Today is Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice! Celebrate with us. Tell your friends. Post a Shark Conservation Zone sign and more!
Happy New Year!
2018 will be another exciting year for WhaleTimes.
First up on our agenda is the Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland in February. WhaleTimes Director, Ruth A. Musgrave is presenting a poster.
Other events we already have planed include:
- a new vaquita research mini-book from WhaleTimes and an update video newsletter (created by Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network) as part of our Save the Vaquita efforts and curriculum
- Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice (May)
- following researchers into the deep to study animal vision in hydrothermal vents
- October 17 is the 10th anniversary of Hagfish Day! Hard to believe this exciting holiday created by WhaleTimes is still going strong. (October 17)
and so much more!
We hope you can join us all year and help us save ocean animals by promoting the importance of Sustainable Seafood.
What does everyone want for the holidays? Postcards from the DEEPEND, of course! Throughout December we’ll post a new Postcard from one of our amazing, talented, and simply fun scientists from the DEEPEND Consortium.
Merry Deep Sea or Happy Anglerfish or is it…
Flat Stanley celebrates Fintastic Friday
PDF Version Flat Stanley Celebrates Fintastic Friday
Meet a gorgeous shark, the six-gill shark. This is a deep-water shark and as you can guess from the name, it has six gill slits. Those are the openings the water goes out after it passes over the gills. Most other sharks have 5 gill slits. A couple have 7.
The six-gill shark’s relatives date back over 200 million years. It has a heavy and powerful body with a round blunt snout. A six-gill shark’s color ranges from tan, brown, gray and even to black. Six-gills grow up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) long. That’s longer than a utility vehicle. Female six-gill sharks are larger then the males.
Another way six-gill sharks differ from other sharks is that its dorsal fin. It only has one (which isn’t unusual) but the one dorsal fin is located further back near the tail. Other dorsal fin of other sharks is usually near the center of their body (on their backs, of course).
Like the prickly shark, the six-gill might appear slow and sluggish when caught on film by an ROV or the very cool “Eye-in-the-Sea” camera. But hey, how would we look sitting on the couch texting friends or binge watching your favorite show? In between meals, a six-gill doesn’t waste energy zooming around the sea. When hunting, though, six-gills burst into action. They ambush prey from a close range. Six-gills eat small fishes, snails, crabs, shrimp, and squid.
Because of its deep-sea lifestyle, little is know about its reproductive behavior or other behaviors.
Six-gill sharks are threatened due to being overfished and caught in nets set for other species.
See you next time,
Happy Fintastic Friday. Together we can save sharks, skates, and ray!
Friday May 13, 2016 is an important holiday, Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice!
WhaleTimes created Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice to help raise awareness and encourage advocacy to protect elasmobranchs. This special annual holiday is celebrated worldwide.
Humans are not doing their job to protect sharks. Movies, books, and news outlets have created and perpetuated a false, but stereotypical view of sharks. This misguided hatred has caused a lack of compassion or understanding about sharks’ significant role in the health of the ocean. People hear even less about skates and rays.
On average, only 10 people are killed by sharks a year — in the entire world. BUT people kill more than 11,000 sharks EVERY HOUR of every day. Can you imagine people remaining mum if that number were whales? Dolphins? Penguins? Or some other popular species? Never.
We’ll say it again, People are not doing their best to protect sharks.
WhaleTimes believes kids are the future of sharks. No one is louder and more enthusiastic than a kid who cares. Kids love sharks. They haven’t seen the movies or heard the skewed, sensationalized, and poorly researched news clips. We want kids from all over the world cheering, SAVE THE SHARKS on this special holiday and every day.
Congratulations to our very own Ruth A. Musgrave for her efforts in shark and ocean conservation, her new book MISSION: SHARK RESCUE (National Geographic Children’s Books March 2016) and for being highlighted by Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network as part of their S.T.E.A.M. Powered: Profiles in Science, Creativity and Exploration.
This multi-part series features five women who are at the tops of their fields in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Over the 2015-16 school year, one week will be dedicated to each person, highlighting their education, careers and innovative contributions to their various disciplines — including the discovery of new species, the exploration of hostile ecosystems and the conservation of marine species.
