It's a Great Week to Help Save Sharks
Posted August 3, 2011 in Reviving the World's Oceans
It’s Shark Week again over at the Discovery Channel, but this year the excitement is accompanied by a tidal wave of attention around the need to protect these fascinating – and critically important – creatures.
The truth is that humans are a far greater threat to sharks than they are to us. As a result, many activists are stepping up to raise awareness about one particular practice that is causing shark populations worldwide to plummet: shark finning.
As I’ve highlighted in a number of recent blog posts, sharks around the world are seriously threatened by the global trade in their fins, which drives the killing of 26-73 million sharks every year, just for their fins. The practice of finning is as gruesome as anything Hollywood could dream up: sharks’ fins are sliced off and the (often living) shark bodies are thrown overboard as waste. Without fins, sharks drown or are eaten by other animals. With more than 1/3 of shark species threatened with extinction as a result of the international shark fin trade, and some populations declined by 99%, sharks desperately need a break before they disappear altogether.
Finned shark, (c) Wolcott Henry 2005/Marine Photobank
The very best way to save sharks is to reduce the demand for their fins. That’s exactly what NRDC and our partners are working to do in California with Assembly Bill (AB) 376. This bill has already cleared the State Assembly, and, if it passes the State Senate when the legislature returns, California will joining a growing global effort to save sharks.
Shark lovers everywhere can help and celebrate this week by taking action to help save them. Here’s a list of things you can do to help out:
- Support California’s bill to make it illegal to sell and trade shark fins in the state by signing this petition (you don’t have to live there to sign it!).
- If you do live in California, send your State Senator a letter to urge them to help stop deadly shark finning.
- Sign the petition asking the Food Network to stop featuring recipes that include shark meat
- If you live in the Bay Area, head to the Aquarium of the Bay for special shark activities this week, like the “Sleep with Sharks” event.
- Bid in the Shark Celebrity Auction, which supports the Shark Research Institute
- If you love professional hockey, sign this petition to ask the San Jose Sharks to support AB 376 and protect their endangered mascot, Sharkie.
Grey reef shark patrolling, Stacy Jupiter/Marine Photobank
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