Did you know that you are more likely to be killed by a toaster than by a shark? Its true! Toasters killed nearly 800 people in 2015. Sharks killed 6.
Also, please beware of vending machines, chairs and champagne corks, all of which are much more likely to be the cause of your untimely death, than a shark. Crazy right! So knowing this, are you going to stop buying chocolate, sitting down or drinking bubbly wine…? Of course not! That would be totally illogical and irrational….right?
So why, oh why, do we live in perpetual fear of being killed by a shark? That definitely is illogical and irrational!
I have no doubt that our negative mindset about sharks is caused by badly managed media coverage and hype, which revels in making sharks into the villain of the seas, out to get all us humans whenever we dare enter the ocean! Statistics prove that this is simply not true. More importantly, it is due to this irresponsible media coverage that we often fail to gain the public support needed for steps to be taken to protect sharks and ensure species survival.
The sad fact is that the true victim in all this is the shark.
Did you know that approximately 100 Million sharks are killed by humans each year?
Yes, ONE HUNDRED MILLION. That number still shocks me every time I read it. The reasons are that sharks are targeted for their valuable fins, for their meat or are caught as by-catch. This number is completely unsustainable and most species of sharks are now threatened with extinction or heading that way.
But its not all doom and gloom as we are now seeing more and more combined global efforts in shark research and conservation, which aim to combat the problem of overfishing for sharks.
In fact, CORE sea will soon be joining the team of international scientists and researchers collecting data for ‘Global FinPrint’ the largest shark and ray survey in the world, which launched in 2015. https://globalfinprint.org/
The aim of this research project is to provide an understanding of the distribution and abundance of sharks and rays associated with coral reefs throughout the region.
All information to come out of CORE sea’s surveys and data collection will be provided to local managers and key stakeholders to assist them with the management of Thailand’s sharks and rays. The broader results of the Global FinPrint Project will also allow the comparison of the distribution and abundance of sharks and rays in Thailand to those of other nations in the region as well as globally.
So on an end note, as the guys from CORE sea like to say, “Not all hope is gone!”
Ingrid is looking back at a long career in marine, and especially shark and elasmobranch conservation. After heading a successful project on Fiji, she is now in the process of setting up a extensive program in the Gulf of Thailand together with CORE sea.
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