This week, schools are encouraged to submit students’ questions to Ruth via the Oceanscape Network.
Ruth is also sharing her shark conservation message with students throughout Oregon as part of a community service effort with Barnes and Noble (Tualatin) and throughout the world through Skype interviews.
We sure have a lot to celebrate this year for Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice. Don’t forget to celebrate with us on May 13.
Fintastic Friday celebrates sharks and encourages everyone to find ways to change public opinion about from hatred to love and fear to appreciation. Think of it as Earth Day for sharks!
Why a day for sharks? Shark, ray, and skate populations throughout the world are in peril, some threatened and others critically endangered. All of them need more people to care.
We know people and scientists can encourage governments to save sharks the same way they pushed for protection of whales so long ago. In fact, there are many countries stepping up to protect sharks by creating sanctuaries for sharks, but more need to be part of the solution.
To celebrate we want you to meet just a few scientists and organizations working to protect sharks, skates, and rays throughout the world. We suggest you send them all a big sharky thank you! (see the Big as Life Thank You idea on our Fintastic Friday page)
- George Burgess, Florida Museum of Natural History
- Dave Ebert, Pacific Shark Research Center, Moss Landing
- Dean Grubbs, Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory
- Rachel Graham, MarAlliance
- Samuel Gruber, Bimini Sharklab
- Alison Kock, Shark Spotters
- Johann Mourier, Shark Biologist
- Mahmood Shivji, Nova Southeastern University
- Generous organizations like Save our Seas Foundation for supporting research throughout the world and the tireless work of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group raising awareness and adding to our knowledge of sharks.
- and the pocket shark for being one more reason to protect the oceans because there’s just a lot of weird and cool critters out there we need to discover and protect (not necessarily in that order)!
This year’s Fintastic Friday dedicated to Eugenie Clark, an inspiration to all of us to protect our oceans. Thank you.
Get the word out! Share or Like Fintastic Friday on the WhaleTimes Facebook page
Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice, one of the best holidays ever, is this Friday!
Sharks, Skates, and Rays have roamed seas and rivers for…well…practically forever! Their elegant adaptations, from nose to tail, are extraordinary. Their dignified beauty often goes unrecognized or misunderstood. That’s why sharks, skates, and rays are in trouble. Overfishing, finning, habitat destruction, and pollution have put many species in peril, threatening them with extinction. They need people who care to raise their voices.
What can you do? Let people know the real shark, the tiny lanternshark deep in the sea glowing quietly. The quirky cookiecutter shark taking bites out of whales ten times its size. The gigantic basking shark slurping plankton at the surface. What about the incredible manta ray gracefully dancing through the water? Who doesn’t love the toothy snouts of sawsharks and sawfish? All of them need our help.
Sharks have many fans, but many more people who do not appreciate or understand them. That’s the purpose of Fintastic Friday, to let people know the real animal.
Get Zoned signs. Print and post on your door, at your school, local store or where ever you can. We have two versions One with a yellow background, one without so you can print it on any color paper you want.
What else can you do? Create, write, and send a “Bigger as Life” thank to your favorite shark, skate, or ray expert.
Create some shark art, or even have a Sharks in the Park Rally. Find out more on our Fintastic Friday page
Let’s save sharks by celebrating them! Happy Fintastic Friday
Get the word out! Share or Like Fintastic Friday on the WhaleTimes Facebook page.
This is one of my friends, a whale shark. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the sea and, as you can see, also one of the most beautiful. Whale sharks grow to reach 40 feet or more! Maybe as big as 65 feet long! Their average weight is about 40,000 pounds. That’s about the weight of 10 cars!
Its white spots and pale vertical and horizontal stripes make it easy to identify. They have a flattened head with a blunt snout and a giant mouth. According to EVERYTHING SHARKS (National Geographic Kids, 2011) it’s mouth is almost as wide as a car! Wow!
Don’t worry, this gorgeous giant is only interested in eating plankton (tiny plants and animals).
Like many shark species, whale sharks need our help. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) lists whales sharks as vulnerable mostly due to overfishing.
See you later,
PS. Remember to join us for Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice on May 8, 2015 to celebrate sharks!