Swimming with Sharks & Stingrays in Moorea

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Swimming with Sharks & Stingrays is part of the Tahiti Triumph Trip Report. It covers the following cities:

See the Picture Preview here and see how this $60,000 trip cost $1999 here. Be sure to check out TPOL’s Map, the best feature of the blog.


I’ve done some wild things in my life from bungee jumping in Victoria Falls (see 3,2,1 Bungee! Bungee Jumping Victoria Falls) to eating blowfish in Osaka (see I Want to Eat Blowfish, But I Don’t Want to Die). I thought that swimming with sharks in Moorea would be on that list. It is not. On the contrary, it was a peaceful experience.

Boat

The boat picks up tourists from the Hilton Moorea and takes them to shark alley.

Shark boat
Leaving the Hilton

Approaching shark alley

Stingrays

First, the stingrays come for a visit and tourists are allowed to touch them.

They really look like the automatic pool cleaners.

Sharks 

Then the sharks come out to play Like the stingrays, the sharks are used to tourists. They circle around peacefully and keep to themselves.

Selfies

Then everyone dives under the water to become one with nature i.e., take selfies.

One shark take one.
Two sharks take one
Two sharks, take two
One shark, take two.
Is this what it is all about?

The Debate 

I have a question.

Should humans be touching stingrays? Should tour companies put out chum to attract sharks? Should wildlife be domesticated for the sake of selfies? I don’t think so. Then again, I did it and now I have this blog post to show for it.

Shark in my ear

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. My understanding is that humans shouldn’t touch stingrays because it wipes the mucous/coating on their skin off and makes them vulnerable to bacteria. I think just hanging out with them or watching them swim is not an issue though, so just choose to not touch.

    I am also not a huge fan of luring wildlife in with food, if it means they become dependent on that as a food source, or if its food they wouldn’t eat in the wild. For this there is a nuance to how often it happens, how many companies do it, etc. However there is a benefit to people swimming with sharks and seeing they aren’t killers just cool animals that we should protect. It’s like the snorkeling with dolphins thing– dolphins sleep during the day, and when tours are constantly coming to snorkel where they sleep to see them it is bad for the dolphins and messes up their sleep patterns, but it’s also good because then people care about the dolphins and donate to dolphin rescue etc. So like most things, there is a balance that should be regulated.

  2. I dove in Moorea two summers ago, and we we were explicitly told NOT to even think about touching the rays or feeding the sharks. Our dive operator, Moorea FunDive, said that unfortunately other dive operators in the area are creating problems.

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