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“you are more likely to be bitten by a New Yorker than a shark"  

Takeaways from Ed Andrew talking with Kay Burns

Kay is a Shark and Marine Conservationist. She is a PADI Divemaster, Shark Safety Diver, EFR Instructor, Apnea Total Certified Freediver and a Representative in One Ocean Diving Keiki Outreach Program. Kay studied Tourism and Hospitality at Temple University and completed the Marine Option Program at Windward Community College. She has also completed a shark specialty course with Queensland University and Cornell University.

Kay is also an entrepreneur with a branded fashion line where a percentage of profits go back to teaching children in schools about sharks and marine conservation, she is also shortly to launch an eco tourism business.











Talking points:

  • on moving to Hawaii and meeting her mentor Ocean Ramsey - “your dreams are on the other side of your comfort zone” (2)


  • falling in love with sharks


  • filming #HaoleGirl the 20ft Great White Shark - (8)


  • changing the law in Hawaii to protect for sharks and rays, positive conservation message, we are not saying we got it right - trying to redirect and keep it with a conservation message


  • culling sharks, killing sharks, shark finning and commercial fishing


  • the images were shown on tv and broadcast media in Japan, getting to the source for the demand of shark fins, "male shark handlers do not get as much negative attention as women" (14)


  • Hawaii is one of the most forward thinking environment & states in North America, science “proven that healthy shark population directly impacts healthy fish eco system - (17)


  • One Ocean has a 100% safety record, education and behaviour, sharks are really polite predators, the bite is the last resort, they gave lots of warnings - don’t be complacent, they are apex predators, 95% of a sharks life is spent conserving energy, some species will not eat for months (21)


  • “being in the water with sharks is a meditative experience it is not an adrenalin rush”


  • discussing the texture of a shark's skin - how their own prey use them as a scratching post


  • watching dolphins and sharks, protecting humans there is no real science, dolphins could be using the opportunity to observe her and learn about her behaviour 


  • it feels that everyone (animals) knows each other in the water, beautiful and surprising and all striking (30)


  • discussing shark safety - if there is a great whose or tiger then you should probably hop out of the water, learn about the sharks first, accidents happen and much easier under the water to read them than on a surf board (31)


  • shark culling after an attack- typically a swimmer or surfer will look like a prey item, it is what they were on the planet to to, humans have thrown them fro a loop - usually tigers and great whites are highly migrational and no way to know it was the same shark, usually do is just kill any shark in the area, (33)


  • shark safety tips, never surf in murkier water, avoid harbour and river mouths, sharks rely on eyesight, strength in numbers, pick up your feet off the board, wetsuits have bio-mimickery - not science but just a precaution


  • More likely to be bitten by a NY than a shark, 1600 bitten by NY per year, 


  • cleaning up the oceans - 500m straws a day are used each day in North America - 38, 


  • reduce your personal use of single plastic - reusable water bottles, individually take responsibility, bamboo sporks,

  • being a conscious consumer (41)


  • starting a clothing line based on work for conservation, a portion goes back to One Ocean Education, go out to schools to teach them, to hep catch their fascination - inspired by Free Willy and Little Mermaid and first whale watching tour at 10yrs old (42)


  • with Cam Grant her fiancee, running eco tourism expeditions in Moorea


  • "anyone can be a conservationist, make a pledge don’t use single use plastic, use sunscreen which is safe for the reef, start being a conservationist by making with little choices"

saving Jaws docs with Ocean and Juan, Shark Water Rob Stewart,    


Suggested documentaries -


Saving Jaws with Ocean Ramsey and Juan Oliphant on Amazon 2019

BBC - Blue Planet series


Sharkwater by Rob Stewart - 

To contact Kay please click on the links below​ or contact her at One Ocean Diving

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Kay Burns shark diver Human Impact podcast

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