|Common Name||Giant Barracuda|
Barracudas and Humans
Like sharks, some species of barracuda are reputed to be dangerous to swimmers. They are scavengers, and may mistake snorkellers for large predators, following them in hopes of eating the remains of their prey. Swimmers have been reported being bitten by barracuda, but such incidents are rare and possibly caused by poor visibility. Barracuda generally avoid muddy shallows, so attacks in surf are more likely to be by small sharks. Barracudas may mistake things that glint and shine for prey. An incident of a barracuda jumping out of water and injuring a kayaker has been reported, but a marine biologist at the University of Florida said the type of wound appeared to have rather been caused by a houndfish.
Handfeeding or touching large barracuda in general is to be avoided. Spearfishing around barracudas can also be dangerous, as they are quite capable of ripping a chunk from a wounded fish thrashing on a spear.
Diamond rings and other shiny objects have been known to catch their attention and resemble prey to them. Caution should be taken when swimming near mangrove coastlines by covering or removing such items.