What makes a shark conservationist "tick"?
This week Felix Leander, son of Wolf Leander wrote an article for Deeper Blue that begins to answer the question of why some people want to conserve sharks.
Seems "Sympathy for the Devil" began at an early age in the Leander Clan:
In my family I had little choice not to develop a relationship with the Ocean. I was born in the Bahamas, and our back yard was literally a reef. Before I could walk my parents introduced me to the water - you could say even before that - my mom would dive while pregnant (not with tanks), and apparently I "saw" my first shark while in her belly - my dad loves to tell the story of her starting to paddle back to the boat like a crazy woman and that he had to grab her by the fin to slow down and relax.
After leaving the Bahamas, every vacation we took brought us to the Ocean - in those days you had to be 13 years old to be certified by PADI - which forced me to freedive until then. To my father's disappointed and my mother's delight (I became her buddy) I received my Jr. Open Water certification in Bonaire (which I still have to date). My SCUBA days did not last long, and by the time I was 15 I was once again relying on my lungs.