Eugenie Clark, The Shark Lady, died on this day 2 years ago at the young age of 92. Here's one of my favorite quotes from her during the National Geographic special called The Sharks from 1982. Her work was quite impacting on all shark research and for marine conservation. She deserves to be remembered for it.
"I want people to understand that the danger from shark attacks is so slight they don’t have to worry about it. People come to me and ask what should do if they go in the water and see a shark. You don’t have to do anything. The chances of that shark coming over to you and especially attacking you is so remote it’s like saying what should I do if I see a car driving down the street.. You shouldn’t spend your time worrying about preparing for a remote accident. The sea should be enjoyed, the animals in it. If you see a shark in the water you should say, how lucky I am to see this beautiful animal in his environment."
- Eugenie Clark – National Geographic - The Sharks (1982)
You can watch the entire documentary below. My grandmother purchased this VHS tape for me when I was just 8 years old. I still put high value in it for driving my career in marine science.
"Clark was considered an international scientific authority, especially on sharks and tropical fishes. Over the course of her career, she authored two books, Lady with a Spear (1953) and The Lady and the Sharks (1969), as well as over 175 scientific articles. Clark was an avid supporter of marine conservation and many of her popular publications and public appearances focused on dispelling assumptions about shark behavior and intelligence in an effort to prevent the killing of sharks and encourage the preservation of marine environments. Publications from within this body of work document that she was the first person to train sharks to press targets, as well as the first scientist to develop “test tube” babies in female fish. She also discovered that the Moses sole produces a natural shark repellent, which has since been employed by researchers aiming to prevent harmful interactions between sharks and humans. Clark’s observation of numerous “sleeping” sharks during her research dives helped to prove sharks do not need to move in order to breathe. Over her decades of research, Clark conducted over 70 submersible dives and led more than 200 field research expeditions around the world. She worked on twenty-four television specials and helped create the first IMAX film." Lifted from her page on Wikipedia.