What would it take for you to jump into the water as a Great White shark swims towards you? A million dollars? Probably not. What about protecting a loved one? Hmmm…remember those socks you got for Christmas? But what if you could save the world? That’s what motivates Brett McBride and the rest of the OCEARCH crew. Although Brett would swim with sharks for the hell of it…
“Swimming with sharks might seem crazy, but it’s not. It really just shows you how bad a rap sharks get. They’re just like any other fish,” says Brett, the chief shark wrangler. “But over 70 million sharks a year, world wide, are killed for their fins, and it’s devastating the balance of the ocean’s ecosystem,” he said. Chris Fischer, who heads up the nonprofit OCEARCH organization, paints a bleak picture; “We don’t have enough data on the oceans’ giants to ensure they have a robust future. One might ask: ‘Why is that important?’ It’s important because sharks are the lions of the ocean. They are the balance-keepers. If we lose them, there is no viable path forward for the ocean or the planet. We need a lot of sharks in the ocean if we want to have a lot of fish in the ocean. So many people rely on this resource for food that, if we lose it, humanity and the planet are in trouble.”
An inspiring mission
Since 2007, OCEARCH has electronically tagged hundreds of sharks – as well as measuring them, taking blood samples and even giving them an ultrasound. All in the name of getting rare data that many research institutes around the world can use to gain insights into sharks and our ocean ecosystem. And, at the same time, educate and inspire a whole generation of children.
Some people walk dogs
Since 2007, OCEARCH has electronically tagged hundreds of sharks – as well as measuring them, taking blood samples and even giving them an ultrasound.