Changing Planet

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.































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.
NOTE: All photos are copyright Neil Hammerschlag and cannot be used without written permission.
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
  • mark

    Great shots ! love the combination of the sharks and the sandy ocean floor . More importantly thanks for highlighting the plight of these beautiful . complex creatures , in regards to shark fin soup and also other foods and products , that shark fin is used in .

  • Mary

    Great shots, but did you have to put your watermark right on top of the sharks nose every time? It makes the pictures look like crap. Also, you spelled “whether” wrong.

  • Jose Palazzo

    Neil, is this the Bahamas? I´m curious about the location, rarely have I seen hammerheads appear at a shark feeding.

  • Isaac

    That is great, love your pics

  • Tabitha

    I love hammerhead! These are great shots! Thanks for bringing attention to the plight of these wonderful animals!

  • nimalan gopal

    i would really love to adopt one and care for it.any chance of telling me where i can get one??


    we must enforce the rules and regulations for saving beautiful creature on the earth for future generation

  • Jordan

    See? Look at that head. Nature can have a cruel sense of humour sometimes.

  • austin fields

    keep the fight alive my friend , great pics

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