Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

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Why shark riding is NEVER a good idea

Yes, this IS of course a photoshopped image (credit unknown). Never ride sharks – respect sharks – and yourself.

The late Steve Irwin inspired the thinking that to understand wild animals you had to get up-close and personal. But the rule of the sea is “look, but do not touch”.

Steve Irwin paid the ultimate price: he died after being stung by a giant stingray, normally a very calm, peaceful animal, but when harassed, it CAN sting. That is its way to defend itself. After Steve’s death, people went out to kill stingrays… Something he would never have approved.

These days, people post pictures and videos online, while ‘riding’ and holding sharks. A dangerous activity. Not because sharks are relentless killers, but they have only two ways to defend themselves against unwelcome riders: swim away or bite. And if they cannot swim away, they could bite to get someone off their back or let them go.

Even sharks that cannot bite you, can be dangerous. Whale sharks have a massive tail and can knock you out under water. Whales can too. It is never a good idea to hold a marine creature, and for many marine mammals, like whales and dugongs, it is even often forbidden by law. A commercial fisherman was recently fined $ 6000 for hugging a dugong and posting the images on Facebook.

Conservationists claim that swimming with sharks and touching them will prove to a wide audience, that these are not dangerous animals, and they will not bite people. The same goes for dogs, but when you harass a dog, pester it and hold it close when it does not want you too, it could bite as well.

These videos and pictures could hurt sharks: after all, when a shark bites, the shark is usually blamed…
Be careful with wild animals, always. In this case, for the sake of sharks. If you want to go shark diving, do so in a good and responsibly organized way and with a decent operator! Look, but never touch and never hold sharks.

Read more:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/james-cook-university-marine-biologist-says-divers-courting-danger-by-getting-to-close-to-sea-life/story-fnihsrk2-1226766887509
http://www.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/9440372/Shark-riding-mania-hits-the-seas

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