IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Print this page

Decolonising the waters: interspecies encounters between sharks and humans
Hammerton, Z.; Ford, A. (2018). Decolonising the waters: interspecies encounters between sharks and humans. Animal Studies Journal 7(1): 270-303
In: Animal Studies Journal. University of Wollongong: Wollongong. ISSN 2201-3008, more

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Conservation
    Marine policy
Author keywords
    Interspecies Ethics of Engagement; Decolonisation; Animal Ethics; Human Rights

Authors  Top 
  • Hammerton, Z.
  • Ford, A.

Abstract
    Often portrayed as ‘man–eaters’, sharks are one of the most maligned apex species on earth. Media representation has fuelled public imagination, perpetuating fear and negative stereotypes of sharks and hysteria around human-shark interactions; whilst government initiatives such as beach netting and drum-lines target sharks for elimination. This interdisciplinary article, written from the points of view of environmental science and cultural studies, proposes humans as simply another species when entering the ocean, presenting a decolonising shift in paradigm that supports an interspecies ethics of engagement in understanding shark-human interactions. The shifting environmental, political, social and cultural realities of shark-human interactions are examined from the point of view of an endangered species that is hunted by humans in the pursuit of making beaches ‘safe’ for human leisure activities. The human ‘right to leisure’ enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) raises philosophical and ethical implications in respect of human rights taking precedence over a species’ right to live in its environment. The article builds upon philosophical debates in environmental ethics, offering a point of cultural recognition of the profound imbalance that is being imposed upon Nature. The article proposes a shift in approaches to human attitudes and uses of the ocean, decentralizing the anthropocentric, reinstating the ecological kinship of species.

All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors