Extreme swimmer has jaunt with Jaws

2016-03-23 09:45
(File, YouTube)

(File, YouTube)

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Cape Town - Wearing just a Speedo, an extreme swimmer on Tuesday braved a dip with sharks in an effort to raise awareness of ocean conservation.

Justin Coetzee faced one of the world's most feared predators when he, along with shark handlers, made the daring dive at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, for which he is the brand ambassador.

Photographer Stéphane Gautronneau swam with them.

"It was a fantastic experience," Coetzee told News24 after his feat.

"It was just me and my Speedo. It was wonderful."

And the sharks were not half as scary as society would like to believe, Coetzee said with a laugh.

While they were generally viewed as man-eating predators, Coetzee pointed out that sharks were themselves being hunted and slaughtered on a global scale.

According to the aquarium, millions were killed annually for their meat, teeth, skin, oil and cartilage, with the biggest threat being illegal finning, in which the appendage is "hacked off the living animal and it is tossed back overboard to die a slow death".

The fins were then used in soup.

The aim of Coetzee's jaunt with Jaws was to help create awareness of plastic pollution and to inspire people to use and re-use plastic responsibly.

He said he spent most of his time either on the beach or in the surf training.

"It is essential that we realise the impact our behaviour has on the environment," he said.

"We need to conserve and preserve it for generations to come. Animals are affected by pollution. We need to better our behaviour now and look critically at how we interact with nature."

Read more on:    cape town  |  conservation  |  animals

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