The “most wonderful week of the year” – Discovery Channel’s Shark Week on July 5-12 – is almost here! Starting next week, shark lovers or haters and intrigued or fearful fans will be glued to their televisions for a chance to get a glimpse into the lives of these fascinating ocean predators. Are you ready?
Before you dive into a marathon TV binge, there are a few things you should know. Shark Week’s popularity has quickly skyrocketed in recent years due to its exaggerated storytelling, clever marketing and overall sensationalism. With the way the media has portrayed sharks in the last few decades, certain misconceptions have spread. But simultaneously, a growing fascination and curiosity to better understand our finned friends is flourishing.
So despite the program’s dramatization and sensationalism, Project AWARE is embracing Shark Week as the most wonderful week of the year – after all, it’s the perfect opportunity for us to rally much needed public support for their conservation.
One quarter of all known species of sharks, skates and rays are considered Threatened with Extinction by the IUCN Red List. Overfishing, bycatch and finning are pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Love them or fear them, the reality is sharks play a crucial role in keeping our ocean ecosystems in balance, yet many species are being caught at an alarming and unsustainable rate. As divers, we’re lucky to see these creatures in their natural environment. We have a responsibility to take a stand and raise funds critical to save Sharks and Rays in Peril.
Take Action and Get Ready for Shark Week:
- Make a splash for shark and ray protection with a swimming challenge – Put your #FinsOn4Sharks and fundraise for shark and ray protection with a #Finathon
- Follow @projectaware on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to join the online conversation – Every day we’ll share #SharkWeek facts to help dispel misconceptions about these magnificent creatures. Help us spread the word!
Project AWARE advocates for stricter trade agreements, fisheries management and much more. With your support, we’re working hard to drive policies for a healthy, abundant ocean and secure stronger protections for vulnerable sharks and rays.
During Shark Week – and all year long – Project AWARE challenges you to fight for their protection. Your support and fundraising actions help us:
- Fight to stop finning
- Insist on full protections for critically endangered sharks and rays
- Negotiate strong policies to help ensure sharks and rays’ survival
You have the power to help secure a brighter future for sharks and rays around the world. With the support of the Project AWARE dive community, together, we can protect sharks and rays during Shark Week and all year long. Let’s put our #FinsOn4Sharks with a #Finathon challenge!
Photo courtesy of © Mark Conlin, NOAA Fisheries Service