Shark Week

As it is shark week I figured it would be a good time to share the story of my friend Heather in her quest to stop shark finning, and also share some important facts about sharks. 

Heather Murray, a 29 year old conservationist from New Zealand and a good friend of mine, set out on a brave quest to help raise money and awareness to stop shark finning.  On the 1st June Heather vowed that if she could raise $500 US for ProjectAWAREs shark protection project by her 29th birthday (9th July) she would shave off all of her hair in a stand against shark finning. Within a few days Heather had exceeded her target of $500, and agreeing to shave her head regardless she raised her target to $1000.  A week later, Heather had again smashed this target and increased her target to $5000.  Unsurprisingly, with her daily shark facts and determination to raise awareness, Heather again exceeded this target, ending with a staggering grand total of $8,231 US!!!!!  So, on the 8th July at the Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman, Heather gave a talk about sharks, followed by the head shaving event.  Heather’s efforts show what one person can do and highlights to us all the importance of banning shark finning.  Thank you Heather and well done!!!!

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Shark Facts:

  • More people are killed each year by bee stings than by sharks
  • There are over 400 different species of sharks
  • Unlike other species of shark, the great white is warm-blooded. Although the great white does not keep a constant body temperature, it needs to eat a lot of meat in order to be able to regulate its temperature.
  • Sharks do not have a single bone in their bodies. Instead they have a skeleton made up of cartilage; the same type of tough, flexible tissue that makes up human ears and nose.
  • Scientists can tell the age of a shark by counting the rings on its vertebrae (similar to how they can tell how old a tree is by counting its rings!)
  • Until the 16th century they were known to seafarers are “sea dogs”
  • Baby sharks are called pups
  • New research shows that sharks may be colorblind
  • You are 1000 times more likely to drown than be killed by a shark
  • Shark Fin soup is a popular and traditional delicacy in Asia, Hawaii and Australia but the practice of finning sharks is adding to the rapid decline of sharks and hurtful to the animals. Up to 73 million sharks are killed a year for their fins
  • In Iceland Rotten Shark or ‘Hakarl’ is a traditional dish served during the Midwinter Festival – but not particularly popular with visitors! Accounts vary, some say it tastes like cheese, others say it’s practically inedible
  • Shark skin is touch and hard and before the invention of sandpaper it was used to polish wood
  • They have a sensory organ called ‘ampullae of Lorenzini’ that allows them to feel electrical currents in the water
  • Sharks can smell a drop of blood in 1 million drops of water
  • Sharks never run out of teeth, if they lose one another spins forward from rows and rows of backup teeth – A shark may grow and lose 20, 000 teeth in its lifetime!

 

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