Sharks are amazing creatures that have gained a reputation as frightening and terrible. Scientists around the world are studying these toothy predators, and it is in their honor that the Shark Awareness Day holiday was established. But it is important to understand that this day is not a reason to organize a sea hunt, but an occasion to realize sharks are more afraid of people than we are of them. A remarkable fact showing they are not so scary is that the likelihood of being struck by lightning is much higher than being bitten by a shark. Unfortunately, people kill them for their fins and meat. Shark Awareness Day makes people realize many species of predators have already disappeared, and more are on the verge of extinction, which is bad for the environment.
Shark Awareness Day started in America with a noble mission – to draw attention to these unique sea creatures and their value to the environment. Scientists call sharks living fossils because they appeared about 420 million years ago, and they had to survive five global extinctions.
- Most of their skeleton is made up of cartilage. Shark teeth are so sharp and strong that they can easily cut any food. Thanks to their smooth and streamlined shape, these predators demonstrate amazing agility in the water.
- Many public organizations have established a ban on the harvest and sale of shark meat and fins. This is a necessary measure, since in a few decades their population has decreased by 71%.
- The declining shark population has serious negative consequences for the environment, as they keep the ocean clean and control the number of other fish and animals, such as turtles. Predators feed on turtles that eat algae that can accumulate carbon reserves. If the number of turtles increases dramatically, carbon stocks will exceed allowable levels, which is very dangerous for the environment.
How to take part
Avoid shark meat, fins, and skin products. Use social media to encourage people to boycott shark restaurants. Be sure to tell other people about this day, focus on the fact that they are not at all dangerous to people. They should not be hunted for fun. Donate to organizations protecting and restoring the world’s shark populations.
When is Shark Awareness Day celebrated in 2023?
Shark Awareness Day is observed on July 14 each year.