The Bimini Shark Lab is delighted to offer an all-inclusive opportunity to individuals looking to gain insight into the abundant variety of shark species that inhabit the waters surrounding Bimini. We merge cutting-edge shark science with ecotourism in an effort to shed light on the urgent need for conservation of marine animals and ecosystems.
The experience includes:
5 days packed with shark encounters
4 nights of comfortable accommodation
3 meals per full day
2 way chartered flights between Fort Lauderdale and Bimini
Once here, you will experience our most enthralling locations and activities that have been established over 25 years of studying the islands. The activities include: snorkelling a coral bed teeming with reef sharks; interacting with juvenile lemon sharks among a mangrove-fringed nursery; familiarizing yourself with shark anatomy; and learning the day-to-day aspects of field work. When you’re not in the field, you’ll spend your time among a community of shark and ocean lovers, exchanging exhilarating stories and learning what it takes to run a top tier research field station. Ideal for individuals, friends, and families, our Field Expeditions promise to leave you in awe of tremendous apex predators! Below is more information on the details of the experience.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
Our Field Expeditions are open to absolutely ANYONE. If you have an interest in marine or shark biology, this is the perfect opportunity to delve into scientific research. Perfect for individuals and groups alike, only require that people under the age of 18 be accompanied by an adult. Please note that there is a minimum of 4 guests needed for each Field Expedition and a maximum of 8.
WHAT DO WE OFFER?
Every Field Expedition we host is different and unique. During your stay in Bimini, you will participate in many of the following activities, along with any research studies going on at the time. The list below gives a brief description of each activity we offer. Your input will help shape our itinerary for the week. Please be aware that all activities are dependent on weather, season, and tide.
Our Shark Encounters:
Shark Work-Up Lesson: Every shark we catch, from the 40 cm juvenile up to the 4-meter adult, requires a set of data to be collected. In this practical work-up lesson, you will learn how determine the species and sex of an individual, as well as the methods of measuring lengths, taking a DNA sample, and giving the shark an identification tag if necessary.
Caribbean reef shark snorkel: A staff and volunteer favourite. Here, you’re able to watch reef sharks feed while holding onto a buoyed anchor line. Once the sharks have dispersed, you can snorkel through the gorgeous reefs of Triangle Rocks, rich with tropical reef fish and marine invertebrates.
Aya's Spot juvenile lemon shark spotting: Having studied the tidal tendencies of these juvenile sharks, we time our departure from the lab to observe their departure from the mangrove-laden nursery, called Aya’s Spot.
Sapona snorkel: The SS Sapona was constructed in WWI and later converted into a warehouse for storing alcohol during the Prohibition Era. Around the ship’s hull, your group can expect to see a variety of marine life: stingrays, various damselfish, pufferfish, corals, sponges, etc. There are also some large openings to view the ship's interior from the outside.
Blacktip Sharks: Blacktips are a common species in the area, and can be seen in schools upwards of 20 individuals. Near the eastern beaches of North Bimini, we bait the water with the hopes of drawing in a few of these extraordinary sharks.
Nurse shark ledge snorkel: This rock ledge is resting habitat for our adult and sub-adult nurse sharks. An easy boat drive away from the lab, this activity illustrates a unique life history facet of this amazing sharks species. It also provides opportunities to spot other hiding marine life, including a few lobsters and eels tucked up under the ledge!
Great Hammerhead Encounter (winter season only): The mysterious and endangered great hammerheads are frequent visitors of Bimini during our winter season. A quick boat ride to the western side of the island will put you right at their front door. You’ll be allowed to snorkel alongside these incredible and increasingly rare giants.
Dolphin research lecture and snorkel: Enjoy a presentation and lecture by local dolphin researcher Kel Sweeting from the Dolphin Communication Project. If conditions allow, we will head out to an area known for it's Atlantic Spotted Dolphin population and enjoy a snorkel with these incredible animals!
Honeymoon Harbour: Just north of Cat Cay sits an idyllic beach that boasts of a flourishing ray population. With squid in hand, we can observe and hand feed a common elasmobranch species, the southern stingray as they float by in large groups.
Turtle Rocks Snorkel: Southward, along the Great Bahamas Bank’s edge, runs this archipelago of rocks that feature a coral reef with an extensive elasmobranch biodiversity, including eagle rays, nurse sharks, sub-adult lemon sharks, reef sharks, and even bull sharks.
Presentations and lectures from our researchers: Hear about the Shark Lab's 30 Years of Research, our current research projects from our Principle Investigators, field research methods, and much more from our amazing team!
NO UPCOMING EXPEDITIONS
We are still catching up with guest applications from 2020/2021 due to Covid-19 closures. All Expeditions for early 2023 are fully booked. Please stay tuned for late 2023 trip dates.
The Shark Lab is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is run on a shoestring budget. The prices we advertise are calculated to cover entirety of the trip, including the costs of flights between Fort Lauderdale and Bimini, accommodation, meals, fuel, boat use and personnel, as well as a donation which contributes directly to our research. You will also receive a copy of our Shark Doc, Shark Lab book which gives a detailed history of the Shark Lab’s founder Doc Gruber.
All donations to the station are tax deductible and we can provide receipts on request.
In order to book a Field Expedition we require a deposit of $500. 50% of your total payment must be paid 2 months prior to your visit, and full payment for the Field Expedition must be made at least 4 weeks prior to your visit.
If you are booking a Field Expedition with children under 12 in your group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for prices. For group bookings of 4+ adults we offer a 10% discount.
Not quite what you had in mind or dates not working out? Check out our annual Naturalist Course page for an additional option!
From beachfront cottages to top-story lofts, South Bimini has a handful of apartments that we set you up with to rest between and after our daylong adventures. Depending on the size of your group, we will place you in the best-suited location.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
“I had a general love for sharks but came away with such a deeper appreciation of how wonderful they are but the real challenge that faces them from changes to the environment.”
- Niall Dowell, April 2019
BOOK YOUR EXPEDITION!
If you would like to participate in one of our Field Expeditions, please fill out our inquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. For any other questions, please email us at: email@example.com