Sharks In Jamaica?
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Sharks In Jamaica
by Nemonie Cassells (picture by Elasmodiver.com)

Sharks!!! When most people hear the word shark, the first thing that pops up in the back of their mind is the 1975 film by Steven Spielberg, titled, Jaws.  

I can bet my favorite pair of jeans that almost no one thinks of the island Jamaica, and with reason. Lets face it, Jamaica is not on the social map because of anything shark related and will never have to be I hope. That would be a little too much drama for our “Irie” way of living! 

Are There Reasons To Worry? 

Don't get me wrong though, that doesn't mean there are absolutely no sharks in the waters sur-rounding our “sweet Jamdung”  (sweet Jamaica), or that there has NEVER been a shark attack reported, because there are and there have been.

The thing about it is, the sharks that are mostly found in our waters, are almost entirely small bottom feeders that are basically harmless to humans and only in rare instances the more aggressive types stray into our waters. 

So there is no need to panic, you can relax and take a breath and whenever you're enjoying the cool turquoise waters diving or just snorkeling, there's no need to play the Jaws sound track in your head. 

What Are The Risks?

The sharks, such as the Great White, that seem to be the most threat to humans, prefer colder waters to the nice warm to cool waters that surrounds our island.

There are however, sharks such as the Hammerheads and Tiger Sharks that like warmer waters and if provoked can cause some serious damage! 

Sharks tend to be loners and are not territorial, however, if you happen to be in the water the same time as a hammerhead, for example, there may be hell to pay.

There are known cases of shark attacked here in Jamaica, but they are extremely far and wide apart. These attacks mostly occurred in deep waters while deep sea fishing or diving. The first recorded attack being in January of 1827 and the last recorded in March of 2013. 

For a history of shark attacks in Jamaica since 1827, click here.
You may also visit the SharkAttackData.com website for details.

Top Tier Safety Tips

As stated before, Jamaica is not on the radar for sharks or shark attacks however, its always better to be safer than sorry. Here are some safety tips for your peace of mind whenever you venture out deep:

  • Never go diving without a local, certified diver
  • Always swim in a group
  • If you don't have to, don't wander too far from shore
  • Don’t enter deep waters if bleeding (sharks can smell blood from miles away)
  • Before going out deep, research the best spots for diving
    (this will keep both you and the inhabitants of the water safe)
  • If deep sea fishing, its best to take along a local fisherman who knows the surrounding waters
  • When diving, don't wear shiny jewelry

Now that you are all informed, put on your bathing suit/trunks and dive in! Jamaica, no problem man!!

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