Hey guys we hope you have been enjoying Shark Week so far we know we have! Today’s post is about shark conservation, if you love sharks like we do you’d know how important their protection is and what it would mean if even a few species go extinct. Read on to learn about how sharks are endangered and what you can do to help!
The more prevalent shark attacks become in the news the more danger many shark species are put in. In case you are unaware, some shark species have awful eyesight, they see in contrast not in color so they often mistake humans for their natural prey, seals, sea turtles, and sea lions. We know many shark attacks end in a certain tragedy but once we understand that it is not necessarily the shark’s fault anybody seeking “revenge” can stop going to such extremes as to start depleting a population of a species because of things they cannot control. Once humans are in the ocean, they are in the shark’s territory not the other way around.
Some of the things that put sharks in danger are commercial and recreational fishing; nearly 100 million sharks are killed by humans each year because of fishing. Another reason they are killed is for seafood like shark fin soup and fish and chips in some countries. In 2014, a shark cull in Western Australia killed many sharks because of an imminent threat policy Australia once had which was if sharks are posing a threat to a human then they can be shot and killed. In Australia and a few other places there are actually shark killing programs, sharks as well as other marine wildlife such as dolphins and sea turtles are killed in large numbers. It has been recorded that these programs have reduced the occurrence of shark attacks on humans but if they only knew how important sharks are in marine ecosystems. Additional threats include those that deplete many marine species and ecosystems are habitat alterations, pollution, and destruction caused by coastal development. At this point sharks are being hunted to extinction and humans kill more sharks than sharks kill humans. Humans are the real predators here so it is time that those of us who are educated start actively working towards giving back to the ocean and all of the shark species who are suffering.
Even though we do love the movie “Jaws” it placed a permanent image in people’s minds that Sharks are these relentless killers with only a taste for human blood. It is important that we get away from that thinking since that movie was a work of fiction. Most of the news coverage and things found in the media about sharks are negative things; a way to stop this is to try to bring up the positive things sharks bring to the table. What needs to be discussed more is what we would do if sharks go extinct, then people would really see how much the ocean and we humans need them. We ask you to balance the coverage in the media, if you see a negative post about sharks online, go on Instagram and post something positive or cute about them for all to see. Hashtag it #SharksAreFriendsNotFood (you see what we did there with the Finding Nemo reference) If we see it, we will make sure to give it a like and maybe even repost it!
Below are some conservation groups and places you can donate to contribute to shark conservation.
We’ve heard a lot about Oceana and there many projects to protect and preserve the ocean as well as all of the marine wildlife that dwell inside. Donating supplies or money to Oceana can ensure that the ocean can be healthy and abundant in resources; it should be a no brainer to support this cause because the Earth that we live on is 71% water. Also on their website they have tips on how you can alter some of the everyday things that you do that can help the ocean. Oceana also partnered up with Lokai
Shark Angels use the strength of modern technology and education to run their campaign. We think education is the best way to get people to get involved and with their many campaigns and use of media the sharks are lucky to have them. Also check out Pura Vida .com they have a bracelet that is only $5 and 10% of the net profits go to Shark Angels! The last few times we’ve checked they’ve been sold out but remember, that is a good thing and you can have Pura Vida email you when they have more!
Purchase Pura Vida Bracelet
Those are the two charities we know most about but we’re going to link some more below so you can read about and choose your own charity!
Shark Friendly Marinas
Shark Research Institute
There are probably a ton more so search around and find some trustworthy foundations!
Okay, so now that you know sharks need your help and how to help them, you can learn why you should love them as much as we do, so here are ten FINTASTIC Facts about sharks!
- Baby sharks are called pups and way back when sharks were called sea dogs, how cute!
- Sharks first appeared 400 million years ago
- There are over 400 shark species
- You swim with sharks all the time yet only 40-50 attacks are reported each year so if sharks wanted to eat people there would be over 100 attacks a month
- Great white sharks eat 11 tons of food each year
- 97% of shark species are harmless to humans
- Great white sharks don’t bite much harder than humans do
- Whale sharks are huge yet they are the most docile species of shark and they make excellent diving companions! (Ever since I saw “Finding Dory” and saw how cute Destiny the whale shark was I’ve been obsessed!)
- They are closely related to stingrays
- You are more likely to die from getting hit with a falling coconut than getting attacked by a shark
Thank you so much for reading! We hope you learned something new about our beloved sharks and are willing to help in any way you can through donating, volunteering, buying a bracelet from Lokai or Pura Vida, helping others get educated, or balancing the media coverage with the hashtag #SharksAreFriendsNotFood!
What is your favorite species of shark? We all love the Great White Shark!