By Cristina Zenato

CristinaZenato ReefShark

Photo by Cristina Zenato

With a lifetime dedicated to working with sharks, sooner or later the conversation falls on the subject of JAWS. Not only the damage it has caused the reputation of sharks, but also the physical damage to the shark populations after it was released. People went out to get revenge and to cleanse the oceans from the infestation caused by sharks, believing they were making the sea safer for all these poor unaware swimmers.

I do not deny that the following hysteria was caused and stirred to high levels by the movie Jaws, but the more I hear about it and how Peter Benchley had to spend a lifetime trying to undo the damage he created, the more I find myself disagreeing with these thoughts.

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By Steve De Neef

Deneef 1

Dead staghorn coral and a small anemone is all that remains of this reef one year after Typhoon Haiyan. The fish are still around but without a healthy reef to support them fish stocks are likely to drop which would be another disaster for local fishermen.

 “I’m not sure where they went, maybe they got scared by the typhoon just as we did….”. Those were the words of Nolito Dela Cruz, a fisherman from Polopina Island in the Philippines. He wasn’t referring to his relatives or friends but to the fish he used to catch right in front of his island. Typhoon Haiyan hit Polopina hard on November 8th, 2013. Haiyan devastated the island and went down as the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall anywhere in the world. Nolito and his family lost their house, possessions and banca, a traditional Filipino fishing boat, but they were happy to escape alive. What they didn’t expect was that the typhoon would also alter their livelihood months after it passed by.

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Ocean Geographic Explorer (OGX) is a diving adventure resource with a special focus on marine photography and ocean conservation. Our content is divided up into six primary categories: Travel, Sea Science,  Equipment, Photography &Video, Conservation, and Lifestyle. We endeavor be a portal for people with all levels of interest in the marine environment  to learn about and become part of a community of like-minded ocean lovers who enjoy sharing their knowledge of and experiences in our fascinating ocean world.

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