Sharks are often seen as ruthless killing machines, blood-thirsty predators out to hunt and destroy. Less often are they seen as a key element in marine ecosystem health — a sort of immune system for the sea — and a vulnerable group of fish.
But that’s what they are, says scientists, conservationists and others studying the creatures around the world. “If we lose our sharks, we will lose our ocean,” says conservationist Chris Fischer at TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue. Below, three different talks on sharks, from Fischer and others, looking at the ins-and-outs of shark behavior, roles and even how we can help them ignore us in the water:
Saving white sharks – a model for saving he world | Chris Fischer | TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue
How to get people to care about sharks? Give the sharks Twitter. At TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue, “shark guy” Chris Fischer — leader of expeditions to study white sharks and their relatives around the globe — shares how a project to tag and track sharks was opened up to the world. The Global Shark Tracker allows scientists and non-scientists alike to follow sharks’ paths in the ocean in real time — and on Twitter — to better understand and appreciate these animals.
How sharks affect us all | Ocean Ramsey | TEDxKlagenfurt
At TEDxKlagenfurt, shark cognition researcher Ocean Ramsey discusses the real sharks beyond stereotypes and gives a quick A to Z on why we should respect them.
A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it’s not what you think) | Hamish Jolly | TEDxPerth
Years ago, ocean swimmer Hamish Jolly wondered if a special wetsuit could be made that would deter a curious shark from mistaking a person for food. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision. At TEDxPerth, he shares their findings.