Question Sheet: Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays


Before reading:

  1. What do you think a marine reserve is?
  2. What are some things we can do to protect sea creatures from becoming endangered?
  3. Is it always dangerous to swim with sharks?

During reading:

  1. What are marine reserves created to protect?
  2. How do animals in marine reserves contribute to populations elsewhere in the ocean?
  3. When biologist Charles Acosta says that reserves “make sense economically,” what does he mean? How do the reserves also make sense environmentally?
  4. Do marine reserves help or hurt fishermen? What points support each perspective?
  5. Why are marine reserves especially controversial in the Florida Keys?
  6. Why do some snorkelers find shark sightings at a marine reserve less exciting than at other places in the ocean?

After reading:

  1. What are some other positive aspects of marine reserves besides supplying fish to the rest of the ocean?
  2. What are the differences between a marine reserve and an aquarium?


  1. People who work at marine reserves are very concerned about catching poachers. What does a poacher do? Where else are people worried about poaching?
  2. Pretend you were a member of an advertising agency. What slogans can you come up with to educate fishermen about the importance of marine reserves?
  3. List similarities between a marine reserve and a bank. Then list differences.
  4. Imagine you are swimming with sharks. List at least 10 adjectives to describe how you might feel.


Belize lies on the east coast of central America in the heart of the Caribbean basin, bordering on Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south, and flanked by the Caribbean Sea to the east.

It takes 2 hours and 55 minutes to fly 1,094 miles from New York City to Miami, Fla., then, after changing planes, 2 hours and 15 minutes to fly 757 miles from Miami to Belize City. Given that New York City is 1,798 miles from Belize City, how long would it take you to fly directly from New York City to Belize City using the faster plane?