Fascination with shark encounters | Living Lightly

Whenever I begin a new job my mum always says to me, “Tess try not to talk about sharks for at least the first week” and every time I try and fail miserably!

I can usually stretch it out to day two and then it begins; “did you know flake is actually shark”, “shark finning slaughters 100 million sharks every year” or “what is your favourite type of shark?”

After having this conversation with one of my new colleagues she said to me, “I actually think it would be a bit cool to be bitten by a shark, I mean what a cool way to go!”

Sharks have captivated us for years, there is an almost morbid fascination with these creatures.

This fascination isn’t surprising given the overdramatised media coverage, documentaries that focus purely on shark/human encounters and care more about television ratings than fact, and a Shark Week that is becoming more and more like the movie Jaws every year.

If you are like my colleague, I hate to burst your bubble but you are more likely to be killed by a vending machine, bathtub or by taking a selfie than you are by our finned friends.

This is where the shark net debate comes into play - shark nets do not work.

Imagine a two-metre long bath tub with 30 centimetres of net – this is how it is in the ocean; sharks swim around, under and over these nets.

All nets do is kill precious marine life in a slow and agonising process and the sharks that are caught in these nets are almost always caught on their way back out to sea.

Now is also a timely reminder to make sustainable choices when it comes to your seafood.

Please choose sustainable seafood options such as salmon, whiting, and barramundi and say a massive no to flake. Buying flake supports the shark fin trade which is responsible for killing 100 million sharks annually. Flake also contains dangerous amounts of mercury, which is harmful to humans when consumed - I mean you want fish and chips, not battered mercury and chips right?

Keep being `jawsome’ and I wish you all a merry Christmas and happy 2018.

Tess Middleton, Fin Free Albury-Wodonga