Ocean Ramsey’s existence is centered around the sea. The daughter of a swimmer and a diver, Ramsey grew up in Hawaii and was launched to the ocean at a youthful age and rapidly made a enthusiasm for snorkeling and later on, diving.
At age 7, Ramsey encountered her very first shark. With no preconceived notions, she did not experience the panic that numerous would upon encountering an apex predator up near. In its place, she was fascinated. The formative experience set the trajectory for her life’s get the job done.
Nowadays, Ramsey interacts with sharks on a every day basis. She has labored with about 32 distinctive species around the world and devotes her time to shark research and conservation. She is also the co-founder of 1 Ocean, a Hawaii-centered research and dive operation that requires guests on pelagic absolutely free-diving tours wherever they have the possibility to encounter sharks up near, in the wild.
With restricted information compounded by Hollywood portrayals of sharks as vicious predators, numerous people panic sharks and, in convert, the ocean. Even though sharks must certainly be respected, there is a lot more to them than just a toothy grin a deadly bite. Right here, Ramsey shares typical misconceptions about sharks and the ideal tactics for keeping risk-free in the sea.
MEN’S JOURNAL: What are typical misconceptions about sharks?
OCEAN RAMSAY: Typical misconceptions are if you pee in the drinking water, they’re going to monitor you down and go just after you. If you have a slash, they’re going to odor it and go just after you. If a shark sees you, it’s going to go just after you. That they consume anything at all.
Of course these matters are not legitimate. Sharks swim by people all working day just about every working day and they pick not to attack—we know that from tag information and drone footage. I swim with them all working day, just about every working day. And provided the possibility, if they can distinguish us from a organic prey item, and they’re not in a starved-variety problem or they’re not competing with every single other, they’re not going to go just after us.
There are considerably less than ten human fatalities, globally, every single yr. On the other aspect, 70-a hundred million sharks are killed every single yr primarily just for their fins.
What are some measures people can choose to continue to be risk-free?
Evaluate environmental ailments. Never swim, surf, dive, or participate in in the drinking water ideal in entrance of a river mouth or harbor mouth. Stay clear of swimming, splashing, and surfing around fishing piers or any where wherever you see anyone fishing. Also, just stay clear of splashing on the area in basic try out to lower noise. If you are a swimmer, continuously glimpse around—when I’m swimming, I like to scan beneath my arm and glimpse back driving me and sometimes halt and convert.
What must you do if you encounter a shark?
The very first matter you must do is glimpse at it and face it—not just glance at it but essentially face your overall body towards it. Sharks connect with overall body language so you actually want to make it clear to the shark that you see it. Then you must increase your fins or GoPro or anything at all you have towards the shark to have a thing that is a non-human appendage to increase your personalized place cushion.
If it’s a quite massive specific, potentially on the brink of starvation (this is quite scarce), it may well carry on to appear closer and bump or bite your fins or your GoPro. At this stage, you would want to put your hand on top rated of its head. You never want to convert your back to them, you never want to splash, and you never want to swim absent quickly—just bit by bit back absent. But normally just facing them, hunting at them, putting your fins towards them, and standing your ground is ample for them to appear up and then convert off to the aspect.
What suggestions would you offer you to anyone who is worried of sharks?
Arrive diving with me! Get about that panic and never enable it maintain you back in existence. My mother and father always reported, “If you never have an understanding of a thing, get rid of light on it and master as considerably as you can about it.” I think that when people master about matters, they can superior value them. That is critical for conservation because when people have an understanding of and value sharks, they’re a lot more most likely to support protect them.
How do you desire people perceived sharks?
I desire that people looked at sharks as just as critical as dolphins and whales. Sharks are basically like the medical doctors of the ocean modern society. And they have to have to be secured because they keep health conditions from spreading, and they effect all of the lessen trophic-amount populations. Hollywood emphasizes sharks as monsters, but they’re not. They are apex predators, but they are the most polite predators, the most clever predators, and people never give them credit score for that. And they are actually critical for maritime ecosystems.
What is a thing most people never know about sharks?
Sharks have a full social hierarchy and overall body language. And every single specific has its individual disposition and temperament, aka temperament. Occasionally people are surprised to understand that they have a language it’s just a overall body language—kind of like indication language as opposed to French.
— Obtain out a lot more at 1 Ocean, and follow Ramsey on Instagram.
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