Scott Konger: My name is Scott Konger and I'm the owner of the Tarpon Springs Aquarium. We're going to talk about how to minimize your risk of being attacked by a shark.
If there's been reports of sharks in the water, it's probably a good idea not to swim at that time. Also, probably, if there is a lot of bait in the water, it's probably one of the things that I would let you know, it's probably not a good idea to swim, if there's mullet or other types of bait swimming around, that bait will attract sharks and they'll be feeding in that same area so they could easily mistake you. Swimming among the bait is possibly something that they might try to want to grab. Then, of course, if you're bleeding.
They say that they can smell one drop of blood per a billion drops of water, basically, one out of a billion, which is extremely minute amount. Sharks have a tremendous sense of smell and they pick up on any distressed animal and blood is a sign of distress and it's going to catch their interest and they're going to come in and search for potential meals. Typically, if you have something that is actively bleeding, then you probably should exit the water because it could attract predators like sharks.
One other thing is that sharks are most active in the low-light times of day or early in the morning or late in evening. They're primarily nocturnal as well. So you want to stay out of the water typically in the evening or dark.
Nearly, every attack on a diver is when they are spearfishing. When you spearfish and it's struggling after it's been speared and bleeding, that is just a natural attractant for sharks. Any sharks in the area are going to come and check out that fish. If there is any sharks in the area when you're spearfishing, it's probably a good idea to stop spearfishing, because that's going to definitely excite the sharks. Though their focus will probably be on the speared fish, they get excited near there. They always have potential that they could size you up as a potential prey as well.
When we are diving, we often will see Nurse sharks. It's usually the most likely the only shark you will see when you're diving is Nurse sharks. They're resting on the bottom since they're, typically, nocturnal. During the day time while they're resting, as we're diving, we can sometimes see these Nurse sharks and divers make the mistake of seeing a small Nurse shark, decide to go up there and maybe, touch them or worse than that even grab a hold of their tail.
Typically, they will swim away to try to escape. They have been known to bite out of defense and they have a nasty habit of hanging on. There's been several cases where the sharks will latch on to you and not let go. Even a small Nurse shark, two feet or less can deliver quite a bite if it gets a good grip on you.