One of the first things I learned while volunteering with White Shark Diving Company was how many white sharks are being misrepresented in the world and how everyone is talking about how dangerous they are when they should be talking about how there are only 300-500 left in South Africa and that they are rapidly going extinct.
Midway through the program I learned all about how communities are mistreating and giving no respect to the sharks and the species that have a critical role in a carefully balanced eco-system. I learned from Mary and Imke that one of the most effective mechanisms to convince people to start caring about what is happening to our ocean and what is happening to the white sharks is through education. I learned that you can change a person’s perception of the ocean and its creatures even if they have lived everyday of their waking life seeing it just as a means of income. I learned that it’s not easy to open people’s eyes to how issues like over fishing, climate change, and so on are effecting our ocean, but you can make a difference. They say that you, as one person, can’t make a difference.
The one thing that I learned during my volunteer experience with White Shark Diving Company, that will stick with me the most is that one person can make a difference.
Whether it’s dedicating your life to one species to learn everything about them and advocate for them or educating one person on how they can make a simple change to their lifestyle to make a little less of an impact on the ocean and on our environment as a whole.
By Andrea Murchie