In the Name of Sharks

Original title: Au nom des requins

Author: Sarano, François

Publication Date:

February 2022

Pages:

304

Original language and publisher

French | Actes Sud

Territories Handled

Netherlands, North America, Scandinavia

Territories Sold

English (World) (Polity Books)
Germany (Folio Verlag)

Genre

Animals & Nature

In the Name of Sharks

Original title: Au nom des requins

Author: Sarano, François

Synopsis

This is a unique book in which the communicative passion of its author shines through like clear water. A powerful plea. — Marine Lamoureux, La Croix

His new book is a magnificent plea for these unloved ones. Much more threatened than threatening, sharks symbolize the otherness of the wild world, with which François Sarano invites us to reconcile. — Madame Figaro

“François Sarano recounts his epic dives, his unexpected observations, and the moments of grace that made his certainties waver. He also shares recent scientific discoveries on these sharks that we still know very little about. And invites us to reflect on the fate that our species has in store for these large cartilaginous fish that are much more threatened than threatening. — Daniel Fievet, FRANCE INTER Le temps d’un bivouac

A diver and oceanographer, François Sarano has devoted his life to the ocean. Living in proximity with whales and other marine life, he has learned to know them and to love them. While diving alone and encountering a great white shark, Lady Mystery, during the shooting of the film, Océans, in 2006, he decided to become a spokesperson for the shark. Fifteen years later, this desire has produced this plea for a deeper understanding of sharks, a creature that terrorizes our collective imaginations. The animal’s reputation is, in reality, unjustified. Sharks lived on Earth long before humans, 400 million years ago. Today, although 90% of sharks have disappeared in the last 50 years in relative indifference, cinema and the media still depict them as bloodthirsty monsters.

Ethology and neurobiology have proved however that sharks develop their own unique, individual identities and personalities.

Sharks cannot speak for themselves, yet researchers who dive and study them can reveal their codes, the secrets of their hidden underwater life, so that we better understand them and protect them. Sharks have far more to fear from humans that we do from them.

More than a synthesis of shark-life, Au nom des requins draws on François Sarano’s extensive experience in the field of cartilaginous fish and looks at their symbolic function in society. Sharks are a perfect representation of the otherness of wilderness that modern man seeks to exploit and dominate with irreparable destructive results. François Sarano highlights how we can only reconcile ourselves with nature, and sharks in particular, a creature that has been hunted and exterminated like so many others, if we abandon our prejudices and encounter them head-on. So that each living entity, human and non-human, can take their rightful place in the broader global ecosystem.

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