An eye-opening presentation was held at the Horse and Groom, Linby, for the Rotary Club of Hucknall’s first meeting of the new year.
Brendon Sing and Lisa Ward-Sing addressed Hucknall Rotarians about Shark and Marine conservation in what was the best attended club meeting for a long while.
Due largely to the film ‘Jaws’, sharks tend to be misunderstood and are perceived as a threat and a real danger.
Brendon and Lisa founded the charity Shark Guardian in 2013 to try and educate about the importance of sharks in the ecosystem.
The Shark Guardian presentation was an interesting and very educational evening. Using a variety of multimedia slides and videos, the club learnt that there are over 500 species of sharks known in the world, and 30 species of sharks found in UK waters. Sharks are to the ocean, what Lions are to the jungle. Research has shown that waters where sharks populate also generate other forms of marine life and produces much needed oxygen. Parts of the ocean without any Shark presence also tend to be devoid of any other life forms. So the role of sharks in their natural environment is vital to our own survival. There are more recorded deaths caused by the misuse of toasters than caused by shark attacks.
Despite the portrayal in films such as ‘Jaws’, very few humans are attacked. When they are, it is often a case of mistaken identity as Shark Guardian demonstrated how, from below, the silhouette of a person on a surfboard would appear to the shark very similar to their natural prey of a seal or turtle. Usually, if a surfer is attacked, the shark quickly realises their mistake and moves away.
While many of us have learned to fear sharks, they’re the ones who should fear us. People are sharks’ biggest predator. In fact, humans kill more than 73 million sharks annually.
As a result, many shark species are endangered. Shark fin fishing is a huge problem that is decimating the populace and having an impact on the ocean’s ecosystem.
Reproduction and gestation periods are also quite lengthy which means that the shark population isn’t seeing natural biological growth.
The message from Shark Guardian is that in ‘Saving Our Sharks – We Save Ourselves.’
After the meeting club president Ian Young said: “Until tonight, I never realised the role that sharks play in the system of things.
“Brendon and Lisa and their team are doing an amazing job raising awareness to the plight of sharks which has to be addressed.”
In the first year of Shark Guardian, over 20,000 people have seen a presentation made by the charity.Further details can be found at www.sharkguardian.org/