Shark Week: Take a bite into Ocean Conservation

As avid shark week watchers at Sailors for the Sea, we wanted to share some of our favorite sharks and also raise awareness about the overfishing of sharks.

Sailors for the Sea has a featured Ocean Watch Essay, Saving Sharks One Fin at a Time. This essay explains how some sharks need our help by discussing the value of sharks and the dangers of eating sharks. This article also explains research and education that is being done and what you can do to help.

Changes in their abundance or behavior can have cascading effects on the whole community (sharks). This is a problem because rampant overfishing is causing drastic worldwide declines in shark populations. As a result, one in three species of pelagic sharks are now threatened with extinction.” – Saving Sharks One Fin at a Time

Find out what Shark needs to be wearing sunblock and what unheard of shark species is taking a bite into ocean conservation…

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Dan’s Pick, The Basking Shark: 

He is the second-largest of all living shark species, with only the whale shark growing larger. They normally grow to 20-26 feet long, with the biggest confirmed specimen measuring over 40 feet long! They have mouths up to three feet wide, which they hold open while swimming. That’s because they are filter feeders that scoop up plankton, crustaceans, and small fish as they swim.

– I wouldn’t want to be behind him at the buffet line!

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Tiller’s Pick, The Perro Salado Shark: Image

This shark is dedicated to having a cleaner ocean. The Perro Salado Shark is a very friendly shark only heard to have taken bites out of boats. He is known to be triggered by the smell of non-green cleaning products used on boats. There is also a legend of a Perro Salado shark taking bites out of several vessels not using Copper free bottom paint. Scientist suggest the best way to prevent a Perro Salado shark bite from your boat is by following Sailors for the Sea Clean Boating Resources. Also learn more how your dog can join Tiller in supporting ocean conservation as a Salty Dog.

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Hilary’s Pick, The Hammerhead Shark:

These sharks are named for their unusual shape. Scientists speculated that the distance between the shark’s eye gave it some kind of advantage. Hammerhead sharks can see a range of 360 degrees vertically.  Hammerhead sharks are able to judge distances well by sight alone. They also differ from other sharks in that they tend to swim in schools and they can develop a tan when exposed to sunlight.

-Get these Sharks some sunscreen!

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Annie’s Pick, The Megalodon Shark: 

As far as we know, megalodon was the biggest shark that ever existed. It grew up to 60 feet long and consumed over a ton of food every day. The word megalodon means “big tooth”, appropriate as the megalodon had a bite more powerful than a T. rex, which it used to eat whales. Megalodon lived 25 to one million years ago.

– Jurassic Park vs. Megalodon Shark? I think we have a pitch for Steven Spielberg here…

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ImageKim’s Pick, Megamouth Shark: 

The megamouth was first discovered in 1976. It is a filter feeder with very small teeth, but swims with its huge mouth open to scoop up jellyfish and plankton. The megamouth shark is a rare creature and is rarely seen. There have been only 41 confirmed sightings.

-Mega- Dental plan for this shark.

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ImageJenn’s Pick, The Saw Shark: 

There are seven known species of sawsharks that have long snouts with teeth, but they are not related to sawfish. They swim along the floor of the ocean and use their snouts exactly as you would imagine: they smack their prey sideways to disable them. Sawsharks eat squid, crustaceans, and small fish. They look much more dangerous than they are.

– What does this shark use for tissues?

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