Paper Examines Impact of Divers on Reef Sharks

Reef sharks on Wetpixel

A paper published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series contrasts the behavior of reef sharks that inhabit areas with high numbers of divers, with that of sharks that do not come onto contact with many divers. Undertaken at the Palmyra atoll, the study concludes that long term shark numbers and behavior is not really affected by the presence of divers.

The paper concludes:

Our results suggest that humans can interact with reef sharks without persistent behavioral impacts, and that well-regulated shark diving tourism can be accomplished without undermining conservation goals.”