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Sharks - Perceived Menace of the Seas


Sharks had always been viewed as the menace of seas, with movies such as Jaws and its many sequels, their reputation was smeared without just reasons. These graceful predators of the seas are generally viewed as solitary hunter, canvassing the oceans in search of food. However, this only applies to a few species. Most sharks live quite sedentary lives and they hunt in depths up to 2000 meter. They are highly social creatures, moving in large schools. Contrary to common knowledge that sharks are instinct-driven “eating machines”, recent studies have indicated that many shark species possess powerful problem-solving skills and curiosity.

When approached closely, some sharks perform “threat display”, this is characterised by exaggerated swimming movements, and it varies according to intensity of the threat level perceived by the shark. However, generally sharks are sociable creatures. In Sipadan waters, where black tip, white tip and hammerhead sharks are frequently seen, it is a good place to “show” divers shark behaviour and habitat. The many dives that I have guided there, divers realised that sharks actually swim up to us with much curiosity and playfulness without any intend of harm. With such experiences, the awareness of promoting shark protection and better understanding of these creatures among divers and non-divers are at its best.

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