OUR PLACE ON THE PLANET
Added on August 14, 2012

In the foreground is me, André Cronjé. A filmmaker, television presenter, adventurer and ocean lover. I am part of a world population of over 7 billion humans (Homo sapiens), the only living members of the genus Homo. In this picture taken in South Africa, I am surrounded by Blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus). Research shows that the first ancestors of sharks emerged around 200 million years before the dinosaurs. They have since evolved to become one of the most advanced predators on the planet. Yet there is the sad possibility that, in the next few generations our species, we humans will be responsible for the extinction of this majestic creature. To many, it may seem like I am in danger, surrounded by fierce killers of the deep. The reality is that in this picture, the real killer is me. My species are responsible for killing more than 100 million sharks each year. When I look at this picture or see these great hunters of the deep up close, I feel great fear. Not of the sharks, but for the day when my own species is responsible for the extinction of one of the most fascinating and important members of our marine ecosystem.