Let’s Talk Sharks

Save our Sharks, no shark cull, no WA shark cull, healthy oceans, Support our sharks,
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might have noticed a slight shark obsession my family and I have going on.

Those who have known me for some time might have found this quite surprising because, in all honesty, I’ve not always been a shark lover.

As a teenager, living with my grandparents, I took my first bite into the misinformation we are fed in relation to sharks. It was the weekend and, somehow, I ended up watching Jaws – my nan must have fallen asleep in her chair, as she often did and I must have ‘forgotten’ to change the channel. Or, maybe, I just saw the ads, I can’t really remember.

The next day, we miraculously went to the beach for a picnic (it’s literally the only time it happened in the three years I lived there) and my Nan’s bestie and I took a dip. I was so keen. I’d been begging (and possibly whinging) to go to the beach for literally ever, so when I entered the water I was shocked to find myself experiencing an anxiety attack. Every shadow was questionable. Every piece of seaweed hid unmentionable dangers which wanted nothing more than to eat me alive.

And, at this point, I am going to put bets on me having only seen ads. If I’d seen the movie, surely I would have known there was no Jaws shark hiding in the seaweed…?

Save our Sharks, no shark cull, no WA shark cull, healthy oceans, Support our sharks, Manly Aquarium, Sea Life Manly Sanctuary, Lemon Shark
Fast forward a couple of (*cough*) years and I find myself with a shark loving child. We took  her to the aquarium and her just falling in love. Madly. Literally. I remember wondering what it was that appealed to her so and thinking it would be a passing phase, because nobody actually loves sharks, do they? Especially not a tiny little girl.

So, here’s me, having been fed a steady diet of ‘man eaters’ and ‘shark attacks’ with a child who is utterly obsessed with the creatures. I’ve seen the movies. Sharks are out there, in the Deep Blue Sea, just waiting to get their teeth into me. They are terrifying – all teeth and malice and ominous music. Soon, however, it became necessary to not only embrace Ellie’s love but to shift my fear induced views because, for her, it was not a fad or passing phase. She had seen something that day that so many others did not. Or could not because of what we’ve been told, I suppose.

It very quickly became apparent that nothing I thought I knew about sharks was true. I honestly believed they wanted to eat me. They don’t. I honestly believed they laid in wait, calculating and full of murderous intention. They don’t.

You see, not only do sharks not set out to eat people – we’re simply not on their diet list – but they don’t gluttonously eat in the manic feeding frenzy that is often portrayed and insinuated. In a month, we eat almost as much food as a shark, with them eating 60kgs of food a month while we eat 58 kilograms, and just as you and I don’t want to round out those kilos with something which isn’t appealing to us, neither do they.

Save our Sharks, no shark cull, no WA shark cull, healthy oceans, Support our sharks, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Shark Mission, Shark Mission Sea Life Sydney aquarium

Thanks to our Shark Mission tour we learnt a lot about Sharks

Seeing sharks in a new, untainted light has shifted not only my perception and beliefs but my fears as well. Of course, I would not want to be involved in a shark incident and, if I were to find myself in the water with one I would freak. If course I would. But, the irrational fear is gone. I can go in the water at the beach and let my children do the same (though, they barely go in ankle deep at the moment) knowing that, actually, there’s not a hateful beast just off shore wanting my blood. I know the times to avoid, I know the chance of shark attacks are slim and I take the risk being as informed as possible.

Now, when I look at sharks, I no longer feel overwhelming fear and disgust. I see beauty. I see them for what they truly are – amazing, beautiful, strong, important. Ellie’s passion has ignited mine and as we’ve learned and discovered more about them through her desire to discover and events at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, the rest of the family has followed. I have a deep desire to protect our sharks, they get a pretty raw deal. They keep our seas healthy. With no sharks we would end up with jellyfish. Just jellyfish. The oceans cannot survive without sharks doing their jobs. And we cannot survive without healthy oceans. All the while we speak monstrous traits over them which are not true, we fish them, we fin them. We cull them.

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I love that a tiny little girl has taught me to see things differently. As a rule, my perception of dangerous animals has changed and a more positive attitude has taken hold.

What have your kids taught you lately?

I ‘ve dedicated this week to sharks on the blog – there will be a review and some more pictures and so on, if you have a shark related post, I’d love you to let me know!

Linking up for #ibot

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4 Comments

  1. Honestly sharks don’t bother me. I grew up on the coast and never once was removed from the beach for a shark. I think they should just leave them alone.

    My son is fascinated by dragons. I never knew there was so much to know!

  2. My older sister is a diver, of 10 years, has swum with everything you can imagine, sharks, whale sharks, dolphins, turtles, whales, octupus etc etc she is the greenie of the family, well we all are really but she’s like Bruce off Nemo, fish are friends not food!!! Anyone, I’m all for stopping the cull. Cute first pic x

  3. I’ve grown up with crocodiles in every water way. Crocs are cunning, they do love to eat humans, and they will watch and wait and search for your weaknesses before attacking. Kind of makes sharks seem like puppy dogs in comparison really? 🙂
    Thanks for this post Becky. It’s good to have more information.

  4. I wouldn’t say I love sharks, but I couldn’t disagree more with the shark culling that is going on at the moment. I think it’s disgusting and makes us just as bad as the japanese whalers and the ones killing the dolphins. My son teaches me every day that I shouldn’t take things so seriously. x Aroha (for #teamIBOT)

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