Own