What can you do to support Shark Guardian and the oceans?
Updated: May 17, 2021
1. Finspire Change UK petition
Finspire Change UK is a campaign launched and run by Shark Guardian. The aim is to get 100,000 signatures on this governmental petition to stop the UK importing, exporting and trading shark fins. The shark finning industry is barbaric, cruel and completely unnecessary and the UK's involvement in such a trade needs to stop.
If you are a UK resident, please sign and then share with your friends and family.
If you are not a UK resident, sharing the petition is still incredibly valuable as it reaches people it otherwise would not.
If you are an EU resident, once you've shared the Finspire Change UK petition, StopFinningEU run a similar campaign aiming to ban the EU's involvement in the shark fin trade, you can sign here.
2. Be a keyboard warrior with Fly Without Fins – flywithoutfins.org
Fly Without Fins is a campaign run by Shark Guardian and Shark Project that documents airlines involvement with shark fin transportation. We encourage people to tag and tweet at their local airlines asking them what their policies are on carrying shark fins – praising the airlines that have banned it and applying pressure and encouragement to those that haven’t. All you have to do is tag an airline in your message, or message them directly, letting us know their response and we’ll update the website!
This is a citizen science platform logging marine wildlife around the globe. Any time you are near or in the water, anywhere in the world, you can make an entry here. If you’re a beach walker, surfer, diver, snorkeler, fisherman or anything in between, scientists would love to know what you saw. More importantly, they want to know if you didn’t see anything too – this ensures population numbers and areas of biodiversity can be accurately determined. eOceans provides data used by the IUCN so you truly are making a difference! You can also log any type of anthropogenic litter seen.
eOceans – Our Oceans during COVID19
Did we mention they also have an app, which you can download here (https://eoceans.app). This helps inform scientists about the effects that COVID19 is having on our coastlines. There is also a ‘how-to use this app’ guide in our Instagram stories!
4. Wildbooks for Whale Sharks (and now leopard sharks too)
Lucky enough to be a diver and see a whale shark or leopard shark? Submit your photos of it here: www.whaleshark.org Wildbooks for Whale Sharks is an organization that tracks whale sharks using their individual skin markings as personal ID tags just the same as a human fingerprint. They recently added leopard sharks to their database so if you have photos of either species with a corresponding date and location then what are you waiting for – go and log them now!
5. Save the Leopard Shark, Thailand petition
Whilst you’ve got your electronic pen at the ready, please consider giving this petition a sign too! Save the Leopard Shark is a petition supported by divers in Thailand requesting that the government protect the ever-decreasing populations of Leopard sharks in Thai waters. Local divers are concerned about their disappearance, and you should be too.
6. Other citizen science projects
These are just a handful of other citizen science programmes we could find. If you know of any more then please drop us a message and we’ll add it to the list!
Spot the Leopard Shark, Thailand: https://sites.google.com/site/spottheleopardshark/thailand
Scottish Skates: https://skatespotter.sams.ac.uk
Shark Trust, Great Egg Case Hunt: https://recording.sharktrust.org/eggcases/record
Hammerheads in Southern California: www.jotform.us/form/42746892654165
Basking Sharks in North American Pacific: http://baskingshark.wufoo.com/forms/basking-shark-sighting-questionnaire/
Shark and Ray Entanglement Network (ShaREN): https://recording.sharktrust.org/entanglement/record
Read more about ShaREN and our interview with co-founder Kristian Parton here.
7. Use 'Give As You Live' (GAYL) as much as possible, the pennies truly do add up!
There is nobody that cannot use GAYL to help us out. Whether you’re an online shopping addict, an occasional gift buyer or have never bought anything online ever before - you can help us raise essential funds. So, what is it? GAYL is a website that receives commission from the stores it promotes, this commission is passed onto a charity of your choice. As such it doesn’t cost you anything and we get a donation when you buy things online!
