In the great blue, the most problematic creature stalks the seas. By its side, swims a Great White shark.
Sharks are not our enemies. Those of you that have seen Shark Week know how many studies have been conducted to depict how rare it is for a shark to attack a human, and how these creatures, when given a chance, are truly charismatic.
Sharks, of all shapes and sizes, do not attack unless provoked or confused. If you're a surfer, like me, you know that you resemble the shape of a seal or sea lion when all four of your appendages are in the water, as you lay on the surfboard. Sharks have poor vision, so it's understandable how they can make this mistake. In addition, they have sensors, called the Ampullae of Lorenzini, which detect electrical pulses in the water from organisms. All that splashing people do when swimming, paddleboarding, and surfing could attract a shark.
This Ampullae of Lorenzini is what makes these magnificent beings so vital for the ocean to thrive. If a fish or seal is splashing around violently and/or abnormally, it could be sick, in the midst of dying, or wounded. Sharks sense that and go after the weak prey. This is a key factor in keeping our oceans healthy: sharks weed out the weak and the strong are left to procreate and diversify their species with strong genetics. Another reason they're important is they'll generally go after the slowest prey; furthermore, leaving the stronger and faster animals to survive and create offspring of equivalent survival potential. Further explaining that sharks aren't aggressive, just curious to see as to what is making all that noise and seeing if it's food or not.
Sharks are considered "aggressive." To me, that term is all relative to the situation. I've seen small birds be "aggressive" towards people during a certain situation in which the bird probably felt threatened. Well just like those birds, sharks can feel threatened, too. However, they are capable of speaking for themselves and will display certain back off signs when divers, for example, have out stayed their welcome. Sharks still do not attack once these signs have been given if the diver respects the shark and leaves calmly. Just like people, sharks get annoyed. It's only fair, I mean, it is their home!
If you don't believe me, go visit One Ocean Diving on Instagram and see how charismatic sharks can be. The crew of One Ocean Diving have spent hours and hours gaining the trust of some of the most considered "dangerous" sharks. The outcome? Nothing but a deep, mutual understanding that both can coexist peacefully.