Pitufa.at » Photo Galleries » We love sharks!

Sharks are relentlessly hunted in many areas for their fins and (cheap) meat. Here in French Polynesia they are protected, but illegal shark fishing boats come into coastal waters anyway, local fishermen kill them as competition and worried parents fear for their children and kill them along beaches. Big species (great whites, tiger sharks) are indeed dangerous for swimmers, but accidents occur seldom. The reef sharks we meet in lagoons are curious and harmless. Bigger species (lemon sharks, hammerheads, pelagic white tips) have become rare here and they are usually only aggressive, when there's blood in the water (when people are spearfishing).

Click or tap on a thumbnail to view the large version.

1/18: Blacktip reef sharks are common in many lagoons, pilot fish love riding their bow waves!
2/18: They are curious little pups
3/18: Not even this butterfly is worried about the approaching sharks, they only hunt at night.
4/18: Blacktip with remora
6/18: We are happy when we encounter lots of blacktips on a reef, that means there's still enough fish and the eco-system is alright
8/18: Here a silver-tip shark joined the blacktip crowd around Pitufa.
9/18: Grey reef sharks are not that common inside lagoons, you're more likely to meet them in passes and on outer reefs.
10/18: Usually grey reef sharks aren't really interested in snorkelers, but this baby checked us out curiously.
11/18: White-tip reef sharks are usually rather on the bottom, sometimes lying down and sleeping like this guy here.
12/18: The white-tips in the Gambier Islands behave differently for some reason.
13/18: They are curious and approach snorkelers...
14/18: ...but turn away at the last moment.
15/18: Nurse sharks are short-sighted, docile creatures that spend the days sleeping on the bottom.
17/18: We got reallz lucky and could witness a hunting nurse shark!
18/18: Encounters with bigger sharks are rare and precious. We met this lemon shark inside a lagoon in the Tuamotus!