The PADI Community Shark Stories

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zebra shark PADI community shark stories

A few weeks ago we asked the PADI® community to share their shark stories and images on Instagram using #200Sharks. We’re supporting diver and artist Francesca Page in her mission to paint 200 sharks, to raise awareness of the fact an estimated 200 are killed by humans every 60 seconds. (If you missed our introduction to Francesca and her 200 sharks check it out here).

To support Francesca we’re sponsoring five of her shark illustrations, and she’s chosen these from the PADI community on Instagram. We reached out to the photographers to find out what shark conservation means to them…

PADI Community Shark Stories – Thresher shark by Irene

A post shared by Irene (@e_reineb) on

‘I had the incredible luck to see and spend a brief but magical moment with this beautiful creature when I dove in Malapascua, Philippines. The sad thing is that, today, you need to be lucky to see them. Thresher sharks are on the red list of the IUCN.

Many reasons lead to sharks’ killings: oil, fins, by-catches, leather, meat… and fear. If we tried to understand them then maybe this last reason, at least, would disappear.

I hope people, maybe through this picture, will be able to see their beauty as well, and that any fear they might have will leave them, replaced by the desire to protect them instead of destroying them.

I’m glad and flattered Francesca chose my picture to draw, thus making me being part of this piece of art and this wonderful project. I really hope this piece of art by Francesca, and her 200 Sharks project will help to raise awareness and make people realize that sharks need our protection.’

 

PADI Community Shark Stories – Zebra shark by Charlie Endsor

‘There is something so mesmerising about sharks. We are trained to fear them from a young age, but when you meet one in the wild, they are so calm, so beautiful and so impressive. This zebra shark for instance, didn’t even flinch when I came to photograph it. Sharks are absolutely vital to the health of our oceans and ultimately the planet. That’s what conserving sharks means to me. A future without sharks is not one worth thinking about.’

 

PADI Community Shark Stories – White shark by Inka Cresswell

Lone Shark Monitoring shark populations is tricky business but luckily for us each great white has its own unique markings allowing us to tell individuals apart and monitor their individual movements. By taking profile style photos like the one featured here a database of the individual sharks visiting Guadalupe island can be created. Each shark has a unique pattern in its coloration allowing this identification to take place. As well as allowing us to ID the sharks this shading also functions as a predatory adaptation called countershading. The Darker grey top and white bottom allows the great white to blend into its environment increasing its efficiency as an apex predator. #traveler #wildlife #photography #wild #staywild #wildlifephotography #marinebiology #marinebiologist #ocean #sea #seatheworld #shark #lovesharks #savesharks #sharks #ocean #conservation #underwater #whiteshark #jaws #apex #greatwhite #underwaterphotography #uwphotography #explorer #adventure #explore #science #200sharks

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‘In addition to the science behind marine life, photography has always been a great passion of mine. Sometimes telling someone why something is magnificent and needs to be protected isn’t enough, they need to be shown. When photographing powerful apex predators such as great white sharks photography allows us to capture the beauty of the species that often goes unnoticed allowing us to gain a new level of respect for these animals assisting in dispelling the negative connotation which are often associated with these incredible sharks. Photography is also a fantastic tool for ocean conservation, detailed photos allow us to identify individual sharks which makes it possible to monitor the individual movement of these sharks assisting in their protection and allowing us to further develop our understanding of these complex species.’

 

PADI Community Shark Stories – Raggedtooth shark and cow shark by Lesley Rochat

 

‘In my underwater explorations over the past 25 years, and as the principal environmental photojournalist of AfriOceans, I’ve witnessed first-hand the deterioration of areas I have returned to. It has both shocked and saddened me. I have freedived with sharks, spent hours playing with dolphins in the Bahamas, and photographed some of the last underwater Eden’s left such as those of Sipadan, Raja Ampat and the Cocos. Each place is fighting daily battles against encroaching negative human impact. Driven by hope, my resolve is fueled to raise global awareness and encourage action, in part through my images. Adopting ways to heal our Blue Heart, to save our oceans, needs to be done as though our life depends upon it, because it does.’

 

We hope you love these shots as much as we do, and remember to check back to see Francesca’s finished pieces! You can follow her progress on the PADI Instagram account and through @Francescaapage