Trigger Attack

Written by Michael Zangerle on . Posted in Malaysia

After Peter’s first dive ended quite fast with his freeflow regulate, he decided to make a second dive. Since we had no guide registered, I was happy to do the dive with him.

Batu Layar was the dive site we choosed - one of our most beautiful dive sites.
Other colleagues told me already about a crazy triggerfish.

Some triggerfishes - e.g. the titan and the yellowmargin - are very aggressive during the nesting time. You have a funnel-shaped nest. Will you come too close to them, he pops up a trigger on his head as a sign for warning.

The diver should show the fish's fins and dive close to the ground away from the fish. If you are still in his territory he will attack you. As the fish is up to 75 cm large, it is pretty fast and has big teeth, one should be careful. Can be some nasty bites.

Some triggerfishes doesn’t have a nest and feel just annoyed from divers.

And so we went down looking forward to a relaxed dive. When I dived around a rock, I jumped back. Just one arm length away was a titan triggerfish. I first was surprised cause the fish was also puzzled.

Then I saw this change in his eyes and he popped up his trigger. I showed him the fins and tried go back fast, letting air out of my BCD to stay near the ground. But the trigger was totally crazy. He chased me almost one and a half minutes over the reef. My heart was racing and I was massively breathing through the regulator. It felt like breathing through a strew running a marathon.

Again and again he seemed to abandon, but then he changed his mind and chased again after me.
After we circled almost the half of the reef he finally let go. But where was Peter? I just wasn’t eager to swim in the direction of the trigger, but there was the place where I lost him. Then I saw a movement in the corner of my eyes.

Just b
ehind me was Peter: O) What a luck. Ha, that was an experience. It took me 10 minutes to regulate my breathing. Luckily I need almost no air, so the sprint still had not so much influence on my air consumption.

The dive was still phenomenal. An eating turtle, a blacktip, that circled us repeatedly, it was just fantastic..

Well that was a successful day - blowing off regulator and aggressive triggerfish.

Three days later at one of our fun dives at Seabell we had another crazy triggerfish – he bit one of our divers.
But this is really rare. Last year we had only one case, hopefully this year it stays with this one.