Why We Need Sharks

Yep, still hosting shark week! It’s been so fun getting ready and researching sharks! Our activities are just little ways that we can contribute to sharing conservation knowledge. I may never get to be a real host on Shark Week, but I hope I’ve helped open a few minds to the greatness of sharks!

If you’re a recreational diver, a lot of conservation societies offer you a chance to help out and count sharks for their research efforts. Unfortunately, living in Dallas, I am not a recreational diver… but I am a recreational shopper. So Giselle and I took to the mall to “count sharks” – for research of course! And guess what? We only found one shark item. We can’t let the sharks disappear!

More and more shark species are becoming endangered. As the apex predator of the ocean, sharks are super important for preserving the natural food chain. Sharks also love feeding on floating dead animals, which while gross, is super helpful for cleaning up the ocean. Losing sharks means losing lots of other things in our oceans, including the coral reefs and other beautiful ecosystems.

My cohost Giselle’s birthday is today, so we’d thought it’d be the perfect time to talk about how old sharks are! Giselle isn’t super into birthdays so I let shark week takeover her birthday too- which means a shark cake!

There are shark teeth from over 400 million years ago – that’s crazy! That’s twice as old as the freaking dinosaurs! Sharks also generally live a much longer lifespan than other marine life. They grow just as old as humans do, about 75 years. But some shark species have even longer lifespans – there’s a Greenland shark that is at least 272 years old!

Well, we had to mention tagging if we’re talking about conservation, right? I got us our own cool “tags” but do you know why sharks are tagged in the first place? Researchers tag sharks to see where they spend their time and to follow their swim paths.

Not only are they counting and watching eating and breeding habits, they’re learning more about the entire ecosystem. Tagging helps us understand better how to conserve sharks, by protected these discovered feeding and mating grounds. With technology today, tags can report minute by minute where the shark is out of the entire ocean!
It’s easy to join a shark conservation mailing list, but what can you personally do if you want to get involved in helping sharks? If you happen to live near an ocean and are recreational diving a lot, you can help researchers become a “shark counter.”
The option if you live somewhere like us in Dallas? Adopt a shark! Sure, you can definitely donate any sum, but a lot of shark conservation societies offer Adoption programs! This is the coolest thing I learned while getting into Shark Week this year. Giselle & I have named our Great White pup Gillbert! We adopted from a fantastic society as old as we are, Shark Angels.
If you’ve been following along with me this Shark Week, I hope you’ve learned some new things. I hope you love sharks even more (or at least like them a little more). And maybe if you don’t like them, you can respect them a bit more. They’re magnificent animals! There are a hundred more shark facts I could lay down, but maybe let’s just spend some time admiring the beauty of these beasts.

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