Despite their fearsome appearance and strong swimming abilities, the Grey Nurse Shark is a relatively placid and slow moving animal. Anyone who has dived with Grey Nurse Sharks would strongly agree that they are definitely a sight to see underwater. Having dived with these wonderful creatures a few times now, I still get excited when I see them cruising right past me underwater! During the day time, these Sharks will shelter in caves and gutters and at night time they become more active.
There has been a report of these sharks growing up to 3.5m in length and 300kg in weight, that’s HUGE!!!
Grey Nurse Sharks appear fearsome due to their protruding teeth; however they eat mostly small to medium fishes, squid and lobster. They are the only shark that can swallow air at the surface and hold it in their stomachs. This provides buoyancy and enables the shark to hang almost motionless above the sea floor.
They are harmless to humans, in the 1950s and 1960s, the misconception that Grey Nurse Sharks were ‘man-eaters’ led to intensive fishing efforts by spearfishers using explosive headed spears, The Grey Nurse Shark was the first shark to be on the protected species list because of these culling efforts.
If you are lucky enough to live in Sydney, we have several congregations of these magnificent creatures. Some of the best places to dive with these guys include; Magic Point in Maroubra, Fish Rock Cave at South West Rocks and Seal Rocks in Forster.
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