There’s a fisherman in Florida who dives with sharks every day in order to change people’s perceptions about the animals.
Michael Dornellas is part of the Spearheads group that records their spearfishing exploits online and they posted a video yesterday of him doing something that would strike terror into most people.
In the clip, the 30-year-old can be seen swimming with the creatures and "petting" them on the nose to put them into a trance-like state, before removing a fishing hook from the mouth of one of them with his bare hands.
Donnellas told Grindtv.com that he is trying to change the perception people have about sharks.
He said: "Sharks aren’t these blood thirsty animals that attack people, they’re very precise in the ways they hunt and we are not prey.
"That’s what I’m doing out here, allowing people to see how wonderful these creatures are with their own eyes."
By posting their videos, the Spearhead group are trying to spread the message of how important sharks are to the marine environment.
Dornellas told GrindTV: "Sharks are as important to the health of our oceans and reefs as anything else.
"There have been studies done in the Bahamas and Fiji showing that where shark populations can blossom reefs grow and the number of fish on the reef skyrockets, and where sharks are wiped out the reefs die. They are essential to our oceans."
Dornellas, who has given up everything to devote his life to shark conservation, hasn’t gone unscathed in his exploits.
He tells of an encounter he had in the Bahamas where he was taking photographs of a tiger shark while swimming alongside two lemon sharks.
"I was burst shooting (where several photographs are captured in quick succession), and I guess the vibrations from the camera must have imitated a fish in distress, because suddenly the two lemon sharks bit both sides of my camera housing."
Rather you than me Michael.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved