Get Involved: What You Can Do
All throughout our oceans, whales and sharks confront threats to their survival. Some threats are natural, but many are not. Humans put ocean creatures at risk with unnecessarily harmful fishing practices, irresponsible tourism, heavy shipping traffic and deadly pollutants. You can take action to help whales, sharks and countless other ocean inhabitants! Here's how.
Be a smart water-traveler
- Don't buy shark souvenirs or other shark products. Souvenir jaws and teeth, shark fin soup, shark cartilage, shark liver oil, and cosmetics containing squalane all come from once-living sharks.
- Eat fish wisely. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Guide provides guidance for which types of seafood are caught using methods that do not accidentally kill sharks and other animals.
Protect marine animals and their habitats
- If you go on a whale-watching tour or a shark-diving expedition, be sure to choose a company that observes regulations and does not harass wildlife.
- Support responsible eco-tourism. Choose tour companies that educate people about conservation issues during their trips or that donate money to conservation causes.
- If you're on a private boat in whale or shark habitat, give animals their space, be aware of the regulations and avoid traveling excessively fast.
Volunteer with or support a conservation organization
- Support shark and whale research. If we don't know what we have, how will we know what we're losing and what we need to protect?
- Report whale strandings. Volunteers can help save stranded whales, and researchers can learn from stranded whales.
- Keep our oceans clean for whales, sharks and other animals, even if you don't live near the beach. Make sure that garbage doesn't reach the sea. Help your family recycle, use reusable grocery bags and switch to rechargeable batteries.
Stay informed and spread the word
- Volunteer with or donate money to a conservation group that helps protect sharks, whales and the oceans.
- Consider adopting a whale or a shark through a conservation group.
- Remember that sharks are not dangerous man-eaters.
- Keep learning about sharks, whales and the world's oceans!
- Spread the word about ocean conservation by teaching your friends and family about the threats our oceans face.
- Write letters to government officials urging them to protect our ocean resources.
Educate yourself about the important issues facing our oceans and share what you learn with your friends and neighbors.
"Sharks Vanishing Amid Human Myths and Brutality," by Jean-Michel Cousteau
In this article Jean-Michel Cousteau urges that fishing regulations and improved education about this incredible creature could save them from imminent extinction. (at oceanfutures.org)
IUCN Red List
The International Union for Conservation of Natural Resources provides this extensive Red List database where you can search for population information about nearly any species of animal in the world. (at iucnredlist.org)
The University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science
The University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science provides an array of information and links to current government research and conservation efforts to protect endangered whales.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving permanent solutions to pressing animal welfare and conservation challenges. This link takes you directly to their whale protection page. (at ifaw.org)
"Whales in Danger: Military Sonar Threatens Whales Around the World," NRDC
The Natural Resources Defense Council outlines just how detrimental military sonar is for whale survival in this article. (at savebiogems.org)