TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT GOT YOU INTO SHARK DIVING?
My name is Szilard Janko, I am 26 years old, currently living in South Florida. I am finishing my Bachelor’s Degree, working Ocean Rescue, and spending as much time as possible in the ocean/traveling/surfing/capturing underwater images. I got into shark diving earlier this year, Amanda from Florida Shark Diving in Jupiter, Florida found my photography through social media and sent me a message asking if I would be interested in shooting on their dive boat. I’ve seen sharks before this while freediving but this was my first time going out specifically for a shark dive where we got up close and personal to multiple sharks at once.
WHAT FASCINATES YOU ABOUT SHARKS AND THEIR LIVES BELOW THE SURFACE?
It is such an amazing experience swimming with these friendly, curious creatures. Just spending a few minutes with them in the water will make you will realize that they are not the monsters that Hollywood and the media make them out to be. It’s hard to put into words the feeling you get when swimming next to a creature that is so big and powerful but at the same time so graceful, it's something you have to go out and experience for yourself to truly understand. The pictures and stories don't do it justice.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF SHARK CONSERVATION?
Right now many of the shark species are on the endangered species list and if we don't make a change soon we might loose these beautiful animals from our world. Many sharks are killed to make shark fin soup, this is very popular in some Asian countries where they believe that it has healing properties. In reality eating any part of a shark increases the amount of heavy metal poisoning in our bodies because they are full of mercury. Since the media and movies have been giving sharks a negative image, many people don't even care to be informed about the destruction of the sharks that is happening in our oceans. By taking people out shark diving and bringing these underwater photographs to people, we are hoping to create a personal connection between sharks and humans. Through this we will hopefully get more people involved in changing laws that will protect the sharks.