Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Video: Tiger Shark Cruising Through the Shallows in the Bahamas

Tiger shark cruising in the shallows of the Bahamas
We always enjoy watching the videos from the Bimini Sharklab but this one really stood out. It shows a tiger shark swimming at speed in very shallow waters.  Its dorsal fin is cutting a wake while its belly nearly scrapes the ocean floor. It's a very cool point of view that you don't often get a chance to see.

The Bimini Biological Field Station Foundation is a US Federal non-profit research institution that has been at the forefront of shark research for the past 25 years. For more information on the Bimini Sharklab, visit: biminisharklab.com, facebook.com/biminisharklab, twitter.com/biminisharklab, and instagram.com/biminisharklab

The following is the video narrative which gives additional details about the tiger shark sighting:

After assisting in the capture of a sub-adult lemon shark, the Bimini Sharklab crew were blindsided by a heavy storm. While attempting to return safely, Tj, Jack, and I noticed an unusually large dorsal fin break the surface in the shallow waters just off the mangroves of South Bimini. At first we assumed it was a large lemon shark, as that would be uncommon, but not unheard of. What we saw was quite a different story... 
As we got closer, we first noted the massive wake this shark was putting off behind it before recognized the signature striped pattern of the tiger shark, Galeocerdo cuvier. We see tiger sharks pretty often in the Bahamas, but as you can see in the video, this shark is in unbelievably shallow water, with its dorsal fin fully breaking the surface and its belly just inches from the ground.
After a few attempts to place a tail rope on this big guy (with the intention in mind of placing a tag), we realized we were simply too unprepared and watched him swim off into deeper water. Once the adrenaline of seeing this shark had past, it hit us that we were in the EXACT location that we deploy gillnets to capture juvenile lemon sharks. For those of you that haven't been to the Sharklab, that means walking in this very same water...alone....at night! It was also at this point we noticed TJ's hair was standing on end, we had let the lightning storm get right on top of us. It was time to head home!
Video posted by Zach Parker and is just over a minute and a half in length.  Enjoy!
Photos are video screenshots.