- I can't tell you how many DMs about sharks I've received since all of this shark kookery started back up. Lots of people from all over the place asking questions on how to handle sharks When to poke, when not to poke, how to poke, big sharks, small sharks blah blah blah.
First off, it definitely helps to be able to identify which species of shark you're dealing with. Different species have different behaviours. All sharks can bite you. There have been two bites here recently from Galapagos sharks.
You can tell by the first clip of the oceanic white tip (known to be relentlessly aggressive) that I went out of my way to poke it. It was the 3rd time I poked this shark... he left afterwards...sometimes you have to be relentlessly aggressive yourself. I don't poke all sharks, but when I do I like to use a bit of boxing logic. Hit and don't get hit. Think about this: if you're fully extended, arm out, elbow locked and poke a shark you have limited mobility and reaction time if that shark turns around on you to bite. The shark is not going to turn into your spear, he's going to turn away from it...which is why you want to try poking the head/front of the shark. Smaller sharks are much faster and maneuverable than larger ones. If you watch the first clip carefully, you'll notice my elbow is bent, I'm not extended very far and I'm in a much better position to defend if he turns all the way around on me. If it's a larger shark like the tiger in the second clip I prefer to immediately meet that shark head on ...only fully extended this time. I want to create as much of a buffer zone as possible and make myself seem larger than I am. Try not to miss the poke like I did. 3rd clip: notice the same poke technique as the 1st clip. Reading the body language of sharks will also help you figure out if you need to poke them or not. When multiple sharks are around, it's important to end any type of "uprising" before it even gets started. Be sure to keep your head on a swivel. The sharks you don't see are usually the ones to be concerned about. Once a shark keys in on another one feeding, it's almost automatic that it's coming to the dinner party.