How sharks affect us all | Ocean Ramsey | TEDxKlagenfurt
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How sharks affect us all | Ocean Ramsey | TEDxKlagenfurt

August 11, 2019


Translator: Federica Rubattu
Reviewer: Younes Amraoui What if we were to redefine
the relationship we have with sharks, to one based on scientific fact,
reality, and logic, rather than the current one, based off of
limited and biased information? I want to talk about how changing the way
we perceive sharks and interact with them could change our environment, economies,
and lives for the better. But first, I want
to introduce you to someone who has positively influenced and inspired
my life’s work, passion, and focus. She’s intelligent, she’s graceful,
beautiful, efficient, but what I admire her most for
is her very important work and role. What most people don’t know
is that without her work and influence, none of our lives would be the same. And I wanted to describe her to you first,
before I showed you her photo, because I’ve come to find that,
oftentimes, we make snap judgments, prejudice, based off of
very little factual information. I’ve personally found this
because oftentimes I’m judged solely off of my appearance
or work as a professional model, rather than my primary work
in science, conservation, and business. So, please keep in mind the truth that often there’s more
than meets the eye, and when you take time
to get to know someone and better understand them, maybe you can better value them. And sometimes it’s a little more
interesting than you think too. So, without further ado,
my beautiful role model, Bella, which means beautiful, and yes, she’s a great white shark,
or more accurately termed, a white shark, Carcharodon carcharias. Now, I know you might just be
noticing her nice teeth and thinking something along
the lines of “monster,” but tonight, put your prior beliefs
about sharks on hold, while I explain why Bella
is an ideal role model, why we should seriously take action to redefine the relationship
we have with these animals, to one based on scientific fact, to that or reality, rather than appearances, snap judgments,
and fictitious Hollywood movies. Bella and her kind
are extremely intelligent. I’ve observed her, and her kind, outsmarting even humans
within a matter of moments by adapting her behavior
even in novel situations. This ability to quickly adapt has likely led to sharks’
resilience over time. They evolved before dinosaurs, before trees. They evolved two more known
sensory systems than we even have to aid them a high level of efficiency in their very important role
in the ecosystems, shaping, influencing them,
and making them stronger, and better. Now, even though they are
highly cognitive, cautious, and take in multiple factors
before they take action, it is true that on rare, rare, rare,
much more rare, occasions than we make mistakes, sharks do make mistakes, and,
unfortunately, someone does get bit. Still, considering the millions of people that enter the water,
the oceans, every single day, and the average number
of fatalities is five to seven … Now, I feel extremely lucky. I get to spend almost every single day
diving with sharks, over 30 different species around the world on a diversity of research programs
and conservation campaigns. My work in marine biology
focuses on ethology, which is animal behavior and psychology,
and cognitive ecology, where I study the way the animals interact
with one another and their environment. I’ve come to observe and learn
some of the most fascinating things I wish I had more time
to share with you tonight. But in my limited time with you, what I’ve come to appreciate, what I feel is most important and urgent, and if I could speak up for sharks,
what I’d want to share with you, is their very important role and work,
and how it affects all of our lives. Essentially, imagine sharks
as the ocean’s immune system, the white blood cells. They pick up the dead, dying,
weak, sick, injured animals, leaving only the healthiest to reproduce, keeping lower trophic levels
and populations in balance. We all rely on our immune systems, and the scientific evidence
for the importance of sharks is mounting. There are so many studies that show one after the other that the removal of sharks has environmental and economic
negative impacts – Ransom A Myers, Bascompete – effects all the way down
to coral reef systems. The removal of sharks has been
attributed with starvation. Throughout the respected
scientific community, there’s no denying
the importance of sharks, their effects on our environments, our economies, even the air that we breathe. 70-80% of the air
we rely on to continue living comes from our oceans. Either directly or indirectly,
we all rely on the oceans. Billions rely on it for seafood, over 200 million rely on it
for direct employments. Our lives, our futures,
are interconnected. In the words of one
of my human role models, the wonderful Dr Sylvia Earle, “With every drop of water that you drink,
every breath that you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on the planet you live.” But sharks are still scary, right? So that’s kind of the problem. Most peoples don’t know
many factual things about sharks, except they have teeth, and many more people don’t know that sharks are actually being
decimated, globally, at a rate of over 11,000
every single hour. That’s more than three sharks
every single second. That translates to 70-100 million
sharks killed every year. That’s like killing everyone in Spain,
Austria and France every single year. Now, according to fishing records,
over 90% of sharks have been depleted. According to the International Union
for Conservation of Nature, over a third of all large sharks
have been wiped out, or are facing extinction,
or are vulnerable to extinction. So, why such a mass slaughter
of such an important and keystone species? Well, some of it is due to silly things
like souvenirs and pharmaceuticals. Some of it is due to men
and their inferiority complexes … I’m guessing. (Laughter) (Applause) 80% of long-lining is bycatch,
and most of it is sharks. Culling, which is probably this least
intelligent reaction a country can have to an adverse shark-human interaction; basically, like shooting
yourself in the foot, from a behavioral standpoint, also a waste and indiscriminate killer. But the number one killer
of sharks, globally: a bowl of soup. Yes, we are trading
the health and productivity of our oceans-reliant environment
