We had just turned an until then uneventful dive and were heading south along the west wall of Syd Hällsö. Underwater, the wall turns into a rocky slope that meets sandy bottom at 18-25m. We were in the slope at around 15m when all of a sudden a shark appeared in front of us. A spiny dogfish, resting on the rocky bottom.
It’s not uncommon to see them this time of year, especially on night dives. They are bottom-dwelling, but the ones I have seen before have always been swimming, fast. They have only offered short glimpses, and I have never been even close to a photo opportunity.
This one was lying completely still. And it didn’t move when we slowly approached. We even had time to position my buddy on the opposite side of it for better composition and lighting.
Eventually, it took off. With a gracious turn, going head to head with my buddy, and passing over his shoulder. It was nearly whipping him in the face with the tail fin before disappearing into the abyss.
An absolutely amazing experience.
The spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) is also known as the spurdog, mud shark or piked dogfish. It is a small shark, typically growing to lengths of 1.0 – 1.5 meters. It has defensive spines anterior to (in front of) each dorsal fin. The species name acanthias refers to these two spines.