Do You Know Sharks?

Flatnose-shark

Not only should we not be afraid of sharks, we should try to save them from becoming extinct, just like Green Hero, Rob Stewart.

If you don’t like sharks and think all they do is bite people, think about this: Humans kill 100 million sharks every year, while sharks kill less than 20 humans per year.  Sharks should be scared of us, not the other way around!

Still afraid of sharks? Even though there are over 375 identified shark species in the ocean today, only about twelve of those species are considered dangerous.

Another reason not to worry: most sharks only eat about 2 percent of their body weight each day. That’s actually less than humans typically eat!  Without sharks, the eco system in our oceans would be thrown off balance.  When an entire species is removed, the whole food chain is affected, and the consequences have a ripple effect that would eventually affect humans.

Sharks have been in the ocean for over 400 million years and have survived five major extinctions that have wiped out virtually all other life on earth; but because of us, sharks are now in great danger of disappearing.  In fact, shark populations have decreased by a staggering 90% in the last 30 years!  Sharks are the oldest, most important predator the planet has and we cannot afford to lose them.

Shark-3

Interesting Facts:

Did you know sharks don’t like the taste of humans? Large, predatory sharks prefer biting into thick-tissued, fatty prey, like sea lions and seals.  Humans are too thin and bony. But if they do attack, it is usually a case of mistaken identity.  Of course a sharks curious nibble can be deadly, but it is rare.
Why they Attack…

Generally, there are a couple of reasons a shark might attack.  First, and by far the most common, are provoked attacks. These occur when people in some way touch or otherwise disturb sharks.  Unprovoked attacks might happen if a shark mistakenly perceives an individual either as prey, or as a threat entering their “turf.”

Is it Safe to Swim with Them?
Divers do many things that are more dangerous than swimming with sharks.  Statistically, sharks avoid humans more than they attack.  Most divers consider themselves lucky when they get to see a shark as sharks don’t usually reveal themselves.  However, it is important to always go shark diving with an expert.  Most shark behavior is predictable if you know what to look for. 
 
Shark-2
How to Avoid Attacks:
  • Stay in a group (they’re more likely to attack individuals)
  • Stay out of the water in early morning and late afternoon (this is when they feed)
  • Stay out of the water if you’re bleeding (the smell of blood attracts them)
  • Don’t wear shiny jewelry (the glistening mimics fish-scales)
  • Avoid sandbars and steep-drop offs (this is where they like to hang out)
Why are They Hunted?
Shark finning is a muilti-billion dollar industry. Shark finning refers to the practice of removing and keeping shark fins (they are used in shark fin soup and in traditional Asian medicines) and throwing the rest of the shark back into the ocean (usually sharks are still alive when they are tossed back). Without their fins they cannot swim and succumb to a painful death.

What You Do To Help?

Becoming aware is one of the most important ways to start saving sharks. Watch Rob Stewart’s documentary Sharkwater with your family and friends and share everything you have learned about sharks with those you know. Pass on the message that sharks are not man-eating monsters and need our help!