Marie’s Hammerhead encounter

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“Hammerhead! Hammerhead!” came the call from the jetty as our excited Dive Instructor Marie walked, or rather skipped, with her divers back to the Marine Sports Centre following what was clearly an epic dive on Gili’s outer reef wall! With her hands balled into fists on either side of her head in an attempt to imitate the species (the underwater sign for hammerhead shark), and a splitting grin from ear to ear, she started to tell us about her encounter…

Constantly praised by our guests as being a calm and patient teacher, Marie was anything but calm whilst telling us about her exciting encounter. She described how the 3.5m shark didn’t show itself until the very end of the already amazing dive. Her first thought was that it was a Thresher Shark (Alopias sp.), but as the beautiful creature came tantalizingly closer, she was able to see the tell-tale head shape and large dorsal fin characteristic of this species. Capable of attaining a massive size of 6.1m, this species is classed as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN due to the demand for its large fins which can be sold to the Asian Market for Shark Fin Soup. This is only the fourth Hammerhead to have been recorded this year in the area, and was Marie’s second Hammerhead sighting ever- her first one being in the Red Sea. We hope to see more as the shark populations of Maldives flourish following the shark fishing ban here in 2010! 

PADI Dive Instructor Marie Denis learned to dive when she was 12 years old. Having worked in 5 different countries as a diver after she gained a degree in Marine Biology, it’s no wonder she has seen some incredible things! Despite having over 4000 dives under her belt, she still gets excited to take that giant stride into the water; and no wonder, when she has incredible encounters like this one!! You really never know what you’re going to see down there!

Come down and dive with us!