South African scuba diver, Reel van der Merwe, has a powerful message ahead of Shark Week (August 4 to August 11).
In an interview from July 20, Reel explained: “The ocean is where the sharks live.
We go into their territory, so we obviously need to respect them.
“There is this inherent fear of sharks that we work with our clients about, to educate them.
They’re not these vicious killers that we make them out to be.” He confessed: “To be honest when I started diving, I had this ‘Jaws’ fear of sharks as well.
And there really was a turning point at one stage when you realise they’re not out to get you.” After diving for two decades, three years ago, Reel gave up corporate life and started his own dive center, Garden Route Scuba in Western Cape Province's Mossel Bay.