|Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, Executive Director, Lisa Rider is a scuba diving instructor and one of her favorite places to dive in the world is off the coast of North Carolina.
When asked what North Carolina’s diving is most famous for, she states “Wrecks and Sharks!”
The North Carolina Wreck Shark Shootout is a photo and video competition in Morehead City hosted by Mike Gerken at Olympus Dive Center.
Every year divers and photographers migrate from all over the world to share a love of diving, underwater photography, sharks, wrecks and compete for big prizes in the competition. The NC Coast is famous for their numerous shipwrecks that are home to the prolific sand tiger shark; Carcharias taurus, cousin to the great white shark.
The wrecks are also host to a myriad of marine species from up and down the food chain. Large numbers of jacks, barracudas, tunas, spade fish, cobia, giant stingrays, sea turtles and NST’s (non-sandtigers) are seen with regularity.
“Sand tiger sharks are the main subject for the NC Wreck Shark Shootout and there is no better place to photograph them on the historic wrecks off the Carolina Coast.” – Mike Gerken
Other programs like Spot A Shark USA, offer a citizen-science-based program that engages divers to take part in data collection that can be useful in shark conservation efforts.
“Events like the the NC Wreck Shark Shootout and programs like Spot a Shark are a wonderful way to bring conservation awareness to this fragile species of shark as well as the entire coastal ecosystem they call home.” – L.Rider, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch