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Sharks' fates: admired in Tobago, gobbled up on the beach in Trinidad
Sharks are a real sensation in Trinidad and Tobago. On special underwater safaris in Tobago adventurous divers can enjoy the thrill of encountering the predators of murderous reputation in the wild. They’re in serious danger, however, once the famous triangular dorsal fin shows up too close to the sister island’s coast: baked shark fish is the most popular beach snack in Trinidad.                             

By Bernhard Grdseloff
 
Life threatening - for sharks: at the fish market in Trinidad...
Life threatening - for sharks: at the fish market in Trinidad...
 
...and bite-sized at Richard's on the beach of Marakas Bay.
...and bite-sized at Richard's on the beach of Marakas Bay.
 
 

Shark expert Ricardo Nedd spied out some diving spots on the West and South coast of Tobago where the elegant predators like to spend their time. "It takes a bit of luck of course, because we don’t feed the animals", he says. "But you’ll always spot larger nurse sharks, and you’ll also see reef sharks all year round. Whale sharks of up to 40 feet are rather rare, though."

Not all types of sharks can be found all year round in Tobago. "They follow their prey and the nutrient-rich currents from the Orinoco Delta", explains Nedd. "Most of the roaming species such as tiger and bull sharks are around from February till May."

The high season for hammerhead sharks is earlier - from January to March. Their favourite place is the Sisters, two rock islands off the North coast of Tobago. "Schools of up to 40 animals, 10 to 15 feet in length, patrol the area during the daytime", says biologist and dive guide Johnny Procope. "They’re not dangerous to divers, because they’re asleep while they swim. Their hammer-shaped head serves as a radar system for keeping course."

They may be in for a rude awakening, however, if they drift off towards Trinidad. "Bake and Shark" is the most popular beach snack there: fried shark fillet in a kind of giant donut. You’ll find the best ones at Richard‘s in Castara Bay where up to 15 shark fish are polished off on a good day.
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