By Serina Rahman
As the six young Nature Detectives stepped into Mrs Lim (better known to MNS birders as Bing)’s library, their eyes widened in excitement. Parked quietly on their favourite carpet was a big (inflatable) shark.
And there I was ready to fill their minds with shark trivia. It’s always exciting to work with little kids and talk to them about marine life. But nothing quite gets to them as much as the shark.
Most children know a lot about sharks already – how they have many many teeth and love the taste of humans. But it was a discerning lot that day at Alice Smith as they could tell me that sharks don’t mean to bite – they’re just being curious. Or that their traditional prey had all been shot by man. While some had eaten shark fin soup, others were aware of its origins and the children were suitably saddened by the image of drowned finless sharks.
But the afternoon was not all about sad thoughts; it was a session to celebrate all that is wonderful about this top predator of our seas. And the children jumped at the chance to discover the many weird shapes and sizes of sharks that they had never seen or heard of before.
It was encouraging to see that the world’s citizens of tomorrow remain open to the possibility that sharks aren’t all that evil and bad, and that they too deserve their rightful place on this planet. If only their unbridled passion could permeate the souls of other young minds, our seas and sharks will always be ensured a safe journey. We can only hope…
To request an eye-opening shark talk for your office or school, contact Serina at firstname.lastname@example.org. These public awareness programmes are part of the MNS Marine SIG’s Fins – Best on Sharks Campaign.