A school of sharks was recently spotted near the beach of Nusa Dua’s Peninsula Island. They have reportedly been identified as the blacktip sharks, and, though they are not regarded as highly dangerous to humans, conservation officers have cautioned beachgoers to keep a safe distance.
A video documenting the sharks swimming very closely to the beach went viral on social media this week. In the clip, they appear to be calmly navigating the blue-green waters of Nusa Dua. According to the @denpasar.viral Instagram account, the sharks were first spotted on Tuesday.
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Ranny R. Yuyeni, a shark and ray conservation officer from WWF Indonesia, said there are a number of potential reasons why the sharks were swimming in the shallow waters.
“It is possible that they were avoiding a predator, or looking for shallow waters to release their babies. It might also be because there was abundant food [in the area],” Ranny told Kompas.com.
Suko Wardono, who heads Denpasar’s Coastal and Marine Resources Management Center (BPSPL), said it was a natural occurrence and that the public shouldn’t worry about it.
“It’s that time of the year where there are a lot of fish species here that are prey to these sharks, and that’s why they have come,” Suko told Kompas.com.
Although he said people shouldn’t be concerned about the sharks’ appearance, Suko cautioned them to keep a safe distance.
Meanwhile, Pariama Hotasoit, a diver at the Nusa Dua Reef Foundation (NDRF) said the sharks have been spotted several times in the last week and he’s received reports of about 60 to 70 sharks swimming around the area from the local residents.
According to Oceana, a US-based nonprofit ocean conservation organization, blacktip sharks are commonly seen by swimmers and fishers along the world’s coasts. Sadly, though they are considered near threatened with extinction due to overfishing and habitat destruction, there is currently no international management plan for the fishery of blacktip sharks.
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