No matter how far you live from the sea, there are a lot of things you can do to help lessen human impact on sharks in your day to day life. Here are some of the ones we do!

1. ASK WHERE IT CAME FROM.

IF you purchase seafood, please ask where it came from and how it was caught. It's so easy to purchase swordfish and have no idea it came from a fishery like the drift gillnet fishery off the California coast or a longline vessel, most likely killing multiple sharks and other marine species in the process. If the seller doesn't know or says long lines, gillnets, or trawling, make a point of saying "oh, then no thank you." Let businesses know their customers are becoming more aware and will not purchase their seafood if it is caught unsustainably.​

2. CHECK THE INGREDIENTS.

Did you know shark might be in your skincare, vitamins, or even pet's food?

  • For makeup and skincare, make sure to check the ingredients for squalene as it's typically sourced from shark liver oil. Some brands get away with labeling their shark oil as something generic like "fish oil," because technically sharks are fish. If you're unsure, look up the brand on the internet and find out if it is shark-safe.

  • When it comes to vitamins and supplements, keep an eye out for shark cartilage and its claims to help joint pain and stiffness. Even if the health claims were legitimate, trust us, it's not worth the mercury.

  • The same goes for pet food. If there's "fish" in your pet's kibble, make sure you find out which kind. Fish labeled generically, like "white fish," should be red flags.

3. REFUSE SINGLE USE.

Single use products, particularly ones made from plastic and polystyrene foam, are a threat to all marine life. These items last thousands of years and therefore have an incredibly long time to eventually find their way to the sea, endangering animals with threats of entanglement or ingestion. When consumed, marine life can starve to death with stomachs filled with rubbish they're unable to digest. One of the scariest things about these products is after they're consumed they'll outlive the body of the animal and go on to be potentially consumed by another animal. Skip the straw, refuse the bag, go re-usable and encourage others to do the same. You can also take the same approach we recommend for seafood! For instance, the next time you order takeout, make a point of asking "does it come in plastic?" or "does it come in styrofoam?" If they say yes, tell them oh then no thanks. If people continue to do this, restaurant owners will realize it's not worth the loss and make the switch to more eco-friendly alternatives.

4. FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS EAT SHARK!

Hopefully, it goes without saying, but don't eat shark fin soup or shark meat! Go a step further and make sure your friends don't either! Send them a link to one of our pages on the dangers of eating shark meat and how important sharks are to the ocean!

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Photo by Natalie Parra/Keiko Conservation

The Colombian Government has authorized nearly 500 tons of sharks to be harvested in 2020. This will legalize the harvest of fins from multiple species, including ones listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, like silky sharks. Please TAKE ACTION and ask that this authorization be withdrawn.


The petition is in Spanish but can easily be translated via Google Translate if desired.


SIGN: bit.ly/2JNleiu


A tiger shark baited and left for dead off Oahu's North Shore.

We're sad to announce that House Bill 808 was amended during its recent hearing to exclude sharks completely, leaving just rays. This was due to the relentless opposition from multiple biologists at Hawaii Institute Of Marine Biology and Shark Tagger Hawaii, who were allegedly unwilling to fill out a permit that would exempt their research. It isn't the first time some of these individuals have tried to block bills that would further protect sharks in Hawaii. In 2010, Kim Holland also opposed the bill to prohibit the possession of shark fins in Hawaii before it was, thankfully, signed into law anyway. He also opposed a law in 2009 to better protect manta rays in Hawaii.

The handful of biologists, most notably Holland, Melanie Hutchinson, and Carl Meyer, claimed the bill would hinder their research efforts despite being repeatedly informed that research purposes would be exempt. Supporters of the bill have speculated that the biologists may have been concerned their controversial tagging methods would be looked at more closely if the bill passed. This is due to the backlash their tagging has received over the years, some resulting in accidental deaths, and a recent video of a pregnant tiger shark giving birth while being tagged, which other biologists criticized as a possible premature abortion from the stress of the capture. Thankfully, the shark pups were apparently already close to term and appeared to swim off strongly. Hopefully, the other pregnant tiger sharks they're considering targeting as tagging patients fair as well.


Whatever their reasoning is, we hope those who fund the work of these biologists are made aware of their efforts to oppose legislation to better protect sharks.


We encourage you to contact the opposing biologists and encourage them to put the safety of sharks before their permit paperwork.


Kim Holland: kholland@hawaii.edu

Carl Meyer: carlm@hawaii.edu

Melanie Hutchinson: melanie.hutchinson@noaa.gov


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