A TRIBUTE TO DR EUGENIE CLARK

Dr Eugenie Clark, Kim’s namesake, has led the fight to overcome people’s misconceptions about sharks since the 50’. She died on Wednesday at the age of 92.

What a woman!

A phenomenal researcher and marine biologist who is said to swim like a fish and was still diving at 90. She, like our Sharklady Kim, was drawn to the ocean as a young child after growing up in an Ocean-centric Japanese American home.

She became a Marine Biologist when women just did not do that – especially Japanese Americans! She married (a few times) and had 4 children but she didn’t stay at home like most women did in those days, she continued to dive and explore and discover.

She dedicated herself and her life to the ocean and her passion never waned. She gave her time to conservation organisations and researched all marine life but developed a special interest sharks after the making of Jaws in the 70’s. She was the first to stand up and tell the world that sharks were not monsters.

“After some study,” she said, “I began to realize that these ‘gangsters of the deep’ had gotten a bad rap.”

One of her National Geographic stories was titled, “Sharks: Magnificent and Misunderstood.”

She went on to discover new species of fish, discover a natural shark repellent and ride on the back of a 50 foot whale shark, amongst many other things!

“She never outgrew this absolute fascination of looking and seeing and observing under water,” said David Doubilet, a close friend and the underwater photographer who swam beside Clark for the majority of the dozen National Geographic magazine stories she wrote. “Even when I was a younger man and she was older, I couldn’t keep up with her. She moved with a kind of liquid speed underwater.”

National Geographic has an excellent article about the Shark Lady, Eugenie Clark, read it – she will astound you.

Before you do, we would just like to thank her for being so dedicated and making miracles happen against all odds. She has always been one of Kim ‘Sharklady’ MacLean’s heroes and as far as Kim is concerned she is one of the oceans saviours.

Although Kim also becoming known as the Sharklady is completely unrelated to Dr Eugenie Clark, she says she has always felt quite honoured to share a nickname with one of her heroes.