It’s time to get aware about one of the Earth’s oldest and most fascinating creatures. This Shark Awareness Day, check out these interesting shark facts and get in the know about the threats that are increasingly damaging and endangering this vital sea species. Learn how you can help!
Did You Know….
1. Sharks are over 400 million years old- yes, 400 million. This means that sharks are older than dinosaurs, and even trees. They’ve survived five global mass extinction events, and are now facing their biggest threat to their existence- humans.
2. Humans are a bigger threat to sharks than sharks are to humans. While there are only around 30-50 shark attacks each year, with about 5-10 being deadly, humans kill around 100 million sharks per year through commercial fishing due to the high demand for shark fins in global trade. Essentially, 10,000 sharks die every hour. On top of that, toxic chemical pollution and garbage disposal destroys their habitat, endangers their existence and ruins the ocean’s eco-system.
3. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, a quarter of the shark population is severely threatened with extinction. Again, this is primarily caused by the destructive human activities that are leaving these brilliant and vital creatures vulnerable and endangered.
4. Sharks are the apex predator of the ocean, meaning that they are at the top of the ocean’s food chain and are integral to keeping the food-chain and the eco-system in balance and healthy. If sharks become extinct, our primary food sources that we acquire from fisheries will be severely tampered with, and the coral reefs could be destroyed completely.
So, what can you do to help?
There are a bunch of great shark conservation organizations that you can donate to or join to help save these amazing creatures. Some great organizations to get involved with are Project AWARE, Shark Friendly Marinas, the Shark Research Institute and Shark Angels. Get aware, get involved, and help save the sharks!