Shark Diving: Bars or No Bars?

Often, the people who are most afraid of sharks and feel they need to have bars between them and the sharks have yet to meet one. Those who have gone on shark dives generally describe an experience of great beauty, transcendence, and transformation. The experience usually leaves them with a strong appreciation of and even affection for these animals, describing them as intelligent and peaceful, charismatic, magnificent, and non-aggressive toward humans—the exact opposite of common perceptions of sharks as ferocious man-eaters.

Most shark divers are seeking a more personal interaction with sharks in order to learn more about a misunderstood animal that few of us know much about. They do not choose to go cage-less because they are seeking an adrenaline rush, but rather because they desire a better connection with the animals, and respect but do not fear the sharks. The caged option, where available, does not provide the same experience.

Additionally, underwater photographers and filmmakers seek to capture this experience for others. Many powerful and beautiful photographs and films produced from these expeditions free of cages have led to a better understanding and appreciation for sharks and their critical importance within ocean ecosystems.

It needs to be said, sharks are not puppies meant to be cuddled. They should be recognized and respected for what they are: perfect predators that have survived hundreds of millions of years. While most of the Shark Angels dive cage-free, choosing to interact with sharks more intimately to dispel the “Jaws” stereotype that divers need steel cages to protect them, we also acknowledge personal comfort levels and limitations. Cages, more than anything else, protect the sharks from our own egos and also make these encounters accessible to a wider range of skill sets. Their necessity in facilitating a safe encounter is most often the exception, not the rule, but the bottom line is this: dive at your comfort level and on your terms.


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