2024 Edition

Daniel E Nicholson

The Hunt

Hunt for a grey reef shark, Australia, 2021

Category - Ocean Worlds

The Hunt

Many species of shark inhabit the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo coral reef off the west coast of Australia. One of the most commonly seen is the grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos), particularly at dive sites, as it is a curious species that easily approaches humans, or in relatively shallow coral reefs. This photo was shot while free diving, in the middle of a school of fish known as a "bait ball", a defence technique against predator attacks. Around a hundred sharks were hunting, penetrating the "balls" until they disappeared, then bursting out, scattering the fish. Grey reef sharks are currently listed as "endangered" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, mainly due to overfishing.

17-28 mm f/2.8-2.8 Lens - 1/640 sec at f/6.3 ISO 640