Ocean Ramsey’s existence is centered close to the sea. The daughter of a swimmer and a diver, Ramsey grew up in Hawaii and was released to the ocean at a younger age and immediately produced a passion for snorkeling and later, diving.
At age 7, Ramsey encountered her initial shark. With no preconceived notions, she did not working experience the dread that quite a few would on encountering an apex predator up close. Rather, she was fascinated. The formative working experience established the trajectory for her life’s work.
Today, Ramsey interacts with sharks on a each day basis. She has labored with over 32 distinct species close to the earth and devotes her time to shark study and conservation. She is also the co-founder of A single Ocean, a Hawaii-dependent study and dive procedure that can take website visitors on pelagic free-diving excursions in which they have the prospect to face sharks up close, in the wild.
With constrained know-how compounded by Hollywood portrayals of sharks as vicious predators, quite a few individuals dread sharks and, in switch, the ocean. When sharks ought to definitely be highly regarded, there is far more to them than just a toothy grin a deadly bite. Below, Ramsey shares widespread misconceptions about sharks and the finest techniques for keeping secure in the sea.
MEN’S JOURNAL: What are widespread misconceptions about sharks?
OCEAN RAMSAY: Popular misconceptions are if you pee in the water, they are likely to observe you down and go following you. If you have a reduce, they are likely to odor it and go following you. If a shark sees you, it’s likely to go following you. That they try to eat just about anything.
Naturally those things are not real. Sharks swim by individuals all working day each and every working day and they select not to attack—we know that from tag facts and drone footage. I swim with them all working day, each and every working day. And supplied the prospect, if they can distinguish us from a purely natural prey item, and they are not in a starved-kind affliction or they are not competing with every other, they are not likely to go following us.
There are a lot less than 10 human fatalities, globally, every yr. On the other aspect, 70-a hundred million sharks are killed every yr mainly just for their fins.
What are some ways individuals can take to remain secure?
Evaluate environmental circumstances. Really do not swim, surf, dive, or engage in in the water correct in front of a river mouth or harbor mouth. Keep away from swimming, splashing, and browsing close to fishing piers or any place in which you see a person fishing. Also, just steer clear of splashing on the area in general try to limit sound. If you’re a swimmer, continuously search around—when I’m swimming, I like to scan beneath my arm and search again behind me and from time to time halt and switch.
What ought to you do if you face a shark?
The initial issue you ought to do is search at it and face it—not just glance at it but truly face your body towards it. Sharks connect with body language so you truly want to make it distinct to the shark that you see it. Then you ought to prolong your fins or GoPro or just about anything you have towards the shark to have anything that is a non-human appendage to prolong your individual place cushion.
If it’s a really huge personal, potentially on the brink of hunger (this is really rare), it may perhaps go on to arrive closer and bump or bite your fins or your GoPro. At this place, you would want to set your hand on major of its head. You never want to switch your again to them, you never want to splash, and you never want to swim away quickly—just slowly but surely again away. But normally just dealing with them, seeking at them, putting your fins towards them, and standing your ground is ample for them to arrive up and then switch off to the aspect.
What advice would you offer to a person who is concerned of sharks?
Arrive diving with me! Get over that dread and never allow it hold you again in existence. My parents usually stated, “If you never recognize anything, lose light-weight on it and find out as considerably as you can about it.” I imagine that when individuals find out about things, they can superior enjoy them. Which is important for conservation because when individuals recognize and enjoy sharks, they are far more probable to assist defend them.
How do you wish individuals perceived sharks?
I wish that individuals appeared at sharks as just as important as dolphins and whales. Sharks are in essence like the medical doctors of the ocean culture. And they will need to be shielded because they hold disorders from spreading, and they affect all of the reduce trophic-level populations. Hollywood emphasizes sharks as monsters, but they are not. They are apex predators, but they are the most polite predators, the most intelligent predators, and individuals never give them credit for that. And they are truly important for marine ecosystems.
What is anything most individuals never know about sharks?
Sharks have a entire social hierarchy and body language. And every personal has its very own disposition and temperament, aka identity. Often individuals are astonished to comprehend that they have a language it’s just a body language—kind of like signal language versus French.
— Locate out far more at A single Ocean, and observe Ramsey on Instagram.
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