The Gathering of the Sharks - Oceanic Whitetips in The Bahamas

Cat Island Oceanic Whitetips 4

Pelagic wanders, oceanic whitetip sharks gather each year off Cat Island

Cat Island may be just a 30-minute flight from Nassau but they are a world apart. The big draw for divers being the oceanic whitetip sharks that visit each spring



Bahamas Maps 

Cat Island is renowned by underwater photographers for the oceanic whitetips that visit each spring as they follow a tuna migration. It’s widely considered the best place in the world to get up close with these magnificent animals.

Each spring these generally solitary sharks will congregate offshore with the largest numbers found between April and May.

These inquisitive sharks delight in checking out divers and it is definitely an adrenaline rush when you get in the water and see them up close.


Cat Island Oceanic Whitetips 1

Oceanic whitetips are extremely inquisitive and often approach divers

They are usually found in deep blue water, but with a bait box placed at about 10m, they are happy to stay close by at shallow depths. No feeding is required to keep them interested in hanging around all day.

You can expect plenty of sharks and great photo opportunities as they are definitely not a shy species. Exhibiting absolutely no fear they will approach very closely, even to the point of giving you a little bump on the way past.

As exciting as that sounds this is not a display of aggression, but rather simply their way of checking you out.

Cat Island Oceanic Whitetips 3

They congregate off the island following the migration of tuna

We can thank the foresight of the Bahamian government for its establishment of marine reserves and it’s ban on shark fishing for allowing the recovery of this oceanic whitetip shark population.

Relatively untouched by tourism Cat Island is 48 miles long and only four miles across at the widest point. It is dotted with the ruins of plantains from the first settlers, who were loyalists fleeing the American revolution.

It is a very laid-back and relaxing destination to visit, and its pristine beaches give you the chance to relax after all the excitement shark diving. It also offers reef diving, snorkelling, kite-surfing and fishing.


• Go to Dive Worldwide to book a trip to Cat Island


You can read much more from Tom St George and his adventures with the whitetips of Cat Island - and lots more besides - in our forthcoming Autumn 2019 Print Issue of DIVE. Use the links below to subscribe and make sure you don't miss out.

uk print digital sub intl print digital sub digital onlysub



Love diving? You'll love these. Sign up today to immediately download our unique FREE gifts -

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WRECKS - DIVE's 70-page, beautifully illustrated, colour guide to the world’s best wrecks

SCUBA STORIES - DIVE's collection f real life stories where divers, who have got themselves into perilous situations, describe how they reacted and what actions they took to ensure they lived to tell the tale

PACIFICHighlights of the Pacific - Dancing mantas in Hawaii • The Best Diving in the World, Galápagos, Cocos, Malpelo & Socorro • Mass Spawning Events in Palau

New Upright Gift Banners 300 x 600 px

Sidebar SUBSCRIBE spring 21 large2

Destinations Spotlight

Need inspiration for your next dive trip? Try one of our featured destinations from DIVE's travel partners.

sidebar philippines sidebar bahamas sidebar mexico sidebar fiji sidebar st helena 2020 Sidebar Egypt sidebar banner sabah sidebar banner belize sidebar banner south africa

DIVE Partners

sidebar banner egypt new ceningan divers ad 300x100 LH 300 min giphy subex Wakatobi Siladen Aggressor Fisheye Dive Worldwide gozo banner Arenui

Read DIVE magazine

DIVE magazine is available to read on many devices. Simply click one one of the options below

PCMac final
Apple finalAndroid final

Like what you see?

Join us on social and keep updated daily...