Great white sharks are not the monsters we humans have made them out to be. This is beautifully illustrated in an amazing video of Ocean Ramsey, shark biologist, diver, and conservationist, swimming with and even touching the largest great white ever seen.

In this unique underwater excursion, Ramsey spent many peaceful moments swimming with Deep Blue, the largest known great white, as she and other animals fed from the carcass of a sperm whale off of Oahu, Hawaii last Sunday. Deep Blue was first discovered in 2013 measuring over 20 feet in length and 8 feet in height. She was measured and tagged off the shores of Guadalupe, Mexico. Biologists were not surprised to see her in the waters of Hawaii as great whites travel thousands of miles through open ocean to feeding grounds.

Ramsey stresses in her social media posts that sharks are not monsters. Though she does not recommend jumping into the water with a great white and urges the public to give all sharks distance and respect, she uses her experience and love for the animals to promote education and conservation.

Indeed, many sharks and other animals have died at the careless hands of people posing for selfies or otherwise meddling with wildlife — so it’s important to remember to leave wildlife handling to the experts.

Threats to Sharks

Shark fins are in high demand for a traditional soup popular in China. Shark finning is a brutal practice where sharks are caught, their fins cut off, and thrown back into the water, often still alive only to sink and suffocate. Being caught in fishing nets meant to capture other species as bycatch, sharks become tangled or hooked and die from suffocation, injuries, or stress. Bycatch is also a threat to other fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles. Sharks are especially susceptible to decreases in their population as they only give birth to one or two offspring at a time.

 

Hundreds of Sharks Discovered Trapped in Deadly Gill Nets

Sharks have gotten a bad rap over the years. But it is possible to feel compassion for animals even as we fear them or wish to keep our distance. As climate change and pollution threaten the ocean, sharks along with other sea life are fighting an increasingly difficult battle and deserve action from humans.

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