Many shark enthusiasts are taking advantage of the Shark Week hype to bring awareness to these misunderstood and mistreated animals. All around the world, our partner ZAMs (zoos, aquariums, and museums) are taking action to conserve shark populations while studying and bringing attention to the issues endangering sharks. Here are a few examples of the steps our partners are taking to protect sharks populations:
At the Georgia Aquarium, the elusive and lesser known whale shark is being housed and researched in hopes to establish a baseline understanding of the species, raise awareness of its scarce existence, and encourage ocean stewardship to protect such marine life. The Discovery Channel points out: “It’s a bit ironic to support animals in the wild by keeping them in captivity. Whale sharks in aquariums, however, are most often captured by fishermen who opted to sell them to aquariums rather than shark meat wholesalers. Sharks displayed in captivity raise awareness by their very situation.” Read more about Georgia Aquarium’s groundbreaking scientific research on whale sharks.
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Project White Shark, launched in 2002, promotes study, awareness, and conservation of the majestic species. The project involves research on juvenile and adult great white sharks as well as their genetics. Having great white sharks on exhibit has allowed the aquarium to research and develop exhibit environments and ensure successful release of white sharks collected off the California coast.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has focused much of their recent efforts on helping to end the unsustainable slaughter of sharks. WCS is working hard to push it’s petition, which demands state lawmakers ban the sale of all shark fin products to help end the massive killing of global shark populations and save some species from extinction. Join the cause to protect shark populations by signing and sharing WCS’s petition.