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Whale Shark Encounters in Mexico
Tiger Beach tiger shark diving
Great hammerhead shark diving
Great white shark diving
giant manta dive at Isla Socorro
oceanic whitetip shark diving
killer whale orca encounter
Beluga Whale Diving
Dive with Great Whites, Sevengill Sharks, Makos, Blue Sharks, 5 species of Catsharks and Spotted Gully Sharks in False Bay, South Africa.
humpback whale diving
Salmon shark diving in Alaska
sardine run diving
sailfish diving
 
adventure expedition diving schedule
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SALMON SHARK EXPEDITION 2017

A BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS TRIP REPORT

 

Diving with salmon sharks

 

SALMON SHARKS 2017 IN A NUTSHELL: Another great trip to Alaska. Excellent salmon shark encounters around the boat, surreal diving in jelly blooms, giant pacific octopuses and wolf eels on the reef dives and topside encounters with orcas!

 

Orca fin protruding from the water.

 

Diving with salmon sharks

 

SALMON SHARKS

The salmon shark action on this year's trip got better every day. On the first day the sharks were completely absent. It was mildly disturbing to not see any but we knew that they were still in the area because the salmon were running.

On the second day one of our guests saw one underwater while we were diving on a Moon Jelly Bloom. That was more reassuring but we still needed to get them to the boat.

On day three we went back to 'Shark Alley' where we have had the best success in previous years and sure enough, there were fins at the surface. We slid into the water while our host threw in a few fish and then cast a line with a mackerel attached (no hook of course). This is how you lead salmon sharks to the boat.

Sure enough, a lightning fast salmon shark streaked in and snatched the fish off the line right in front of us while we snapped away with our cameras.

 

Head-on shot of a salmon shark.

 

From this point on, the shark activity continued to build. By the last day, we sharks all day and we quickly made up for lost time, shooting image after image of the sharks in action. It was an excellent photoshoot!

 

A salmon shark eying the camera.

 

MOON JELLY BLOOMS

This year, by popular demand, we concentrated heavily on diving in the moon jelly blooms. You may think jellyfish diving sounds a bit dull but it was so much fun and such a beautiful spectacle that everyone wanted to keep doing it.

 

Alaskan moon jelly bloom

 

Living in the Pacific northwest, I am used to seeing clouds of moon jellies and large lionsmane jellyfish but the blooms in Prince William Sound are much larger and denser than anything I have encountered before. There must have been hundreds of thousands of moon jellies in some of the blooms. They were so thick that it was impossible to see more than a few inches in some spots. Swimming into and emerging out of the blooms made for some great selfie opportunities :)

 

Selfie in the moon jellies.

 

Some of the jellies had resident fishes that I had not seen before. Pacific fish expert Milton Love thinks these may be juvenile oarfish - a species that is difficult to find as adults let alone in juvenile form.

 

Moon jelliy with oarfish.

 

In one of the lionsmane jellies I also saw a crested sculpin. The fish seemed impervious to the jelly's highly toxic tentacles.

 

Lions mane with crested sculpin.

 

The reef diving was pretty good but we did not make it out to the high current areas where the invertebrate life is out of control because we were fixated on the sharks.

 

Dive site in Alaska.

 

Next time I'll make a point of getting out to the best sites. But, even in the low current areas, we came across fields of giant plumose anemones, octopuses and wolf eels so maybe I am being a little too critical :)

 

Wolf eel diving

 

Personally, I am very excited about heading back next year. If you want to get great shots of an apex predator that few divers have ever seen, this is your chance! Join our 2018 Salmon Shark Expedition

 

Swimming witha salmon shark

 

Salmon shark diving group.

 

A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM BIG FISH EXPEDITIONS FUNDS

THE PREDATORS IN PERIL PROJECT

predatorsinperil.org

 

 

 

Snorkel with Japanese Giant Salamanders

American crocodile diving

 

 

READ THE LATEST:

Japanese Shark Diving Safari Report 2017

 

Andy Murch Trip Leader

Andy Murch

EXPEDITION LEADER

Andy Murch is a fanatical big animal diver.

He has photographed and dived with more sharks than most people on this planet and he's very good at it.

Andy's images and shark stories have appeared in hundreds of books and magazines around the world from titles as varied as Canadian Geographic, Scuba Diving, FHM, Digital Photography,  and the Journal of Zoology.

Andy is the Creator of the ever expanding Shark and Ray Field Guide on Elasmodiver.com

 

When not running big animal expeditions or on photographic assignments, Andy lives and dives on Vancouver Island, Canada

 

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Predators in Peril

Andy is also the driving force behind the PREDATORS IN PERIL PROJECT which shines a spotlight on many endangered species of sharks and rays that are largely overlooked by mainstream conservation groups. Predators In Peril is entirely funded by Big Fish Expeditions.

 

Find out more here:

PredatorsInPeril.org

 

Predators in Peril Project