and economies for a bowl of soup. What’s worse, it’s not even nutritious;
it’s actually toxic. It’s merely for the Chinese culture belief that when they serve that soup, it means that they’re
prestigious or important. But what is classy about catching a shark, hacking off its fins,
oftentimes while it’s still alive, wasting 95% of the animal just to make yourself feel better
about your social status. Consider: sharks have been evolving
for over 400 million years; humans, 200,000,
and their culturals, far less. We can live without culture,
but not without our oceans, and our oceans cannot live
without their immune systems. Like rhinos killed just for their horns,
and elephants killed just for their tusks, sharks are being killed, slaughtered,
globally, just for their fins. Now, I love traveling the world and experiencing
the diversity of cultures, but there has to be a point when we re-evaluate the relationship that we have with sharks and animals, and look at how our cultures
can adapt and evolve honorably. An ancient Chinese proverb says when you do not change your direction,
you may end up where you are heading. So what if we were to adopt this idea and change the way
we interact with sharks? What would that look like? Well, the great news is
we already have concrete examples, places like Palau, Bahamas,
areas like Cabo Pulmo, and Palmyra. In those areas, reef and fish stocks are thriving. Ecotourism is bringing in
over US $314 million to local economies, directly employing over 10,000 jobs. This study by Dr Michele Barnes
and the University of British Columbia is actually showing that that number
will increase, more than double, in less than 20 years. So $780 million, far outweighing the global fin trade. So put at the most basic terms,
even on just the monetary level, which is usually
what politicians care about, a live shark is worth more
than a dead shark. And what’s great is,
these shark ecotourism programs, they can support research. I was working out with Dr Mauricio Hoyos, we were tagging, taking biopsies, and I was wondering: Is any of this conservation-based research going to make a difference before these guys are
just wiped out off the planet? Then one day, 20 meters underwater, doing a population count
surrounded by these beautiful sharks, I was realizing by the time I gather,
process and publish my studies, another 3-6 million sharks will be killed. So why study something that’s being
eradicated the rate the sharks are and not do anything about it. So I opened my research to the public. I developed a program, where people could come to learn about
sharks from a scientific perspective. I collaborated with @juansharks, who is a well-known
shark and marine photographer and shark specialist. We developed this program
that’s research- and conservation-based, and opened it to the public so they could learn about
their biology, physiology, behavior, how to interact with them safely, answers all those questions
people don’t know about sharks. The cool thing is people actually
get to get in the water with us and see for themselves, eye to eye,
what sharks are really like. It’s such a successful program as people can speak up for sharks
from a first-hand perspective and also influence their networks,
and change people’s minds. We are also able to fund
educational outreach through this, reef and beach cleanups,
local conservation campaigns, and international conservation campaigns, like stopping the cull
in Western Australia, a story for another time I’m honestly rather glad I don’t have time
to share tonight as I’d end up crying. But we were able to save
one of the juvenile sharks. She was under three meters,
and she would have just died, even though she was
cattle tagged improperly, and, you know, for 90 minutes,
I swam with her, looking her in the eye, and trying to tell her
it was going to be okay as blood was spilling out of her head, and kind of trying to tell myself
it was going to be okay. After 90 minutes, she swam off:
and it was that effort. This is another conservation campaign,
a little better known. It reached over 2 million people in 2 days and featured none other
than the lovely role model, Bella, who is so great for her species,
a great representative. At the time when we released it, it was because there was a study put out showing there were less
than 350 great whites, in the area from California to Alaska
to Hawaii to Mexico, an area where juansharks and I
grew up diving with sharks, with white sharks specifically. We knew many of them,
had spent much time with them, studying behavior, working with them. So what do you do when you hear
someone you love, care about, understand, is being eradicated? Something. So, we thought, with Water Inspired we’d try and use inspiring photography
and videography to inspire people to care. 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 often, 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. 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,
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 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. [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, (Laughter) to take action for your future. Sharks and the oceans affect us all. 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. 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’ll do it with you. Grab your phones. I know it’s usually rude to grab
your phones during a talk, but you’ll be helping me. This is really good. This is good.
This is your call to action. Let’s do it!
(Laughter) 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. 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’ll only take a minute,
and I’m off the stage, so … All right, let’s do this together. We’re going to make a difference,
a measurable impact for sharks. So I’m going to Instagram. This is how the world is now, right?
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. Okay. #HelpSaveBella. Here with the amazing group
at TEDx conference in Europe, helping spread great ideas and ways
we can help save sharks and our future. Sharks are important. Redefining the relationships
we have with sharks. #SharkConservation, #HelpSaveSharks,
#NoSharkFinSoup, #TEDSavesSharks, #TEDTalksonSharks. Okay. And I will share that. Awesome! And this is the best part. I get to thank you all for being a part of the force that redefines the relationship
we have with sharks for a better future. Thank you, guys. (Applause)

