The Banks and Scuba Societies: Mr Richard Peirce

Friday, 16th November 2012

The Banks and Scuba Societies were very lucky to welcome Richard Peirce, widely regarded as Britain's 'shark man', on the 16th November. His wealth of experience with sharks has given him a unique perspective on a creature that is often unfairly stereotyped by man, and he sought to address our often irrational fears in this talk. He used a number of examples from around the UK as evidence, some amusing, some tragic and some almost beyond belief, such as the Royal Navy blowing up one of their boats during an ill-fated attempt to kill a shark. Richard also spoke about what he felt was needed to address the problems created by the world’s appetite for shark fin soup, particularly given the fact that so much emphasis is put on blaming China when much of the supply of sharks comes from the rest of the world, including EU waters. The talk was extremely wide-ranging, from discussion on why there are no Great Whites in British waters despite the conditions being apparently perfect for them, to thinking about how we might change public attitudes towards sharks, and Richard’s personal stories helped bring the discussion to life.

Alex Spencer (SAL)