7 Feb 2012

The Year of the Shark...

Hey Guys and Gals!

I decided to sneak in before Chris and write the blog this week because I want to tell everyone about something very dear to my, and Diveaway Fiji’s heart, and that is our sharks.

Yes, I hate to break it to everyone, but the statistic is true, you do have more chance of being killed by a coconut falling on your head than you do by a shark. And while we have a lot of sharks in Fiji, we also have a lot of coconuts.

Back in 1975 there was a book that was turned into a small production by an up and coming director, maybe you’ve heard of it, called Jaws. One of the true scare you out of the water movies, it followed the adventures of a ‘rogue’ shark as it terrorized a small seaside town on the north east coast of the USA.

The film became bigger than anyone could have imagined and unfortunately, damaged the image of all sharks around the world for the next 37 years. Peter Benchley, the author of Jaws, was upset at how his work of fiction lead to the image which is held in the for-front of many peoples minds when you mention the word ‘shark’ and up until his death he spent his time trying to alter people’s perceptions and protect shark populations around the world.

What people should have taken from the book and the movie is the elegance of an animal that has been in our waters unchanged for millions of years. Sharks are perfect for what they do, with their streamlined bodies they can flow through the water effortlessly, their cartilage skeleton means they can bend and move in any direction within one body length, and their teeth, the bit most people worry about, are specialized for the food that they eat, small fish for the Reef sharks, lobsters and crayfish for the Nurse sharks, and seals and turtles for the Great Whites and the Tigers.