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Importance of sharks: Great White Shark helping to maintain the Cape Fur Seal population at Seal Island, False Bay

Shark have been driven to the verge of extinction.

Shark have been driven to the verge of extinction due to the increased demand for shark fin soup, and every year, in oceans around the world, tens of millions of sharks are killed to meet this demand. It is becoming more and more crucial to help save sharks as they play an important part in keeping our oceans healthy. Without sharks in our oceans, this will have a devastating effect on the balance of our marine ecosystems, which is why it is so important to help save sharks.

Here are 10 ways that you can help save sharks:

1. Do not purchase or consume shark fin soup or any other shark products. This is not only for the sharks’ health, but for yours too as shark meat carries warnings of high mercury levels, which has a negative affect on your health.

2. Do not support any restaurant or store that sells shark fin soup or any other shark or ray products. If you see a restaurant serving shark meat, politely ask them to remove it from their menu. Instead of patronizing the restaurant owners, rather educate them about the effect that shark finning and the eating of shark products has on our environment.

3. Be smart when eating seafood. Nearly 85% of the world’s fisheries are fished to capacity, or overfished, and over 1/2 of the tens of millions of sharks caught yearly are caught as by-catch by commercial fisheries. If you eat fish, avoid species that have been overfished, and choose species that are more sustainable.

4. Avoid purchasing and using and cosmetics containing Squalene (shark liver oil). Rather buy cruelty free products.

5. There are many organisations all over the world fighting to save our marine wildlife and they need as much support as they can get. Choose an organization close to your hometown and offer your hands or funding – see what part you can play in protecting the world’s oceans and help save sharks.

6. Educate yourself and others about sharks. Learn as much as you can about sharks and teach your friends and families about the important role that sharks play in maintaining a healthy ocean. Change their perceptions of sharks and get them on board to try and help save sharks. Help spread the word over the internet through social networking. Make your voice heard through blogging, writing articles and appealing to media outlets.

7. Defend sharks by speaking out. If you see anyone abusing or mal-aligning these incredible and valuable creatures, always report them to the proper authorities.

8. If you are living in a company that still consumes sharks heavily, petition to the government and support legislation that stops shark fishing, protects shark habitats, and ends overfishing.

9. Contact people of influence who you think will be able to help make a difference (politicians, celebrities, non-profit organisations, etc.), and inform them about what is going on with our oceans. Ask for their support in bringing an end to shark finning and helping to conserve and protect our ocean’s sharks.

10. Go shark cage diving!  Shark cage diving provides local communities with a source of income and encourages shark conservation. It is only once we understand that sharks are worth more alive than they are dead, that we will ensure the survival of sharks.

Get Educated And Save Our Sharks

Conservation starts with education and our aim at African Shark Eco-Charters is to change your perception of these incredible animals in an effort to help save sharks in our oceans. For more ideas on how you can help save shark, check out www.stopsharkfinning.net or www.sharkangels.org.

Join African Shark Eco-Charters on one of our Great White Shark cage diving and breaching trips, and let us educate you about the importance of sharks in our oceans and why they are worth protecting, in an effort to help save sharks.