Great Thresher Shark Dives!

With the beautiful weather we have been experiencing over the last few weeks here at Malapascua Exotic the early morning starts to see the Thresher Sharks at Monad Shoal have been made so much easier and our divers have certainly not been disappointed.

Divers have reported seeing up to 4-5 sharks at any one time during dives and as close as 4-5 meters away often quite shallow during descent on our mooring line and even some reports of Thresher shark swimming overhead with visibility as good as 20+ meters.

Thresher Sharks at Monad Shoal, Malapascua–Photo by Max Portale

Although Thresher Sharks can occasionally be seen at Monad Shoal later in the day the early morning is the best chance to see them as the cleaner fishes sleep overnight, waking up hungry with empty stomachs, therefore the thresher sharks probably get a better clean from these highly motivated, fishes first thing in the day.

Cleaning stations are like a fish health clinic. Sharks accumulate unpleasant, external parasites over time, which can cause chronic disease, developmental problems and issues with respiration if they attach to the gills. Normal wear and tear from their active predatory lives also results in minor injuries and dead skin, which could lead to infection.

Specialist cleaner fish pick off these parasites and remove dead tissue, providing a useful service to the sharks, while also obtaining a meal for themselves.

Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse

Moon Wrasse

At Monad Shoal, both blue-streaked cleaner wrasse and moon wrasse service the Thresher Sharks by cleaning. When the threshers turn up, they lower their tail and circle over the cleaner fish’s “stations” in a specific posture to signal harmless intent and a desire to be cleaned. The sharks also slow right down to make it easier for the small cleaners to do a thorough inspection.

To see a Thresher Shark at Monad Shoal here in Malapascua is an incredible experience and one we love sharing with our students and certified divers, the dives generally leave around 5am and head due east from the south beach of Malapascua into a beautiful sunrise, the trip generally takes 30 minutes arriving with enough daylight to safely gear up and enter the water.

Early morning thresher shark experience at Monad Shoal

As truly amazing as this experience can be we don’t want to prevent the next generation of divers the opportunity of seeing a Thresher Shark so we require all our customers to respect the reef and not contribute to any further damage of one of the most important marine sites in the world. Good buoyancy and a respect for the environment are prerequisites for a Thresher Shark dive at Monad Shoal, something we believe all divers should aspire to regardless of the Dive site.

At Malapascua Exotic we offer several PADI Courses aimed at educating divers and protecting the environment including Peak Performance Buoyancy, Aware Shark Conservation and our very own Exotic Thresher Shark Distinctive Specialty course. We also require all divers to be Advanced Open Water certified or take part in one of our Shark Conservation or Deep Adventure dives directly supervised by one of our experienced PADI Instructors.

For more information on PADI Courses and availability please contact us at gopro@malapascua.net

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