Shark Week Interview: Regina Domingo
〰️ Regina Domingo 〰️
@regisunday Producer, Cinematographer, Researcher. Founder of @nakaweproject and @pelagicsafari
1. What led to your passion for sharks?
The more I learn about sharks, the more I learn about the importance of changing whats happening to them and the ocean NOW. I am discovering my passion for sharks increases with my years in the ocean ... there’s something about them than makes me feel I like I want to know more and more and more. What led to this is hard for me to pinpoint but it is likely my important experience as a volunteer against illegal fishing in Cocos Island, Costa Rica.
2. What was your most memorable shark encounter?
Reuniting with a mako shark during an ecoturism trip that I had released from a longline of a shark fishing community after some days before. Safe , sound, and alive - she looked at me and we knew each other. It was magical.
3. What is one common misconception about sharks that you personally have seen otherwise?
People think that sharks just bite because they are sharks and because they have teeth. However, whenever I take people into the ocean to experience swimming with them, their faces changes after a while. Sharks can create connection with humans - just as many other animals can. Sharks are intelligent, highly sensory, beautiful animals that you can share the open ocean with. You just need to learn how to interact with them. People only understand how beautiful, fascinating, sexy, and interesting they are after sharing a minute with them in the wild - where they belong.
4. Why do you think it is important to support shark research and conservation?
Sadly sharks’ reputation as fearsome predators means is difficult to convince humans of the urgent need for their conservation. Each year, we kill 100 million sharks in fisheries – yes, 100 million. Sharks are being overfished in many countries, probably in yours too. We need an urgent change in how humans perceive them - they need to realize that we don’t need to protect humans from sharks - we must protect sharks from humans. Humans need to start understanding we cannot make the world happen without nature. Sharks are at the top of the food chain in virtually every part of every ocean. They help remove the weak and the sick, and maintain the balance with competitors - which helps to ensure species diversity. We owe a lot to sharks. Isn’t clear that protecting and preserving them is necessary?