Psychological studies suggest that we can essentially “immunise” people against developing easily acquired fears (such as of biological threats, like predators) by providing positive, or even neutral, experiences in early childhood (or at least before any potentially negative exposure occurs). Therefore, I’ve spent a great deal of time these school holidays talking to kids, ranging from 1-19 years old, about sharks. While there have certainly been educational components to these sessions, the main aim was to just provide these children and teenagers with pleasant and fun exposure to sharks. I hope that they will take these experiences and build on them and the knowledge gained. Or, at the very least, when they watch “Jaws” for the first time, start listening to the news or reading the newspaper- only to hear all of the negative stories about sharks- that they go into those experiences armed with the idea that that’s not all there is to sharks, and that they are not always bad. Here’s to a smarter, stronger and braver next generation; one that is not afraid to do what is right for our sharks, our environment and our world.

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