By Olivia Taylor
In the spirit of engaging young people who are involved in conservation, please see below a third blog from Olivia Taylor who is giving her own perspective on shark conservation in South Africa.
The first time you see a shark in open water and all you have on is a skimpy costume, diving fins and a mask, it feels as though your heart has literally stopped beating. But after the initial shock has worn off you start to notice how beautifully it moves in the water and how, in fact, it is just curious and a little afraid. The misconception of the" man-eating” shark has just about driven it into extinction.
My school, Durban Girls’ College in South Africa, had the incredible privilege of having Julie Anderson, an internationally renowned conservationist and TV personality, fly up from Cape Town to speak to us. Although she was very well received, many people were initially sceptical when they heard that she was going to be speaking about sharks: once Julie explained their role in regulating the planet's largest and most important ecosystem, people's perspectives changed.
Approximately 73 million sharks are killed every year for shark fin soup. A huge number of organisations are trying to stop this mass slaughter, and to address the growing consumer demand for shark fin.
What are some easy things you can do to save sharks? Click here to find out more!