What kind of sharks are in the Bahamas? Whether you’re worried about swimming in the ocean because of sharks or are looking to hop in the water with them for a swimming with sharks Bahamas experience, that’s a common question that travelers to the archipelago often wonder. The short answer is that given its bountiful marine life, the Bahamas is home to many species.
In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the different species that reside in the warm blue waters that surround the islands of the Bahamas. We’ll also take a look at the Compass Cay sharks – the nurse sharks you can swim with on a day trip.
Keep reading to find out more.
What Kind of Sharks Are in the Bahamas? Exuma Sharks 101
Shark Species in the Bahamas
What kind of sharks are in the Bahamas? Many marine biologists consider the Bahamas to be the shark capital of the world given the number of species you can come across. The country is home to at least forty different species, including tiger sharks, oceanic whitetips, Caribbean reef sharks, lemon sharks, bull sharks, great hammerheads, and nurse sharks.
Many people have a negative impression of sharks on account of movies like Jaws, but the aquatic monsters so often portrayed on TV and in film don’t exist in real life. Shark attacks on humans, including in the Bahamas, are incredibly rare, and most sharks are more afraid of you than you are of them.
In recent years, the Bahamas has taken serious steps to protect the Exuma sharks and other sharks around the country. It banned long-line fishing, a fishing technique that often harms sharks and other animals, in 1993, and in 2011 banned commercial shark fishing.
The government of the Bahamas understands the important role that sharks play and that certain sharks, like the Compass Cay nurse sharks, help bring in tourists from around the world!
Swimming With Sharks Bahamas
What kind of sharks are in the Bahamas? Given how many reside in the Bahamas, there are many places to go swimming with sharks Bahamas.
Tiger Beach in Grand Bahama is one such place. Located 20 miles off the coast of the island (which itself is just 100 miles east of Palm Beach, Florida), Tiger Beach is one of the top destinations in the world to go swimming with sharks of all types. With crystal-clear water and tiger sharks, bull sharks, hammerheads, and more, diving at Tiger Beach is an exhilarating experience. It also opens up many travelers’ eyes to the important role that sharks play in the ecosystem while showing that they aren’t mindless killing machines.
However, while diving with tiger sharks and bull sharks can be done safely at places like Tiger Island, not everyone is looking to go swimming with some of the more aggressive shark species. What kind of sharks are in the Bahamas? As you can find nurse sharks and other more docile species in the azure waters, you might want to consider going to visit the Exuma sharks.
Compass Cay Sharks: Where Are They?
The Compass Cay sharks live in the Exuma Cays, a district of the country that stretches south from Nassau deeper into the Caribbean. The region features 365 islands, all of which are stunning and show off some of the prettiest land and seascapes that the Bahamas has to offer.
The Exuma Cays are home to many famous attractions, including the Swimming Pigs. However, they also feature some of the bluest and clearest water in the Bahamas, to the point that astronauts can identify the area from space. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Exumas are, therefore, one of the best places in the Bahamas to interact with the country’s rich marine life.
Compass Cay is home to the swimming with nurse sharks experience. Years ago, the owner of the local marina (who’s an avid shark fan) managed to “tame” a school of nurse sharks. The sharks have stuck around the piers of the marina ever since, and today, they attract tour groups from around the world. The site is so famous that documentaries have featured it in their episodes.
Swim With Nurse Sharks Bahamas: What to Expect
What kind of sharks are in the Bahamas? As you’ll be specifically swimming with nurse sharks on your Pig Island tour, it’s important to know what to expect.
As your boat pulls up to the island, you’ll make your way along the docks to a pier that’s partially submerged in the water. There, as you stand and watch, your tour guide will chop up a fish and call the sharks over to you. They’ll then slide onto the pier in the hopes of getting a bite to eat.
After your guide feeds them their snack, you’ll have the opportunity to hop in the water with them. While you can choose to admire them from the docks, it’s an exhilarating and safe experience that you won’t want to miss out on.
Once you hop into the cool and refreshing water, the sharks will make their way over to you. At this time, you should stay relatively still, as sudden movements can startle them. Your guide will then show you how to hold some of the sharks, as well as how to float on your back as they swim around you. Listening to the instructions and advice they give is essential.
When you travel by plane to the Exuma Cays on a Staniel Cay day tour, you sometimes get to arrive at Compass Cay before the other tour boats arrive. That means a more personal and enjoyable swimming with sharks Bahamas experience!
Other Sites to See
After figuring out that nurse sharks are the best answer to the question, “What kind of sharks are in the Bahamas?” you can start looking into the other attractions you visit on Swimming Pigs tours.
Of course, one of the other major highlights is Pig Beach, home of the famous Exuma Pigs. While there’ll also be a safety briefing before you land on Pig Island (pig bites can hurt just as much as shark bites), seeing the pigs swim out to you and then exploring their island home is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Likewise, you also won’t forget Bitter Guana Cay, the stunning habitat of the endangered northern Bahamian rock iguana. These colorful lizards reside on their island sanctuary and slither out of the island foliage to greet new arrivals on their island.
Between nurse sharks, Swimming Pigs, iguanas, and the other islands and sites you visit, it’s hard to say what your favorite stop will be!
Tours to Pig Beach, Compass Cay, and So Much More
What kind of sharks are in the Bahamas? As the archipelago is the unofficial shark capital of the world, you can find around forty species residing in the waters around the Bahamas. And while you can hop in the water with many of them, choosing to swim with nurse sharks Bahamas might be the best choice.
Besides being safe and putting you up close and personal with the Compass Cay sharks, Exuma day trips also let you travel to Pig Beach, go swimming through underwater caves, walk on picturesque sandbars, and do so much more.
Contact us and Sign up for tours to Pig Beach with Bahamas Air Tours today!
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