Fish are friends, and Sharks are just big fish.

So bigger friends…a welcome to the Ningaloo Reef often requires a brief explanation to why the average punter will be of no interest to our healthy population of Sharks on the Ningaloo Reef. Mankind’s perception of nature’s apex predator proves an unhealthy delusion of grandeur. 

Whaleshark swimming in Coral Bay
Whale Shark front on in Coral Bay Western Australia
Whale Shark in Coral Bay, Western Australia
Whaleshark and humans swimming side by side with Ningaloo Reef Dive & Snorkel
Whaleshark and humans swimming side by side with Ningaloo Reef Dive & Snorkel

The Ningaloo Reef is fortunate to have a rich diversity of Shark species. Whaleshark, Tasselled Wobbegong Shark, Grey Nurse Shark, Tawny Shark, Tiger Shark, Black Tip Reef Shark, White Tip Reef Shark, Oceanic White Tip Shark, Bronze Whaler Shark, Dusky Whaler Shark, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Sandbar Shark, Guitar Shark, Lemon Shark, Leopard Shark and many many more…

How many times did you just read the work SHARK! 

Sharks play a vital role in preserving the balance in the ecosystem and the sustainability of the reef. They clean up the sick and dying fish life that if left would pollute the healthy home that is a dwelling for over 200 species of fish and 500 different species of corals. They have little to no interest in human beings on the Ningaloo Reef.

At the Ningaloo Reef we are privileged and forever grateful to provide a natural wildlife experience with our large aggregation of Sharks. Just a stone’s throw away from the beach is a natural cleaning station where large pelagic fish life visit to enjoy a daily wash. At the secret spot, friendly cleaning-wrasse will wiggle their way out of the skeleton structure of the cabbage coral. Slowly and stealthy, the Sharks glide upward over the scrolled coral patch open mouth and partly inverted frame. An open invitation for the cleaning-wrasse to pick off scraps of bacteria and parasites is accepted as they scatter between the Sharks teeth, gills and body.  

The Shark is oblivious to the party of snorkelers submerged above witnessing one of the many wonders of the Ningaloo Reef. SCUBA divers discreetly hover in the water column for closer vantage points, conscious of making bubbles that do not prematurely disturb the daily ritual.

There is false expectation that when you visit the realm of the ocean you will now encounter a Shark that most typically results in a fatality. What did your mother say about assumptions? Yes, they are the mother of all stuff-ups. The world is going bananas and more-so naive to the narrative dictated by the media. You are more likely to be fatally wounded from a bunch of bananas falling from the sky. And bananas grow in the ground.

If you do encounter a bigger fish or Shark be thankful for what the Ningaloo Reef has offered you today and enjoy the interaction. Let the wildlife interact with you on their terms. Show respect as you are a visitor in their home. Do not abuse the terms of engagement or obstruct, hinder or impede the wildlife natural migration.  Do not touch or take their food source from their waters because they are really good at cleaning it up and you’ll just get in the way.  Adherence to the guidelines and listen to advice from your crew member so that your experience will translate into a composed and calm interaction that you will never ever forget.

Just remember Sharks do not like fast food too!!! Why nibble on a nugget in the nursery when you can feast on a gourmet buffet in the playground of the deep waters way way our in the far ocean not in sight from Coral Bay.

The ultimate experience is to witness this for yourself at one of the favourite secret spots that we will visit on our tours with Ningaloo Reef Dive & Snorkel.  Immerse yourself amongst the wildlife of the Ningaloo Reef and I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised what you may find. 

Don’t believe the hyperbole, Sharks are just larger fish, and fish are friends.

You’ll meet many big friends on the Ningaloo Reef, only with Ningaloo Reef Dive & Snorkel in Coral Bay.

Thanks for reading.