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Shark Encounter – Greg Jacoski

Imagine if diving with tiger sharks and catching makos was part of your job description. It is for Greg Jacoski, the Director of Operations at the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. He spends time chasing sharks around the world and tagging them for research and tracking. You can follow the tagged sharks too, on the Guy Harvey Research Institute website and learn more about all of Guy Harvey’s conservation efforts at www.guyharvey.com.

Greg shared some of the amazing images and stories from his shark encounters with Guy Harvey and his team.

Q:What’s the biggest shark you’ve ever caught?

A:Biggest shark I have caught on rod and reel is a 700-pound tiger shark. She was a feisty one but we tagged and released her.

Q:What’s the biggest you’ve seen?

A:Biggest shark I have ever seen was a whale shark in the 50-foot range. In Isla Mujeres, Mexico, whale sharks aggregate by the hundreds. It’s an awesome sight.

Q:Where have you seen the most sharks?

A:The Bahamas has a relatively healthy shark population and you can find many different species.

Q:Have you ever been bitten?

A:I have never been bitten but have had a few close calls. We dive with makos, tigers and oceanic whitetips during our research trips and they do get curious. When we’re working to put tags on them, their rough skin does more damage than anything.

Q:What species would you call your favorite?

A:Mako sharks are my favorite. They are extremely fast, tough and have some beautiful, dark blue color to them.

Q:What is your least favorite shark?

A:Blue sharks. They eat all of the bait when we’re mako fishing in the northeast.

Q:Please tell the story of your most memorable shark encounter?

A:I am fortunate enough that my job allows me to get hands-on with sharks fairly often but my most memorable encounter was my first time diving with tiger sharks in the Bahamas. We were down about sixty feet with seven tigers and about a hundred lemon sharks and other reef sharks. You get so focused on the tigers that you don’t even notice all of the other large sharks. Tigers are capable of tearing apart almost anything under the sea and the calmness exhibited by them among the chaos of all of the other sharks was very impressive. I will always remember my first time diving with tiger sharks that gave me a newfound respect for them.

Photo Credits: Greg Jacoski and Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation