Sharks provide scuba divers with a thrilling close up show

Sharks are one of the most incredible animals. Their sleek and powerful bodies cut through the water with a majestic grace that is seen in few other creatures. They are agile and quick, able to accelerate in an instant. To swim with them evokes a mixture of fear and awe in anyone who is adventurous enough to enter their domain.

These silvertip sharks are bulkier than most reef sharks and they reach a length of almost 3.5m (10 feet) and a weight of 210kg (350lb). They are known to be an aggressive apex predator, feeding on fish, eagle rays, octopus, and squid. They are dominant sharks that will often dominate other reef sharks and Galapagos sharks, stealing food from them.

Silvertips are capable of diving to depths of 800m (2600 feet) in search of food. Their teeth are shaped in a manner different from other sharks, allowing them to "saw" off chunks of flesh with violent twists and turns.

These scuba divers were taking part in a controlled exercise that involved using fish scraps to attract the sharks for photographs and video that will help learn more about the sharks and their behaviour. Research on sharks will provide answers to the many questions that will lead to more successful conservation efforts. To lose our sharks would be beyond tragic.