During Shark Week we love watching majestic great whites on TV, but if we donâ€™t act soon to protect them, recordings will be the only place they exist.
In the Pacific, great whites are important predators. As the largest predatory fish on the planet, they can reach lengths over 20 feet and weigh more than 5,000 pounds. Theyâ€™re shaped like torpedoes and can swim through the water at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. Great whites can detect electromagnetic currents in the ocean and have such a sharp sense of smell that they can identify blood in the water from up to 3 miles away. You canâ€™t deny that these are impressive animals.
As fearsome as they might be as predators, theyâ€™re not the killing machines that theyâ€™re often identified as. They use all those prey-detecting skills to help keep the marine food web intact â€” without great whites, the oceanâ€™s balance would be thrown off.
But that might be what the future holds, if nothing is done. A recent study found that there may only be a few hundred adults left swimming off the coast of California and Mexico, far fewer than anyone expected. And those that are left face deadly dangers from fishing nets.
Newborn great whites are often killed by commercial fishing gear off of Southern California and Baja California, making it hard for the populations to stabilize.
Sharks have inhabited the oceans for more than 400 million years and now theyâ€™re disappearing because of human actions. Weâ€™re working to get US great whites the protection they need â€” sign today to help get great white sharks on the Endangered Species Act.
Shark Week starts on Sunday â€“ stay tuned for lots more sharky updates!
Oceanography legend Jacques Cousteau once said â€śThe Sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.â€ť This spellbound wonder is certainly true for our fascination with the 7 species of sea turtles that have inhabited the worldâ€™s oceans for four million years and, sadly, which are all now threatened or endangered with extinction. These awe-inspiring ocean reptiles were the focus of the 31st Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology & Conservation in San Diego.
Actress and sea turtle advocate Rachael Harris (â€śThe Hangoverâ€ť) presented at our Friday reception. She shared a special connection she made with a green sea turtle named Esmeralda while touring a sea turtle rehabilitation center in Mexico with Oceana last year.
Harris was captivated by how expressive Esmeralda was despite her flippers being mutilated after becoming entangled in fishing line and being attacked by a dog while on a beach to nest. Harrisâ€™ enthusiastic support for sea turtle protections is shared by fellow sea turtle advocate Angela Kinsey (â€śThe Officeâ€ť). The two will storm the nationâ€™s capitol in early May to educate Congress about why we need to get turtles off the hook and the need for more sea turtle protections throughout our nationâ€™s waters.