Download the GAYL reminder and every time you use a registered store, it tracks your purchase and donates money to Shark Guardian. Examples of GAYL registered stores are M&S, eBay, notonthehighstreet, Etsy, ASOS, Boots, Groupon and so many more! Grocery cards can be bought too - these are gift cards you can purchase for supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose used redeemed at the till. If you’re interested in more information, then we’ve created several ‘How-to’ guides on the many aspects of GAYL process. For more information and easy 'how-to' guides visit: www.sharkguardian.org/fundraise
8. Visit our online store
Not because we’re greedy and want to buy our 3rd holiday home but because it’s what our charity survives on. It’s how we educate thousands of children in Asia. It’s how we are able to provide funding to organizations and students researching MPAs with critically endangered marine life such as the Flapper Skate. It’s our lifeline to expand Shark Guardian into the internationally renowned shark conservation charity we know it can be. 100% of the profit we make from any sale go directly back to Shark Guardian and our lifelong goal of saving sharks. You can treat yourself to t-shirts, hoodies, mask straps, jewellery and books here: www.sharkguardian.org/shop Or if you fancy a beer cosy, clock, new phone case or tote bag? Get them here: https://society6.com/sharkguardian If you are a UK resident then rest assured that our t-shirts are produced by Tom at Blue Ray T-shirts in Kent so your air miles and climate footprint is super low.
9. Do a beach clean
If you live near the sea there is a very real need for this to happen. The ocean is counting on you to stop a wave of plastic products choking, starving and entangling or marine life. Don’t live near the beach? Litter picking your local river, stream or lake is still very important in protecting local wildlife and mitigating litter making its way into the sea through watercourses. Don’t live near any water whatsoever? Litter pick your local streets and country parks – it is still very possible that the litter will end up in rivers and seas in some form if not properly disposed of (via wind power or through sewage networks). Picking up an empty crisp packet from a landlocked area may seem very far removed from protecting ocean life but don’t be discouraged. This does help sharks, as well as all marine life, further down the line. Pick it up with pride knowing you are doing something small but mighty that will help the overall health of our oceans and the planet.
10. Reduce your own plastic consumption
Turn off the tap. Don’t spend all your time litter picking to then go and purchase plastic wrapped veggies from the store. Encourage your local grocer to stop buying their fruit and veg in plastic, provide paper bags instead of plastic ones or better yet bring your own! Similarly, use your own refillable water bottle and coffee cup – there are literally millions of these items produced totally unnecessarily every year. Use a bamboo toothbrush, paper stemmed cotton buds, reusable face cloths, shampoo bars instead of bottles and a plethora of other items instead of their original plastic counterpart. They do not have to be expensive and some you can even make at home.
Plastics choke, starve or entangle marine life. They harbour bacteria and diseases which cling to the surface of plastic items and is subsequently transported all over our oceans via currents. If the plastic bag manages to miss animals whilst whole, it breaks down into ever smaller particles causing endocrine disruption, reproductive anomalies and genetic mutations. Let’s keep our marine life healthy and safe, all by saying ‘no thank you!’ to that needless piece of plastic!
11. Consider your fish consumption
We aren’t here to tell you not to eat fish, but we ask that you truly consider your fish consumption and fisheries impacts on the world. The largest group of plastics in the ocean is fishing equipment, specifically discarded nets. Ghost fishing, is and will continue to be, a massive threat to sharks and all marine life in the future. By-catch is also one of the biggest problems facing our ocean and it is incredibly hard to mitigate during normal fishing practices. Unless you are catching your own, odds are, it is unsustainable and a threat to marine life globally. Please, consider your fish consumption. We ask you not to consume your fish and seafood in ignorance.
12. Do a fundraiser in our honour
We would just love to see a bake sale, sponsored run or bike ride with donations going towards Shark Guardian, but why run when you could get creative. How about skipping, cartwheeling or walking on your hands around your garden, bet with your friends on how many laps you can do? Have a skype cook-off using the most outrageous ingredients in your quarantine pantry/fridge leftovers - get your mates involved and whoever’s is the most creative wins? Charge £5 entry fee for your prestigious competitions and donate the profits to Shark Guardian. Whatever the fundraiser we are eternally grateful and the money you raise is essential for keeping us going and keeping sharks safe!