Have there been any recent shark attacks? Is it usual to see the sharks in Shallow Waters. We will be traveling to Cat Island early September.
No and yes. Typically, the shallow water sharks are nurse sharks that are not at all interested in you. Common sense says to stay out of the water between sunset and sunrise, as this is typical feeing time for the critters, and it's certainly easier to see them in daylight. That said, you could easily go the entire trip without seeing a single shark, so it's not like they are circling the beach waiting for you to get into the water.
We saw them almost every day last summer staying in Bennetts Harbour. They were very small lemon sharks. We also attracted a larger one on the windward side of the island while spearfishing. But if you are not spearing, like Dusty says, you could see one but odds are you won't
Thank you for your Insight. I didn't realize this the abundance of sharks that even it was a tourist attraction here, although it looks like a very beautiful Island. I don't believe I would be comfortable getting in the water there although I've traveled throughout the Caribbean many times I didn't realize Cat Island was top 10 and the world for sharks hopefully we can get refunded on our Arrangements.
For goodness sakes, you're going to cancel a holiday because there MIGHT be a shark? You do realize they live in the ocean and can go anywhere they like -- even to the other islands in the Caribbean that you have been to! Unless you travel to a landlocked lake, you're likely to find sharks any where in the world -- and it's really no big deal. I've lived in the Bahamas for over 50 years and swim all the time -- with and without sharks, with bleeding fish on spears and in deep ocean water. Only once have I ever been concerned -- when a reef shark got a bit too excited for my liking and I got back into the boat.
I think you're worrying needlessly and will end up depriving yourself of an amazing vacation as a result of your fears.
Cat Island is probably on the top 10 list because it's one of the only places in the world where you can see Oceanic Whitetips on a fairly regular basis. These sharks are extremely rare now due to shark fining and commercial fishing. The expeditions to see these sharks are mostly based out of Hawksnest resort in the extreme south and even they have to go pretty far offshore to see them. You WILL NOT see these sharks in shallow waters. They are a pelagic species that lives in deep water all of their lives.
The small sharks we saw were young lemons that still live in and around the mouth of the mangroves in Alligator Creek about 200 feet from our cottage. Even the locals said it was unusual to see them as often as we did. They will not bother you. We also saw a large stingray swim by. It was awesome!
Have been to 5 of the Bahamian islands, amazing vacations on each, and never once saw a shark. Was in the water every day of every one of those trips, albeit walking in from shore, not snorkelling. I admit to worrying about the possibility of seeing a shark, also when I'm out walking in a park nearby my home there's the possibility I could see a bear too. There's danger everywhere, like for instance, every time I get into the car. I have to put things in perspective otherwise I would never leave the house (and there's danger there too!) There are thousands of people that visit the Bahamas every year, many who have seen/swam with sharks nearby. Lots of people on this forum can attest to the experience and have lived another day to tell the tale.
The Bahamas are too beautiful to stay away from just because you might see a shark, and like Dusty says,"it's not like they're circling the beach waiting for you to get into the water". I second Dusty's observation that "you're worrying needlessly and will end up depriving yourself of an amazing vacation as a result of your fears". And just so you know, the reason I don't snorkel is because I'm a chicken so I'm not entirely fearless either.
We've been to several islands in the Bahamas and often see sharks. We've snorkeled and dived with Reef, black tip and even bull sharks. They really are barely curious of us and I've never seen one aggressive. They are curious some times. The coolest adventures have been with the nurse sharks at Compass Cay and Staniel Cay Yacht club dock. We got to swim with them right by the dock. Maybe 20 or so all around us. Nurse sharks are so very cool and harmless. We had another cool experience in Green Turtle Cay snorkeling off the house dock and a Nurse came really close - 2 days in a row! OH sure, your heart pounds crazy, but knowing they are just not interested makes it absolutely fun! The snorkel we had in Green Turtle Cay another time was out on the reef and we had reef and bulls there. Knowing Bulls can be aggressive, it was a bit scary, but they really didn't seem interested at all. You obviously don't want to feed them or do spear fishing. But, I just can't say any of the waters in the bahamas are dangerous with sharks. I think they are thrilling, but also have a very healthy respect for them. I wouldn't provoke them, but I dont mind swimming with them - especially the nurse sharks. The thrill of underwater life - fish, turtles, rays - just completely outweighs such a very small chance of even being noticed by the sharks. Dont' deprive yourself of experiencing the Bahamas and the water world. If you fly to the Bahamas, you have a better chance of being killed by the plane than a shark.