Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

About us

About the Dutch Shark Society

Sharks have long been hunted, fishers now all too well realise how much the economic value of these animals has increased over the past twenty years. Their fins are highly sought after by the insatiable Asian markets, and millions of sharks die a miserable death as bycatch on fishing lines and in nets.

“Matches are made in heaven”, is a well-known proverb. Ours was made under the surface. We have been diving side by side now for eighteen years, all over our globe.
Oceans have become our passion. They are the source of all life forms from which we all originate, their vast salty waters contain seemingly limitless energy and perpetual movement. Their power is tremendous, and so are the threats to their existence. They are being threatened by pollution, overfishing and the intense pressure created by so many people wanting to live on their coasts, sail their waves and harvest food from their depths.

Our oceans are home to many creatures of unbelievable diversity and colour. As on land, it are the large predators that stand at the top of the food chain. In salty ocean waters, the most common large predators are sharks. In spite of their immense power and fully perfected streamline that even evolution itself has left untouched for millions of years, they are not only extremely vulnerable, but also despised and slaughtered.

Georgina Wiersma
Peter Verhoog
Dorien Schröder

Our initial personal fears and caution (ours is the ‘Jaws’ generation) for sharks rapidly dissipated when we first encountered one. The creature was shy and more cautious of us than we were of it. It swam away fast, leaving us in bewildered admiration for the tip of its rapidly disappearing slender silvery tail. The image of a ruthless predator, always voracious and ever-attacking, was quickly transformed into that of a shy and careful hunter.

We have encountered many species of sharks in all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns. From their next of kin, the rays, to the small bottom dwellers with stripes and spots, from the timid vegetarians to the carnivorous fast predators of the open waters and the great white shark, feared by so many. Each encounter has been profoundly impressive and a highlight in our lives and of the many thousands of dives we have made. More and more often we chose our diving destinations for the purpose of finding these magnificent creatures.
The last decade, we travelled the world for many projects on ocean conservation.

On January 1st, 2014, our team was joined by Dorien Schröder, who worked for South African organisation Oceans Research as a Field Specialist, responsible for the data collection for various projects and the interns program. Read more about Dorien: http://www.dutchsharksociety.org/meet-dorien/

We have all met many passionate researchers who are committed to the conservation and the protection of sharks and rays. Unfortunately, their work is invisible to many people.
We want to change that, so people will realise how important sharks and rays are for the health of our oceans. Not only the ‘foreign’ sharks and rays, but also the species in our own cool waters. We want to share our passion!

Every diver or snorkeler who has had the privilege of swimming with sharks has experienced the same loss of words in expressing the feeling of awe when observing their timeless beauty and elegance. These days, however, there is no escaping the fact that these magnificent creatures might very soon face extinction. Their fate is inextricably bound to the existence of our oceans only serves to intensify our urge to protect them.

Contact info

You can contact us at +31 (0) 6 12195593 Or per email at: georgina@dutchsharksociety.org

Partner organisations

De Dutch Shark Society is proud to be a partner of several organisations. Check out our Mission page!
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