Meet Sharks4Kids Regional Ambassador Breanna Racicot
I met Breanna while speaking at the Chatham Shark Center and could immediately sense her incredible passion for sharks! She is currently working towards her degree in marine biology and we are thrilled to have her as an ambassador. Breanna will be available for schools visits in areas throughout Connecticut.
1. What is your favorite shark and why?
Great White sharks are my favorite, like most people who love sharks it goes back to the movie Jaws. I remember never being afraid of the shark but fascinated by it. It also helped that my dad studied oceanography at URI and always encouraged my passion for the ocean and sharks. I just look at Great whites as powerful, majestic fish that should be respected and protected.
2. What is one shark you would like to see in the wild?
Besides seeing a white shark in the wild, I’d also really love to see a whale shark feeding in the wild.
3. What inspired you to pursue a career in marine biology? What are your goals?
I’ve always had a passion for the ocean and the creatures that live in it, however growing up I struggled with a learning disability and I never did well in school. I didn’t have the confidence to pursue my passion of marine biology because I worried about failing. However after going to a trade school in my mid twenties and thriving; I taught myself the best way for me to learn and study. I gained the confidence I needed and decided not to waste any more time. At almost 30 years old I slowly but surely started taking classes at my local community college. Going at my own pace and excelling. Gaining more confidence as each semester that passed. So I’d say what inspires me to do this is myself, following my childhood dream of becoming someone who helps save sharks and learn about their mysteries.
My goals are to become a Marine Biologist and be someone who makes a difference, whether that is changing someone’s view of sharks or finding out where and when white sharks mate or helping the stop of shark fining. End of the day I want to make a difference.
4. Can you tell us about one of your coolest shark moments?
The best time for me was tagging my first shark; it was a beautiful summer day in New England off the coast of Block Island with Austin Gallagher, Brian Raymond and crew. We left the dock early morning and it was not till about 3:30 in the afternoon when we even saw our first shark. He was a beautiful 9 foot male blue shark. I helped measure the shark, hold the tail and assist with getting a DNA sample. It happened so fast but also was in slow motion. I remember feeling the skin, being mesmerized by the amazing blue color of this beautiful fish. It was a moment and day I will never forget.
5. Why do you think shark education is important?
Educating people about sharks is so incredibly important, the more people know the better the planet will be. Shark education leads to the conservation of these amazing fish. Which is so crucial especially now with populations declining at an alarming rate.
6. What message do you hope to teach to kids?
I hope to not only teach kids about sharks and conservation but also to inspire kids who are in the classroom who might be struggling in school, to give them some hope that school can be for them and that they can do well and be successful if they are really passionate and put in hard work.