Being a relatively new diver and never having encountered sharks while diving before, I was very excited about the shark diving
workshop with the Sharks Educational Institute. I liked how it was organised, as it involved so much more than just a briefing and the dives as one might expect.
The workshop involved an extensive, very interesting theoretical component which taught us so much about sharks in general and about the blacktip reef sharks in specific. It also involved a nice mix between
theory, scientific evidence, beautiful underwater films and practical information for safer shark encounters.
I feel more confident to raise awareness and discuss with friends and family why we need to change our fearful perception of sharks, and why these magnificent creatures are actually the ones who need our help.
The most important aspect I've learned during this workshop is to understand the behaviour of sharks and consequently how to react, in order to be able
to predict their actions and be safer in their natural habitat. When you understand how a shy species like the blacktip reef sharks act when they sense our presence underwater, you adjust your own behaviour hoping to spot them and enjoy diving with them. But
more importantly, when you understand what bigger, more confident species think about when they encounter us humans, you are in a much better position to not only feel safe, but to act more wisely and more responsibly when they approach you or approach another
One statement I easily remember from Fernando is that "sharks do not know human" - indeed they
are not interested in us humans, and as long as we can respect their natural habitat, and act responsibly underwater, shark diving will be a much more enjoyable experience for everyone.