2 years ago, I signed @jblumthal
& I up for the @oneoceandiving
Pelagic Shark Dive in hopes that it would help him conquer his fear of the ocean so he might share my passion. I did not expect it to completely change my perspective on this planet, the role I play, & an entire species the way it did. This year, I was lucky enough to do it again & I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience.
You shouldn’t be scared of a world with sharks, you should be scared of a world without them. Without sharks, our ocean ecosystem would collapse… & that is not an exaggeration. The scary fact is that in the last 10 years, the shark population has declined by 90% due to commercial fishing for their meat & as bycatch alone. Shark fins are particularly sought after for what is considered a delicacy in Asia, shark fin soup. Most fisherman prefer the act of “shark finning” rather than bring the whole shark back to shore because the fins are worth substantially more. This involves catching the shark, cutting off their fins & throwing them back into the ocean while they are still alive… leaving them to slowly die of suffocation & blood loss. You may say you don’t like sharks, but how do you feel about killing elephants for their ivory tusks? Shark finning is the marine equivalent, but just with different implications to their extinction.
Do I think this is awesome? Yes. Do I feel cool responding “Yes!” When people ask, “... you swam with sharks?” - of course I do. However, the conversation I am able to lead into is what actually fuels my desire to share the photos & videos in the first place. The conversation about not only #SharkConservation
, but all of the eye-opening things I’ve learned since being introduced to this crucially important topic & taking care of our oceans, planet in general & all of the creatures that call it home.
One of the first things I thought was, “being over 800 miles from the nearest ocean, what can I do to help?” The answer? A HELL OF A LOT! To name a few… avoid single use plastic, be smart about the products you use & how they are made/where they come from, educate yourself, get involved, & spread the word! Follow @oneoceanconservation
to learn more!