Sharks have survived 5 mass extinctions. They are the top predator in the oceans. Most people think that sharks are super scary, and many are even scared to swim in the ocean for fear of getting attacked. Did you know? You are more likely to die of a mosquito bite than being attacked by a shark? Every year approximately 274,000 people die from mosquito bites, but only 12 people die of shark attacks.
Even more surprising, humans kill over 100 million sharks every year. This is due to overhunting and finning. Finning is when fishermen catch a shark, cut off its fins, and throw it, still alive, back into the water. The shark either drowns, is eaten alive by other fish, or starves to death. Fins are harvested like this for one reason only. People want to eat shark fin soup!
According to the organization Stop Shark Finning, since the 1970’s several shark species been decimated by over 95%. Stop Shark Finning has been campaigning for a worldwide ban of finning.
How can you help?
- Don’t eat shark fin soup, and tell others not eat it either, and don’t go to restaurants that serve shark fin soup.
- If you see a story about sharks attacking people, contact the reporter and ask them to do a story about shark finning.
- On your next vacation, go shark diving. Shark diving encourages conservation and protection of local shark populations through tourism. It provides a source of income instead of hunting.
- Talk about sharks, to your friends and family. Education creates understanding of these fierce predators, and understanding creates change to help save them from extinction.