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.
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
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!
Recently, WhaleTimes Director Ruth Musgrave was invited to visit elementary schools in Oregon City, Oregon to talk about sharks. She discovered the kids in Oregon City LOVE sharks as much as we do.
The kids were inspired to celebrate Fintastic Friday early and send a “Big as Life” thank you to biologists helping sharks.
If you follow the link below you’ll see Dr. Dean Grubbs, Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, showing off his thank you!Take a look! https://www.facebook.com/FSUCML
Thank you kids — and Dr. Grubbs and our friends at Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory! Together we can save sharks!
Don’t forget to mark your calendar, Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice is just months away.