It's Shark Week, so we asked some of our shark expert friends and ambassadors for their sharkspertise! Please enjoy learning more about sharks and advice on what you can do to help sharks!
Our next Shark Expert we are going to introduce you to is Cristina Zenato, Director of Training at the Underwater Explorers Society. She is a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, The Explorers Club, the Oceans Artists Society and a recipient of Platinum Pro Award 5000 from Scuba Schools International.
Photo credit: Lyndah Wells
We asked Cristina some questions about sharks...
What fuels your passion for working with sharks?
Their beauty, perfection, their vulnerability and my love for them.
What has been the most difficult thing that you've had to overcome in your field?
The negative attitude towards small improvements, the people who see the glass half empty and the ones who dismiss a woman as capable of doing as good of a job as a man.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about sharks?
That there are over 500 species of them and that when we say sharks is like saying birds. We need to learn to differentiate them one from the other, in shape, location, behavior and possible interactions.
Photo credit: Marty Snyderman
What is your favorite species of shark?
My babies, the Caribbean Reef Sharks will always come first. But I am fascinated by so many, among them, the Cookie Cutter and the Goblin. My other favorite for "beauty" is the Blue Shark.
In your opinion, what is the biggest threat to sharks?
Humans hands down. With all our activities, from overfishing, to coastal development, to bycatch, to pollution of the sea and of course with the final and most devastating blog of shark finning.
What advice would you give to people who want to help save our sharks?
Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. Start with your personal choices, reduce, reuse, recycle, cut on plastic use, help against, pollution, review your sea food choices and chose according to the needs for the environment rather than what you feel to eat on a specific day. Help with local regulations, check how sharks are protected in the area where you live, work on changing those before trying to change a world far away from you. Share and support educational programs in your area, provide with realistic ideas and small solutions.
Photo credit: Amanda Cotton
If you would like more information about Cristina Zenato, you can visit her website: http://cristinazenato.com