Many people see sharks as trophies 🏆. Something to be battled and killed, just for a photo and bragging rights. Fishermen catch them, slice their fins off and toss them back in the ocean, alive to drown. Sometimes, their livers are taken for cosmetics like lipsticks, as well as other products. At least some fishermen will use their entire body; eat the meat and use parts for souvenirs.
Many of these acts against sharks are just horrific…it’s just tragic. But there’s always hope that things can change!
Through education, our voices joined together, and how we spend our money, can make a change for these beautiful creatures!
To keep the sharing of shark experiences going, I’m going way back to one of my earliest interactions! I was on a pier and fishermen were braving the cold winter weather to catch fish to take home and eat. Every once in a while, they pull a little shark up.
🦈 Smooth Dogfish Shark Mustelus canis
These guys prefer to live in the warmer waters of the Western Atlantic Ocean, and munch on crustaceans and mollusks as they have teeth designed for crushing rather than sharp blades like many other sharks we know and love. 🦈 This species also stays on the smaller end of the scale, at about 4′ for a full grown adult. So the dogfish pictured here is clearly a juvenile! Awe! 🙌😅
Fishermen pulled this little guy up during the winter months, here in north Florida, while they were really fishing for Whiting fish. At least while I was there, they threw the sharks back into the water. Along with Dogfish sharks, the fishermen also pulled up young Bonnethead sharks (small hammerhead sharks).
At the time, I was just excited to see and touch a shark, and while we knew the seconds were ticking how long this shark could be out of the water, getting some photos I thought were necessary. Not only for identifying, but getting a good message out to the public. This was before selfies, but we need to be sensitive to animals when we want a photo with one. We can’t stress them out or kill them for a simple photo.
So as we celebrate sharks and want to save them, get to know them! I love Peppermint Narwhal’s graphics and they sell this as a great poster!
The top photo is from Respect the Fin company, so you should check out their social media and website. A Miami based group wants to keep fins on sharks and keep sharks in our oceans. Apparently, Miami is a huge hub for the shark finning industry! 😱
We can all do something and we SHOULD! We can’t let shark finning happen right under our nose and simply do nothing.
Let’s try to keep up this excitement over shark conservation and be the change. 💙🦈💙🙌
Smooth Dogfish shark Facts https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/fish/discover/species-profiles/mustelus-canis/