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Shark Week Interview: Ocean Ramsey

〰️ Ocean Ramsey 〰️

@oceanramsey Marine and Shark Biologist and Ethologist, Professional Scuba Instructor and Competitive Freediver, Researcher and Conservationist

1. What led to your passion for sharks?

After numerous interactions with various species of sharks that have truly given me some of the best moments of my life, I began to realize that people were being brainwashed by media to believe they are mindless killers. I felt compelled to share my personal positive first-hand experiences and speak up for them. I traveled around the world working with a diversity of shark species and other marine animals and my understanding, knowledge, and level of respect grew and continues to grow everyday.

2. What was your most memorable shark encounter?

I’ve had so many breathtaking memorable moments with sharks over the course of my life, and it’s very difficult for me to choose just one. However, if I had to choose, it would have to be an encounter with a very special tiger shark named Curly Girl. Over 10 years ago I made a bet with @juansharks that if a Tiger shark showed up on one random preselected day that I would take it as a sign and date him. This beautiful Tiger shark showed up and changed our lives forever setting the course that would lead us to eventually establish @oneoceandiving . I could not be more grateful that she chose to grace us with her presence that particular day and every day we’ve seen her since. I’ve seen her presence change the minds and hearts of many people for the benefit of sharks over the years.

3. What is one common misconception about sharks that you personally have seen otherwise?

I have studied and interacted with sharks for many years so I like to replace fear with education. If you know and understand sharks first hand, you see they are not the “man-eating” feared animals that the media tells us. However, sharks are apex predators, so they do deserve a lot of respect.

4. Why do you think it is important to support shark research and conservation?

I wish more people were aware of the devastating declines sharks have faced around the world with only about 10% of the global shark population remaining. Conserving and understanding more about the other forms of life we share the planet with is also important for coexistence. As shark science develops we are increasing our knowledge and advising the public how best to adapt their own behavior.

Taylor Cunningham