Meet FIN Tastic Allstar Sophia
Sophia has joined several of our science education days over the years and is now teaching other students about these amazing animals. She has organized educational programs for her fellow Girl Scouts and has created a bilingual ( Spanish/English) YouTube Channel called Sharkz4Lyfe
1. What is your favorite shark and why?
My favorite species of sharks are tiger sharks because their teeth are extremely unique.
2. What is one shark you would love to see/swim with?
One shark I would love to see one day is definitely the tiger shark. However, I would also like to see a megamouth shark because they are so elusive and rare.
3. Can you tell us a little about your experience with sharks? Do you have a favorite moment?
I first fell in love with sharks when I was 6-7 years old. There was a boy in my class who would always get cool books about animals but he would never tell us where he got them from. So, when we went to the library that week, I followed him and saw a book about sharks. I knew that people were afraid of them, but didn't know why. When I opened the book and read the first page, I realized just how majestic these animals really are.
Sophia with a tagged shark ready to release as part of the GHRI Tagging Program
b. My favorite moment with sharks was when I was training for my scuba certification. It was my final dive but I still hadn't seen a shark. As we were approaching the end of our dive, I noticed something behind a rock. It was the tail of a sleeping nurse shark! I signaled my instructor and started dancing underwater!
4. What is your favorite shark fact?
My favorite shark fact is that tiger sharks are the only species left of their genus, Galeocerdo. Another fact I like is that even though tiger sharks are the only sharks that can break through a sea turtle's shell, their jaw strength is weak in comparison to other sharks.
5. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about sharks?
I wish everybody knew that sharks are not man-killing machines. They only bite us because they confuse us for food or we provoke them.
6. Can you tell us how you have helped/are helping save sharks?
I am helping to save sharks by posting videos on my YouTube channel, Sharkz4lyfe, and educating people about sharks and the ocean in English and Spanish. I also requested all my local, state, and U.S. Congress elected officials to support shark protection. As a result, FL 104 District Representative co-sponsored a House Resolution that led ban Shark Fin Trade in Florida in March 2020.
Sophia with our founder Jillian Morris at a science education event