Duhhh nuh. Duhhh nuh. It’s Shark Week and we’re vouching to save our sharks! These beautiful creatures may look scary to the outsider, but they make for amazing companions on our deep-sea dives!
Dangers of sharks
Many people assume that sharks are one of the most dangerous predators on Earth. If you go into more research, you’ll find that out of the 480 (and counting) species of sharks, only four of them are considered dangerous. These four species are the great white, tiger shark, bull shark, and oceanic white tip. That means that less than one percent (0.83% to be exact)- of these sharks are dangerous- and only if you provoke them! If you’re diving or swimming in sharky waters, be sure to stay calm! Remember: sharks don’t have arms- they get to know their surroundings by poking their heads around. We’re in their territory- be respectful!
Why sharks are being killed
There are many reasons why sharks are being killed. They threaten humans with their aggressive behavior. Another reason is shark fin is seen as a delicacy in some European countries, as well as shark oils being used in many products. What is interesting about shark fin soup is that the fin isn’t used for the taste of the soup, rather it is used as a thickening agent for the broth. That is a lot of shark waste for a small bowl of soup! When fisherman aren’t decapitating sharks solely for their fins, they may be collecting cartilage, which can be found in pills and powders of health-related issues such as, asthma, eczema, hemorrhoids, etc. In order to determine whether your medication has to contribute to the declining of shark populations, look for chondroitin on your ingredients label. Sadly, these aren’t the only reasons sharks are being hunted. Another is for their liver, which is used in anti-aging creams, lotions, deodorants, hair conditioners and many other beauty products. These products include shark-based squalene, although many companies have vowed to switch to vegetable-based, so be sure to do your research before purchasing your beauty products! Not only are we unknowingly supporting the sharking industry while getting ready for a date, but we may also be eating it! Shark may be combined with other whitefish products for foods such as fish patties and fish sticks! Depending on the type of purse or shoes you’re wearing on your date, you may even be wearing shark! Many high-end designers like Jimmy Choo have used sharkskin as leather as it is unusually durable. Over 10 shark species are being used for this type of material, and can even be used by companies such as Nike! That’s not all. The use of sharks has extended to our pets- it has been found in pet supplements, specifically for joint health, and even chews toys. (Maybe your dog is as tough as it thinks it is- chewing away at shark parts)
Impacts on sharks
Aside from declining shark populations, there are many other reasons that shark hunting is a problem. The stability of marine ecosystems is declining due to the fact that sharks are an apex predator. Foreign fishing vessels that will capture other marine organisms and possibly damage those populations as well are invading local, pristine waters. These fishing vessels that capture sharks only us 1% of the shark (the fin/ cartilage), while the rest of the shark is thrown away and unused. In fact, while finning, the shark is captured and kept aside the boat. The fisherman will then cut the fin off and the shark will sink to the bottom, unable to swim.
What we can do
Spread the word! Help campaigns all around the world save the sharks! Go to loveanimals.org and support any of the campaign’s being presented to help save the sharks! Our campaign is to raise money for our Ocean Ambassador Certification Program to educate our new Ambassadors about sharks!