Only registered users can comment.

  1. sharks dont mistake us as seals.. they have a different hunting technique for us 😉 lol i love sharks, but yea they're predators and will eat whatever.

  2. i love sharks, however the same could be said for most animals becoming endangered or extinct upsetting the balance of nature, although the one animal i believe nature will not miss and would probably flourish without is us, humans.

  3. I love sharks. I may have seen them in Sea World. There were kind of cool. One time, I saw a man capture a small shark on Daytona Beach, it was cool and I record. He just used a dead fish to lure the shark. But since I saw the presentation, I felt bad for the small shark. I don't like how the sharks got their fins cut. It is stupid. And I like Ocean Ramsey, she's beautiful and made sense about sharks. They should be save. I think we have to understand them like Ocean did. They are species living in the same Earth like us. Let's not lose hope for the sharks.

  4. I had a chance to meet Ocean and chat with her. The passion that flows through her is infectious. I have also been out with One Ocean Diving twice and look forward to going again. So grateful to have the opportunity to interact with these beautiful animals.

  5. Underwater Paris Hilton gives high school-level presentation about why sharks aren't evil, minimal sources, mostly anecdotes, calls her collaborator by his instagram handle (not his name), calls leading dives a conservation campaign/scientific outreach program, calls self scientist. Real scientists roll eyes. Guys, I believe in her cause, but how can anyone take this girl seriously?

    Also, gonna be exceptionally bad press for sharks when this girl surfaces (or not) with a stump. Anyone remember Grizzly Man?

  6. Went to Ocean's organization in Hawaii to participate in the Pelagic Shark Program. It was amazing. Thank you for continuing the fight for these magnificent creatures.

  7. Wow, she is extremely brave….. I'm still not convinced about the "extreme intelligence" of great white sharks though…. Apparently chickens are intelligent too, but from observing our own chickens for the past 5 years, I can repudiate that 100% 😉

  8. Ask yourself this question: Who are the only people on Earth who actually care about animals and their rights ?

  9. Who are the 8 people that "disliked" this video? Maybe they think shark fin soup is more important than the earth's eco system and saving sharks from extinction

    I thought it was an incredible presentation and message. I am a huge fan of Kevin Richardson and his mission to save lions and now I am a huge fan of you and your mission. I loved that you mentioned him in your presentation. Keep up the great work. I also help animals in need from feral cats to injured seagulls and other birds. So, I get inspired from people like you to do more.

