The Sharkman meets Kim “The Shark Lady” MacLean
Sharkman: Kim, how long have you been Interested in sharks?
Kim: I think from the time I was born. I knew in my childhood years, that I wanted to pursue a career working with marine life. I always wanted to be a dolphin trainer. This eventually changed as I became aware of the helpless slaughtering of sharks.
Sharkman: What prompted this interest?
Kim: The absolute unknown.
Sharkman: In what way is your work related to sharks?
Kim: I live, eat and sleep sharks. I pioneered Great White shark cage diving in Gansbaai, South Africa in 1992. I work practically face-to-face with this magnificent animal. The more we learn, the more we can pass on to others.
Sharkman: You worked in the Two Oceans Aquarium. What did your job involve?
Kim: I was one of the divers responsible for the collection and transporting of the marine creatures. Transporting the Ragged-tooth sharks was really interesting.
Sharkman: What made you quit this job?
Kim: I returned to working with Great White sharks, and concentrating on my business, which at that time was growing into a very popular learning adventure.
Sharkman: You are one of the pioneer operators of Dyer Island. How did this all start?
Kim: I am the original and first person to pioneer the cage diving on a commercial level. This started in 1992, after having left the shark research institute, which was run by a well known scientist. I felt that it would be a good idea to take the public and show them the animal, in it’s natural environment, and by doing so teach them the true facts about sharks.
Sharkman: What is your greatest wish?
Kim: To have a Great White Shark in my swimming pool. Well, I would really like to one day open an education centre for children, and to be able to teach them about sharks, and our magnificent marine system.
Sharkman: Which is The “Most Memorable Moment in your Career”?
Kim: The most memorable moment in my career was seeing a Great White for the first time in it’s natural environment. That was back in False Bay when working for the research institute. Of course, there are many more occasions. The other that comes to mind was working with Nicolet Huelot from France. It was my first big film documentary, and we sat out a 2 week storm. When it cleared we were surrounded by 11 Great whites, with 15 metre visibility. They shot some of the best footage ever. Check out “Operation Okavango, Diving with Great Whites”.
Sharkman: What last message would you like to tell our readers?
Kim: I would like to invite all readers to come and visit our magnificent country, and view the Great White and the Southern right Whales. A learning holiday is as good as any holiday.
Sharkman: Anything else you would like to add?
Kim: Owing to massive negative media publicity over the years, sharks have become one of the most maligned, misunderstood, and even hated animals on our planet. They have been pursued, hunted and indiscriminately slaughtered over the years, to the point where many species are endangered.
If we can dispel some of the hype and myth, and the fear which surrounds these magnificent animals. Even if through our commitment, we only introduce some element of objective perspective to the people, whom we come into contact with. Then we have, at least, made some contribution to maintaining the natural balance in at least one ecosystem, in our communal home, Earth.
This is why I do what I do.
Sharkman: Thank you Kim.
The Sharklady and The Sharkman
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