It's that time of the year again, when seals hide under rocks with terror, and humans wear ridiculous hats and bring enormous TVs to the shore. To those fascinated by sharks and other sea creatures, the expectation for Shark Week is as high as for Christmas. Plenty of documentaries, films, mockumentaries, TV shows, interviews, and activities are organized during seven days, featuring the most feared, amazing species in our ocean.
For this year's experience, let's take a look on why we should care about sharks, and why they are cool enough to get a whole week of attention:
Five facts you should know
So, sharks are important?
As one of the big predators in the ocean, sharks keep the ecosystem balanced, allowing other sea creatures populations to maintain healthy levels. Their role consist on ensure that all lower parts of the food chain are controlled. This is crucial, since our planet depends on our oceans - which cover over 70 percent of the Earth.
Sharks help regulate the quantity and the health of marine life, then. Also, they stop the spread of disease among fish populations - since they usually feed on weak, unhealthy fish. As a consequence, there is less competition between sea species, and a stronger gene pool builds up.
So, if we removed sharks from the oceans, many different sea life - especially fish populations, but also species like algae - would be wiped out by disease!
It's important to know not only how cool, but also how important sharks are in our world. Not to mention they are way more valuable alive than dead, for they are the number one animal listed that tourists around the world want to see on a dive! Shark diving ecotourism brings money for conservation and education together. And boy, how exciting it must be to look at a great white shark in the eyes.
Got it! What can I do to save sharks, then?
- Take the pledge not to buy/sell/eat shark fins!
- Visit shark sanctuaries
- Educate your friends - "Jaws" is great, but not the reality of sharks!
- Become a citizen scientist on Shark-Base
- Sign petitions to protect sharks - adopt a cuddly shark
- Take part in the wonderful Shark Week
- Tweet abut sharks ... or about this article!
And if you want to learn more information about wonderful sharks, check out Shark Savers or Shark Week's official page.
Originally posted in The Dragon Whisperer.