Of the many different diving places in the world, few match the wonder that is Monad Shoal in Malapascua, Philippines. It must be stated that it is not Monad Shoal itself, but the wondrous thresher sharks in the area that make this one of the premiere places for avid scuba divers.
Since the early 1990s, Monad Shoal has become one of the premier places for scuba diving in the Philippines and the reputation of the dive itself is one that has drawn thousands of divers from around the world to experience the wonder of this remarkable place.
Monad Shoal is roughly a 30 minute boat ride from the island. The shoal itself is rather unremarkable as it is essentially a sea mount or rock stump with a rather flat top that is roughly 20 meters down from the surface with few defining features. What little coral reefs remain on the shoal has been damaged over the years from fishing methods that were destructive to the region.
However, this is the best known site in the world that attracts thresher sharks; they are most often seen before sunrise in the region. The sea mount acts as a cleaning area for them to remove the parasites from the skin, mouth and gills. This action also attracts other sea life as well, including the family of Devil, Eagle and Manta Rays. In addition, hammerhead sharks can sometimes be seen in the area on a seasonal basis.
Diving Conditions and Recommendations:
Monad Shoal is well suited for recreational divers. While the current can be strong in the area, there are only minimal dive qualifications needed to enjoy this unique dive site. The thresher sharks which are usually deep water creatures rise up to the mount before dawn and can be seen in just 20 meters of water. The best time to see the sharks is before dawn, standard lighting equipment can reveal them without causing much of a disturbance. The visibility ranges from 10 to 15 meters which is actually more than enough to see the sharks if lighting equipment is present or if the dive is conducted near the dawn hours where the sunlight can be used to aid in spotting the sharks against the surface.
Most groups tend to stick together near the sea mount in order to let the thresher sharks pass in front of them. However, some want to dive just a little deeper and look up against the breaking dawn to see the sharks swim by.
Overall, Monad Shoal has proven to be one of the most interesting places in the world to dive and see the rare thresher sharks in action.
This text is for information purposes only. It has been written by members of the website and can be inaccurate. Always contact local professional divers before diving.