Happy Shark Week everyone! It’s one of our favorite weeks of the year. A week to step back and acknowledge this amazing sea creature and the importance of wildlife conservation.
The Importance of Sharks
Sharks are one of the most important species that swim in the sea. They control the food web from a top-down approach. In other words, they are big fish that eat and control the populations of smaller fish. Without sharks feeding regularly, a food chain collapse is inevitable. Sharks also have a slow reproductive system. This makes them highly susceptible to population decrease from commercial and recreational fishing malpractice, bycatch, shark finning, and ecotourism operations. Humans are the number one cause of shark population decrease even though we gain economic benefits from keeping their population intact. To make strides in conservation, it is necessary to start with educating the public. The mass media regularly criminalizes and negatively influences the public perception of sharks.
Are Sharks Dangerous?
Sharks are inherently hunters. It is in their nature. They do not attack humans on purpose; they really do not even know what you are. In fact, sharks seek prey they know and rapid water movements, which is why surfers tend to be bitten. Humans kill around 100 million sharks a year, while sharks kill around 6 humans a year. Who do you think is the bigger predator? Sharks are wild animals, the same as lions, tigers, and bears. We lack awareness of just how wild the ocean really is because it has been over-commercialized. Ask you local ocean rescue lifgaurds about understanding do’s and don’ts of ocean swimming, education on what to do if you encounter a shark, and what attracts sharks. Local and global conservation groups also have incredible access to information online. OCEARCH even allows you to track sharks in the area.
Help Us Protect Them
There are tons of ways to get involved in the mission to protect the world’s shark populations. This year Kitty Hawk Kites has carried several products that give money back to conservation programs. Pura Vida and 4Ocean bring you an effortless way to shop brands you love while also contributing to the bigger picture. Find some of our favorite products that give back linked below.
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