Me stroking a shark

I’ve just signed up to Project Aware – http://www.projectaware.org/ – for divers who care about and want to protect the ocean environment. Should have joined ages ago, they do great work. I’m wondering if I can mobilise a group of MPs to support their Dive For Earth Day next spring, although not sure the sight of us all in our wetsuits would be particularly advisable.

The pic, by the way, is me bothering a shark at Shark Ray Alley off Ambergris Caye in Belize. And no, I wasn’t there with Michael Ashcroft. The sharks and rays there come flocking around snorkelling tourists, as they’re used to being fed by the people running the boat trips. I wasn’t that keen on it… It’s amazing to be able to stroke the underside of a manta ray and feel its roughness, but it was very much a packaged experience. Later in the week I went diving and some sharks, probably 6 to 8 footers, starting swimming alongside us… That was a fantastic experience, feeling yourself kick something with your fin and looking down to see an 8 foot shark coming up underneath you. They’re nurse sharks though, big softies.

Here’s a scary recent piece from the Independent, warning that our oceans are on the brink of catastrophe. We hear so much about the destruction of the rainforests, yet no-one has really sounded the alert on the oceans… it’s time we did.

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Comments

  • True_Belle (@True_Belle)  On August 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Good morning Kerry.

    Your links are very informative, don’t know what is like for you when you walk along the beaches in your part of the West country, but the rubbish discarded into the English Channel or beyond, that ends up on our beaches here in Dorset is alarming.

    Some areas of our oceans must be like giant sewers as has been proved by the rubbish from the destruction of the Japanese Tsunami this year.

    Have a peep at this link if you have time. http://endoftheline.com/

    This wonderful film was a real eyeopener, and revealed some ghastly facts and figures about the destruction of marine wildlife and the toxic environment developing in our oceans. Our little local cinema in Wareham produced this little gem and I believe it was also shown as a documentary on the TV.

    Word of caution , sharks come in many shapes and sizes, be careful with whom you swim next!

    • kerrymccarthy  On August 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm

      Yes, I saw a showing of The End of the Line at the Watershed in Bristol a while ago, in fact I did a little opening speech. Really compelling stuff… and I’ve glad Hugh FW has picked up on some of the issues with his Fish Fight programme.

      My divemaster in Belize was a guy who had only left the island twice in his life, for day trips to Belize City on the mainland. He said why bother to travel anywhere when you live in paradise? So he’d done an awful lot of diving, and I reckoned I could take his word for the sharks being friendly!

      • Quietzaple  On August 16, 2011 at 2:01 am

        Hope you will try Cuba While my family were there some friendly Canadians who been everywhere several times over rated Oz tops for the diving but Cuba ahead of everywhere else

        It will still be unbelievable in so many ways

      • kerrymccarthy  On August 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm

        I’ve been diving in Cuba but there’d been a recent storm/ hurricane, and visibility was so bad it was cancelled except for two dives. Good, but not as good as Belize.

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