Why fall in love with the iconic thresher shark? Read on!

CEBU CITY, Philippines—How can you not be captivated by an elusive creature with an iconic feature?

In this read, let’s get to know why one should be mesmerized by one of the underwater treasures, the thresher sharks.

According to Fra-and Quimpo, a marine biologist and awarded photographer from Cagayan de Oro City, thresher sharks are  “one of the most unique and iconic-looking sharks in the world.”

thresher shark

NATIONAL ‘THRESHERS’? A Thresher shark seen in the waters of Malapascua Island in Cebu. | FQuimpo Imaging

“With their distinctive long tail, these shy and elusive deep-dwelling predators, although circumtropical in distribution, are rarely seen, except as bycatch or if one ventures into remote atolls in the world,” said Quimpo in a post on his Facebook page.


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But here in Cebu, these sharks could be found in the waters of Malapascua Island, in the northern tip of the province island.  The island is known to be the diving haven in Cebu with thresher sharks as its muse.

In his recent dive in Malapascua, Quimpo added new photos to his collection of the majestic thresher shark.

Characteristics of thresher sharks

Along with his photos, Quimpo shared his fascination with the sharks.

He listed down three characteristics that make these creatures a rare but beautiful find.

He said these sharks are deep sea species rarely encountered in the shallows, except in the Philippines. They have unique and iconic long tails that no other sharks possess and are one of the fastest predators in the ocean.

thresher shark

PICTURE PERFECT. Divers take photos of a thresher shark in Malapascua Island, Cebu. | FQuimpo Imaging

Thresher sharks as national fish?

As a lover of the marine life, Quimpo shared his opinion on why he thinks thresher sharks should also be considered to be the country’s national fish.

“I have nothing against the bangus as our national fish, but it is a fish that is cultured for food, has no endearing trait that we can relate to, and as an organism is at the low trophic level (bottom-feeder if you want a clearer term). But the thresher shark, the thresher shark belongs to the Order Lamniformes commonly known as the mackerel sharks where the legendary great white shark belongs. The heritage of greatness is there, sans the aggressive characteristic of its more famous cousin and that is what we Filipinos are, I believe,” he said in his post.

thresher shark

A thresher shark amid a school of fish in the waters of Malapascua Island in Cebu. | FQuimpo Imaging

“We are a proud but unaggressive (or humble) race. The warrior’s blood of Lapulapu (figuratively speaking) runs in our veins and yet we have this distinct character of being friendly and welcoming, just like the thresher sharks. And how cool would it be, if we had one of the most unique and iconic-looking sharks as a national figure?”

Thresher sharks offer more than just thrills to divers. They hold a special allure for anyone fascinated by the ocean’s gentle giants.

Their presence enriches not only the diving experience, but also deepens our understanding and appreciation of the marine world.

Have you seen these beautiful sharks in Cebu? Share with us your pictures and experiences!

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