Thursday, April 2, 2020

Introducing Bruce, one of the biggest male Great White Sharks at Guadalupe.

Continuing to bring you some positivity during our home confinement due to the Coronavirus,  I want to introduce you to "Bruce", another regular Great White Shark at Guadalupe Island. Bruce has been around since we started shark diving at Guadalupe in 2001. When we first encountered him, he was just a "little" teenager, probably not much longer than 11-12'. Of course we had no idea that we would see him year after year and that he would grow into one of the larger males at the Island. He is now on the north side of 16' and one of the dominant shark at the site. Despite his size, he is one of the more mellow sharks around. He keeps swimming around with, what seems to be, a grin that looks like he stole something and got away with it.

Bruce saying hello to Whitney, one of our divers!

Bruce is also the shark who got me interested in shark research. I have to admit, that reading scientific papers held about as much excitement to me as watching grass grow. It simply wasn't my thing. When Dr. Domeier tagged Bruce with a satellite transmitter and used some of the data it produced for his paper on white shark migration, Nicole Nasby-Lucas, who works with Dr. Domeier and is responsible for the Guadalupe photo ID database, gave me a copy of the research paper. I started reading it, and realized that this paper was not just a research paper, but more like Bruce's travel journal. It was exciting to find out where he was going, when not at Guadalupe and what he was doing. Who knew that he was vacationing near Hawaii?! I mean, who wouldn't want to vacation there? Did you know that Great White Sharks can go deeper than 3000'? Well, I didn't, until I read that paper.

Even though he is one of the more mellow sharks around, being a great white shark and male, Bruce was not averse to a little fighting here and there. I remember one particular morning. I was just getting into the cages to sort out all the regulators when I noticed some movement behind me. I turned and saw Bruce who looked me straight into the eyes. He sported a huge bite injury, just in front of his gills, with a hole that let me look straight through it and out his mouth. The amazing thing was, it didn't seem to bother him. He just kept swimming around and stayed active, like nothing had happened.

Bruce about a week after the bite.

Just like Chugey, when he came back the following year, his wound was closed and there was barely a scar to indicate that he was ever injured.

Bruce with his closed bite injury.

So that is Bruce.

Since we started shark diving at Guadalupe Island, we have met over 360 different individual sharks. Who is going to be back this year? Who is going to make its first appearance? Hopefully by the time we are ready to go back to Guadalupe, this coronavirus will be a thing of the past and we will find out! Maybe you'll be able to join us and get to meet them up close and personal. They do pose for pictures with you! Next time you watch shark week, you can say, "Hey, I know that guy!"

Hopefully, we will start our expeditions in August.  4 of our trips are research trips. On those trips, you'd get to meet the researcher who knows all about those sharks, Nicole Nasby-Lucas, along with all the rock-star white sharks of Guadalupe Island. Call us at 619.887.4275 or email for more information.

Let's go shark diving!

Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at