Monday, August 8, 2011

10 Things You Can Do To Protect Sharks

1. Educate yourself about the global situation of sharks. The shark conservation movement requires informed, intelligent advocates and if you are reading this I MEAN YOU! Find out why sharks are disappearing from our oceans. Try to understand the commercial fishing industry and what constitutes bycatch. Get in the water and observe sharks in their natural habitat. Get to know them and the issues they face, and you will become a better champion of sharks.

2. Take the Shark Defenders pledge and sign up for our email updates. About once per month we will send you the latest news in shark conservation and/or ask for your support in passing legislation around the world. Our goal is to create a global network of shark activists.

3. Follow Shark Defenders on Facebook. If Shark Defenders is a global network of shark conservationists, Facebook is where we meet to communicate. We post the latest shark conservation news, action alerts, as well as some of our favorite dive photos.  You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

4. Contribute high-quality, royalty-free photos for Shark Defenders use in media. Shark Defenders relies heavily on the Internet and the press to tell the world about shark conservation. This requires a library of high-quality photos and we ask our supporters to donate their best photos of sharks. We post some of the photos to the Explore the Ocean layer of Google Earth.

5. Do not use products made from sharks. Most shark conservation organizations will tell you not to eat shark fin soup, but did you know that many fish & chips shops use shark? Shark is also used in some cosmetics and alternative medicines. Find out if you are using shark products in your home and replace them with substitute products.

6. Do not eat seafood that results in the bycatch of sharks. The longline fishery in the North Atlantic kills 5 sharks for every swordfish caught. Bottom trawlers are responsible for the extirpation of many demersal shark species in the Mediterranean. Find out if the food you are eating kills sharks. If it does, eat something else.

7. Support the banning of shark fishing and shark products in your community. The best place to be an environmental activist is in your own backyard. There is a global movement to ban shark fishing and the sale, trade, and possession of shark. We ask for your support in passing these laws, but you should also look into passing similar measures where you live, both on a local and national level.

8. Support Shark Ecotourism. On your next vacation, visit one of the countries that have taken steps to protect their shark populations. Go dive with the tiger sharks in The Bahamas, the Caribbean reef sharks of Roatan, Honduras, or the grey reef sharks at Blue Corner in the Rock Islands, Palau. Avoid countries that do not protect sharks.

9. Elect leaders who support conservation. Find out if the policy makers who represent you support shark conservation. If they don’t, elect someone else!

10. Donate to organizations that protect sharks. There are many organizations around the world working to protect sharks. You should find one who you think does great work and support them. Who you support is up to you, but we think our partner the Coral Reef Alliance does an excellent job working with coastal communities around the world and would put your hard earned money to good use.

5 comments:

Josh Aggars said...

I did not know about the fish and chip shops element, at least not in the UK, so thanks for sharing. I've been busy over the Xmas period working on an infographic which shows just how rare shark attacks are and just how much they have to fear from us. Is it OK if I send you a link to it when I post it up as it's my small contribution to trying to get people to think about this issue.

Cheers
Josh

Shark Defenders said...

That would be great, thanks! Please email it to info@sharkdefenders.com

María Ana said...

Can you let us know which countries do not protect sharks?

Johannes Getarmwai said...

I live in Micronesia in the Pacific Ocean. My friend and I are going to join an art competition for car bumper sticker. The theme is "Protect the shark from overfishing and trade." I am asking help for anyone of you folks out there to help me create a design. Just explain it to me what should be on that bumper sticker. Your help is a big appreciation. Thank you.

Shark Defenders said...

This report is a little out of date, but it lists all the shark conservation measures around the world: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/reports/navigating-global-shark-conservation-measures-current-measures-and-gaps-85899403511

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