Diver films from middle of bull shark feeding frenzy: 'Misunderstood'

·4-min read

A free diver who swims with sharks for a living uses his camera to provide an intimate look at often "misunderstood" – and sometimes feared – creatures.

Captain John Moore, an experienced diver and photographer, works for tour operator Florida Shark Diving.

He has been a free diver and spearfisherman for more than 40 years.

"The more time I spend around sharks, the more I understand and love them. I find it hard to envision doing anything else for work at this point," he told Yahoo News Australia in an email.

"The sharks have very unique personalities and behaviours and I'm always amazed by how intelligent they are."

In one video he shared to Instagram, he managed to capture a frenzy of sharks feeding. He said in the comments it was shot from the perspective of a feeder.

"Today had that epic combination of crystal clear water and some absolute player bulls," he wrote in the caption of the video from December.

"Dream daze in the Gulf Stream."

Pictured are the bull sharks feeding on fish in the water.
A diver shared spectacular footage of bull sharks feeding. Source: Instagram/captainjohnmoore

In the video, a shark is seen swimming directly at the camera, before swiftly turning and devouring a fish.

Several sharks are seen in the shot, swimming around the diver, some getting right near the camera, offering a unique perspective to people, as few would dare to get that close to a shark.

However, at no point do any of the sharks act aggressively towards Capt Moore.

Many people were mesmerised by the footage, but one social media user was concerned about the likelihood of Capt Moore getting bitten by a shark.

"I wouldn't do this every day if I were likely to get bit. This video is shot from the perspective of a feeder, which is always a bit chaotic looking," he said.

"It's actually a pretty choreographed little dance."

Capt Moore told Yahoo News Australia when he was photographing sharks, he was totally present — not thinking about his life or the horrors in the world.

"I'm immersed in a beautiful peaceful and exciting world where we are lucky observers," he said.

Capt Moore said if someone went on a diving tour with Florida Shark Diving, the chances of getting bitten were zero, adding in the company's 10 years of operation, they had a "perfect company safety record".

Sharks are 'calculated fish eaters not scary monsters'

Capt Moore regularly shares pictures of sharks looking quite menacing, though it is clear he has admiration for them.

He wishes people knew how "benevolent and peaceful" sharks are and he believes they are misunderstood.

"I think that sharks, particularly bull sharks, are seriously misunderstood. If people were lucky enough to spend more time around them, that fear would evaporate," he said.

"They are still apex predators, but they predate on fish primarily. Knowledge is power, and what we don’t know is always scarier than reality."

In a post from February 10, Capt Moore said it may seem as though bull sharks "morph" into a completely different animal as soon as they open their mouth.

"Despite the pose, bull sharks are cautious and calculated fish eaters and not scary monsters. You can see how both sharks have their eyes fixed on me, because they view me as the dangerous one out here," he wrote on Instagram.

"They are right. Humans kill sharks at an alarming and unsustainable rate."

Sharks are pretty spectacular creatures, though it is understandable why some fear them. Shark attacks and shark-related fatalities are rare.

Sydney grappled with its first shark attack fatality since the 1960s this year and while Australia leads the world in shark attack fatalities, the numbers are relatively low.

Capt Moore told Yahoo News Australia the shark attack in Sydney was "heartbreaking and absolutely tragic", though he believed the attack was likely a case of "mistaken identify".

"Great Whites feed on seals and large prey, and accidents, however rare, are more likely when you match the size of their normal food," he said.

Capt Moore also pointed out the fear we have sharks was not often extended to other animals.

"Dogs attack and kill hundreds of people annually, yet most people aren’t terrified of dogs because we know so much more about them," he said

In Australia, there were three fatal shark encounters in 2021, which is down from six in 2020.

Across the globe there were nine unprovoked fatal shark attacks in 2021.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting