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Very few shark species pose a danger to humans

By Susan Scott

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 02, 2013

~~<p>I have friends who think that because I swam with hundreds of sharks in the Tua&shy;mo&shy;tus last spring, I'm exceptionally brave. But I wasn't comfortable swimming with those sharks because I'm daring: It's because I've learned to tell one species from another. And when it comes to swimming with sharks, species is everything.</p>
<p>The sharks I snorkeled with in the South Pacific were nearly all coral reef residents: white-tip reef shark, black-tip reef shark and gray reef shark. All three, also found in Hawaii, sometimes eat octopus and squid but mostly eat reef fish, and unless people are crowding them or spearing fish around them, reef sharks aren't interested in humans.</p>
~~

I have friends who think that because I swam with hundreds of sharks in the Tua­mo­tus last spring, I'm exceptionally brave. But I wasn't comfortable swimming with those sharks because I'm daring: It's because I've learned to tell one species from another. And when it comes to swimming with sharks, species is everything.

The sharks I snorkeled with in the South Pacific were nearly all coral reef residents: white-tip reef shark, black-tip reef shark and gray reef shark. All three, also found in Hawaii, sometimes eat octopus and squid but mostly eat reef fish, and unless people are crowding them or spearing fish around them, reef sharks aren't interested in humans. Login for more...



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