Protector of the Sea
Behind the Shot
Ryan, explaining his obsession with sharks, says, “In the Polynesian culture, sharks are viewed as protectors.” Unfortunately, though, until recently, the sharks in Polynesia were the creatures needing protection. In the 2000s, more than 8 tons of dried shark fins were shipped to China from local waters.
Their fins are used to make shark fin soup, a luxury served at weddings and other occasions. In a ghastly practice, fishermen will simply cut off the fins from a living shark, then throw the animal back into the water. Since sharks need to swim in order to breathe, they slowly drown.
“I was lucky to meet up with Denis Grosmaire, a renowned free diver and conservationist who lives nearby. He brought us to the sharks to swim with them in their habitat. Sharing a moment with those sharks is definitely one of the experiences that I’m the most grateful for and that had a huge impact on me. I wish everyone could experience this so they could see how wrong modern society portrays them. More than ever, we need more love and respect toward sharks.”