As you know, Oceana is a partner in Discovery‚Äôs Shark Week this year. Meanwhile, Discovery is a partner of this summer‚Äôs X-Games, so they asked artists to design and paint shark-themed skateboard decks to display at their X-Games tent.
The results are beautiful, and you can now bid on the skateboard decks online. The proceeds go directly to Oceana to help our shark conservation efforts.
There are some really cool ones -- check ‚Äėem out!
You know that sharks are in trouble around the world. Their populations are crashing as a result of overfishing, shark finning and bycatch, and the oceans are suffering as a result.
So this shark week, what can you do to help save sharks? Here are five ways. Have other suggestions? Let us know in the comments.
The Shark Conservation Act would end shark finning in U.S. waters and make us world leaders in shark conservation. Tell your Senators to support shark protections by passing this bill.
Not only is it ecologically irresponsible to serve shark meat, it is also unhealthy. Since they are at the top of the ocean food chain, sharks bioaccumulate high amounts of mercury. For women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, this is especially dangerous. The bottom line? Stay away from shark meat.
Yes, sharks can be soft and cuddly -- when you adopt one from Oceana. When you adopt a hammerhead shark, you‚Äôll receive a hammerhead stuffed animal with a personalized adoption certificate, and your donation will help our work to protect them.
There are dozens of species of sharks, from toothy great whites to filter-feeding whale sharks. The more you learn about these creatures, the more you will love them. So educate yourself and your loved ones -- especially the shark-fearing ones.
As our shark spokeswoman, January Jones, said in her PSA, we shouldn‚Äôt be scared of sharks, we should be scared for them. Spread this message on Facebook and Twitter -- and any other way you know how.
We often tell you about the threats facing sharks globally -- finning, bycatch, overfishing -- but we don‚Äôt regularly shine a spotlight on the individual species affected.
To continue our ongoing shark-themed posts in honor of Shark Week, here are 10 of the most threatened shark species in the world:
1. Basking sharks are the second largest shark, easily distinguished by their huge, filter-feeding mouths. Basking sharks are caught in target fisheries around the world for their oil, meat and fins, and they are also caught as bycatch in other fisheries.
2. Blue sharks are one of the most previously abundant shark species. Now they are the most heavily fished shark in the world. An estimated 10-20 million individuals are killed by fisheries annually, mostly as bycatch. Blue shark meat is beginning to replace swordfish in many Mediterranean countries and the fins are commonly used in shark fin soup.
3. Deep-sea sharks have huge livers that contain high amounts of oil to regulate their buoyancy at depths. As a result, they are caught by deep-sea trawls, gillnets and longlines for an oily substance found in their livers called squalene. Squalene, or its derivative squalane, is found in many cosmetic products.
Today‚Äôs FOTD is brought to you by the letter C, which is for cookie‚Ä¶and cookiecutter shark.
Unlike most of the other sharks I‚Äôve written about so far, the cookiecutter shark is a relatively small shark; they only reach about 20 inches in length. Like some other sharks, such as great white sharks, female cookiecutters are larger than their male counterparts.
Despite their small size, these sharks still have quite a bite. They latch onto their prey and create suction with their large lips. Then they use their powerful jaws and many teeth to carve a circular chunk of flesh out of the unlucky victim. (Get it? Like a carnivorous, marine cookiecutter?)
Cookiecutter sharks attack large fish like tuna or even whales and dolphins; the prey usually survives the attack but the telltale round scar remains. They are also bioluminescent; they have a patch on their bellies that glows in the dark, deep waters where they live. They use their bioluminescence to attract potential prey.
See you tomorrow for another shark FOTD and I hope you‚Äôre enjoying Shark Week as much as I am!
As you know, shark week is about more than just TV shows. It‚Äôs about celebrating our elasmobranch friends in all their beauty, mystery and glory. And it‚Äôs fun!
Take a bite out of these fun shark activities for all ages on Discovery‚Äôs Shark Week website -- and this is just a sampling:
Are you as beautiful as a whale shark, or goofy as a hammerhead ? Find out what kind of shark you are, and check out the many other shark quizzes, too.
Upload a photo of yourself and voila -- become a beautiful, hideous or scary-looking shark. This one is my personal favorite. (Yep, that‚Äôs me in the image.)
Watch live shark video from the Georgia Aquarium. Daily events to tune in for include: interactive dive tour at 12:30 p.m. ET, a sand tiger and hammerhead shark feeding at 1:30 p.m. ET, a whale shark feeding at 3:00 p.m. ET and an expert chat at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Put on your virtual scuba suit and find out which sharks prefer splashing in the shallows vs. lurking in the deep.
Check out this interactive map of the current population status of sharks in 18 different regions around the world.
Have fun, and let us know your favorite!
You asked for it so here it is: a FOTD on the sandtiger shark!
Sandtiger sharks go by many names including the ragged-tooth shark and the gray nurse shark. When unprovoked, these sharks are fairly docile, despite their frightening appearance.
Female sandtiger sharks give birth to two live pups, one from each of their two uteri. Because of the relatively small litter size, sandtiger shark populations have a particularly slow growth rate and it takes them a long time to recover from population decreases.
Shark Week started last night! (And how great was ‚ÄėUltimate Air Jaws?!‚ÄĚ)
Oceana is a partner in Shark Week this year, and it‚Äôs my favorite week of the year, so I‚Äôm going to keep the celebration going with daily shark facts!
The scalloped hammerhead shark is just one of the many species of hammerhead shark, all of which have the characteristic t-shaped head.
Happy Shark Week! Oceana scientist Margot Stiles wrote this post for us back in May, but in honor of Shark Week, and because I like it so much, here it is again for your reading pleasure.
Have you ever swum with sharks? Let us know in the comments! - Emily
Every spring Belize hosts one of nature‚Äôs great wonders: the arrival of whale sharks in search of spawning snapper. This year I had the pleasure of witnessing it first hand, on last month‚Äôs Oceana expedition.
The whale shark is the largest fish in the sea at 60 feet long, but it is mild-mannered and harmless to people. Around the full moons of March through June each year, whale sharks arrive and begin feeding at the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve near Placencia, Belize.
Tony Rath of Naturalight Productions has spent thirty years photographing wildlife in Belize and still beams at the mention of his most recent expedition with Oceana. ‚ÄúSeeing whale sharks this close is an unforgettable experience, as inspiring as seeing a puma or any of the large animals on land,‚ÄĚ he said.
Hello, shark fans!
While I generally don‚Äôt take advice from 30 Rock‚Äôs Tracy Morgan, I do try to ‚Äúlive every week like it‚Äôs Shark Week.‚ÄĚ But as you may know, the real Shark Week starts August 1 and this year Oceana is an official partner with Discovery, so get ready for even more shark-filled fun and conservation.
I‚Äôve been excited for weeks now so when I ran into the ‚ÄúWhat Kind of Shark Are You?‚ÄĚ quiz on Discovery‚Äôs website, I had to check it out. After answering the 10 questions I discovered that I am‚Ä¶a great white shark!
What kind of shark are you? Take the quiz and let us know your results!
And to learn more about your shark alter ego, head to Oceana.org/Explore.
In honor of Shark Week, which is just a few short weeks away, my first ‚ÄúFact of the Day‚ÄĚ post will be about -- you guessed it -- sharks!
The whale shark is the largest fish in the world. These sharks grow up to 65 feet (20 meters) long and their mouths are 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide.
And here‚Äôs a bonus fact: whale sharks have the thickest skin of any animal in the world at up to 4 inches thick.
Curious for more? Be sure to come back tomorrow for another exciting fact or check out Oceana.org/Explore and do some investigating on your own!