Sharks are insanely powerful creature that has been deemed as nothing more than flesh craving, blood thirsty animals. The media has ignored their beauty and strength and infected the community with lies shaping them nothing more than merciless man eaters.
In reality sharks have no true desire for the taste of human flesh, it’s the blubbery meat of a seal or the shell of turtle that their tongue desires. A case of mistaken identity is to blame for attacks on humans, the similarity of the black blob floating on the surface and the not so impressive eye sight of the sharks that take the bite.
Statistically speaking when compared to the average deaths caused by sharks you have a higher chance of being killed by: Hotdogs, Mosquitoes, lightning, airplanes, bathtubs, vending machines, and dogs. You are even 30x more likely to be killed by a falling coconut.
I’ll let that sink in for a moment…
As an avid scuba diver I have swam with sharks on countless occasions over the last four years and watched in awe as sharks paid me no mind swimming within touching distance. I have also been on two shark feedings, where they actually bait the sharks to attract large numbers of them and was amazed with the proximity and sat completely motionless watching these beautiful creatures swim around and bump into me.
Thanks to the media there is this overbearing fear imbedded into peoples minds, I personally know people who are terrified of the ocean for this very reason. Movies such as Jaws, Deep Blue Sea and more recently The Shallows have created a stigma attached to sharks that couldn’t be further from the truth.
My dream is to break that stigma; for people to realize the true importance of one of the most powerful creatures in the deep and to see their vital role in the eco system. As apex predators, sharks role in the eco system of maintaining fish populations proportions and removing the weak and sick while balancing competitors to ensure species diversity is extremely important.
There is an absolutely horrid attack on sharks as we speak; humans kill anywhere from 73 to 100 million sharks each year, where on average 80 people are attacked by sharks globally yearly only around 11 being fatal. The difference is absolutely unbelievable.
Most sharks killed yearly are done strictly for their fins, a popular Asian dish, shark fin soup, the main attraction. Because the bodies of sharks take so much space, most fishing vessels will catch, slice off the fins and toss the shark’s body back into the water to drown. What absolutely infuriates me is the fact that sharks fins have nearly no flavor to them, most soups are flavored with chicken or beef broth.
Submerging myself into the world of shark conservation and becoming an advocate for the well being of these creatures has been a journey and I’m no where near as involved as I’d like to be. I am excited to see their conservation becoming more of a common topic, and plan on involving myself more and more.
My words to anyone with an inkling of a fear towards the ocean or these beautiful creatures is to reevaluate the reasoning behind your fear, to not use media as a resource and to actually look into the facts when it comes to these for misunderstood creatures.
Sharks are extremely powerful; humans must remember that they are entering the ocean not on the top of the food chain, we must respect these dominant creatures. We must realize that we NEED sharks in our oceans and actively admit that we are what is endangering our eco system by this brutal attack against them. You do not have to fall in love with sharks, like many scuba divers do, but you should know that they are absolutely needed in our ocean.
If we allow shark finning to continue, we are condemning sharks to extinction.
To help support an amazing cause, check out Respect The Fin, an organization that I’ve watched from the very beginning who has blossomed into an amazing organization.
Or on Instagram
Travel on my friends.