Wall of Sharks, Thousands of Groupers & More in French Polynesia

A Photo Essay from Bluewater Photo's Fakarava & Rangiroa Workshop
By Scott Gietler


A Wall of Sharks, Thousands of Spawning Grouper, Napolean Wrasse & More in French Polynesia

Photo Essay from Bluewater Photo's Fakarava and Rangiroa Workshop

Text and Photos By Scott Gietler


Blacktip sharks in Fakarava.



The Bluewater Photo workshop at Fakarava & Rangiroa this month was a huge success. The trip was timed for the annual Fakarava grouper spawning.  Not only did we find the thousands of spawning groupers we were looking for, but we found the infamous wall of sharks as well. There's nothing like swimming next to hundreds of gray reef sharks.

Fakarava was awesome, and Rangiroa was also great, with Silvertip sharks, barracuda, dolphins, and plenty of gray reef sharks.

I shot the photos below with a Nikon D7000 in Sea & Sea housing with dual YS-D1 strobes, and a Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens.

We are running a trip to Fakarava and Rangiroa at the same time next year in late June / early July, timed again for the amazing grouper spawning. Please email info@bluewaterdivetravel.com for more info about this awesome trip!


Fakarava & Rangiroa Photo Essay


The wall of sharks in Fakarava. 108 sharks in this photo! We saw this school on several dives.


Napolean Wrasse in Fakarava. There were several Napoleans that hung out near our resort.


A school of fish under the restaurant pier in Fakarava.


A large school of groupers in Fakarava, getting ready to spawn.


Two eagle rays make a very close pass.


A feeding gray reef shark passes through a school of fish in Fakarava, taken during the grouper spawning. The fuseliers feed on the grouper eggs.


Another feeding gray reef shark in Fakarava. Shot by Carolyn Wang with the Nauticam Olympus E-M1 Housing.


Workshop guest Carolyn Wang models above a colorful reef in Fakarava, in shallow water.


Napolean Wrasse feeding in shallow water in Fakarava. This was a lucky shot - I didn't even know their mouth came out like that!


Napolean wrasse surveys the reef with a shark in the distance in Fakarva.


A gray reef shark swims above in Rangirao.


Shark and sunball in Rangiroa.


There's more than just sharks in French Polynesia.


Silvertip sharks and fish in Rangiroa.


Dolphins swim by in Rangiroa.


Barracuda school under a sunball in Rangiroa.



How to see with these sharks

Please contact Scott at scott@bluewaterdivetravel.com for more info on the best way to dive with these sharks in French Polynesia, including when to go, where to stay, and what gear to bring.


Where is the diving?

View our interactive French Polynesia scuba diving map to see exactly where these dives take place.



About the Author

Scott Gietler is the owner of Bluewater Photo, Bluewater Travel and the Underwater Photography Guide. He enjoys helping others learn underwater photography online, in the store and during international photo trips he attends with customers.


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