Diving Regulations in French Polynesia

Diving regulations within French Polynesia differ slightly from many areas of the world. Please note the following:

• Open Water and Advanced Open Water divers (or equivalent) are limited to 30m/100ft maximum, regardless of whether you carry the Deep Diver Specialty.

• Rescue Divers and above are permitted beyond 30m/100ft to a maximum of 40m/131ft.

Please note that there are regular checks by the local authorities that these limits are being adhered to. Therefore, our guides will be very strict with implementing them.

Have you already booked a trip with us to French Polynesia or are thinking to kick your bucket list? Then, we highly recommend you to enroll on a Rescue Diving course, if you do not want to miss Tiputa Pass and its famous wall of sharks! 😉


Here is a list of the deepest dives (over 30 m/100ft):


Sharks_French_Polynesia Napoleon_wrasse

Tiputa Pass – Pass dives – Dropping in at the outer edge divers can hook in to the reef wall and watch the amazing shark display. Hammerheads, tiger shark and huge schools of grey reef shark are the main draw. Drift on the incoming tide through The Canyons, where schools of big eyes hang out and mantas can be seen hanging in the cross current. End the dive at Shark Cave where white tips typically come to rest. Other common fish species are grouper and Napoleon wrasse.


Grouper_Spawning  Silky_-Shark_French_Polynesia01

Garaue Pass – Pass dive – The northernmost channel of Fakarava atoll and, arguably, the best site in the region for consistent shark sightings. The pass itself is 1600m wide and should only be dived at slack water due to the very strong currents. Starting at the outer wall we encounter the huge “wall of sharks” where hundreds of greys congregate. Black tip, white tip, hammerhead, tiger, silky and oceanic white tip are amongst the other species seen. Napoleon wrasse, surgeon fish and the typical schools of big eyes and yellow snapper swarm over the reefs, joined by turtles, morays and lionfish. In June and July, large numbers of grouper aggregate to spawn, a truly spectacular sight. Manta rays also regularly visit this area.

Tumakohua Pass – Pass dive – The southern pass of Fakarava is just as dramatic as the north, though only 200m across, it can be dived with both incoming and outgoing tides. Big schools of grey reef sharks can be seen in the deeper water whilst along the shallower reef black tip sharks dart about. Manta rays and leopard whiprays are also frequently seen.



 Wall_of_Sharks_French_Polynesia01  ButterflyFish_French_Polynesia01

The Hammerhead Sentinel
– Ocean Dive – Named for the Scalloped Hammerheads that can be spotted here, this site offers a quandary for the photographer. Whilst there is always the chance of Hammerheads, as well as Grey Reef and other shark species, the macro life here is amazing too! Multiple dives will offer the chance to break out your lens collection to see dragon eels, boxer crabs and various Nudibranchs.


The Shark Hole – Ocean dive – Diving down a vertical break in the reef brings you through schooling sharks onto even bigger schools of snapper. The archway is adorned with anemones.

If you haven’t booked your trip yet, we still have very few spaces left! Contact us today to know the available dates!


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Most Popular

Subscribe to our Newsletter

No spam. Just notifications and information about new products, travel updates, trip offers and diving articles.

Our Destinations