As the end of Bull Shark season approaches we have managed to certify many new Shark Specialists for Project Aware; raising awareness about threats to shark populations with many of our divers. Here at Rich Coast Diving we have submitted a proposal for a new Bull Shark Specialty to PADI which means, if approved, our divers can focus their studies on the sharks we love to dive with here near to Playas del Coco. They will receive a Bull Shark Specialist certification card upon completion of the course.
The new PADI Bull Shark Diver Distinctive Specialty Certification will enable student divers to become familiar with the physical characteristics, the habitat of bull sharks and the conservation efforts to help them. Active participation when diving with these sharks will encourage divers to become passionate about the animals and heighten the desire to protect them. The course is a safe supervised diving experience.
There are 50 species of Bull Shark worldwide, 20 species in North America and 4 species confined to Mexican waters. The bull shark gets its name from its stocky, robust appearance; they can get pretty big – average female (bigger than the male) 8 feet, weighing 285lbs! This awesome sight makes for a great adrenaline rush every time one of these magnificent creatures cruises passed slow enough to get a good look but not too close for comfort, even after diving at Isla de Murcielago for two seasons!
The French know the shark as Requin Bouledogue, and the Spanish as Tiburon Sarda. It is known by many different common names throughout its range including Zambezi shark, Van Rooyen’s shark (Africa); Ganges Shark (India); Nicaragua shark (Central America); Freshwater Whaler, Estuary Whaler, and Swan River Whaler (Australia); Shovelnose Shark, Square-Nose Shark, River Shark, Slipway Grey Shark, Ground Shark, and Cub Shark.
Bull sharks occur as far north as Massachusetts in the warmer months and as far south to the most southern waters of Australia. They mainly live in salt water but can and do live in fresh water in numerous river systems and some freshwater lakes. Their small eyes suggest they do not need great visibility for hunting and so murkier waters may provide them good standing. As they have a preference for shallower waters lakes and rivers also suit them well.
So watch this space for more updates about the new Bull Shark Specialty! And come sign up for a trip to see the sharks before the season closes in November.