We knew a lot of these individuals who had spent a lot of time with them, studying behavior, and working with them.
So what do you do when you hear someone that you love, you care about, that you understand, is being eradicated? You do something.
And so, we thought, with Water Inspired we’d try and use inspiring photography and videography to inspire people to care. So we needed people to give white sharks a second look, a second chance. They don’t make the news very often. When they do, I’m sure you guys all know, it’s not usually good press.
So we were successful. We wanted to show the natural beauty of sharks. But most of the time when people see a beautiful image like this, they just think it’s just on its way to eat the next person, right?
So, we want to do the anti-Jaws. The little blond girl, she gets eaten in the fictitious movie, right? So what’s it like in reality? Well, I’ve been working with them for a long time, right? We dive to get receivers and other things like that, so I wanted to show a connection, I wanted people to be able to connect, see another side of these animals, realize that we can coexist.
But in order to coexist, they have to exist, and there’s so much more to these animals than meets the eye. So when you take the time to get to know somebody, you know, you can understand that maybe there’s more to them.
And so I wanted to share that with the world. And I have to give the disclaimer – I mean, there’s just so many things that I would love to share with you guys — but I do have to give the disclaimer that they deserve a lot of respect … not fear, but they are apex predators, they do have a role … and we need them for that role, it’s very important.
I mean, I could cite study after study after study, showing the importance of that. You know, if I wanted to go out into the African savanna and pat a lion, you know what I would do? I would call up the lion whisperer, and I’d go hang out with him, and I’d learn, and I’d study from him, out of respect for the animal because of its reputation.
So, while I understand that, especially the way that they are portrayed in the media, that people are afraid of them, you shouldn’t be afraid of them; you should just respect them. they are beautiful animals, there’s so much more to them.
So if there’s one thing that Bella has taught me, it’s that, like Bella, we can all positively change and influence our environments for the better. All we need to do is take action.
In the words of Jane Goodall: Every day we make an impact. It’s up to us what kind of an impact we want that to be.
Now, this was just one successful collaborative program that we collaborated with GoPro on. They were very true to the message and released a beautiful piece, but there are so many other things we could do, so many other media pieces we could do, even just writing to a restaurant, asking them not to serve shark fin soup. New campaigns, political policies, the ideas are endless.
What it really comes down to is: Yeah, knowledge is powerful, but it’s nothing without action. I love Nike. I get up every morning and go running. It’s like, just do it. You may not feel like it, but any effort is better than no effort at all.
We may feel like what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less without that drop.
So I want to ask you guys tonight, to take action for your future. Sharks and the oceans affect us all. And I’d like to see a raise of hands for all those that are willing to take a small, small action for a better future.
If you guys can raise your hands if you are willing to take that action. Oh, I so see all those hands. Okay, I’m going to call you out on it. I want you guys to use that hand and grab your phones. I am going to do it with you. Grab your phones. I know it’s usually rude to grab your phones during a presentation, but this is OK, you guys are going to help me. This is really good. This is good. This is your call to action. Let’s do it!
So I want you guys to grab your phone, and we’re going to spread great ideas globally. I want you guys to Tweet, Facebook, Instagram, something. Spread an idea, share a fact about a shark. And I’m going to do it with you because it’s actually really fun.
Even though you guys are kind of dark – Okay, ready? Smile!
Okay. So don’t get distracted with the missed call or text. This is only going to take a minute, and I’m off the stage, so …All right, let’s do this together.
Because we’re going to make a difference, a measurable impact for sharks. So I’m going to Instagram. This is what the world looks like now, anyway. We all just walk around on our phones. I think I saw that on a talk earlier. This is all good. Okay next.
So I’m going to use a hashtag. #HelpSaveSharks.