Awareness

Sharkprotect

Worldwide
  • Main problem:
    Shark extinction
  • Subproblem:
    Illegal fishing, shark finning
  • Consequence:
    Need for education & awareness
  • Solution:
    Awareness through education

"Wenn I talk about how sharks can express feelings most people think that I am crazy.
I cannot prove it scientifically but I can feel it and I quite often have seen it. After I saw my first shark from the inside of a cage and fell in love with that majestic and graceful predator. On that day I was standing in a cage, had only bee diving for 3 years and was at an age where other people think about getting their third teeth and go into retirement. But I did not think of either of those things. I was suddenly only interested in sharks and my life changed completely, or should I say: "My life was turned upside down"?


I decided to help save those wonderful animals from extinction. Extinction is forever and when I started to read every book I could find about sharks I learned that many of the shark species were already at the brink of extinction, despite the important role they had to play in the ocean. I also promised myself to swim with them outside of a cage.At the time a German organization was holding courses on sharks in general and about how to behave in the case one would encounter a shark while swimming in the ocean. So I flew to Freeport, Bahamas, and after 2 days of the theoretical part of the course we went on a  boat to practice what we had learned. This was the moment of truth. When we arrived at the reef everybody was happy and jumped into the water while I was thinking  whether or not I should do this at my age. I finally I decided not to be a sissy and I also jumped in and descended as well. When I got down I saw the sharks and I was glad that they did not pay any attention to me. But suddendly one of them seemed to find me interesting and he came straight at me from my left. I was quite scared but there was very little I could do about it.
I thought: "If it is true that only stupid people don't get scared I must be highly intelligent" The shark then swam about 5 feet beside me and suddenly I was totally calm. This shark radiated such a calmness, that I lost all the fear I had until then. I suddenly felt an affection to this animal like I never had before except to my horse and my dog. This was the first moment when I felt a special feeling for this animal that I did not even know. It was very strange but during that dive something happened to me which I have felt since that day and which is still with me today, 17 years later.One day I was diving at Tiger Beach, Bahamas, when I asked my friend Wolfgang to take a photo of me while I was swimming straight through a group of lemon sharks behind the boat. It was a wonderful feeling and the sharks did not mind. Suddenly somebody from the boat threw a piece of fish into the water which came down right behind me. The sharks all rushed toward to get it and one of them hit me full speed with her nose in my kidney. It hurt like hell and I swallowed a lot of water but otherwise nothing bad happened. The photo came out very nicely, as you can see."Tiger Beach", where I also met Emma, the mostly photographed tiger shark in the world, quickly became my favorite Dive site. From "Tiger Beach" it was not far to another dive site called "Fish Tales". We used to go there when the weather was not good and the visibility was bad. Those are days when one should not dive with sharks but it was our last day of that trip and I went down at Fish Tales for one last dive. While I was standing on a little sandy area, thinking which way to go, I felt something touching very slightly against my leg. I looked down and could see a young tiger shark, who was obviously looking for company.

One day I was diving at Tiger Beach, Bahamas, when I asked my friend Wolfgang to take a photo of me while I was swimming straight through a group of lemon sharks behind the boat.
It was a wonderful feeling and the sharks did not mind. Suddenly somebody from the boat threw a piece of fish into the water which came down right behind me. The sharks all rushed toward it, trying  to get it and one of them hit me full speed with her nose in my kidney. It hurt like hell and I swallowed a lot of water but otherwise nothing bad happened. The photo came out very nicely, as you can see.
"Tiger Beach", where I also met Emma, the mostly photographed tiger shark in the world, quickly became my favorite Dive site. From "Tiger Beach" it was not far to another dive site called "Fish Tales". We used to go there when the weather was not good and the visibility was bad. Those are days when one should not dive with sharks but it was our last day of that trip and I went down at Fish Tales for one last dive. While I was standing on a little sandy area, thinking which way to go, I felt something bouncing very slightly against my leg. I looked down and could see a young tiger shark. We started to play catch and seek and I was sad, that I did not have more time to continue to play with this friendly shark."   Jupp Kerckerinck

Photo Credits by: ©Jupp
http://sharkprotect.de/de/







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