Shark Conservationist and Researcher

Learn how to minimize chances of an adverse shark encounter as well as critical information about shark behavior, shark personalities, shark language, what to do in the unlikely event of a shark bite, and more in 20-plus video lessons in Ocean Ramsey’s Guide to Sharks and Safety. Early access pricing expires soon, so enroll now.


Each year, there are less than ten human fatalities resulting from shark attacks. Guess how many sharks are killed by humans in the same amount of time? Nearly 100,000,000. That’s one hundred million. We need to protect these apex predators before they disappear and their absence wreaks havoc on our ecosystems.

It averages out to two to three sharks killed every second, over 11,000 every hour, over a hundred million every year. That number is really hard to visualize and imagine, because I’m doing these shark counts everyday out in the water, and it’s hard to imagine that many sharks. But when you look at commercial fisheries, they will put out 650 miles of baited hooks, and that’s just one boat. And that’s day after day after day.

That’s not a sustainable number. Sharks cannot reproduce fast enough to keep up with that type of fishing pressure so their populations are being absolutely wiped out. I realize that a lot of people don’t have sympathy for sharks, because they just think of them as monsters. So it’s about trying to shift the perception people have. I really think that it comes through education.

I think that the most impactful thing is immersive programs. If I could get everyone in the world in the water with sharks, I know that that would make a difference, because when you can experience and have that connection for yourself, you truly see it, and you can feel it and you can understand it. But I realize that not everybody’s going to go in the water. Some people can’t even swim.

I’ve tried to create programs and opportunities for people of all ages in different areas of the world to facilitate them going in and learning about sharks. We do educational outreach through One Ocean Education. We go into schools from the age of five all the way up through university. So I’ll do university presentations and public presentations in different areas of the world. Just trying to share some of the information about sharks, about what they’re really like. The core thing that I want to get across is how important they are for marine ecosystems to pick up those weak wounded, injured, sick, dead, and dying. They’re often demonized for being predators, and yet they’re the ones that keep the ocean healthy. They keep fish stocks healthy.

Billions of people rely on the ocean for their primary protein source, which means that billions of people rely on sharks to do their jobs to keep those ecosystems in balance. So it would be in the best interest of humankind and future generations to protect sharks. And so how do we do that? What can you actually do? I think education is great and empowering people to better co-exist is wonderful, facilitating that. Furthering that connection, the care and compassion that’s needed to support conservation efforts.

But what does conservation actually mean? And how can we actually further those efforts? What can we actually do?

There are many simple options like educational outreach in schools. Pretty much anyone can give a presentation to legislation. Policy changes to push for laws that will actually protect sharks or protect areas of the ocean that we know are critical habitats for certain species to reproduce. These are called marine protected areas.

Marine protected areas actually mean more fish for local fishermen just on the outside of those marine protected areas. It really is in the best interest of communities from an ecological standpoint and also from an economical standpoint.

Also, shark tourism can bring in billions of dollars to economies around the world. Pretty much every country that offers ecotourism has a substantial amount of income, and that number continues to grow. It’s actually going to surpass the economic value of harvesting sharks for their fins for the shark fin trade. So there are a lot of advantages to supporting that, but that is something to support in your local community.

Are there opportunities for ecotourism, whether it be with sharks or other marine life? Are there opportunities to push for marine protected areas? And are there opportunities to ban things that are very devastating to shark populations, such as shark fin soup, shark fishing tournaments, or any kind of shark byproduct?

Shark byproducts are things like shark meat, which is actually really high in toxins and mercury. And you don’t want to support a restaurant that is selling these things. I’ve made it really easy for people to get involved. If a restaurant is selling shark meat, you can go to the website, helpsavesharks.org.

Print out the letter. It explains the importance of sharks, their plight, and why you, as a consumer, you’re voting with your dollar, why you’re not going to support their company, their restaurant, their store, their business if they’re going to continue to sell products that are harmful for human health – toxic meat and harmful for the marine ecosystem. Sending that letter in is a really easy, fast thing to do. Something you could also do via email.

I get it that fear and drama sell, and sensationalism sell, but it’s really nice if we can try and work together as a community, especially in social media to break through that and actually share factual information for future generations, as well as our current generation and the environment as we know it.

Learn how to minimize chances of an adverse shark encounter as well as critical information about shark behavior, shark personalities, shark language, what to do in the unlikely event of a shark bite, and more in 20-plus video lessons in Ocean Ramsey’s Guide to Sharks and Safety. Early access pricing expires soon, so enroll now.

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