The ‘gift’ of life depends on the circumstances of the world we are born into. While many are born into a world where their life will be comfortable, nurtured and well practiced, sharks are unfortunately born into one where their species and habitat is disappearing by the second and at a record speed. From this moment they will spend their years actively targeted by the increasing demand for their fins, meat, and struggle to find reef systems healthy enough for survival. Despite being one of the most well adapted predators for their environment, sharks are born into a difficult life.
Below the arrival jetty of Soneva Fushi, hides a nursery ground for juvenile blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus). Making it to adulthood, these sharks can grow to a maximum of 7 feet and live up to 13 years. While many shark species migrate large distances, blacktips remain close to home and generally stick to their local and well known reef systems, returning to their selected sites for years at a time. Like many shark species, research can be contradictory as sharks exhibit different behaviour geographically while being anatomically similar; leaving mysteries still for scientists to uncover. Through this we are very lucky to house our own resident blacktip reef sharks, as Soneva Fushi provides the home they need.
Despite the negativity surrounding sharks due to media exaggeration of their aggressive nature, sharks are rarely a threat to humans, and blacktip reef sharks will generally avoid human activity at all costs. Predating mainly on small reef fish and crustacea, blacktips posses no threat to humans. Divers and snorkelers will even actively choose sites where blacktips frequent, as their sightings are seen as a rarity and exciting!
So next time you’re walking down the jetty and admiring this breathtaking island, white sands and clear blue waters of Soneva Fushi, have a look down and wish good luck to our little warriors swimming below, as you never know what pressures their life will entail.
And after all… we’re sharing a home together.
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