Malapascua Island has something for all divers, so come and dive the best kept secret of the Philippines - indeed of South East Asia. The Philippines is what Thailand was a couple decades ago but with much better diving and without the crowds. So make your next scuba diving trip to Malapascua Island. Malapascua diving offers the only daily thresher shark sightings in the world, whitetip sharks, mantas, hammerheads (seasonal), wrecks, mandarin fish, countless nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, cuttlefish, beautiful unspoiled coral gardens and a huge diversity of marine life.
Malapascua would likely have remained unknown outside of a extremely small collection of pioneer divers, if it hadn't been for some German photographers plus writers linked with leading German scuba magazines, who came along later on and told the story. After this, divers without doubt started coming to Malapascua, resulting in a few dive operators opening shops and resorts. The word further spread, when the late Steve Irwin came along and did a nature documentary on the thresher sharks at Monad Shoal. That perhaps was what really opened people's eyes to the beauty of the shy, silvery and bigeyed sharks.
Thresher sharks on the whole live in bottomless water and are nocturnal (night creatures), so are not often observed by divers. Although they are seen occasionally in other areas around the world, we know of nowhere else they can be seen so frequently. They have very small, sharp teeth and very big eyes to see in the dark. They eat squid and schooling fish such as herring and mackerel and it is thought that they use their tails to "corral" the fish into denser schools. The tail may also be used to stun the fish. They will sometimes "breach" and can jump completely out of the water.
The thresher sharks are not dangerous to humans and will swim over the side of the shoal if startled. Threshers like to circle, sometimes in twos and threes, so if we see a shark as it is swimming away, it is likely the shark(s) will soon come back into view. On dives, divers move slowly and stop and wait when sharks are sighted. If divers stay motionless and make no rapid movements, sometimes the sharks can approach so close you could almost touch them. Divers should never swim after the sharks or use camera strobes as this will scare them away.
It is rare to have a day when no sharks have been sighted at Monad Shoal. Thresher sightings fluctuate each year, so it hard to predict the top month. Traditionally the best months are July-October and the January-February are not so good.
Sadly, like most other shark species around the world, the number of thresher sharks in the world is declining due to over fishing for their fins and meat. Monad Shoal in Malapascua has recently been made a maritime park to help guard these creatures.