Sharks! A sign environmental regulations are working

 

 

 

 

The Environmental Revolution…we put in all this legislation because we recognised all those problems. Here we are 40, almost 50, years later, and we’re seeing the top predator in our coastal ocean recovering. I would argue that that is a sign that we’ve been doing some things right.

 

 

Dr. Chris Lowe, Professor of Marine Biology and Director of The Shark Lab at California State University Long Beach.

 

Sam:

Welcome to Sustainable Lens, Resilience on Radio. A weekly show on sustainability topics brought to you by Otago Polytechnic. The show is co-hosted by Shane Gallagher, and me, Samuel Mann. Shane’s not here tonight because I’m at the California State University of Long Beach. There’s big signs up everywhere that just say The Beach. So we’re at the beach.

 

Each week we talk with someone making a positive difference, and we try to find out what motivates them, what it means to see the world through a sustainable perspective through their sustainable lens. Tonight’s sustainable lens, appropriately for the beach, is that of Dr. Chris Lowe, Professor of Marine Biology and Director of the Shark Lab here at California State University Long Beach. Thank you very much for joining me.

 

Chris:

Sure. It’s a pleasure.

 

Sam:

Big picture things first. Where’d you grow up?

 

Chris:

I grew up in Martha’s Vineyard, a little island off Cape Cod. My mom’s family had been on the Vineyard for a couple hundred years. We were whalers and sea captains and commercial fishermen and things like that. So I grew up fishing. Something I did everyday as a kid. I loved it. Then I learned to dive. First in my family to go to college, and they couldn’t understand why I wanted to be this strange animal called a marine biologist. Why didn’t I want to be a fisherman or a carpenter or something? I kind of broke the mould. I was the black sheep of the family.

 

Sam:

Did you always want to be a marine biologist?

 

Chris:

Probably since I was about eight. I really … I just found marine animals fascinating, and I just love learning about them.

 

Sam:

Where’d that come from?

 

Chris:

You know, I think it was I was just naturally drawn to them. I was fascinated by them. I would catch these different fish. I remember the first shark I caught. I was eight. I didn’t know what it was, and it actually forced me to go to this place called a library. I wasn’t a big reader, but that actually got me interested in reading. I spent a lot of time in the library learning about sharks, and that was it. I kind of knew what I was going to do, even though I didn’t know what that was and nobody in my family could tell me what it was.

 

Sam:

Did you have a mentor or somebody that inspired you on that?

 

Chris:

You know, I did. We had a shellfish hatchery on the island, and I met one of the marine biologists that was running that. He kind of took me under his wing and kind of got me interested in marine biology, and that was my first kind of mentor as somebody who did this for a living.

 

Sam:

So you took yourself off to college.

 

Chris:

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