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Photographing the Hammerhead Sharks of Bimini, Bahamas (Watch Video)

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Great Hammerhead sharks

Great Hammerhead sharksIf you want to get up close and personal to photograph Great Hammerhead sharks then Bimini, in the Bahamas, is the place for you. Every winter, Great Hammerhead Sharks frequent the shallow clear waters around these tiny islands and divers flock to see them. The conditions are usually perfect for underwater photographers, as the dives are in shallow water (7-10m), giving plenty of natural light to work with. The water is warm and the visibility great, so you can stay underwater for long dives to maximise your photographic opportunities. The sharks come in very close, attracted by fish in a metal bait box, so you can use a wide angle or a fish-eye lens to get dramatic shots.

We always dive with Neal Watson when we head to Bimini. Throughout the season, which runs from December to April, you can do a 2 tank dive each morning and experience something very special. Your two guides will get into the water first and get the bait set-up in the correct position depending on any current. We have never had to wait long for the first shark to turn up and you can see them swimming over the sandy sea bed from the boat as you gear up. The Great Hammerhead Shark can grow to over 5m in length and are impressive at the best of times, but when you have one swim right over your head, it is something to behold.

Great Hammerhead sharks

Great Hammerhead sharksAs you kneel on the seabed the sharks will follow the scent up current and make their way to your location. There are usually around 8 divers in the water, positioned in a line with the bait and guide in the middle. The sharks swim slowly past on their way to and from the bait box and seem to take it in turns, making this dive a photographic treat. It is not at all chaotic, like some shark-baiting dives, giving you time to compose your shots (once you have got over the initial excitement). Our record is 8 individual Great Hammerhead Sharks on a single dive.

While you are visiting Bimini, make sure you visit the Bimini Shark Lab, where you can get a tour to see the amazing work they do here to gain a better understanding of sharks and the ways we can help conserve them and their environment. Watch the bull sharks cruise around the harbour at Bimini Big Game Club. Head out to swim with Atlantic Spotted Dolphins. For such a tiny island, there is plenty to keep an ocean lover and photographer entertained!

Great Hammerhead sharks

This is a perfect stop on a multi-island tour of the Bahamas. If you want to photograph sharks, then these islands have a huge amount to offer. Watch out for next articles about photographing Caribbean Reef Sharks in Nassau and Lemon Sharks in Grand Bahama.

Great Hammerhead sharks

Tips for Great Hammerhead Shark photography

  • Try to position yourself so that you are not shooting directly into the bright sun.
  • Try to avoid the sand stirred-up by both divers and nurse sharks in your shots.
  • The most striking thing about a hammerhead, obviously, is the shape of its head and the position of their eyes, so try to get shots from different angles to show this feature off. From above looking down on the sand; at eye level up close, or as it swims over you.
  • By conserving your air consumption, you can stay longer and have the dive to yourself and your buddy, later on!
  • Remember to enjoy it! Put your camera aside every now and then so that you can take it the beauty of these incredible apex predators.

Video Clips

Further Information

www.biminiscubacenter.com

www.biminisharklab.com

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Messe Düsseldorf cancels boot 2021 due to ongoing pandemic

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Messe Düsseldorf has announced it has cancelled boot Düsseldorf for 2021. One of the world’s top trade shows for the scuba diving and watersports industry is another casualty of the ongoing pandemic and its associated worldwide lockdown measures.  

In the current climate the planned date in April is no longer possible, says Wolfram N. Diener, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf:

“The continuing high level of infection and the fact that the end of the lockdown is not foreseeable for the time being make a resumption of trade fair operations at the end of April appear increasingly unrealistic. We have reassessed the situation with our partners and jointly decided to cancel boot 2021 early. Our priority is the health and planning security of our exhibitors, visitors and service providers. All activities will now be focused on the successful staging of boot 2022.”

The aim, he said, is to return to the concept of boot Düsseldorf both as an event for all water sports enthusiasts and as a business and networking platform for the international trade audience. For 2022, he added, work is also underway on a hybrid trade fair experience that will, among other things, enable digital participation in seminars and events at boot Düsseldorf.

The next boot is now due to open its doors from 22 to 30 January 2022, with registration starting in May this year.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the postponement of this Spring’s UK Dive Show 2021 which is now planned to take place at the NEC in Birmingham on 30th and 31st October 2021. 

For any enquiries you can contact the boot Düsseldorf team here. 

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Marine Life & Conservation

Dive Guides invited to apply for the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship

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Reef-World’s campaign is helping dive guides in need receive Green Fins environmental certification

The Reef-World Foundation – international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – is calling for dive guides to submit their application for the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship.

As a result of the Scholarship campaign, dive guides working around the world – including Brazil, the Philippines, Egypt, Colombia, South Africa, Indonesia and Turkey – have received their certificate proving their status as a Green Fins certified dive guide. Yet, thanks to funding from Reef-World’s partner Paralenz, 149 more scuba diving guides will be able to receive their Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course environmental certification.

Dive guides who meet the criteria (outlined below) can apply for the scholarship at any time through the Green Fins website. To be eligible for the scholarship, guides must:

  • have completed and passed all modules of the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course
  • be able to demonstrate they or their employer are not financially able to purchase the certificate
  • be a national of a country which receives official development assistance from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Scholarship was created in response to feedback from dive guides who had passed the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course and were keen to download and display their personalised electronic certificate but were not financially able to cover the associated cost (£19 / $25 USD). The personalised electronic certificate can be displayed to entice eco-minded guests by informing them the guide has received this vital environmental certification and is aware of how to reduce the negative environmental impacts associated with diving.

Diving related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or run-off from land containing pollutants and plastic debris as well as the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures. The Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course, created with the support of Professional SCUBA Schools International (PSS) and running on their innovative EVO e-learning platform, teaches dive professionals how to prevent diving-related damage to coral reefs by following the highest environmental standards and better managing their guests to prevent damage to the reef.

Sam Craven, Programmes Manager at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We’re proud to be offering dive guides around the world the opportunity to become Green Fins certified; no matter their background. Both the e-Course and the Scholarship have been a great success so far and we’re delighted to see so many dive professionals demonstrating their commitment to sustainable tourism by taking the course. We urge dive guides who haven’t yet taken the course to consider taking this step and welcome Scholarship applications from anyone who meets the criteria. Together, we can protect coral reefs through sustainable diving and we’d love as many dive guides as possible to join us.”


Dive guides who want to be considered for scholarship can visit www.greenfins.net/green-fins-dive-guide-scholarship-applications to apply.

To donate to the Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship Fund, please visit www.greenfins.net/appeal/sponsor-a-dive-guide.

Supporters who are interested in helping additional dive guides receive their certifications can also donate to Sponsor a Dive Guide.

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Competitions

This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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