LUCKY ENCOUNTER: A scuba diver gets up close with a whale shark.
LUCKY ENCOUNTER: A scuba diver gets up close with a whale shark.

IN DEEP: Education crucial to protect sharks

IT IS unfortunate that many movies and television shows over the years have depicted sharks as mindless man-eating creatures.

While the great white shark is indeed a ferocious fish that will attack large animals for its prey it is only one of hundreds of different types of shark.

Tourists in their thousands flock to different hotspots around the world to swim with the whale shark.

These large docile giants can grow in excess of 15 metres. They feed almost exclusively on tiny marine organisms.

The grey nurse shark with its powerful body and exposed rows of teeth looks ferocious but it also is a very docile animal.

Countless innocent and harmless species have been killed over the years simply because they are sharks.

Many experienced scuba divers travel the world looking for sightings of large schools of sharks but it is becoming rare to find them.

For scuba divers diving on the beautiful shallow reefs of the South Pacific Islands the majority of sharks they will ever see are small, averaging little more than a metre in length.



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