The tropical waters of the Indian Ocean is home to some of the most prolific marine life in the world. From spectacular turquoise mottled species to some of the most sought-after bluewater game fishing species, these warmer waters hold an intricate and beautiful ecosystem of aquatic life. Located in the heart of all this beauty are the pristine islands of the Seychelles.
The unique biodiversity of the Seychelles has been noted as significant and as such 60% of the area is protected. Luckily with the accompaniment of some of the esteemed resorts in the region, guests can dive into a whole new world and view these spectacular marine species in their natural and protected habitat.
Below is a list of our favorite sharks to scuba dive with, specifically in the Outer Islands of Seychelles
The Tawny Nurse Shark is the species most spotted at the Alphonse Group. This large cylindrical species with its barbels tend to hunt at night and can often be found sleeping under ledges or in crevices in the reef during the day. However, around Alphonse they have often been seen hunting during the day with an entourage of Napoleon Wrasse and Smooth Grouper in tow - a phenomenon the Island has coined ‘the Wolf Pack’. Tawny Nurse Sharks are listed as Vulnerable
Fascinating Fact: Tawny Nurse Sharks have the curious ability to change their colour from grey to sandy brown depending on their surroundings.
Best Dive Sites: West Side Wall | Eagle’s Nest | Wonderland
The sightings of these silver creatures, named after the elongated shape of their heads, have become quite regular at Alphonse and residents are hopeful that this will continue into next season. The average size of Scalloped Hammerheads are measured at 1.5 - 1.8m for males and 2.5m for females with larger specimens having been spotted around Alphonse. This species is notoriously shy and thus divers are encouraged to keep noise to a minimum to ensure good sightings. Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks are listed as Endangered.
Fascinating Fact: Scalloped Hammerheads are known to form large schools of 100 or more sharks which makes it quite the sight to behold during migration season.
Best Dive Sites: Galawa | Arcade | Maggi’s Cliff
Grey Reef Sharks are quite a commonly found species in the Seychelles and the specimens spotted at Alphonse tend to be bigger than average. Identified by the distinctive white margin on their dorsal fin and the black margin on the tail fin, most specimens don’t grow larger than 2m in length. Grey Reef Sharks are listed as Near Threatened.
Fascinating Fact: The Grey Reef Shark was the first species known to perform a threat display - ‘hunched’ posture with dropped dorsal fins and an exaggerated side-to-side swimming motion.
Best Dive Sites: The Pinnacles | East Side Wall
The Whitetip Reef Shark is the smallest of the shark species that are frequently encountered around Alphonse Island. Often known for sleeping in large groups during the day and hunting at night, sleeping individuals have rarely been spotted here. This species is easily identified due to its irregular, waving swimming style and of course, the white tip on the dorsal fin. This species is also very curious and will often get quite close to divers. Whitetip Reef Sharks are listed as Near Threatened.
Fascinating Facts: Females give birth to 1 - 6 pups every other year after a gestation period of 10 - 13 months.
Best Dive Sites: Napoleon | the Pinnacles
The Silvertip Shark is a sure favourite with guests of Alphonse Island. These inquisitive sharks average at 2 - 3m in length which is just big enough to get the heart racing. Naturally curious, Silvertips will often approach divers, but are nothing to worry about. This species tends to be found near steep drop-offs where there is an upwelling of cooler water. The Silvertip Shark is currently listed as Vulnerable.
Fascinating Fact: Silvertip Females can give birth to up to 11 pups.
Best Dive Sites: Napoleon | the Pinnacles | Grouper Gangway
Also have a look at the Silvertip Shark in action below:
These unique and beautiful creatures form an intricate part of this stunning ecosystem and due to their vulnerable status, it is of utmost importance to protect and educate individuals about them. Guests of Blue Safari Seychelles have the added advantage of having one our’s marine biologists at hand to answer any further questions about these lovely creatures.
Book your dive today to Scuba dive with the Sharks of Seychelles.