  10. The oceans' ecosystem needs sharks to survive. We've done so much destruction it's mind blowing. Every one of these great whites is an individual. People, groups, governments need to stand up and take forceful actions to stop this pathetic global slaughter.
    If I was a government or a king, I'd defend sharks/whales et al with cannons in my navy up to and including the use of torpedoes if a poaching vessel responds violently to the use of this just force. All governments have to do is stand up and do something to defend the oceans that doesn't include playing silly war-games with each other. The goodwill they'd generate in the world for doing this…the nationalistic fervor they could generate from doing this!

  11. Do the fin soup eaters really have this much sway over the world, over all of us? How in the world can we let this be the controlling influence over shark populations!? Our ignorance is stunning.

    How many sharks have been killed since the upload date Sept 28, 2015? Can someone extrapolate a figure from the data? 49,000 views?!. Please share this video with our families and friends.

  12. As a male shark fisherman, i take offence to your sexist joke. My uncle was eaten by a great white off the west australian coast, kill em all.

  13. I’m right with you, this has been my arm chair rant and anger towards people ignorance and hate towards the hateful people that brutally cut up. The tv and media doesn’t help with there demonising rhetoric towards them, I even tell friends who have no interest, they won’t even go swim in the sea where in the south of England where I live has no dangerous sharks.
    I’d love to be able to help in anyway if I could

  14. This person is NOT a scientist. She is a glorified beach hippie. Much of the information she cites as scientific fact is exaggerated or just made up BS.

  15. She's concerned about the animal instincts and that is so sweet of her so I Agree w her. Doing a good job Ocean keep it up!!

  16. She's concerned about the wild life and the Oceans I agree with her. She's looking out for our wild life and our nature plus our future !! I agree with her. Good job Ocean!

  17. To all dislikers:How Do You like it when your arms and legs were chopped off and throw the rest of your body away? Thats how sharks feel all the time! And now because of jaws ALOT of people hate sharks and think great whites are merciless killers in the ocean but really they are very important to the ecosystem

  18. not only is ocean beautiful on the outside but on the inside too, what a lady, if i had to be someone else, it would be her. i also love sharks and all animals of the planet, except flies and mosquitoes

  19. Beautiful sure… but INCREDIBLY dangerous. Even if they were'nt predators by nature they bite to check things out and that is what probably kills more than hunting bites. People like this get this idea in their head that they understand these animals and that the feelings are reciprocated.
    Sharks are incapable of this.
    Shes been incredibly lucky thus far.

  20. Where do even begin, this video was awesome more people need to see this. People need to hear this. Cause the more people hear this the more people will know the truth and these negative impacts are actually happening so she is right, there really is no denying the importance of sharks.

  21. I was actually never scared of sharks, one of the reason is because i surf, and i love scuba diving, and I love them, they are beautiful. There was one time when I was young, many times actually, I wondered why do people kill sharks just for their fin? It does nothing for you, and people can not suspend another’s life just for one thing that satisfies the need of a person.

  22. i dont give damn what kind of vicious gentle predators they are
    they are just mindless eating machines that i have to keep an eye out for
    intelligent and outsmarting humans? are you high? they are just fish
    what we need is better under water weaponry

  23. Unfortunately, Ocean Ramsey spends a lot of her time harassing sharks for fame. She can inspire people to care about sharks without stressing them out through direct contact, touching, and "shark riding." And one day, when a stressed shark bites her, it will be the shark that pays the price.

  24. This is all great but I wish Ocean could stop showing herself off TOUCHING sharks all the time. This isn't a comportment that should be encouraged.

  25. My brainy barbie doll sweetheart can hold her breath for 6.5 minutes while filming shark video and teaching the world how important sharks are to the ocean ecology. Kisses and hugs from Canada .

  26. wow she really had me until the "mens inferiority complex" such an unecessary comment, theres women killing sharks too. keep it classy..

  27. Sorry Ocean but you have no proof for the whole evolve thing. I have a theory that she was created with actually more proof than evolution.

