conservationists ocean ramsay and lesley rochat are filmed swimming with sharks in order to help dispel myths concerning the public’s perception of the animal, and to raise awareness regarding their diminishing numbers in the wild.
says ramsey, “it’s difficult to express the incredible joy and breathtaking emotion experienced …watching the shark acknowledge and observe me, while i peacefully and calmly allowed it to swim towards me, and then experiencing it accepting my touch, allowing me to dorsal and tail ride.”
she adds, “given the number of surfers and swimmers who frequent shark territory in low visibility often dressed in black wetsuits or floating on surfboards portraying a seal like silhouette, it is a huge testament to sharks sensory systems and intelligence that mistaken identity bite ‘attacks’ are so rare.”
in fact, as rochat notes, only five people on average are killed by sharks every year, which is less than number of people killed each year by faulty toasters or falling off chairs. in contrast, approximately 70 million sharks killed each year by humans.
“it’s important for me to walk my talk and show people that sharks aren’t monster man eaters with insatiable appetites for humans, but rather beautiful animals we ought to respect and protect,” rochat says. “they really are baldly misunderstood and need all the help they can get.” (x, x, x)