Most divers know that sharks get a bad wrap most of the time. They are largely misrepresented to the general public. If you're a diver that has had the privilege of seeing one of these majestic creatures underwater then you know what amazing, beautiful animals they really are. If you want to join the movement in the conservation world to help protect and preserve sharks here are our top 5 ways you can help from home!
5 Ways to help protect sharks from home:
#1. Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle
Yes, this saying has been around for decades now but is still one of the best ways to protect and preserve any land and ocean species. Keeping our oceans clean is the first step to preserving sharks. To survive and thrive sharks need oceans free from trash and pollution. Do your part and reduce, reuse, and recycle to keep our oceans clean.
#2. Join a Shark Conservation group
There are so many great shark conservation organizations out there right now. Not all of us can leave our lives behind to go out and physically act to save sharks, so the next best thing is to donate money to an active shark conservation organization. Here are our favorites:
- Project AWARE Foundation - Has been the leader in ocean conservation within the scuba industry for years. Project AWARE has a broad array of conservation efforts and is specifically targeting the conservation of Mako sharks right now.
- Shark Angles - Newer on the conservation scene, the Shark Angels are already making a huge impact on the conservation of sharks. Join them in their worldwide movement to save sharks.
- Sea Shepherd Conservation Society - Uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities, such as shark finning, on the high seas.
- Shark Savers - Join Shark Savers in motivating people to stop consuming sharks and shark fin soup, working for the creation of shark sanctuaries, improved regulations, and empowering divers as advocates and citizen scientists for sharks.
#3. Do not use shark products
Not eating any shark meat is the first and most obvious step to saving sharks, however, shark cartilage and oils can be found in many products such as cosmetics. So, before using any beauty items make sure they do not contain shark by-products. By reducing your use of these items you thereby decrease the demand for them within the market, causing companies to stop killing sharks for these products.
#4. Reduce your seafood consumption
Not eating sharks is an obvious way to protect them, however, not eating other certain types of seafood can help as well. Boney fish is a shark's primary food source and if they are having to compete with humans to eat them, it makes sustaining healthy shark populations that much harder. Also, by reducing the demand for seafood in the marketplace, you are helping to save sharks by reducing bycatch. Hundreds, if not thousands, of sharks get caught accidentally in fishing nets every year. This is called bycatch and is detrimental to shark populations.
#5. Spread awareness
In today's digital world, one voice can make a huge impact. One of the best ways you can help save sharks is to spread awareness to your friends, family, and sphere of social influence that, number one, there is a problem, and, number two, how to fix it. Share this blog with everyone you know. Speak up and speak out on these shark conservation efforts and what YOU are doing to help. Use every social media channel you've got and word can spread very quickly.
One person CAN make a difference. Like a pebble dropped into a calm pond, the ripple you create can reach shores unknown but you've got to drop that pebble in somewhere to get it started. So, pick a number, any number from above, 1-5 and get started saving these amazing shark creatures that we love.