Photographing Endangered Sharks

Show Summary - April 27, 2009

Guest: Robert Cantrell

Robert Cantrell (Alexandria, VA), business writer and shark photographer. "Endangered Sharks Worldwide"

Mr. Cantrell then turned to his favorite subject, endangered sharks of the world. He said that sharks have had a bad reputation ever since the 1971 movie "Jaws" and that they are not as cruel or dangerous as the public has been led to believe. However, they are predators at the top of the food chain and they therefore tend to acquire and accumulate every pollutant and toxin absorbed by lower organisms. This could ultimately lead to their extinction. The biggest bioaccumulation problem is mercury.

Mr. Cantrell also observed that if every person in China (1.2 billion) ate one bowl shark fin soup a year, it would quickly wipe out all the world's sharks.

Mr. Cantrell has photographed sharks in Fiji, San Diego, Rhode Island, Florida, Belize and the Bahamas. The Bahamas are by far his favorite.

He talked about a lemon shark that had a rope stuck around its body that became tighter and tighter and the shark grew (sharks can't back up). A friend of his caught the shark and removed the rope. It took about a minute.

Sharks, according to Mr. Cantrell, are far more intelligent than we give them credit for and have some ability to interact positively with humans. When they are gone, the entire marine food chain, top to bottom, will be disrupted for eons.


Categories: Ecology and the environment; global warming and climate change