Our fantastic expert on whales and dolphins in the Azores, Lisa Steiner, sent us her opinion on shark swimming and diving in the Azores…..
“As far as the shark diving goes, when several boats are taking out divers at the same time and putting bait bags in the water to attract the sharks, I think there can be problems. In theory there is a code of conduct in place for all the boats doing the activity, but one of the rules is no feeding of sharks – and you can see on youtube a video of someone feeding one of the sharks. If the sharks are going to the bank/seamount to rest or socialise and divers are there, then they won’t be resting or socialising. I think it is very much on par with swimming with whales/dolphin – one off encounters by people are fine – but when done on a commercial scale, it creates pressure on the companies to get the people in the water.”
Lisa runs our whale and dolphin research holidays from Horta (Faial). These are great 5 or 9 night trips where you get to see her research (and help with it if you are keen!) and do lots of whale and dolphin watching, naturally.