We recently shared a post talking about ocean conservation and with the recent launch of our newest collection, we wanted to expand that topic to sharks. An often misunderstood and feared member of our oceans ecosystem, but also one of the most important parts.
When we talk about conservation it’s important to note that talking about the oceans and its creatures to our Birdies is one of the most important things we can do! Teaching our kids about the importance of the oceans, how to take care of our oceans, and the incredible creatures that live there can instill in them a passion for conservation that they’ll take throughout their lives.
So today, let’s talk about and celebrate sharks! Let’s get our kids excited about sharks while also teaching them shark safety and conservation. And to start, don’t forget to shop our latest collection, out now!
Sharks are fascinating creatures that have been around for millions of years. They’re a vital part of our ecosystems and there are tons of ways that we can be safe around sharks and teach shark safety. The incredible thing about sharks is that they come in all shapes and sizes, from the tiny dwarf lantern shark to the massive whale shark. Unfortunately, many species of sharks are facing threats to their survival.
Why are sharks important?
Sharks play an important role in our ocean's ecosystem. They are apex predators, which means that they are at the top of the food chain. Being at the top of the food chain means sharks help to control the populations of other marine animals, which helps to maintain a healthy balance in the ecosystem. Without sharks, the populations of other marine animals could grow out of control, which often has negative effects on the ecosystem.
Sharks are also vital to the health of coral reefs. When sharks are present, they help to control the populations of fish that eat algae off the reef. This allows the coral to grow and thrive, which is so important because coral reefs are home to some of the most diverse marine life.
Coral reefs also help to protect our coastlines from storms and erosion. They provide jobs for local communities, and offer opportunities for recreation like snorkeling and scuba diving. According to research, over half a billion people in the world depend on coral reefs for food, income and protection, which means all of those people also depend on sharks and the safety of sharks.
Threats to shark populations
Sharks face a lot of threats to their survival, both from humans and natural causes. Here are some of the biggest threats to shark populations:
Overfishing: Sharks are often caught accidentally in fishing nets or intentionally caught for their fins, which are used in shark fin soup. This has led to a decline in shark populations around the world.
Habitat loss: Sharks rely on healthy ocean ecosystems to survive. However, pollution, climate change, and other human activities are causing damage to these ecosystems, which can lead to habitat loss for sharks.
Negative media portrayal: Sharks are often portrayed as dangerous and aggressive in movies and on TV, which can lead to fear and misunderstanding of these creatures. This can make it difficult for people to understand why sharks are important and why they need our protection.
What can we do to help conserve sharks?
There are many things that we can do with our Birdies to help conserve shark populations.
Learn about sharks
The more we understand sharks, the more we can help protect them. Together as a family you can read books, watch documentaries and visit aquariums to learn more about the different types of sharks and how they survive. Visiting an aquarium is also a great way to beat the heat this summer!
Reduce plastic use
We talked about this in another post, but plastic pollution is a major threat to our ocean ecosystems. Plastic can harm sharks and other marine life. You can help by using reusable water bottles, bringing reusable bags to the grocery store and avoiding single use plastics like straws and utensils. It might not seem like much, but every time you say no to single use plastics is a win for our sharks.
Support sustainable fishing
When buying seafood, look for labels like MSC or ASC, which indicate that the fish was caught using sustainable methods. This can help to reduce overfishing and protect shark populations.
Speak up for sharks
Our Birdies can use their voices to advocate for shark conservation. Kids can write letters to lawmakers, talk to their friends and family about the importance of sharks, and join shark conservation projects in their communities. If there isn’t a conservation project in your community, find online help and information to inspire your kids here.
Support organizations working to protect sharks
There are many organizations that are working to protect shark populations around the world. Kids can support these organizations by donating some of their allowance, volunteering, or even starting their own fundraising campaigns.
At the end of the day, sharks are important creatures that play a crucial role in the health of our oceans. However, many species of sharks are facing threats to their survival. By learning and teaching our kids about sharks, we can take action to protect them! Together we can help these fascinating creatures survive for generations to come.
We hope this post has helped to inspire you to teach your kids more about sharks and how we can all work together to conserve them. Don’t forget to shop our incredible new sharks collection, out now! We can’t wait to see your Birdies loving their sharks on Instagram. You can always find us there to chat more about the collection and our favorite sharks. Start by telling us what your kids favorite sharks are (@birdiebeanbaby).Sources:
- Shark Biology. Shark Research Institute, sharkresearchinstitute.org/shark-biology-101/
- Why Are Sharks Important? Shark Stewards, sharkstewards.org/sharks-important/
- Threats to Sharks. Oceana, oceana.org/marine-life/sharks-rays/threats.
- 10 Simple Actions to Help Protect Sharks." Sharks4Kids, sharks4kids.com/shark-conservation/10-simple-actions-to-help-protect-sharks/
- Plastic Pollution and its Impact on the Ocean. National Geographic, nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/plastic-pollution-and-its-impact-ocean/