Actor’s Family Take The Plunge And Dive With Sharks

John Hannah, left, with his kids and members of the Deep Sea World team

Actor John Hannah took time out from performing at the Edinburgh Festival to enjoy a thrilling day out at Deep Sea World, Scotland’s national aquarium.

The actor, who was born in East Kilbride, visited the North Queensferry attraction with his wife and two children who both took the plunge and dived with three-metre-long sand tiger sharks in the aquarium’s 3.8-million-litre Underwater Safari display.

A keen conservationist, John has been lending his support to the Keep Fin Alive campaign to raise awareness of the dangers faced by shark species worldwide as a result of the trade in shark meat, fins and accidental by-catch.

“We had an extraordinary time at Deep Sea World getting close to the many species resident there and becoming aware of just how fragile the balance is for the future survival of all ocean species in the wild,” said John.

“We are aware perhaps of the threat to Atlantic fish like cod and haddock, the dangers of dredging on an industrial scale, but let’s try to help the top ocean predator by saving them from thoughtless overfishing and deep misunderstanding. If we don’t then one day it will just be us and there will be nothing left to wonder at,” he added.

The Keep Fin Alive campaign is the brainchild of a Scot living in South Africa, Esther Jacobs Overbeeke, who is aiming to recruit as many ‘fin huggers’ as possible around the world.

As well as recruiting John and his family to the cause, Esther also visited Deep Sea World to win the backing of their divers and zoological team.

“Our ultimate goal is to make as many people as possible aware of the fishing and finning trade, and to stop any support for the trades by gaining momentum through the power of social media,” said Esther. 

“With celebrities, renowned scientists and conservationists supporting the campaign, we can help change the common misconception of sharks and gain more support from the public to stop overfishing, shark fishing tournaments, raise by-catch and long-lining awareness, and spread the word on sharks’ plight.

“Sharks just cannot reproduce quickly enough to keep up with the demand and the only way to stop shark extinction is to stop the trade. Without sharks, the ocean might eventually be uninhabitable due to their vital role in keeping our oceans healthy,” she added.

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