We met Angie while share was volunteering at the Bimini Biological Field Station and loved her enthusiasm. Angie has worked on ocean education programs around the world and was keen to take shark education back to the UK, where she is based. Angie will be visiting schools and community programs to teach students about sharks, shark science and conservation. We are thrilled to welcome her to the team.
1. What is your favorite shark and why?
My favourite shark is the hammerhead, I love the unusual structure of their cephalophoil and the fact that nobody really knows for sure why they have evolved to be that shape.
2. What is one type of shark you would like to see?
I really want to see a Great white and will hopefully see one when I go to South Africa
3. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience as a marine biologist and what made you want to become one?
I have always loved sharks and wanted to work in shark conservation since I was very young. My first job was taking people shark snorkelling in Thailand and teaching them about the importance of sharks. I worked in Costa Rica with Randall Auraz from PRETOMA on a several shark campaigns and spent 6 months at the Bimini Shark lab. I ran a marine conservation and education project in Fiji and more recently in Philippines for Large Marine Vertebrate Project where I monitored the effects of tourism on whale sharks.
4. What has been one of the most amazing moments you’ve had/seen with a shark?
When I was working in the Philippines it was my job to swim in the tourist interaction area and monitor the behaviour of the tourists towards the whale sharks and report any inappropriate practices. The tourists were in the water from 7am-12.00pm but we still were expected to be in the water from 6 am to 13.00 pm to note the time the first shark arrived and the last shark left. One particular day I was snorkelling around and a I noticed a young male whaleshark swimming next to me, he was watching me, He stayed by my side for 45 minutes, swimming and watching, it looked like he was trying to communicate, it was very intimate.
5. What is the most challenging part of working with ocean animals?
It is challening working with any wild animal, you have to respect them as wild animals and understand that they can be unpredictable and accept that sometimes things dont go according to plan, but we are very lucky to be able to spend our time with these beautiful creatures and that compensates for everything.
6. Why do you think shark education is important and why is it something you want to share with students?
I believe we need to educate the next generation, they will be the ones who will be responsible for protecting sharks, but you will not work to protect something you know nothing about or have a passion for. We need to inspire that passion through shark education.