SHARK AWARENESS DAY



Sharks date so far back in history that many scientists refer to them as ‘living fossils’. In fact, sharks are older than trees and dinosaurs and have been on the planet for more than 420 million years. They have also survived five mass extinctions. Shark Awareness Day on July 14 celebrates these creatures that have had a bad reputation mostly because of Steven Spielberg's movie Jaws. But there’s a bigger chance of being struck by lightning than being killed or attacked by a shark.


A Great White Shark has the ability to detect blood from 5km away

Great Whites are the largest predatory fish on earth, with up to 300 serrated teeth, the ability to detect blood from 5km away and torpedo-shaped bodies that allow them to swim up to 57 km/h. They are on average around 4.5m long, with the largest ones on record measuring in at a massive 7 meters long. They can be found in all major oceans. Another incredible biological feature of great whites is their highly toxic blood. Numbers of Great White sharks have been massively decreasing in recent years, leading to them being labelled as vulnerable.



PEOPLE HAVE BEEN HUNTING THEM FOR MANY REASONS

Over the decades, other shark numbers have dwindled due to several reasons as well. People have been hunting them for their skin, meat, and fins all over the world. Many places in the world offer special fin soups or products made out of shark leather. Moreover, the scary and dangerous image of sharks, created by pop culture, has led to many unnecessary killings.


According to studies and research, shark population has reduced by 71% since 1970. Such a situation is alarming because a reduced shark population can have grievous impacts on the environment. Sharks play an integral role in keeping our ocean's healthy. They do this by keeping other populations in check and preying on the sick and old. This prevents the spread of disease and improves the gene pool.


While most sharks will be 100% fine if they stop swimming, a few iconic species such as great white sharks, whale sharks, hammerheads and mako sharks would suffocate without forward motion or a strong current flowing towards their mouths and have to swim all the time. And so we should not give up on steady support for this important animal.


FUN FACTS


  • At least 100 million sharks are killed each year all because humans fear them.

  • Sharks have 7 rows of teeth.

  • They lose approximately 30,000 teeth in their lifetime and this is why we can find an abundance of shark teeth on the ocean/seafloor.

  • Great White Sharks are the largest predatory fish on earth.

  • Great White Sharks can be found in all major oceans and the only place in the world they don’t hunt and live is Antarctica.

  • Some species of sharks are bulletproof. For example, whale sharks’ skin can be very difficult to penetrate because their skin is six inches thick.


Sources: nationalgeographic.com, nautilusliveaboards.com, factanimal.com


LET'S FIGHT TO SAVE THE OCEANS

VAKOVAKO will soon fight to save the current shape and biodiversity of the oceans. 100 % of all donations given via our app to „OCEANS“ area will by transfered to related NGOs. Let’s help them expand their activities together.