Blake Lively appeals to protect white sharks

London: `Gossip Girls` star Blake Lively has urged people to protect white sharks before they become extinct.

The 23-year-old actress, who went shark diving during the shooting of her recently released sci-fi film `The Green Lantern`, has developed a soft corner for the predators, reported Femalefirst.

"It was scary but it was also a beautiful thing. They were just as afraid of us as we are of them. We villainies (sic) them. Great white sharks are nearly extinct. There`s less than 1,000 of them (left). They are finned. (People) cut off the fins and then they throw them back in the ocean so they just drown. It`s a horrible thing that`s happening," said

`The Town` actress braved her fears and took the plunge to come face-to-face with the great white sharks in South Africa, which are widely believed to be the most deadly creatures in the ocean.

"It`s terrifying at first. They throw blood into the water and they throw fish guts. So you`re standing on a boat and you`re trying to lure in sharks. And then you see great whites circling your boat and that`s a good thing? It`s like everything you never want to happen is happening. And then you jump in the water with them. It was so amazing," added Lively.