Sharks are being over-fished and finned at unsustainable rates. New studies estimate 100 million sharks are killed every year at the hands of humans. The IUCN, the main authority on the conservation status of species worldwide, has great whites, tiger sharks, and other species on the red list as being vulnerable to extinction. It’s estimated that there are less than 400 great whites left in the North Pacific and less than 3,500 great white sharks left worldwide.
Sharks are threatened by the misconceptions surrounding them; sadly, fear keeps most people from truly understanding them. Sharks function as the white blood cells of the ocean: picking off the dead, dying, and sick—keeping populations below them on the food chain in delicate balance. Sharks are vital not only to their ecosystem but the planet as a whole, and they deserve and need to be protected.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
1. Do your part to educate about sharks. The more people that are knowledgeable about sharks and the vital role they play in the ecosystem, the more people that will stand up and support efforts to protect them.
2. Sign a petition. It only takes two minutes and it does make an impact—standing together our voices are better heard and acknowledged.
3. Don’t buy shark fin soup or souvenirs or support anything that promotes the continued poaching of sharks.
4. Support shark conservation, research, and educational shark tourism.
Listed below are a few links to some of the great organizations that are working to preserve shark species.