Shark Art Attack Competition

The Plight of Sharks

Sharks are amazing creatures which have been on the Earth for over 420 million years! That means they appeared waaaaay before the dinosaurs and survived when all the dinosaurs became extinct!

There are over 450 known species of shark from the enormous Whale Shark, the biggest fish in the world, which can grow to over 12meters long… to the dwarf lantern shark which is so tiny (about 16cms long) that you could hold it in the palm of your hand!

But now these fascinating fish are in big trouble! Every year around 100 million sharks are killed for their fins! Fishermen cut only the fins off the sharks and throw the rest back into the ocean. These fins are used to make shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy.

The shark fin gives the soup a thick texture but doesn’t taste of anything so this soup is flavoured with chicken or pork. These days so many sharks are being killed to make this soup that now most species are endangered and some are very close to becoming extinct!

Extinct means that there are no more left in the world…. Just like the dinosaurs.

SEA LIFE London Aquarium - Shark Art Attack


Over the last month we have been running a poster designing competition to help save sharks and we have had some fantastic entries! A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who entered the competition. It’s great to see just how many people care about the future of sharks.


The overall winner of the competition, who wins a family VIP ticket to the London Aquarium and the chance to help us feed the sharks is Matthew Hull from Newbury, age 8.


We absolutely loved your design which showed the underwater world just how it should look; bright, colourful and full of life! The sharky letters in your tag line ‘Save the Sharks’ had eyes and teeth which made it stand out and we also thought the line ‘Why ME and my FAMILY?’ was really emotive.

Runners Up

We have also picked four runners up who have won themselves a SEA LIFE SEA HAPPY goody bag each.

SEA LIFE London Aquarium - Shark Art Attack

Katie Pavey came up with a really clever concept; a shark ‘Wanted’ poster! The line ‘Wanted, more sharks alive. Reward, a happier world’ sums things up perfectly!

SEA LIFE London Aquarium - Shark Art Attack

Holly Rodgers from Linconshire, age 15, made this very bold, eye-catching design which is a great collage combing real photographs with her own drawing skills. It really conveys the hard-hitting, harsh reality of shark finning.

Jude Etheridge, age 7, drew our favourite shark of the week. What a charismatic fish!

SEA LIFE London Aquarium - Shark Art Attack

Lily Ewins, age 9, sent us this awesome design with some very cute sharks on it. We agree with you Lily… sharks are super cool!

SEA LIFE London Aquarium - Shark Art Attack

Shark Facts

  • Scientists believe that as many as 100 million sharks are being killed every year for their fins…. perhaps even more!

  • Their fins are used to make shark fin soup but the rest of their body is thrown back into the sea.

  • If we keep killing sharks at the rate we are now, they could become extinct within the next decade!

  • Sharks keep other sea creatures healthy… when the hunt they do not target the fast, strong healthy creatures, they hunt the slow, weak, diseased creatures. By doing this they stop the spreading of disease and ensure that only the fittest, healthiest creatures go on to reproduce and pass their genes on to future generations… so they make sure that their prey’s populations stay strong and healthy!

  • If sharks become extinct, some scientists believe that almost everything else in the ocean may die out too… leaving nothing but salt water and bacteria.

  • Despite having such a scary reputation, most sharks are harmless and never attack humans. Out of nearly 500 different types of sharks, only 4 are considered to be dangerous to humans… the great white, bull, tiger and oceanic white-tip sharks.

  • Kites, dogs, defective toasters, cows, falling off chairs, hippos, volcanoes, icicles, ants, jellyfish, lightening and collapsing sand holes on the beach are just a few examples of the many things which kill more people than sharks every year.

  • Sharks sometimes attack people when they mistake us for their normal prey but because we do not taste right they usually give up their attack as soon as they realise their mistake…. they are more like man-biters than man-eaters! They don’t really want to eat us at all!

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