Not just a
huge collection of
Elasmodiver.com contains images of sharks, skates, rays, and a few
chimaera's from around the world. Elasmodiver began as a simple web
to help divers find the best places to encounter the different
species of sharks and rays that live in shallow water but it has
slowly evolved into a much larger project containing information on
all aspects of shark diving and shark photography.
now more than 10,000 shark pictures and sections on shark
evolution, biology, and conservation. There is a large library of
reviewed shark books, a constantly updated shark taxonomy page, a
monster list of shark links, and deeper in the site there are
numerous articles and stories about shark encounters. Elasmodiver is
now so difficult to check for updates, that new information and
pictures are listed on an Elasmodiver Updates Page that can be
SHARK DIVING HOTSPOTS -
EL CABRON MARINE PARK, GRAN CANARIA
Common Angel Sharks. The common Angel Shark (Squatina squatina) is
now not so common in much of its northern range. In the North Sea it is
commercially (and possibly literally) extinct. However, in the Canary
Islands it is still an abundant enough species to be encountered regularly
in some areas. Close to the small town of Arinaga on the south side of Gran
Canaria, there is a marine park called El Cabron which has a resident
population of Angel Sharks that can be encountered naturally while shore
More sharks are present in the
winter months but unlike many places in the Canaries, the El Cabron
population remains close to shore (though in lesser numbers) even during the
warmest summer months.
All diving at El Cabron is done from
shore. An unpaved road leads to the park but the web of primitive pot holed
tracks can be confusing and the entrances to each dive site are not marked.
Also, the sharks themselves usually bury under the sand for much of their
time so so it is important to enlist a local guide.
The sharks can be encountered in
very shallow water but usually rest close to the reef below about 10
to 20 meters. They are quite docile and can be closely approached with non
threatening movements. It is usually possible to wave some of the sand away
from them before they move away.
Elasmobranchs: Marbled Torpedo Rays, Round Stingrays, Pastinaca
Rays (Common Stingrays) and Butterfly Rays. Many butterfly ray beds (marks
in the sand) can be seen at El Cabron but the animals themselves are more
difficult to find. This may be because they only move inshore at night.
Many dive shops on Gran Canaria visit El Cabron but the most conveniently
located shop is
Davey Jones Diving in Arinaga. The owner / manager Brian is
an eagle eyed guide and keen naturalist with a knack for finding Angels
under the sand. His store has been instrumental in collecting data on shark
an ongoing university study. If you dive with Davey Jones your shark
encounter will be entered into the survey to help build a better picture of the
There are a number of accommodation options in Arinaga which is a small,
pleasant tourist destination. Davey Jones can organize inexpensive studios with
a little notice. Bear in mind that at cetain times during the summer the town
explodes with local holiday makers escaping from the city. Call Brian well in
advance if you plan to arrive at that time.
Arinaga can be reached by road from the city of Las Palmas. Although it is
possible to drive into the park and leave your vehicle where other divers are
obviously entering the water, it is wise to sign up for a dive with one of the
local shops to save your suspension over the atrocious dirt roads.