The Most Unexpected Way to Catch a Shark
Few things in life can be more exciting than a great deep-sea fishing trip. There’s always that telltale tug on the line that lets you know you have something on the other end. It could be a minnow or a monster, but you have to reel it up to see. However, that’s not the case here. These are all monsters in the water.
This happened in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba. At first it looks like one shark on the end of the line, then it quickly morphs into something else entirely. When the camera dips under the water you see the full story. There are several large sharks swimming around, waiting for something nice to chew on. They are reef sharks, common place yes, but hungry none the less. No great whites, but still dangerous in their own right.
The shark on the end of the line attempts to get a bit too up close and personal. It crashes and kicks high out of the water and lands squarely on the side of the boat. Now, before you go into hero mode, telling me how you would wrestle that shark back into the sea, or pop it on the nose and toss it overboard, take a look at the captain and passenger’s response. They react. That’s it. They do it because that’s all they can do.
There is not enough time. Everybody instinctively jumps backward. They jumped quicker than a kid jumped up from a dentist chair, and that kid can move fast. Yet, our reef shark ha
There is not enough time. Everybody instinctively jumps backward. They jumped quicker than a kid jumped up from a dentist chair, and that kid can move fast. Yet, our reef shark has way more teeth then a kid with a handful of cavities in his mouth. Those teeth are razor-sharp and can certainly do damage if that jaw finds your arm. See, the shark is instinctive too. Just as the people respond by jumping back, the shark responds by chomping away until it finds something to bite. That could be a tourist’s arm. If it succeeded, that could spell disaster, OK so maybe not disaster, but amputation at the least! Thankfully, it seems like that plan fell through.
What if You Could Train This Shark?
However, as with all things, if used wisely, that bite can work to your advantage. How so you ask? Well, it can be used to control invasive fish species if you know how to train a reef shark. That is what one fellow is doing in the Caribbean. A diver and biologist, Andres Jiminez is teaching reef sharks to eat lion fish. What most people consider to be crazy, he considers to be a form of underwater pest control. I mean let’s be honest, not many people would get a kick out of training a natural born killer to try and focus its instinct on killing one particular thing, but that’s what he enjoys doing. He hails from Havana, and works closely with another marine biologist, and a french videographer who captures each encounter.
The trick of getting the shark to eat the fish, however, is a lot harder to pull off then you might think. The reason being native Caribbean predatory fish do not like to eat lion fish. They prefer local grub. However, if they can be taught to eat them, much like teaching that kid in the dentist chair to eat vegetables, it might work. Therein lies the rub for Andres. He is slowly, but surely, teaching the reef sharks to target lion fish. It puts them on a sort of “seek and destroy” mission, and is beginning to work rather handily. It will take a few years before there is a noticeable impact, but in the meantime, the groundwork is definitely being solidified. The sharks are beginning to aggressively target lion fish. However, feel free to go shark fishing in the Caribbean though. It seems like there are plenty to be had and they can put up quite a fight. Just remember to stay away from the teeth, leave the wrangling to the skipper or captain, and you should be fine. You may want to keep your camera handy for a photo op or two. Or, for a REAL show, give your buddy $50 to dress up like a lion fish and push him overboard. The friendship will not survive (hey, the person may not either), but you will have one amazing story to pass down for years and years… to your cell mates. Just keep that in mind if you decide to go through with it. It’s all fun and games until the lion fish gets eaten. A jury may not understand your prank as well.