Meet Sharks4Kids Regional Ambassador Michelle Trigg
Updated: Dec 12, 2019
We are thrilled to welcome Michelle to our team. Michelle traveled the world as a scuba instructor before returning to the UK. She has been visiting schools around England and will continue to spread her passion for sharks and the ocean with students.
1. What is your favorite shark and why? I have lots for different reasons but probably my top favorite being the Great Hammerhead. I had the chance to free dive with them in Bimini, Bahamas and was totally bowled over by their sheer size and elegance. As they cruise by and look at you with one eye it’s just awesome.
2. What is one species of shark you would like to see/study/swim with? I’d like to swim with an Angel shark, they are incredibly camouflaged with intricate patterns and it is a stealthy ambush predator. Sadly being critically endangered they are in trouble. 3. What inspired you to start diving and shark diving? I was fascinated with sharks when I was young, I would watch as many documentaries as I could and collect books and magazines. I always dreamt of becoming a diver it was just a matter of when. Dive four of my Open water course I met a reef manta ray, I knew right then I wanted to spend as much time as I could in the ocean and eventually become a Scuba instructor. When I was about 16 I said to myself I will dive with every species of shark there is....at that time I only thought there were about 20 species.
Michelle diving with Caribbean reef sharks
4. What is one of the coolest things you’ve seen while diving? I had two divers doing a discovery dive with me, it was their first time seeing life around a coral reef. We were looking for a huge school of Jackfish that usually congregate around there when there was a strange wizzing sound like something moving fast through the water. All of a sudden hundreds of Jack fish found us! They wizzed past us, between us, through our arms and legs It was so intense it was crazy, in all the commotion I realized they must be fleeing from something. Then as we looked forward an adult black tip reef shark was coming up over the reef at full speed, it was swimming towards us...head on. I tensed up preparing for it to crash into us, but of course being built for speed and quick turns, with a slight lean it just swam over us at the last second effortlessly. I heard the divers squeal with excitement!
Michelle photographing Southern stingrays in Bimini, The Bahamas Image Sophie Hart
5 .Why do you want to teach kids about sharks? Because sharks are cool! Being able to share my shark experiences with kids I try to spark curiosity and desire to explore the underwater world for themselves hopefully leading them to want to protect it. I struggled when I was younger with Science and Maths, I just couldn’t get excited about them. It was only later on I saw how these skills are vital for understanding the world around us. I find this helps me when trying to reach out to different kids I meet. Its great when you tell kids a shark fact and suddenly a whole explosion of questions pop out why? What? How? I really enjoy engaging with them through activities and fun facts about sharks 6. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about sharks? How many species of shark there are, with 500+ species I wish everyone knew how wildly different, adapted and diverse they can be. 7. What is your favorite shark fact? That some sharks can throw up their own stomachs to get rid of something they can’t digest. Gross, but still fascinating.