July 13, 2016

How We Can Help Save Sharks

please be nice to sharks
This post written by the author, Matt Weiss of Please Be Nice To Sharks gives us a little more insight on how we can help with the conservation of sharks, and protect them from becoming extinct. 

While scientists haven't determined an exact measurement of how quickly sharks are disappearing, they are almost all in agreement that shark populations have been drastically reduced over the past few decades. There are many factors involved, but overfishing and pollution are two serious issues affecting shark conservation. If you want to be nice to sharks, helping reduce the effects of these environmental issues is a great place to start.

How To Help Sharks – Overfishing
Sharks, for the most part, are not considered to taste good. You'd be hard pressed to find a top chef yearning for the flavours of shark meat. Due to this, many find it surprising that sharks are overfished. However, there is one part of the shark that is considered a delicacy, despite, by almost all accounts, it not having any flavour – the fin. Shark fin soup is an expensive dish served largely at ceremonies and important functions in parts of China and at some Chinese food restaurants. Some scientists estimate that a staggering 79 million sharks a year are fished for shark fin soup. Recently, more people have become aware of damaging the demand for shark fins has been to shark populations, and there are some laws that outlaw "finning," but shark fin soup remains the biggest threat to shark survival.

Another reason shark populations are decreasing is that sharks are often caught accidentally, as what it is referred to as by-catch. Large fishing vessels that are targeting certain open ocean species, like tuna, will cast lines or nets that are miles long. This gear is not only really good at catching the desired species, but also lots of other animals, including sharks, turtles, dolphins, and seabirds. These unwanted species are usually discarded overboard and if they are not already dead, they are left to die a fairly inhumane death.

It's easy to see why the most important way you can help sharks is by eating sustainably. It goes without saying that you should never eat shark, but also be conscious about all seafood you're eating. If you're concerned about sharks, take a look at seafood guides like the Monterey Bay Aquarium's "Seafood Watch" and educate your family about the importance of eating sustainably. Overfishing is one of the biggest threats to sharks, and will be an even more important issue for the next generation.

How To Help Sharks – Pollution
Pollution is a real threat to the ocean, and therefore, a threat to sharks. All over the world, lots of human waste ends up in the ocean. Unfortunately, we treat the ocean like a big dumping ground. A major problem is industrial run-off - untreated sewage, fertilizer from farms, oil spills from boats, and all types of harmful chemicals - but household garbage is a major issue as well. Large parts of the ocean are covered in trash, and there is perhaps no worse offender than plastics. Plastics decompose very slowly, so when plastic products wind up in the ocean, they will be there for a very long time. What's worse is that many plastic items look a lot like food to some sea animals, such as sea turtles (a major food source of sharks), and are often found inside the body of these animals restricting breathing passages. A particularly disturbing fact is that there's a large garbage "patch" referred to as "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch" floating in the Pacific Oceans that is reported to be anywhere from the size of Texas to as a big as twice the size of the continental United States! It's safe to say plastics are a real ocean problem. Want to be nice to sharks? Help cut down on pollution, but making sure you dispose of your garbage properly, and cut down on your plastic use. One easy way to minimize plastic consumption is to bring a reusable canvas bag to the grocery store, rather than getting plastic bags.

I hope Please Be Nice To Sharks will help you feel a little more sympathetic to sharks and that you'll help these beautiful animals by eating sustainably and doing your part to keep the ocean clean.

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  1. sounds like a really great book on Sharks! The kids would enjoy learning more about Sharks!

  2. My son is really into sharks lately.

  3. Looks like a great book to learn about different sharks and how they live and whatnot, and kids love sharks!!

  4. Oh so important to save our sharks. Our little one loves sharks and we would love to read this book and see how all we can help! Almost every night we read books about sharks.

  5. Sharks are scary but there is also quite a bit of information to learn, esp why we need sharks on our planet!!

  6. this is the second time I've had to post here because according to the rafflecopter, I have not done this before, even though I have been entering daily since july 5th.. If you could let me know how many entries I DO have in, it would be apprecaited as I suspect its deleted all of them and if so, the forms are not working and its really frustrating when this keeps happening to me over and over again (Twice this month) - I know its on rafflecopters end

    1. Hi Bina, I am not sure why but I don't see your entries for this giveaway on rafflecopter, although I can see other people's entries.
      Maybe you can try logging out of rafflecopter and signing back in and then entering it or contacting rafflecopter regards to the entries getting dropped I know that this is frustrating, hope they will fix it soon. Thank you for entering my giveaways I appreciate reading your comments and thoughts.

  7. This would be a popular book in this house. It is surprising how swimming with dolphins, sharktank diving, etc is seen as harmless.

  8. Thanks for the wonderful information,this sound like a wonderful book for my grandson he is very interested in life in the ocean

  9. would love add this great book to our little library! I love reading about sharks!

  10. This looks like a great book. Beautiful pictures!

  11. Great book! The grandkids will love it.

  12. Taking care of the oceans is good for sharks, other sea creatures and humans also!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  13. This would be a great learning book for my whole family.

  14. This book would help us understand the sharks better, and the things we do to the ocean that would affect the animals.I would love to read this

  15. I love the photography in How We Can Help Save Sharks.

  16. I recently saw a documentary about overfishing sharks. So sad!


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