Author: Stephanie Huynh
5 Ways Kids Can Save Sharks
Sharks are amazing creatures that have existed on earth, in some form, for over 400 million years. Sharks are important because they keep the oceans balanced and healthy. No matter where we live, the oceans are part of our life, so we need to do our part to keep them healthy! Sadly, despite being important, sharks are in trouble and many species are endangered meaning they can disappear if we don’t start helping them now. The good news is there are PLENTY of ways that we can all help sharks in our everyday lives. It doesn’t matter if we live near the ocean or hundreds of miles from it or whether we’re adults or children. We all have the power to make a difference and here are 5 ways how.
1. Recycle or use less plastic.
Depending where we live, different types of plastics are recyclable while others are not. Have your parents or a teacher help you figure out which plastics can be recycled. But something even better than recycling is to reduce single use plastic as much as possible. We can do this by using a reusable water bottle that can be cleaned and refilled, have your parents bring reusable grocery bags to the store, and use items made of environmentally friendly materials such as bamboo (instead of plastic) such as toothbrushes and utensils. The problem with one time use plastic items is that they don’t break down in the environment and once we’re done using them, they often end up in the ocean. This is a problem for sharks because they can become entangled in them or eat them.
2. Don’t litter.
Whether you live near the ocean or far from it, littering is never a good thing. It dirties the environment and can be blown from far away and end up in the ocean where sharks and other marine animals can swallow it. Eating litter is not good for their health!
3. Don’t use products with “squalene” or “squalene” in the ingredient list.
This ingredient is often found in makeup, creams, and lotions. It comes from the liver of sharks which are often killed unnecessarily for this purpose. Have your parents avoid using products with this ingredient and instead use a similar product that does not contain squalene.
4. Don’t eat mislabeled seafood like flake, whitefish, surimi (imitation crab), or fish & chips.
Unfortunately, seafood is often given other names to hide the fact that it is shark meat. Don’t be afraid to ask where the seafood came from! It also helps to know if it came from a fishery that uses sustainable fishing methods. Or when in doubt, just avoid eating it altogether.
5. Educate others and teach them about how important sharks are.
One of the best things we can all do is educate each other. The more we know about something, the more we start to love it, and then it will be more likely that we will want to protect it. So tell all your family and friends how important sharks are to the planet and to our survival. Once they understand, they will surely want to help too!