Jaws did nothing good for the sharks reputation, as if we needed any more fear imbedded into our human minds. Hollywood put our prehistoric ocean food chain leader along side the likes of Freddy, Jason and hell raiser, thus doing some unrepairable damage to this awesome creatures reputation. Now us surfers, swimmers, ocean and creature lovers have to battle with all the media hype circulating the big fishes future and daily weigh up whether or not its worth entering the water. My governments plan….Culling, in other words, hunt, kill and throw over board.
Could you imagine the block buster we could make on all the devastation we are currently performing every second to our ocean and its inhabitants?
The great white shark has been around for millions of years and is the primary predator of marine mammals. They are curious, intelligent and fast becoming a prime target to human ignorance. I don’t know if you have heard, i certainly have, every single day, but here in west Australia we have got ourselves in a little bit of a sticky situation. Over the last few years great whites have been a protected species in our waters, also in the last few years we have dramatically increased our tuna, salmon and the mass catchment of smaller fish. See the imbalance? You don’t have to be a genius.
I am not a science professor and i am not a political activist but i know whats right and wrong in the circle of life. I know violence doesn’t fix violence and teaching our younger generations that to fix a problem in the Eco system you cant go and mass murder innocent life to even up some numbers. The repercussions of doing so i feel could really effect our future ocean harmony. There have been 5 fatal shark attacks in 1 year in my state and everyone has their own ideas as to how to amend the devastation of these attacks, and justice to everyone involved.
I sit out in the water alone often, the crowds int he surf have definitely thinned out. I contemplate my fragile life in the powerful sea an how i may attempt to fight off an ocean monster that my be hungry or how i could possibly stay calm when faced with such a mighty beautiful beast. I have gone over and over a few things that i say to my friends both humorous, very true, but always sensitive to those who have had bad experiences with sharks. I often do surf coaching and lessons so below is a few things I share with my students and acquaintances to reassure them they are as safe as possible.
* Wear a shark guard. (An electric pulse that sometimes wards off sharks but is dangerous in groups for those not wearing one.)
* Don’t eat or kill sharks. (Karma, I dont eat them, they dont eat me)
* Be more conscious about where you get your sea food from. (Mass nets that wipe out whole Eco systems as they collect fish)
* Surf in large groups. (Crowds can be a good thing sometimes)
* Avoid over cast days. (go for a run)
* Carry a diving knife on your leg. (this is for total nuts)
* Don’t let your dog sleep on your wetsuit. (The smell is like shark candy)
* Don’t pee or bleed in your suit. (I always pee its almost impossible not too in a 3 hour session and I’m still breathing)
* Don’t surf when its whale migration season. (sharks eat whales)
* Don’t wear shiny jewelry it can simulate fish scales. (keep the bling minimal)
* Don’t surf if there is a dead animal on the beach. (you’ll smell it and so will the sharks)
* Choose another spot if there is a seal colony near by. (Seals are sharks favorite meal)
* Invent a shark repellent that actually works (you’ll be rich)
* Get in the water later and get out of the water sooner. (Dusk and dawn are feeding times and you can sometimes look like an entree)
* Fishing boats leave a trail of death behind them and always attract sharks, keep an eye our for them (surf another day )
* Tag the sharks (get a GPS and suss out where there are at all times)
Not to encourage paranoia, honestly i don’t carry weapons when i surf and i do all the above on a constant basis just because i choose not to live in fear and i do what i want weighing up the consequences. I feel after my life on tour and flying so much i was more likely to die from stress or travel then a shark attack.
I refuse to let a small problem in the larger scale of life take away the bliss that the ocean gives me.
Us humans tend to think we are superior then everything else on earth, justifying at times our irreversible trauma to the environment. We need to wake up and realise that the time is now to make a change every day to stand up for what is right. Every action has a reaction, the leaders of our community need to work together to come to a scientific and beneficial plan how to restore balance to our waters. Tag, ask questions, preach, teach, stand up for what you believe in.
An eye for an eye would leave the whole world blind. No species great or small deserves the threat of extinction.
Here are some pics i would like to share to keep the situation light hearted….
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