Ron Taylor, who has died aged 78, was a great observer and defender of sharks. He began his career earning a living as a spearfisher, and later filmed some of the most exciting sequences for Steven Spielberg's 1975 film Jaws, but then spent the rest of his life educating people about the animals he regarded as "fascinating marine creatures". "There are over 360 different shark species in the world's oceans," he noted in an interview in 2007, "yet only a few of those are potentially dangerous. Each one has its own characteristics. Sharks have evolved to fulfil a different niche in the marine environment."
Sharks existed before the dinosaurs, and prospered for millions of years, yet during their lifetime Taylor and his wife, Valerie – an equally passionate advocate – saw them come under threat. Many are killed for their teeth,