A curious blue shark swoops past a floating snorkeller.
It's estimated that 75-100 million sharks are killed each year, half as a result of bycatch and half through fisheries targeting them for their fins. However, a growing list of nations are boasting increasingly protective legislation to safeguard their shark populations through fishing bans and the establishment of protected areas. This has been driven by an increased awareness of the importance of sharks in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems and their value in tourism, both of which humans are reliant upon.
Europe still has a long way to go in effectively protecting their shark populations. This image depicts a snorkeller swimming with a female blue shark - arguably THE most persecuted shark species in the Atlantic. Hopefully it will help to illustrate that there is scope for more shark ecotourism in European waters.