  28. It’s crazy I was thinking if I want to come face to face with an Apex land predatory I will want to be with Kevin Richardson. And if I want to jump into the ocean to face my number one fear that is the shark I would go with Ocean Ramsey. This is before she got to the Lion Whisperer part.

    I’ve never heard of her until the NBC video showing she swimming with the 20’ white shark. I love her work. She is a wonderful voice for the sharks.

    And no, I will never take up another offer from my friend for a bowl of shark fin soup ever again. In fact I will tell him what I just saw today from this video. Hopefully he will get on board and spread the message to his fellow Chinese friends.

    I wish you good luck and much success on your mission.

  29. Cool monologue but… Kind of preaching to the converted.

    Go speak in Shanghai or some other Chinese city maybe? How many bowls of shark fin soup are sold daily in Klagenfurt, Austria?

  30. Wow, so awesome!!! A real life angel!!! A real life mermaid!!! Ocean Ramsey is crazy amazing!!! She is a true inspiration, and a protector of sharks, and animals!!! Go vegan, and go Ocean Ramsey!!!!!!!!! Thank you!!! 🌱❤️🌎🦈

  31. Bless You Ocean. I feel very inspired by what you do. I Love The Ocean and i Intend to Help it Heal. May Love Lead The Way.

  32. Majority of Asian countries have been confronted on this issue. They will say they understand the need for change but when it comes down to action…… You no the answer. There's a great documentary here on YouTube but ul have to do a quick search for it but ul find it. It's informative but so shocking and sad to see these beautiful creatures dragged on board alive, fins hacked off and thrown back in alive. Where they just drop down to the sea bed and drown. I don't cry much but this made me cry. Like that Chinese proverb ocean is talking about we are doomed to fail if no one is willing to change

  33. The Chinese need to stop killing everything in the world 🦈🐋🐘🦏🐳🐬🐅all of them

  34. Sorry lady, ive seen your videos, You swimming around big sharks great whites, etc, and in every case, your taking an enormous risk. Man has domesticated many of earth creatures and animals, but every year man is also killed by those same domesticated animals. No matter how much you think you know about animals, they are still animals, and animals have a mind of their own. And no one knows the depths of those minds. i like dogs, but i would never fully trust a dog because its a dog. if i provoke it, it can attack me however unlikely as its owner. as for creatures in the wild. ppsst. forget that. so, swim with the sharks if you must, but just know, there has been many before you thats done the same thing, and the day they get attacked its always 'i dont know why it did what it did, sob sob while ones leg is missing'

  35. What technology or method is she using to keeps these sharks placid? I highly doubt its as straightforward as just a beautiful blond model jumping in the water and the sharks melt in her very company. Not everything here is what it seems that much is clear, logic and reason dictates this. I must however congratulate the person taking the video. Some great footage it has to be said.

  36. Ocean is lovely, and her message is strong and delivered well. Thank You for caring enough to do something!

  37. Real shark fin soup is not being served in Belgium anymore (the last time I saw it – it was twenty years ago) Sadly Asians are going on with this cruel 'tradition' – They should have their balls offered for dinner. A nice Quid pro quo – the practice of shark fins would soon end.

  38. I know I’m 4 years late to this incredible message and movement, but better late than never. Thank you @oceanramsey for your necessary work to bring attention and respect to sharks. All my life I’ve felt a deep desire to dive with them and explore everything about them. I agree they are beautiful graceful creatures so integral to our oceans! I ❤️🦈

  39. Its a shame how detached we are from nature. And how we have the nerve to consider any other species to be monsters. Its crazy how out of touch we are. Like think about it, if you were on another planet and saw any other creature from earth youd be so happy! Because they are your fellow earthling. Yet we dont have this attitude here

  40. She is so beautiful not just her looks. Its her love for people that say they are killers and she swims right next to them

  41. This is really good. Idk i understood this as well. Because of i can say english as much as 6 rights of 20 questions while taking a temporary test of IETLS. Which is measuring the level of speaking skill of english…. i hope i understood the facts of sharks. And what a worst thing we did so far….
    Let's speard these facts to save and rescue sharks.

  42. HOW…..ARE the SHARKS NOT EATING HER? this is driving me nuts….HOW ARE THE SHARKS NOT PAYING HER ANY MIND?

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