Want to help sharks? Here are a few ways you can get involved.
Support Shark Initiatives
Whether you're looking to get some hands-on experience in shark conservation and/or research or support shark initiatives from a far, you can help. Here are some ways to get involved:
Find a shark initiative near you and get involved. To learn more about shark initiatives across Atlantic Canada, click here.
No initiatives near you? Take the initiative and start your own shark initiative!
Unable to get hands-on? Support shark initiatives by giving donations to support their programs.
Promote Sustainable Seafood
As consumers, we can support responsible fisheries through the purchase of sustainable seafood products. All the efforts put into fisheries certification won’t matter if they are not supported and embraced by an informed public. Know what you’re eating, where it came from, and how it got to the store! Visit the Marine Stewardship Council and SeaChoice to learn more about sustainable seafood as a solution for healthy oceans.
Educate your Community
Understanding truth from myth is vital to future shark conservation efforts. The long-term negative perception of sharks has severely hindered the progression of shark conservation and management. As such, educating your local community, government official, or even your parents about the importance of sharks to the marine ecosystem, helps pay the message forward and gives sharks a fighting chance.
Outside of Atlantic Canada, there are a number of options to get involved in shark research and gain field experience. The Bimini Biological Field Station (BBFS), based in the Bahamas, is only one of many organizations that offer volunteers the opportunity to get in-depth experience in the marine biology field. Click here to learn more.
Or, check out Oceans Research in South Africa. As part of this program, interns can expect to be members of a focused research team undertaking ground breaking research on great white sharks, cape fur seals, southern right and humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins, while also gaining experience in environmental studies at Aquarium based research projects.
See Shark Science in Action
Wanna see how to tag a shark in Atlantic Canada! Blue Shark Fishing Charters allows their customers to see how to catch, dehook, measure, tag and release the shark in safe conditions. This is a once in a life time experience that allows you to see sharks up close and to gain a completely different perspective of catch and release fishing!
Go Shark Diving
Shark diving can provide people with the opportunity to see sharks in their natural environment. This life changing experience may change your outlook on sharks and help break their long time negative perception. There are a number of professional shark operators to choose from all over the world, but in Atlantic Canada, Lunenburg Ocean Adventures is one operation that offers this type of experience!
Sharkwater was the first large scale feature film to showcase the plight of sharks to the mass public. Directed by Rob Stewart, the movie was filmed in visually stunning, high definition video. Sharkwater takes you into the most shark-rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. For more on sharkwater, click here.
Reduce the Demand for Shark Fin Soup
While shark fin soup is not a dish commonly found in Atlantic Canada, it is a common product served in many other parts of the world, including Pacific Canada. The largest threat facing sharks is the increasing demand for their fins. The fin trade is largely unregulated and unmonitored, making it near impossible to track how many species are being killed. It is estimated that nearly 150 million sharks a year are killed just for their fins, however; this number is not scientific. Visit Shark Savers for more information on how to help at a local, regional, and international scale.
Check out what the organization Shark Truth is doing to educate the Chinese community in Vancouver, Canada. Click here!
Organizations all over the world are coming together to promote shark conservation. Check out Shark Alliance, an NGO taking on the European Union.
PEW Charitable Trust is heading some outstanding projects on shark conservation and management. Click here for more information on their global efforts!