A first of its kind trip with Nova Southeastern University’s Guy Harvey Institute and 20 South Broward High School students gave the kids an up close view of something that provokes fear in many people, sharks.
“It’s really cool. I get to be close up to a shark and not everybody gets to do this every day,” said student Britney Price.
“They’re like my favorite animal, so being able to go hands on and actually next to them is amazing,” said student Keyla Correia.
The purpose of the trip was to get a better understanding of shark behavior, so the students helped tag the sharks, take measurements, get tissue samples, and everything was recorded. The students were part of a free summer program called “Ocean Stem” and one of the other things they learned was that the sharks need protection from humans.
“Humans kill over 100 million sharks every year,” said Dr. Derek Burkholder of the Guy Harvey Institute. “A lot of people do have this stigma of this ‘Jaws’ terrifying man-eating shark kind of thing and you see these animals up close and you know that’s not even close to the case.”
“If we don’t inflict harm to them; then they won’t be harmful to us,” said Keyla. “Me being calm, they’ll be calm towards me.”
NBC 6’s Adam Kuperstein was along for the ride and said the group caught a total of four sharks on the trip. Three of the sharks are called sandbars and one was a nurse shark. The lucky students who reeled in the sharks were also given the honor of naming the new sharks.