Most divers love seeing sharks, some divers are afraid of them. Our new clients coming for a scuba vacation in Bayahibe for the first time usually ask : “Are there any sharks here? Are they dangerous?” There are many types of sharks around the globe, some of them might be dangerous, but we don’t have those around here.
While scuba diving in Bayahibe area, you can see a Nurse Shark by Saona Island and El Peñon. Nurse sharks are not aggressive, they usually swim away when you approach them. But as any wild animal, when they feel threatened, they might attack to protect themselves. Make sure you keep an escape route for them, don’t close them in, don’t get too close, make sure they can see you. If you follow all that, you have a fantastic experience!
The name “nurse” probably came from “Nusse”, the name originally used for catsharks. In the Caribbean waters, the nurse shark is still often called “tiburon gato” – “cat shark” in Spanish.
Nurse sharks are bottom dwelling sharks, usually from tan to dark brown color, average size between 8 – 9 ft, over 200 lbs. Nurse sharks have two spineless, rounded dorsal fins the first one much larger than second. They are nocturnal animals, resting on sandy bottoms or in caverns during the day and very active during the night, searching the sea bottom for crustaceans, mollusks and stingrays at night. In the daytime they will often lay together in groups, some of them as big as 40 sharks (in general, not around Bayahibe!), often lying over each other.