Diving with sharks in the Azores

Posted on August 11, 2012 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS MAGAZINE

"Tum-Tuntum-Tuntum-Tuntum." The unforgettable music of John Williams popularized in Jaws - Jaws, the first block-buster Spielberg, immediately comes to mind when we think of sharks - but this gallery of images of the creature in the seas of the Azores, there seems to refer to the same species of animals that live to kill, some brainless eating machines such as heralded the beginning of the film.

PHOTO - NUNO SÁ  / UNITED PHOTO PRESS

Those seas, dive with sharks is the new challenge of tourism: the archipelago is the only destination in Europe, and few in the world where you can do it successfully - and stand side by side with these blue sharks, the Azorean dubbed dye.


"It is a curious and very small species, without registration, worldwide, of serious attacks divers," said the photographer, on the one who believes the shark most beautiful oceans. Common in offshore submarine banks of Faial and one of the fastest marine animals characterized by the body long and slender, torpedo-shaped. The name derives from the unusual coloration: dorsum with a dark blue pigment and a white belly, a kind of mimicry of the ocean.


With an average size of 2.5 m and 70 kg, can reach four meters and 240 pounds. It is also one of the most commercialized species - and, despite having a conservation status considered low risk, starred in a recent dispute in the region between fishermen and environmentalists, prompting the regional government to commit itself to study the subject. "Their fishing is not very profitable. The tourism potential is much greater," argues Nuno Sá, then stressing: "This year alone, 6000 people come to dive with sharks."


Nuno Sá - The author of these photographs, 35, is a professional photographer since 2004 and specializes in marine wildlife co-author of Guide to Diving in the Azores and regular contributor to several magazines, including National Geographic Portugal. Several distinctions in international competitions in nature photography: in late 2011, won the main category of Epson World Shootout, one of the largest underwater photography competitions in the world and was even honored in the category Underwater World, the award Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011, the largest nature photography contest in the world, with the image of the blue shark that appears on the next page, bottom right. Author exposure Oasis, located at off the Oceanarium in Lisbon, until August 19. It continues on to San Miguel and Faial.