Bimini At Center Of Fight To Protect Sharks

Wednesday 22nd, February 2012 / 10:03 Published by

Source: CBS4

MIAMI (CBS4) – Just 50 miles off the coast of Bimini the waters are teaming with sharks.

Sharks that need human protection.  At the center of that effort is Dr. Samuel Gruber, a professor at the University of Miami’s Rosential School for Marine and Atmospheric Science and director of their Bimini Biological Field Station. You could call him the “shark whisperer.” But he hardly whispers.

“I want you to clear that shark. Can you do that,” asked Dr. Gruber point to a large shark in the water. “Look at that shark!”

Perhaps he is the “shark barker. At 74-years old, Dr. Gruber could be summed up in one word:  crazy.

“I frankly never thought I’d live past 30,” Gruber told CBS4′s David Sutta while he fought to pull up a tiger shark on the side of a boat. Somehow Doc has survived encountering sharks from Florida through the Bahamas, since the 60′s.

Gruber’s love for one of the most feared animals in the ocean drove him to set up the school’s shark lab in Bimini. He was forced there when research in the Florida Keys collapsed.

“I watched the population that I worked with dwindle down to nothing over a period of several years due to overfishing,” explained Gruber.

Today, he’s far from nothing. Sharks are everywhere.

Biologists come to Bimini from around the world to study the ocean’s top predator. It’s not by chance that Gruber, the biologists or the sharks are here.  For three decades the Bahamas have been protecting the shark.

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