Andrej Gajić usually dives alone. At night. In shallow, murky water. This is where and when he’ll find sharks.
Gajić is more than just a diver. He’s a National Geographic Explorer. He’s also a marine biologist. He wants to understand how pollution affects animals in the ocean, like sharks. To do this, he needs to work both in a lab and in the water.
Many of Gajić’s dives take place at Neum Bay. It’s on the Adriatic Sea. It’s a hotspot for sharks. It’s a good place to study these nocturnal creatures.
The water is muddy. It’s hard for him to see anything. He waits for his eyes to adjust. Then he sees them. Smoothound sharks swim in circles.
As they swim around him, he looks closely at their jaws and teeth. He looks at their gills and skin. Are these sharks healthy? Maybe.
Gajić looks at an unborn smoothound shark.
A lesser spotted dogfish rests on the seabed.
Sharks in the Adriatic
There are 33 species of sharks in the Adriatic Sea. Catsharks, smoothhounds, and dogfish are the most common. These sharks are small. They like to stay near the seafloor. Gajić can swim with them and study them.