WATCH: Coast diver gets up close with tiger, bull sharks
WEIGHT limits have thwarted Sunshine Coast shark expert Tony Isaacson's plans to test "facial recognition" shark control technology, but a local trial is in the works.
Mr Isaacson headed to the Bahamas last month but the weight of the cabling alone exceeded their luggage limits and scuppered plans to test Clever Buoy technology.
But a local trial is in the pipeline with negotiations underway to secure a Clever Buoy sonar trial in Lake Kawana and/or Twin Waters some time this year.
The lack of technology didn't stop the Parrearra resident and the dive team, including his mentor and fellow shark advocate Jim Abernethy from documenting dozens of positive human-shark interactions.
Diving about three times a day for three weeks, Mr Isaacson and the team, which included scuba and free divers, encountered tiger sharks, reef sharks, great hammerheads, lemon sharks, tawny nurse sharks and "super curious" bull sharks on their dives.
"Diving with tiger sharks at night was a new experience for me," Mr Isaacson said.
"Diving in open ocean with no anti-shark devices with bull sharks was also new.
"The real challenge was to figure out the difference between human habituated sharks and those that were wild. A tiger shark that I named Hera, is possibly habituated and just as likely wild.
"Accidental contact with her gill slits caused her to object and carry my low pressure hose and oceanic regulator off into the Gulf Stream. My BCD was shredded so my diving day was cut short late-afternoon.
"She came back to interact with free divers who reluctantly got out of the water at sunset."
Renowned BASE jumper Jeb Corliss joined the expedition and shot stunning footage of tiger sharks and bull sharks interacting.
They dived a variety of sites around Nassau, Bimini and Grand Bahama Island.
One dive was abandoned without incident at a popular hammerhead dive site when three female bull sharks arrived and repeatedly approached the divers from behind, preferring to "blindside" them rather than approaching along the scent trail "runway" like other sharks had done.