Shark Feed Adventure

Sharks Page 2

Yap is a volcanic island surrounded by the deep blue, so it's not quite part of an atoll. There are actually quite a lot of sharks in Yap's waters.

We heard of one sighting of a 12-foot tiger shark during a shark feed as recent as January 2006 (refer to Tim Rock's article on page 64 of Asian Diver, Oct/Nov 2006, Issue #87). And more than once we saw sharks feeding, complete with dorsal fins cutting through the water in a zig zag fashion accompanied by a menacing soundtrack (you know which one).

Yap Divers organises occasional shark feeds. The divers wait on the reef (about 11m), and then watch the sharks and fish take 45 minutes to wallop a huge bait of packed fish suspended from a buoy. Then the second bait comes down and we watch them finish that off too. In the meantime, some of the more adventurous divers go to the bottom to search for shark's teeth (too icky for me).

Another good thing is that more than one shark will attack the bait. At one point, there were 11 grey reef sharks and 2 black tip reefs. To top it off, a whole bunch of other hungry fish also help themselves. The result? A very chaotic fish market.

As always, diving totally destroys all pre-conceptions created by Hollywood. Famished, carnivorous sharks showing their pearly whites? And when they attack their prey, scarlet billows start to spread? Not quite - when they grab a chunk of bait, they reminded me of my dog playing with a tug-toy. It's the red snappers who look far more vicious...

Sharks Page 2