Raising shark awareness
July 08, 2017 - 13:03
Posted in section:
As Shark Week comes up again, I have decided to expand my personal campaign to raise shark awareness, which began when the entire community of hundreds of sharks that I was studying, as animals and individuals, were finned for shark fin soup.
For 15 years, I spent my free time watching the actions of sharks underwater to learn about their behavior and their daily lives. During seven of those years, I kept track of over 600 individuals of which I could recognize 300 on sight, and wrote several scientific papers about them. No marine biologist has done comparable work and though more than a decade has passed since my study was done, it has never been duplicated.
Sharks (and fish) turned out to be more interesting, more varied, and in many cases, more beautiful, than the North American wildlife I had known. They were just as intelligent, and far more responsive to me. They were definitely more alert, and made decisions more quickly, than people. Sharks were the first wild animals I had met that came to me instead of fleeing. Although I had fed the birds all my life, they had never fluttered down around my shoulders when I went outside, or alighted in my hands to be stroked. But fish did.
So, it is especially sad to see how these remarkable submarine animals are considered and treated in our society, as being low, cold and not even capable of suffering pain. That is why I have been on a personal campaign ever since, to improve public awareness of their true natures, and why I have followed up the many articles I have written about them with a book describing The True Nature of Sharks, which will be released on 17 July 2017.
Now I am expanding my campaign and inviting others to join me in spreading the word about what these unusual and important animals are really like. Their intelligent awareness constitutes another reason to save them from extinction.
Fish and sharks are treated worse than any other animals, though they suffer just as much. Sharks have been cast by the media as monsters for horror shows and fishing tournaments for so long that the prejudice against them is not even recognized. People really believe that they behave the way they are shown on Shark Week. But they do not.
So, please join me in speaking out against the prejudice that has raised a barrier against their protection. I will be posting plenty of information and other material to share with your networks as the summer passes.
Donations, too, help enormously to spread the word about this campaign. A donation can be made at this link:
So please join this important cause, which is very late in coming, given the current status of sharks, and the fishing practices that are devastating our oceans--sharks and their relatives are in worse shape than any other vertebrate line. Many thanks in advance for your concern, and for your help.
With good wishes,