Meet Marine Biologist & Entrepreneur Jeremiah Sullivan
Marine biologist Jeremiah Sullivan has traveled to some of the furthest corners of the world to dive, photograph and do research. In the late 1970s, he developed a flexible suit of armor for divers to wear while working around sharks and called it the sharksuit ( chainmail). His work has been used around the world and featured on countless TV shows and documentaries. Thanks to Jeremiah for sharing his shark story with us!
You can learn more about his work keep up with his projects on
1.What is your favorite shark and why? They are all favorites based on every species unique appearance, behavior and perfectly evolved place in their respective marine ecosystems. ( We LOVE this answer!)
2. What is one shark you would love to see/dive with?
Well, having already worked with all species considered potentially dangerous to divers during my 40+ year development of various forms of SharkArmor, I now have more time to appreciate and enjoy being in the presence of some of the other extraordinarily beautiful and uniquely adapted species like Threshers, Zebra and Nurse sharks. Next time you are hanging round with some nurse sharks in clear water take a few moments to marvel at the smooth polished texture of their caramel colored skins. The darker brown tones are among my personal favorites.
3. Can you tell us a little about developing the shark suit? What were the first dives like?
Yes of course. This has been a long but very rewarding course of study. 40+ years ago we did not have the benefit of all the information we have today. In fact much of the gathered behavioral knowledge we now have access to can be attributed to the 'as safe as possible' access provided by the gear I make and interactive opportunities they have provided. My process has always been to study each species as though it is the first because they are all a bit different.
Jeremiah testing a shark suit with a blue shark
This process has served me well in understanding the behavioral differences not just between the different species but also the locality of different populations of the same species. You can see the same species behave quite differently from one area to another, one side of an island to another etc, providing more color and greater depth to the range of their capabilities and behavior. Because the techniques I have developed over the years, no sharks I work have ever been injured and are free to come and go at will. Having been the on the receiving end of thousands of bite tests with different species in the most perilous conditions and circumstances imaginable I have sustained no injuries of significance.
4. What is the coolest thing you have seen while working with sharks?
In addition to the sheer magnificence of just being in the presence of these living prehistoric creatures, I love experiencing their individual personalities and observing new behaviors.
5. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about sharks?
That these creatures are among natures most successful accomplishments. That they are specialized complex life forms critical to the health and well being of the Sea which in turn is critical the health and well being of all life on earth. They are predators within their world not to be trifled with nor persecuted and worthy of our respect and protection.
Jeremiah testing a shark suit in the Bahamas