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WATCH: Researcher swims with 20-foot great white shark

In this Jan. 15, 2019 photo provided by Juan Oliphant, Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher and advocate, swims with a large great white shark off the shore of Oahu. Ramsey told The Associated Press on Thursday, Jan. 17 that images of her swimming next to a huge great white shark prove that these top predators should be protected, not feared. (Juan Oliphant via AP)

Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher and conservationist who operates Oahu-based One Ocean Diving and Research with her fiancé, Juan Oliphant, said she released images of her swimming next to a huge great white shark to prove that these top predators should be protected, not feared.

However, she said, she doesn't think the general public should recklessly get into the water with these giants, especially around a food source like a rotting whale carcass. When the video was captured, Ramsey had encountered the shark near near a dead sperm whale off Oahu. The video was recorded by Oliphant.

"So,there's not a lot of sympathy for sharks because of the way they're portrayed in media and they don't have the cute cuddly appearance," Ramsey said. "So I'm in this split where I'm trying to share images that show that we can peacefully coexist. You have these amazing you know almost gentle individuals like this but they are apex predators. So I do want to encourage a healthy level of respect for that. You can't hate them for being predators. We need them for healthy marine ecosystems."

Some researchers believe it might be the same shark named Deep Blue, one of the biggest great whites ever caught on video.

"I still can't believe it and it's not confirmed that it is Deep Blue but she really looks it," Oliphant said. "She looks the part right now so keeping the fingers crossed it is her or maybe even more exciting that there is another massive, you know, super-size great white shark out there. Because their populations are so dwindling it's sad to think that, you know, she could be the last mega shark that we see."


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