The SEA LIFE team headed into town today (Friday 28th) to not only raise awareness of Shark Week and the dangers faced by sharks, but also to get passers by to sign a petition to safeguard sharks by promoting -
- A complete ban on removing shark fins at sea
- Shark and ray catch limits based on scientific advice and precautionary approach
- EU and national protections for endangered shark and ray species
Proudly supporting the Shark Alliance’s ‘European Shark Week’ and the Shark Trust, Weymouth Sea Life Park have already got hundreds of signatures from guests during half term, as well as presenting a range of activities to raise awareness about the plight of sharks and promote shark conservation.
Activities have included: specially designed shark talks to highlight the threats to sharks and what can be done to help, offering guests the opportunity to ‘Smell like a shark’ with stinky smell pots, and a shark week quiz.
Alarming research shows there are fewer Great White sharks left in our seas than there are tigers left on the earth, whilst tens of millions of sharks are cruelly killed every year for their fins. Sea Life centres will also be calling on visitors to sign a petition put forward by the Shark Alliance to tighten laws on shark finning.
Sea Life General Manager Craig Dunkerley explains: “Many nations have declared bans on shark finning but it’s a sad reality that glaring loop holes allow fishermen to harvest shark fins in vast, unsustainable numbers which, unless stopped, will end in the extinction of many species.”
During Shark Weeks, Sea Life centres around the globe from California to Helsinki will aim to collect over 100,000 signatures in support of protecting sharks from lax finning laws.
After close of European Shark Weeks on 30th October, the petitions will be used to lobby EU fisheries ministers to tighten laws on shark finning and ban the removal of shark fins at sea.
Top Shark facts:
- Sharks as a species are over 400million years old, meaning this fascinating group pre-dates the Dinosaurs.
- Dr Ronald O'Dor, senior scientist at the Census of Marine life, informed scientists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in San Diego that shocking research by Professor Barbara Block shows there are fewer Great Whites left in the ocean than there are Tigers on the Earth.
- A shark’s sense of smell is so good, they can detect one drop of blood in an Olympic sized swimming pool
- Lightning is more dangerous than Sharks: More people die from lightning strikes each year than die from being attacked by a shark.
- A wasp is more dangerous than a shark: There are approximately 100 shark attacks on humans worldwide per year. Approximately five – 15 of these cases result in death. It is estimated 100 people die a year from an adverse reaction to a wasp sting.
- The Whale Shark is the biggest fish living in our oceans
- Puffer Fish are immune to becoming shark bait – sharks cannot eat them because the Puffer can blow up in their mouths and prick them with their spiny needles.
- Sharks never get cancer, and may hold the secret to the cure
- Lantern Sharks can glow in the dark
- Sharks don’t have bones. Instead, their skull, spinal column and fin supports are made of cartilage like parts of human noses and ears.
- Oceanic Sharks have to keep moving to stay alive: Most oceanic sharks need to propel themselves forward in order to push water over their gills and breathe