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Diving in Belize? Be Prepared to Run Into Nurse Sharks!


Part of the magic when diving is experiencing the variety of marine life that make their home in and around the coral reef. Nurse sharks in Belize prefer to rest and hunt in the reef and therefore are often spotted during dives. Although people might be afraid of them because they’re sharks, these gentle giants rarely bother humans and are referred to as the “couch potato of the shark world.”

An interesting aspect that sets nurse sharks apart from other types of sharks is that they don’t have to swim continuously to breathe. They’re able to supply oxygen to the gills through buccal pumping—using their oral muscles to suck water into their mouth—so they spend most of the day resting. At night, they can be seen swimming close to the coast and coral reef, sucking up fish, conch and squid.

If you come across a nurse shark while diving in Belize—and it’s likely you will—don’t be scared! They’re extremely calm and not known to attack divers. Give them plenty of space and admire them from a safe distance, and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Scuba divers should be prepared to run into nurse sharks in Belize and make sure to plan a night dive at the barrier reef to see the beautiful creatures. When you stay at Belize Dive Haven, you will experience the beauty of the barrier reef. The reef runs right in front of our resort and our guests have access to magnificent dive sites.



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Belize Dive Haven is located in the pristine Turneffe Atoll, just 30 kilometres offshore from Belize City. As part of the Belize Barrier Reef, the Atoll consists of creeks, lagoons, mangrove islands and cays and is home to over 500 species of fish, 65 different species of stony corals as well as birds, turtles, manatees and dolphins.

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