The image of a beautiful blonde woman in the ocean, closely followed by the shape of a huge great white is one that we know well. In a film or on TV, when we see the eerie fin behind the blonde girl in a bikini, we know what it means and it isn't good.
Ocean Ramsey is working to change this stereotype. She may be beautiful, blonde and yes, in a bikini most of the time, but she certainly isn't running away from shark fins, she's swimming towards them.
The marine biologist, shark and marine conservationist, professional freediver, professional scuba instructor, surfer and yogi has a masters level degree in shark behaviour, body language, social hierarchy, and is working to change people's minds about the monster of the sea.
Working in Oahu, Ramsey spends her days swimming with deadly sharks out in the open ocean to collect up to sixty two variables of data every two hours in shark aggregation sites.
The idea behind sharing her work with the public is to help people better understand, appreciate, and respect sharks as valuable apex predators and to combat the irrational fear many people have due to the lack of scientific information out there.
"While swimming with Great Whites is a thrilling and inspiring experience, my interaction with sharks is absolutely driven by my greater goal to advocate shark conservation" says Ramsey.
“ In the end people will only protect what they love, and only love what they understand."
"Many people fear sharks and have unfortunately only seen them portrayed on TV and in films as mindless man-eating machines."
"In truth, sharks are intelligent, calculated, and generally very cautious about approaching humans. More importantly, sharks play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ocean ecosystem and are being over-fished to the point of extinction."
Ramsey has been featured in countless magazines and website articles. She's aware that her model looks, along with her fearlessness when swimming with sharks, is bringing an attention to her work that it wouldn't receive otherwise and is open to exploiting them, to get that work noticed.
"I hope that if any of my talents, features, or natural gifts can be used to better highlight the message I am trying to share" she explained in a recent article.
"It’s ironic that sometimes they title photos of me with sharks as 'Beauty and the Beast,' when sharks and nature are absolutely gorgeous."