By danielclark, YourNews contributor
Posted January 4, 2010
SEBASTIAN — Sharks - demons of the sea - or a diverse group of animals that deserves an image makeover?
Marine biologist Hannah Mead will change your perception of them in "Even Sharks Need Friends," a presentation of the Turtle Coast Sierra Club at the Library in Sebastian on Jan. 19, at 7 p.m.
Mead will show you what makes a shark a shark, and how those traits make them susceptible to overfishing. Emerging evidence suggests that the use of unsustainable fishing practices, like long lining and a profitable market for shark fins, are causing the depletion of local and global shark populations.
Mead earned dual degrees in Marine Biology and Ecology from Florida Tech. She recently returned from living in South Africa, where she earned a Master's degree in Zoology from the Marine Biology Research Institute at the University of Cape Town. All of her free time was spent at sea with white sharks, either tagging/observing them for governmental and PhD projects, or as an onboard scientist for a commercial cage diving company, promoting education and conservation among the clients.
Her free time was also spent catching shy sharks for research or cruising with the cow sharks off the Cape peninsula and the whale sharks of Mozambique. Being immersed in such a "sharky" community solidified her commitment to research, and their conservation.
Admission to this program is free and open to the public. A social hour with refreshments begins at 6:30 p.m. The North Indian River County Library is located three miles west of U.S. 1 on Sebastian Boulevard. Call (772) 589-1355 for more information.